REVIEW: Sun Ra’s Arkestra directed by Marshall Allen at Café OTO, London, 6th December, 2011.
“Here’s a music which announces the presence of another age. At a time when so many voices speak to the people of the earth, I hesitate to add my voice to the tumult. But what I have to say I must say now, and as I feel that I can say things more quickly through music, I have chosen to speak. I need say no more but that we are driving ourselves rapidly and splendidly toward a meeting we have with a better destiny, with a better and more important life” – Sun Ra (1967).
“He showed me how to use the spirit and use what you don’t know and to quit blocking yourself from knowing” – Marshall Allen, speaking of Sun Ra.
‘Rhythm is the only thing secure’ – Samuel R. Delany, Dhalgren.
Having listened to Sun Ra’s music for some 23 years (which I initially discovered thanks to a recommendation from Sonic Youth in an interview), when the opportunity fortuitously presented itself to hear his band the Arkestra play live, on this occasion I jumped at the chance. (In 1995, while living in a former incarnation in Santa Cruz, California, I didn’t make an Arkestra concert cos I was too stoned to leave the room I was in, and hey, Sun Ra had left this planet two years before so it couldn’t be that great without him, right?)
In the intervening years the music of Sun Ra has been a constant in the sounds I choose to listen to, a singular far out reference point co-ordinating and integrating many interests found between life on this planet and in deep space. [Read more →]
1) SKANK BLOK BOLOGNA [*1]
Why Bologna and not Berlin? Because it’s a shithole ( with interesting echo and resonance effects, thanks to the widespread arcades ). The sonic psychogeography feeds itself on mediality: the life of an average European city, of an average population, of average size; an average advanced tertiary sector, with average infrastructures; average levels of ethnic integration; and an average forecast of socio-economic development. The sound of a „tiro“ ( electric doorbell opener ) [*2] at 16:35, on May 23rd, 2011, at Santa Viola district, just past Maggiore Hospital, on the right, Drzzz Drzzz! The sound of a remote controlled opening system in Prague, on May 23rd, 1922 „Please take a seat, I understand your repeated requests to talk to an experienced professional, Doctor Kafka has indeed been at the services of the „Insurance Institute Against Work Injuries for the Bohemian Reign“ for at least 15 years, and in fact, after a brief experience at the General Insurance, he joined our company, occupying that small office at the end of the corridor. Doctor Kafka says it’s the only one in the building from which you can’t hear the noises coming from the street“. Why Bologna and not Barcelona? Because the sonic mapping doesn’t need any artistic community elaborating other systems and models of coexistence, the daily course of urban noise refrains from them, just as Franz Kafka the insurer does. The stimulus of daily routine, of banality, of averageness, there’s no need for the hype of New York, Frisco and so on, psychogeography operates just outside of Mazzini street. It doesn’t necessarily seek originality, the specific acoustic resonance of a certain territory is not a sine qua non, and it’s not about recording the echo of the Himalayas during the autumn solstice from 3.000 metres above, nor has it anything to do with art, but just with mapping and documentation. We therefore do not put under our lenses the metropolis, not a sprawl, but an average city, comfortably within our observation slide, and hence the research will maybe come to some conclusions which will then be at the grounds of the beginning of a further research, and so on. Why Bologna and not L.A.? [Read more →]
Extended book review of:
Jens Benicke: Von Adorno zu Mao – über die schlechte
Aufhebung der antiutoritären Bewegung (ça ira, Freiburg im
Jens Benicke describes in his book the development of the German far left in the years around 1968 from positions strongly influenced and informed by the Critical Theory of Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse to the neo-leninist cadre organisations, which became in the 1970’s the strongest formation on the far left. In this article I’m using the book as a starting point to elaborate on some topics I touched upon in the text Hedonism and Revolution in datacide eleven.
The situation of the German Left after the War until 1967
The Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School provided an intellectual pole of critical Marxism amidst the general post-war West German anti-communist consensus. After the war, the holocaust, the eventual defeat of fascism and the ensuing occupation which produced two German states, the Institute for Social Research, originally founded in 1923 and exiled in 1933, finally returned to Frankfurt at the beginning of the 50’s, and took a unique place in the development of the left.
In terms of left wing organisations and parties which had reformed/ returned from exile after 1945, there were two key dates eventually leading to the student movement of the 60’s. In 1956, the Communist Party (KPD) was made illegal in West Germany.
In 1959, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) declared its transition from a workers party to a “people’s party” in its Godesberg Program. The more radical student organisation associated with the SPD, the SDS, didn’t go along with this move towards the political center. The SPD banned dual membership with the SDS and thus effectively expelled its members.
Far from being delivered to political oblivion, the SDS became the driving organizational force for the “extra-parliamentary opposition” (APO) in the 60’s. [Read more →]
As we did a year ago we look at which articles were the most read ones of the past year (online):
2012 was the best year for datacide online so far with the most views/reads and November 2012 was the best month in the history of the site since it was launched at the beginning of 2009 (replacing the old archive site and the temporary blog). Considering that datacide 11 came out in February 2011 and the next issue only in October 2012 and, connected to that, the fact that only very little material was posted during 2012 (19 posts) this is a really good result. It shows that more people find out about the magazine and the rich archive of articles besides the new additions. It’s not surprising that most articles read online in 2012 were from issue 11 or earlier as the majority of texts from number 12 are not even online yet and the ones that are were posted in November or December.
1. Dance before the Police come by Neil Transpontine (from Datacide 11). This one shot up in the statistics when a Guardian article by Dan Hancox from last July linked to it. But it was much read before then, having already been at number 6 of the most read articles of 2011, obviously touching on one of the key themes of datacide.
2. You’re too Young to Remember the Eighties – Dancing in a different time by DJ Controlled Weirdness (from Datacide 10) A slow burner that has attracted a lot of readers over the last year, becoming one of the most read articles on the site, despite – as far as we can tell – not being linked to from any “prominent” sites. Nice.
3. Dope smuggling, LSD manufacture, organised crime & the law in 1960s London by Stewart Home (from Datacide 11), up from number 9 of the previous year’s most read. This is also the article version of Stewart’s talk at the 2008 datacide conference in Berlin.
4. COIL – Interview from 1986 plus Introduction by Christoph Fringeli/John Balance. Being linked to from Wikipedia and the official Coil site this is the most read post on datacide attracting a steady readership. Somewhat ironic considering the interview was done over a decade before datacide started before it was re-published in issue 9 (incidentally the issue with the lowest print run of datacide).
5. From Subculture to Hegemony: Transversal Strategies of the New Right in Neofolk and Martial Industrial by Christoph Fringeli, which was the most read piece in 2011 (from Datacide 11). Of course we are wondering who reads this and related articles – Anti-Fascists? Fans of industrial music? Fans of Evola or Jünger?
6. WE MEAN IT MAN: Punk Rock and Anti-Racism – or: Death In June not Mysterious. Stewart Home’s article on Death In June from Datacide 7.
7. What the Fuck? – Operation Spanner by Jo Burzynska from Datacide 2 – and thus the oldest article originally published in Datacide in this list. Was already number 7 in the 2011 chart. Many visitors seem to be coming from Clarisse Thorn’s blog.
8. The Brain of Ulrike Meinhof by Christoph Fringeli from Datacide 9, last year’s number 8 as well.
9. Shaking The Foundations: Reggae soundsystem meets ‘Big Ben British values’ downtown by John Eden from Datacide 11, the second most read article of 2011 still receiving a fair amount of hits.
10. “LONG LIVE DEATH” – on Pasolini’s Salo by Howard Slater from Datacide 6 and one of his brilliant film reviews which also include an article about John Carpenter, the Western and others.
11. Communisation theory and the question of fascism by Cherry Angioma, already a much discussed and re-blogged post from the latest issue, Datacide 12, addressing important issues of the current debates in the communist movement.
12. The Dog’s Bollocks – Vagina Dentata Organ and The Valls Brothers (Interview) by John Eden. Exclusive interview with Jordi Valls that comes second in the only recently posted articles from the latest paper issue, and will no doubt be a contender along with “Communisation Theory…” for the 2013 charts…
Of course we know that by posting this list there will be a tendency that those article will be read again while others that would also be worth a read might be overlooked. Hence here some more or less random links to other articles with the explicit invitation to investigate further by browsing the site:
E.g. the classic Post-Media Operators by Howard Slater/Eddie Miller/Flint Michigan from Datacide 2, or its follow-up text Post-Media Operators – Sovereign & Vague from Datacide 7. Or what about Matthew Hyland’s New Age Policing – Biology is Ideology from the same issue, or maybe The World Made Flesh by Matt Fuller from Datacide 8…?
There are now nearly 300 articles on this site, and the next print issue is being prepared. We have a lot of plans for the future. You can help us realising them sooner rather than later by making a donation or taking out a subscription for 3 issues for 10 euro. Write to (or paypal funds to) datacide(at)c8.com
The passing of time has not been kind to many of the “stars” of industrial music or “extreme culture”. Sought after limited editions often seem limp when finally downloaded, or ossified in expensive box sets. The futile attempts at commercial crossover look embarrassing rather than courageous in retrospect. And I’ve lost count of the people whose revolutionary ideas and references inspired me as a teenager now seem like pantomime versions of themselves.
Over exposure seems to be the main pitfall, and it’s surely no coincidence that the least prolific veteran of the extreme noise/art scenes of the early eighties remains the most interesting.
Jordi Valls worked extensively with both Throbbing Gristle and Whitehouse in their earliest incarnations, organising live events for both acts in London and Barcelona.iii
In 1983 he released the first of a series of remarkable albums under the name of “Vagina Dentata Organ”. From the outset VDO’s work was characterised by a minimalistic and surreal approach to field recordings. His debut “Music For The Hashishins: In Memoriam Of Hasan Sabbah” evolved out of the recording sessions for Psychic TV’s classic “Dreams Less Sweet” album. [Read more →]