Everything Else is Even More Ridiculous – Introduction by Nemeton

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Written soon after the publication of the first and second issues of datacide, Praxis newsletter #12 (1997) states, “With the increased availability of technology that makes it easier than ever to create, produce and distribute independent material, new networks and mechanisms have started to operate in the last decade. We called it techno. But even the phuturistic rigidity of techno was not immune against the counter-strategies of the system. We need new strategies of underground resistance, the beats have to be broken the noises twisted, desires reinvented, the phuture manifesting itself in the present, breaking the rules of the past.” [1] This oppositional call for resistance is one of the myriad collective strategies that inform Praxis, the record label, and datacide, the magazine for noise and politics. Many comrades-in-arms, a million jackals, have explored in theory and practice the potentialities and failures of countercultural, resistant and oppositional currents in hard electronic dance music, culture and politics. What is at stake in making a claim for the possibilities of co-creating transnational countercultures, and is that even realizable in the current economic and political conditions?

Counterculture and subculture as conceptual and historical tools have been defined in often competing and contradictory ways, especially concerning the subversive, resistant and revolutionary potentials, leading to a lot of confusion and uncritical use of the terms in various electronic music scenes. [Read more →]

Praxis & Concrete Cosmos present Aural Extremisms @ K9 Berlin 19-06-2015

19-06-2015 – Praxis and Concrete Cosmos present Aural Extremisms at K9, Kinzigstr. 9, 10247 Berlin.

Talks and Screenings from 8pm: Introduction by Christoph Fringeli on current Datacide Projects and 23 years of Praxis.

Screening of “Nothing Essential Happens in the Abscence of Noise” Praxis Records documentary by Silvia Biagioni (screening starts 9pm).

DJ Controlled Weirdness: “Journeys in the Naked City – A Psychogeography of Dancing in the 1980s and early 90s” (talk) & discussion.

From 11pm: Live & DJ sets by DJ Controlled Weirdness, Nemeton, Darkam, D!NAM!K, Destrooy aka Dubdub, Ari Nev, Aekre. Visuals by Sansculotte.

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Cyrus Bozorgmehr, The Rabbit Hole (Creative Space, 2013) and other writings (Book Review)

Cyrus Bozorgmehr,
The Rabbit Hole
(Creative Space, 2013)
and other writings at djbroadcast.net

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Writing about music counter-cultural tendencies that we participate in poses questions about historification that are not easily resolved, but are rather left in a state of perpetual negotiation. Those who choose to undertake the task of critical writing that present counter-narratives to the omnipresence of music industry journalism in print magazines and on a plethora of music websites inevitably make strategic choices about modes of counter-dialogue to engage diverse readerships. In the last few years, there has been a resurgence of artists/musicians/participants who have printed a number of provocative books that we have followed with great interest. The medium of photography and the photo book was used to tell multiple, interconnected stories about free parties in the Paris catacombs in the truly illuminating Paname sans dessus, dessous! published in 2006. In datacide 10, I reviewed the problematics of Pencilbreak: A Graphicore Compilation, which took the strategy of representing music through the visual medium of flyers, posters and album covers. Published in 2011, Sudden Infant: Noise in My Head, The Actionistic Music and Art of Joke Lanz is a fascinating book that operates on multiple levels as a memoir, a photo book, a collaborative self-history and a discography through the inclusion of an interview with Joke Lanz, drawings, photos of performances, manifestos, poetry, concert posters and flyers, texts by collaborators, and a visual discography. Riccardo Balli engaged in a plundering of counter-narrative strategies in his Italian language publication on Milan’s Agenzia X called Apocalypso Disco: La Rave-o-luzione della Post Techno. The excellent book includes interviews with artists such as Christoph Fringeli, Sansculotte, Daniel Erlacher (Widerstand Records), Ralph Brown and others. Several chapters are made up of Balli’s ingeniously amusing counter-histories of interconnected music genres in a fictional plundering of writings of Philip K. Dick and Fulcanelli (first published in English in Datacide). Another book chapter blurs the boundaries completely between fiction and non-fiction in a retelling of some aspects of the Dead By Dawn parties in 1995. Academic writing informed by ethnographic and anthropological methodologies about sub-cultural musical experiences are investigated in the interview with Graham St. John in another book chapter. Most recently this year, there are two engaging examples of mixing the curatorial project of presenting counter-cultural tendencies through exhibitions with that of a companion book. One project was the exhibit and book Berlin Wonderland: The Wild Years Revisited 1990-1996, which featured short personal narrative texts by artists in music, theater and the arts that gave context to photographs grouped together in themes like ‘open doors’, ‘disarmament experts’, ‘wild gangs’ (both which focus on Mutoid Waste Company), etc. Opening on October 1 in Newcastle, Australia is Fistography – Bloody Fist Records – The Exhibition that displays all the label’s releases in chronological order along with ephemera including press clippings, posters, flyers, equipment and photos. This is a truly monumental archival undertaking documenting the years 1993-2004. Simultaneously, an internet radio broadcast out of Hertford featured the BF back catalog. The exhibit is complemented by a show featuring Xylocaine, Hedonist, Epsilon and Mark N spinning BF tunes on Oct 3. Mark N has also published a 300-page book documenting the label’s history titled Fistography: Bloody First Records, Newcastle, Australia, 1994-2004. Critical readers and participants may have these and many other examples in mind when undertaking the ruckus, fictional experience that is The Rabbit Hole.

This is a deeply amusing fictional novel that will no doubt make readers laugh wildly and at the next turn snicker knowingly at the maschinations of a collective that in one summer throws massive renegade soundsystem parties in various locations in and around London. Many readers, including myself, track down this paperback or ebook because it is one of the few fictional narratives about the worldwide teknival movement, and it is written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr aka Sirius, member of Spiral Tribe and SP23. One of the pleasures of reading this book is the constant elision between fiction, personal experience, and (non)-history – the reader may ask herself at any particular moment, ‘Is this a history of a soundsystem crew revealed in a over-the-top, far-fetched retelling, or a narrative slight of hand imagining what could be?’. That inquiry only takes the reader so far since there’s a lot going on in the book. What becomes much more satisfying is the reader’s traversal of the literary play between the comical, the serious, and the caricatured as the crew members’ grapple with the principles that inform their collective actions, deploy strategies of collaborative artistic creation, experiment with the transformative potential of music, deal with the insidious nature of the music industry and commercialism, and negotiate state repression and infiltration. [Read more →]

Datacide 14 Record Reviews by Nemeton

Ontal: Combat Engineering (Overdraw 01)
The newest release from the Serbian duo of Boris Noiz and Darko Dekode is completely storming and definitely matches our hopes since following Ontal’s music and mixes with great interest for some time. It is great to hear this on vinyl. A1 Combat Engineering is a searing, ruthless, grinding track with hard-hitting beats and industrial noise; A2 is a remix by Tomohiko Sagae, whose mixes are superb. B1 Lithosphere is a gritty, pounding abstract tune, and B2 ends it hard with Taphonomy. Definitely recommended!

Eschaton: (Token 38)
This is the first release that brings together Ancient Methods and Orphx. The tracks have been kicking around online in mixes and such for quite some time, so it was great to see the vinyl release finally come out in January 2014. Eschaton played live for the first time at Berghain in mid September 2014. We are huge fans of Ancient Method’s grinding, industrial techno, and we were greatly impacted by Orphx’s early releases on Hands like Vita Mediativa and Fragmentation on Malignant, but are less interested by Orphx’s more straight style of techno production of the last years. A1 Age of Iron is a solid techno track with a nice groove and full-blown bass; A2 Degenerate is a more subdued sound, with a slower and slightly off kilter tempo. B2 Seven Signs is the most abstract with expansive reverb, interesting clips, clinks, and other metallic sounds, which lead up to the dance oriented crescendo. This release has a lot of [Read more →]

News (Datacide 14): Endless War; Social Media and Internet Surveillance; Music Industry and Copyright

Endless War
A leaked classified US government document published by The Intercept gives more precise numbers about people placed on various ‘terrorism’ suspect databases as of August 2013. The Terrorism Screening Database (TSDB) has 680,000 ‘known or suspected terrorists’, with 40% or 280,000 labeled as having ‘no recognized terrorist group affiliation’. An additional 320,000 are in Terrorism Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE). This unclassified information is based on ‘reasonable suspicion’ (not facts or evidence), and is routinely shared to intelligence, military, local police, foreign governments and private companies. The second highest concentration of ‘known or suspected terrorists’ is in Dearborn, Michigan, a city with the largest percentage of Arab-Americans, which makes the racial profiling practices of the databases clear. There are 240 nominations a day to TIDE. The no-fly list contains 47,000 people; 16,000 more people are ‘selectees’ given addition airport screening. TIDE includes more than 860,000 biometric files (face scans, fingerprints, iris scans) on 144,000 people. The Intercept also published the leaked March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance document which details the secret procedures that 19 government agencies use to put people on these various databases.

Rahinah Ibrahim is the first person to successfully challenge her placement on the government no-fly list. The federal court judge ruled that she was not a ‘threat’ to national security and had been placed on the no-fly list because of a bureaucratic ‘mistake’ when the FBI official, Kevin Kelley, filled out the form wrong by checking the ‘wrong boxes’. Her name has to be purged from the list, or the government has to certify her name is already removed. Four American Muslims have filed a lawsuit in which they accuse the FBI of putting them on the no-fly list in order to either intimidate them into becoming informants or retaliating against them for refusing. In another American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit on behalf of 13 US citizens, a federal judge struck down as unconstitutional the procedures people on the list must use to contest their inclusion. The government must create a new remedy process, but the judge did not in any way stop the implementation of the no-fly list.

In April 2014, publicintelligence.net made public a 2011 US Army Commander’s Guide to Biometrics in Afghanistan, which thoroughly details the government’s goal to collect biometric data (facial photos, iris scans, and all ten fingerprints) from every person in Afghanistan. The biopolitical war project includes not only attempting to ID ‘terrorists’ by running the biometrics through Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FBI databases, but also the management of entire populations. [Read more →]

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