Keith Robinson Desert Storm 06/08/68-18/09/16 Obituary

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Keith Robinson Desert Storm 06/08/68-18/09/16

Tragically on the 18th of September 2016, one of the godfathers of the UK and European free party scene, Keith Robinson, progenitor of Desert Storm Sound System and illegal rave stalwart ended his life in the river Thames in circumstances as yet unclear.

Keith was always a massively influential character on the movement both in terms of application (his military precision when it came to organising illicit fiestas was legendary) and ideology. He and Desert Storm introduced a socially conscious element to a scene that could, on occasion, veer towards the nihilistic, hedonistic and escapist. Keith wanted to improve the existing world as opposed to creating an alternate society inhabited by a select few.

In 1995 he and the D Storm posse took their rig, aid and perhaps more importantly their music and vibrancy to Sarajevo towards the end of the Bosnian conflict (check Storming Sarajevo on youtube for more on this). Later on Keith went to Afghanistan to fight with the TA, whilst many of his good friends were bemused by his decision no one doubted that his motives were genuinely altruistic.

Many of us noted a marked change in Keith’s outlook following his experiences in Afghanistan, maybe he’d lost a touch of that incredibly positive outlook he had displayed in his earlier adventures. Nevertheless, Keith, from his kamikaze like support of the ‘Reclaim the Streets’ and anti CJB events through to his mission to Bosnia and innumerable free parties and teknivals in Europe had an immeasurable impact on the rave scene, not just in terms of music and showmanship but as an inspiration, personally, to all that worked hard and played hard by his side.

Your drive and passion will not be forgotten, rest in peace big man.

“We don’t think that music is a luxury. We think it is an essential, yet it’s always one of the first casualties of war.”

by Marc Hekate from forthcoming Datacide Sixteen

see also:

http://daily.redbullmusicacademy.com/2015/08/desert-storm-soundsystem-feature

 and

10 Years J18 1999 – Carnival Against Capitalism

10 years after June 18

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It’s worth pointing out that today it’s a decade ago that the international protests dubbed J18 against the G8 meeting in Cologne took place in many cities around the world.
I was in London at the time for the protest there, organised by Reclaim The Streets, which was a pivotal point in the development of a possible revolutionary movement in the UK. What seemed to be a peak and the start of something new would soon decline and be suppressed. [Read more →]

Radical Intersections

The rise and repression of the free festival movement in the UK and some intersections with radical anti-politics.

This article is based on a series of talks held in Basel, Berlin, Graz and Rome in 2007, and has been revised for this issue of datacide.
It doesn’t attempt to present a definitive history, but follow some tracks of contamination and inspiration. Some readers will already be familiar with some of the described historical frames, others not at all. It was written in a way that should be accessible without prior knowledge in terms of the facts and factoids, but under the assumption of an understanding of the validity of counter cultures as possible antitheses to the capitalist culture industry.
It also leaves out many other strains that contributed to this antagonism, such as left communism, surrealism, lettrism, the situationists, communes, sexpol, anti-psychiatry, neoism etc, as it focusses on the festival.

“The festival is apt to end frantically in an orgy, a nocturnal debauch of sound and movement transformed into rhythm and dance by the crudest of instruments.” (Roger Caillois, 1938) [Read more →]

RECLAIM THE STREETS – NYC

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RTS NYC began under the auspices of a giant iron hand- disembodied and reaching out blindly from the side of a hulking office building at union square- and a huge digital clock laid out like a racetrack across the same building, with green numbers that were increasing exponentially; at 2 pm the crowd was gathering, swelling closer to a critical mass. having anticipated a movement south towards the village, a heavy contingency of nypd thugs had taken up glaring positions along 14th street. i would have loved to see their faces once RTS whistles started blowing and the crowd turned north instead and poured down into the union square subway station, where a smiling girl handed out free tokens at the turnstile. thanks to the mta, party-goers, protesters, and assorted culture-jammers were transported quickly and (relatively) coplessly uptown, to that center of fucking consumer culture, TIMES SQUARE.
[Read more →]