Archive for the ‘anti-fascism’ Category.

Turbulent Times issue 10 now out!


Choose Your Location



Photo by Nick Ekoplekz

Photo by Nick Ekoplekz

60 page fanzine! In a bag!

With:

8 page insert on anti-fascism and music!

2 full-colour Adolf Steg postcards!

Degenerate Waves Badge!

(Apologies for ridiculous overseas prices – these are because of the recently privatised UK Post Office).

Also available from Electric Knife (London) and Praxis (Berlin) – both of which are physical shops that also do mailorder.

Enquiries from other distributors and people wanting to blag free copies are welcome.

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ORDER ISSUES 9 AND 10 FOR JUST A QUID MORE:

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There are still some copies the last issue left. See this page for enthusiastic reviews.

Buying both is only one pound more, because the postage cost is the same:

Noise In Opposition Volume 2

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Latest installment of this series of great anti-fascist noise/electronica/weird compilations.

16 acts have contributed tracks this time, including April Larson, Laica, elizabeth Veldon, dsic, stapperton and GRMMSK.

As GRMMSK has said “some of the people/projects and their beliefs, NiO is opposed to, still haven’t fully understood that their ‘rebellious’ pose isn’t actually a statement against the status quo, but a sad verification of how numb and distorted the senses for something i would call freedom can be.”

Free/pay whatever download at Bandcamp / archive.org

Or cheap physical media from the Noise In Opposition site.

Datacide issue 13 now available

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The London launch party was a lot of fun, with some great presentations and people.

The magazine is out now. It includes a great interview I did with noise legend Nomex.

Order from here or from the Praxis Shop.

76 pages.

Datacide: Introduction
Nemeton: Infiltration and Agent Provocateurs; Vision Tech; Endless War; Surveillance, Control and Repression
CF: NSU Update
Two in London: UK Anti-Fascist Round Up
Comrade Omega: Crisis in the SWP, or: Weiningerism in the UK
David Cecil: Confessions of an Accidental Activist
Neil Transpontine: Spiral Tribe Interview with Mark Harrison
Neil Transpontine: ‘Revolt of the Ravers’-The Movement Against the Criminal Justice Act in Britain, 1993-95
Split Horizon: What is This Future?
Fabian Tompsett: Wikipedia-A Vernacular Encyclopedia
Howard Slater: Shared Vertigo
Dan Hekate: Crystal Distortion
Howard Slater: Cut-Up Marx
Howard Slater: EARTH ‘A RUN RED
Marcel Stoetzler: Identity, Commodity and Authority: Two New Books about Horkheimer and Adorno
Nemeton: Life During Wartime: Resisting Counterinsurgency (book review)
Christoph Fringeli: One Night in Stammheim. Helge Lehmann: Die Todesnacht von Stammheim – Eine Untersuchung (book review)
Christoph Fringeli: Anton Shekovtsov, Paul Jackson (eds.): White Power Music – Scenes of the Extreme Right Cultural Resistence (book review)
CF: Press reviews
John Eden: Emencified Shrill Out: Nomex at the Controls
Alexis Wolton: Vinyl Meltdown, Prt. 1
Record reviews by Zombieflesheater, Nemeton and Kovert
DJ Charts
Matthieu Bourel: Rioter
Sansculotte: Overdosed
Plus: The Lives and Times of Bloor Schleppy

 

Noise In Opposition compilation

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Fully supporting this new initiative…

Noise In Opposition is a compilation of 24 artists from across the globe opposed to fascism, misogyny and prejudice. NiO totals nearly 3 hours of music across 31 tracks by people including Hacker Farm, Libbe Matz Gang, Elizabeth Veldon and The Implicit Order.

Check http://noiseopposition.wordpress.com/ for the full background and the rabble rousing manifesto.

Free download or cheap physical media.

Apparently the concept has proved so popular that a Part Two looks very likely a few days after the launch.

LIBBE MATZ GANG SELL OUT

Me on my way to the post office today

Who says the music biz is dieing? Give the kids what they want and you can’t go wrong!

All my copies of Libbe Matz Gang’s soon to be legendary “The First LMG EP” sold out within 24 hours.

Please order direct from the good people at Libertatia Overseas Trading to avoid disappointment. Soon!

Yesterday’s post has also triggered some tremors in the blogosphere, with Exotic Pylon label-meister Jonny Mugwump calling the uncarved hotline to breathlessly say:

“I never replied to you re: Libbe Matz Gang – uncarved just pricked my decaying memory nodes.

Anyway I totally love it – especially as it’s kind of panicked – and makes me feel panicked – and i’m kind of a mind right now that panic is the only justifiable state of existence to be in.”

Jonny also promised to play some tracks off the E.P. on his Resonance FM show, which is 9pm this Friday and will eventually be archived here for posterity. He then COLLAPSED! I had to ring around on my landline and make sure he was alright, but apparently an heroic hauntologistwho wishes to remain anonymous was on hand to administer smelling salts!

Meanwhile the man like Ekoplekz was so overcome that he insisted on a second bite of the LMG cherry with a post over premiere league uber blog An Idiots Guide To Dreaming.

The last word went to godfather blogger Don Kid Shirt, though, who cuffed the young cubs for their insolence, reminding them that he had been in on the act over a year ago!

With this sort of glitterati support behind the group, surely it can’t be long before the inevitable unmasking and backlash?!

Children of the Sun – Nicky Crane: the novel!

Max Schaefer – Children of the Sun (Granta, 2010)

I first read about this book the year before last over at Stewart Home’s blog. My interest was piqued as the subject matter was notorious gay neo-nazi skinhead Nicky Crane, who I’d previously written about here when his appearance in a Psychic TV video came to light. There wasn’t that much material available about Crane online (or anywhere) at the time and I’m still slightly concerned to see my site is the third thing that comes up in a google search for him.

I’ve been meaning to review the book for ages – it was my holiday read last year. This is based on my notes from a while back and what I can remember now.

“Children of the Sun” is fictionalised but accurate – Schaefer has certainly put the necessary research into this and there were no cringeworthy bits that usually crop up with depictions of the far right (from posh plays to The Bill). Various aspects of the British fascism are portrayed accurately but without descent into unnecessary trainspotterish detail. Some brushes with anti-fascists are described in similar ways to how they have been told to me as well.

The heart of the story is the interplay between two protagonists – one a contemporary of Crane’s on the far right, another a young researcher who is obsessed with Crane after his death. Although violence and sex are certainly part of the narrative it’s not a football hoolie book which is hagiographic and uncritical.

There is also a good depiction of the paranoia that an obsessive immersion in this material can induce…

The book is not something to read on the train as lurid news clippings and far right agit prop are reproduced throughout. Crane still exerts a morbid fascination on many from beyond the grave – both on the far right and in aspects of gay subculture. I saw him around on a few occasions whilst studying in central London in the early nineties and can confirm he seemed like someone best avoided. The fact that he was living something of a double life doesn’t really detract from this. Clearly a novel about his life will raise more questions than it answers, but it is a good read and I’d definitely recommend it if you have an interest in this sort of subject matter.

Graceless: a journal of the radical gothic

Fanzine of the week #4

Available in print – and online as a free/donation pdf. (and from Amazon)

“We demand that the goth scene be more than a black-clad reflection of mainstream society”

I’ve written about goth on here before and it’s something that still appeals to me in many ways, although you’re unlikely to catch me wearing eyeliner or crimping my hair. Anarchism has also had an influence on my political (and other) thought and activity, although again I wouldn’t call myself an anarchist these days for a whole host of reasons which are probably best left for another time.

Graceless‘ radical/decadent/anarcho approach to goth interests me, recalling the early eigthies London of Alistair Livingstone’s “Subway surfing anarcho goths” and many of the reminiscences over at Kill Your Pet Puppy. I have a fascination with subcultures that are about more than fashion, and the attempt here to either highlight an ideological undercurrent in goth (or to inject one into it?) is intriguing. Certainly most of the books/mags etc on goth that I’ve ever seen have been largely about flogging music or clothes  (or expaning the marketplace within in which that takes place by reinforcing the goth identity?).

Graceless is well written and looks great. At over a hundred pages this debut issue is going to take some time to digest properly. There are some interesting interviews with people like Jarboe and Attrition (as well as acts which were new to me) and some cool features as well. I haven’t read it all yet, and I focus below on articles that made me think, which of course will be the ones that I have disagreements with.

Decadent Politics covers the poetic, visionary and utopian I guess. It posits decadence as being anti-fascist, which is interesting (and certainly believable if you look at Wilhelm Reich’s The Mass Psychology of Fascism on sexual repression etc):

“Today there are those that say fascism is simply fashion, that to strut around in a SS uniform and festoon our lace with the Nazi death-head skulls is meaningless and should cause no concern. Saying this is to ignore what they represent on a symbolic level. We would never wear a McDonald’s golden arches to a goth club because it represents mass conformity. So does the iron cross. The zombies wear business suits, and they are not satiated only with the brains of the living; they also hunger for our hearts and souls.”

A radical’s guide to spooky music is an interesting overview of the bands and artists who the author feels represent “radical goth”, including Coil, KMFDM, Bauhaus and Joy Division. A lot of the lyrics and politics quoted aren’t about things I am especially interested in: animal rights, non-specific rebellion, anti-consumerism, anti-americanism. But it’s probably a bit much to expect the goth subculture (or one aspect of it) to develop identical politics to my own. As manifestos go this is an interesting drawing together of various tendencies in goth that certainly demonstrate that it is far from apolitical.

I am quite wary of political activists who over-identify with subcultures these days. I think “identity politics” is a trap which divides people and can lead to situations where cultural signifiers like music (or even ethnicity and sexuality) are seen as more important than people’s relationships with each other and their experience of capitalism where they work or live.

However, the flipside of this is that a purely political approach in which you only talk to people about, say, the conditions on their housing estate, or cutbacks at their workplace can come across as a bit robotic. So there’s a balance to be struck between the (sub)cultural and the political, which is increasingly difficult to achieve as culture fragments into more and more niches. As Steve Goodman and Kodwo Eshun pointed out, the “long tail” posits a society where there is less and less communal experience and more and more instant individualised consumer gratification.

Subcultures have a role to play in changing the status quo, and goth’s outright promotion of androgyny and gender equality is all for the good (although hardly universal, as the article here about “goth misogyny”  and “pick up culture” at some goth nights makes clear). I guess what is missing is a fully developed critique of how capitalism operates as a set of relationships, of the system rather than some of its manifestations (war, hunger, etc). But it’s not like any other music/fashion based subcultures have that.

There’s a fair bit in Graceless about Goths and their place in the anarchist scene. As someone who has had gothic tendencies and has some sympathy with parts of anarchism this all seems a bit too confining. I find the worlds of info-shops, squats and goth clubs quite alienating these days, despite being interested in them as social phenomena (and in the ideas which circulate in them). I suppose hanging around in places like that helped me develop my ideas and a sense of who I am, but I think people are kidding themselves if they reckon that havens for alternative fashion are going to play a useful role in mass struggles. Indeed there are a few passages in Graceless which abhor mass culture, the mainstream and suit-wearing “zombies” (see quote above). Contributors have mixed feelings about Marilyn Manson, but Lady Gaga (arguably the most visible current example of the gothic aesthetic, albeit not sonically) is conspicuous by her absence.

I suppose this is really getting into similar territory to two articles about anarchopunk I’ve republished on my website:

That said, I can of course completely understand why retreating into / immersing yourself in subcultures is a good and necessary thing for some people. If you’re one of a handful of freaks in the bible belt then there must be an incredible feeling of solidarity and self-empowerment if you start your own DIY Goth Night (as one contributor did, smack bang in KKK country). The murder of Sophie Lancaster is chilling reminder of the sort of intolerance people who dress a bit different can face out there in small town England in the early 21st Century.

Your Goth Is Dead: The Rise And Fall of Goth In America is a nice overview of the developments of the subculture in the nineties, including goths being seduced by rave and ironic self-mockery which is I suppose the antithesis of the playful po-faced strategies of the eighties.

Some of the most rewarding pieces in this issue stretch the definition of Goth backwards in time – Dressed To Kill: Illegal Dandyism looks at youth cults like the Zazou and Edelweiss Pirates, whose fashion sense shocked the totalitarian regimes they lived under, and provided them with enough reason to take on fascists physically as well as culturally. There are also some intriguing investigations into the Darker Side of Victorian Children’s Tales and German expressionist cinema during the rise of Nazism.

As I said above, I’ve mainly concentrated here on my differences with Graceless. That strikes me as being more interesting thing to write about than saying “it’s great!”, which it most certainly is. It’s made me ruminate on a lot of good stuff and I’m very happy that they’ll be including a contribution from me in the second issue. If you’re interested then you’re probably already reading the magazine itself instead of ploughing though my waffle here.

Datacide issue 11

Fanzine of the week #3

With 64 pages, this is the biggest issue of Datacide yet!

It also includes a contribution from me. No time for an extensive review, but all of the material here is well up to the usual high standard.

FEATURES

Christoph Fringeli – “Hedonism and Revolution: The Barricade and the Dancefloor”

Stewart Home – “Dope smuggling, LSD manufacture, organized crime & the law in 1960s London”

John Eden – “Shaking the Foundations: Reggae soundsystem meets ‘Big Ben British values’ downtown”

Alexis Wolton – “Tortugan tower blocks? Pirate signals from the margins”

Neil Transpontine – “Dancing before the police come”

Christoph Fringeli – “From Subculture to Hegemony: Transversal Strategies of the New Right in Neofolk and Industrial”

Nemeton – “From Conspiracy Theories to Attempted Assassinations: The American Radical Right and the Rise of the Tea Party Movement”

R. C. – “How to start with the subject. Notes on Burroughs and the ‘combination of all forms of struggle’”

Matthew Fuller and Steve Goodman – “Beat Blasted Planet. An interview with Steve Goodman on ‘Sonic Warfare’”

Terra Audio – “Free Parties”

Gorki Plubakter – “This is the end… the official ending”

FICTION

“Sonic Fictions” by Riccardo Balli
“Digital Disease” by Dan Hekate
“Infra-Noir. 23 Untitled Poems” by Howard Slater
“Office Work” by Matthew Fuller

PLUS

Record Reviews
The Lives and TImes of Bloor Schleppy
Charts

ORDERING

Available now for EUR 4.00 incl. postage – order now by sending this amount via paypal to praxis(at)c8.com, or send EUR 10 for 3 issues (note that currently only issues 5, 7 and 10 are still available, but you can also pre-order future issues.

Also from the Praxis Webshop.

I was a teenage Death In June fan: SHOCK HORROR PROBE

Who Makes the Nazis?: What Ends When the Symbols Shatter? My Time as a Death In June Fan.

An autobiographical post about my time as a neofolk obsessive and how I gradually came to reject it all.

September reading links

Who Makes The Nazis is a new blog which is “Keeping an eye on the neo-fascists currently burrowing their way into a subculture near you…” off to a good start with yet more on Tony Wakeford, but also some more general ruminations on the neofolk scene which are very well argued. I especially liked the comments in this entry about artists who harp on about exploring extreme material, but seem unable to come to any conclusions or opinions about their favourite subject matter, even after a quarter of a century.

I was also thrilled to see Martin rev up the Beyond The Implode war machine with a piece entitled “10 youthful musical rituals I (sometimes) miss“.

Datacide magazine have started digitising the archival pieces from their predecessor, Alien Underground, which was a great zine covering techno, noise and politics in the mid 1990s. Pieces so far on the Criminal Justice Act, Digital Hardcore Recordings, Sakho, and a lot more. Even the record reviews from back then are a nice reminder times gone by…

Datacide contributor Flint Michigan has a great interview with Arthur McDonald of early Factory Records act The Royal Family And The Poor over at Mute Magazine.