Archive for the ‘Praxis’ Category

Datacide conference review by history is made at night

November 22, 2008

Check out Neil’s review of the conference and party HERE

Datacide conference review on uncarved.org

November 21, 2008

John Eden has written a review of our recent event, check it HERE

Datacide 10 OUT NOW!

November 2, 2008

OUT NOW: with 56 pages the biggest datacide so far, it’s full of features and reviews.
Secessionist Outernational: Self-Exile and Poetry, Howard Slater: Convergent Suggestion – on Surrealism and Organisation, JR: Denial Networks – On Crisis and Continuity in the 9/11 Truth Movement, Neil Transpontine: A Loop Da Loop Era – towards an (anti-)history of Rave, CF: Radical Intersections, Controlled Weirdness: You’re Too Young to Remember the Eighties – Dancing in a different time, The Reverend: More than just a Night out – Rave as confrontation, Dan Hekate: All things fall and will be built again, Rafael Castellanos: Visible and invisible fragments of experiences (About Bogotrax festival), Hans-Christian Psaar: Commodities for the Jilted Generation, Alexis Wolton: Teknival and the emancipatory potential of technology, Riccardo Balli: Audio-Philosophical Dwellings.
Stewart Home on Peter Whitehead and the Sixties, Nemeton on Boris Mikhailov’s Unfinished Dissertation, JR on “The Description of Bankruptcy”, CF on François Genoud, Nemeton on “Everybody talks about the Weather… We don’t: The Writings of Ulriike Meinhof”, Balli on “Situationism on Wheels”, CF on “Battlenoise!” and the ideology of Martial Industrial, Plus record reviews, charts, Bloor Schleppy, End of Vinyl?, Pencilbreak and more.
available for EUR 3.00 from praxis.c8.com/catalog now
or from good stores and mail orders soon!

Conference 2008

October 15, 2008

Datacide Conference 2008 TIMETABLE

Doors open: 15.00

15.30 – Christoph Fringeli: Introduction to the conference and some thoughts on Hedonism and Revolution
16.15 – Hans-Christian Psaar: Kindertotenlieder for Rave Culture
17.00 – Lauren Graber: Countervailing Forces: Electronic Music Countercultures and Subcultures
17.30 – Alexis Wolton: Tortugan towerblocks: Pirate signals in the 90s
18.00 – John Eden: Shaking The Foundations: Reggae soundsystems meet ‘Big Ben British values’ downtown
19.00 – BREAK
20.00 – Neil Transpontine: A Loop Da Loop Era: towards an (anti)history of ‘rave’
21.00 – Stewart Home: Hallucination Generation

DISCUSSION

Downstairs:
23.00 – Mario D’Andreta (Alien City Soundscapes)
24.00 – Line Destruction (Spine)
24.45 – Circuit Parallele (Spine, Hekate)
1.30 – The Wirebug (Hekate, Coven H, London)
2.30 – DJ Controlled Weirdness (Unearthly, London)
3.30 – Blackmass Plastics (Dirty Needles, U.K.)
4.30 – Kovert (Criticalnoise.net, Datacide, London)
5.30 – El Gusano Rojo (Hijos de Puta)

After the MIKZ has been closed down the event is now taking place at the
K9, Kinzig Str. 9, 10247 Berlin-Friedrichshain
nearest public transport: U5 Samariterstrasse
start from 15.00

Datacide Conference 2008 and Party
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS

31.10.08

K9
Kinzigstr.9
10247 Berlin-Friedrichshain

Doors open 15.00
Conference start at 15.30

Christoph Fringeli: Introduction
A brief introduction to Datacide, where it’s coming from and a brief introduction to the new issue and the conference.

Christoph Fringeli: Hedonism and Revolution
Will true pleasure only exist after the revolution, or will it be indispensable to even lead to the revolution?
Proclaiming the revolutionary as a “doomed man” without “personal interests”, the anarchist Sergey Nechayev set the pace for an ascetic image of the revolutionary that would be picked up by the direct heirs of Bakuninism: the Leninists. An “ideal” of a person without desires and only one passion – the revolution – was supposed to bring about a society of human fullfillment, something that had to go wrong, and end in the misery of the Maoist and Trotzkyist sects. But there has always been a hedonist counter-tendency to this, from Fourier to Sexpol to the Commune movement and the counter cultures of the 60’s to the 90’s. CF will examine some of the tensions and discussions that took place in the 70’s and ask if they have any relevance now.

Neil Transpontine: A Loop Da Loop Era: towards an (anti)history of ‘rave’
(History is Made at Night)
‘In 2008 the UK media have been full of stories about the ’20th annversary of acid house’. Neil Transpontine critiques this conventional history, and celebrates instead the multiple trajectories that converge and pass through the various sonic, social and chemical phenomena grouped under that unstable term ‘rave’. It is a story that takes in not just 303s and 808s but gay riots, carnival uprisings and underground jazz clubs in 1940s Europe’.

Stewart Home: Hallucination Generation
Looking at some of the more occulted aspects of the counterculture in 1960s London. How some of the key figures in the development of the scene rarely make it into the histories. Terry Taylor the first person to mention LSD in a British novel, and the inspiration
for both Absolute Beginners and Mister Love and Justice by a better known writer Colin MacInnes. Detta Whybrow and the first major LSD distribution network in London after the drug was made illegal. Alex Trocchi, drug dealing and black powers. Plus the Notting Hill’s problematic writers of the 1950s who later occupied positions on the outer fringes of the counterculture.

John Eden: Shaking The Foundations: Reggae soundsystems meet ‘Big Ben British values’ downtown
John Eden will examine the contribution reggae soundsystems have contributed to British culture and identity, and what they can teach the global mp3 generation.
John has contributed writing to a vast number of independent publications over the years and currently co-edits Woofah magazine – “a completely DIY rag covering reggae, dubstep and grime”. He has run his own uncarved.org website since 1997.
He began unleashing his musical taste on the world in the mid 80s by wrestling all-comers off the stereo at house parties and standing guard whilst his carefully compiled cassettes played. More recently he has contributed sets to the respected Blogariddims podcast series and played records at a bewildering array of obscure London venues.

Hans-Christian Psaar: Kindertotenlieder for Rave culture.
It´s a common myth in music subcultures to think of themselves as independent. But what happens? Commodities get produced and sold on the market to consumers. No matter if those consumers wear dreadlocks or suits. Rebellion and subversion are labels to sell capitalist goods in the cultural industry. Be creative! Have fun! Those are the new imperatives of post-fordist capitalism and its cultural economies. The talk will show on the examples of The Prodigy and Kid606 how rave music is branded and sold.

Lauren Graber: Countervailing Forces: Electronic Music Countercultures and Subcultures
This paper will open with a discussion of how counterculture and subculture have been defined, and then ask what is at stake when we seek to assess divergent avenues within electronic music in these terms. Central to the operational imperative of subculture is the solidification of style and genre – visible and audible signs connoting sameness and belonging. The tactics of visibility and disappearance enacted as subcultural and countercultural everyday practices will be drawn out through a commentary on the book “Psychedelic White: Goa Trance and the Viscosity of Race” and other oppositional tendencies in experimental electronics.

Alexis Wolton: Tortugan towerblocks: Pirate signals in the 90s
After a clampdown on pirate activity at the end of the 80s, the housing estates of London saw a renewed explosion of pirate stations in the early 90s. During the 90s commentators enthusiastically linked the pirate stations with Hakim Bey’s ideas on pirate utopias, information networks and self-organisation. A decade later the pirates still exist, their relationship to the world radically changed by the internet, but the positivist optimism of 90s technoculture has waned, many of its hopes recuperated by Capital.
A discussion of the history and legacy of pirate radio, the theories of self-organisation that accompanied it and current ideas on participatory media.

OPEN ENDED PANEL DISCUSSION

PARTY:
noise:_____from 23h
Mario D’Andreta (Alien City Soundscapes)
Line Destruction (Spine)
Circuit Parallele (Spine, Hekate)
The Wirebug (Hekate, Coven H, London)
DJ Controlled Weirdness (Unearthly, London)
Blackmass Plastics (Dirty Needles, U.K.)
Kovert (Criticalnoise.net, Datacide, London)
El Gusano Rojo (Hijos de Puta)

Sub/Version 013 – Vile Enginez: Cycadelic / Tool out now!

July 13, 2008

After several months on white label Vile Enginez’ new release on Sub/Version is out this week – a mind trip through devilish labyrinths of a myriad of sound constructions.  Vile Enginez, hailing for Basel, CH, has produced his most innovative and complex record yet – and look for his next Zhark Intl. release sometime in the future.  Taking up the Sub/version project of twisting drum n bass and smashing up whatever has become standard for the genre, Vile Enginez  bizarre creation clearly demonstrates his masterful production and technical skills.  “Cycadelic” might be best described as creating the feeling of a black magic trip spurned on by female power gone mad – this is a track that will push everyone on the dance floor to extremes.  “Tool” works perfectly with the dynamic of “Cycadelic” making a forceful totality of this 12” (played at 33 rpm).   Hard-hitting beats, crazed ambiences, distorted full powered bass and rhythmic complexities abound !

Available now from

http://praxis.c8.com/catalog

Objection to Procedure Interview with Christoph Fringeli (2000)

June 17, 2008

Objection to Procedure Interview with Christoph Fringeli (2000)

1. Your contribution to the harsher elements of hardcore are most easily
chronicled in the progress and history of the Praxis label. Please describe
what you saw Praxis’ purpose when it began in 1992, and what you see its
purpose as now.

I had been involved with what you might call industrialnoisejazzpunknowave shit in the mid- to late 80’s, and ran a label called Vision in Basel, Switzerland, where I grew up. Around 1990 I became extremely disillusioned with the “independent” scene, as it seemed to be replicating the mechanisms and values of the major music market. This is a process that hasn’t stopped since: it’s all about commodification of young people’s creative energies, and channeling them into something that is cementing the current dominant social-relations by creating the idiotic concept of “great artists” = “stars”, and divisions between audience and performers.
When the first wave of Acid House hit (say ’87) I was quite intrigued by the DIY aesthetic and the concept of anonymous white labels, but with the exception of a small handful of tracks, such as Phuture’s Trax releases which I thought were brilliant, really fucking weird, overall there were not that many interesting tracks to support a whole new concept of use value of records, which I think really happened around ’90/91. Suddenly there were all these 12″s coming out that had a much harder sound, and I think for me personally seeing Underground Resistance in the Tresor club in Berlin was a real turning point, but it was backed up and supported by countless often anonymous producers churning out banging tracks all over the world.
By the end of 1991 I was squatting in South London and the following year the first couple of Praxis records appeared. I’d rather not try and “chronicle” Praxis here, as it had and continues to have an intense history, but to try and stay clear and short, one of the basic departure points were that I wanted to take elements of the new dance culture and push them a bit further, distort them, make them more extreme.
I was, and I’m still, particularly interested in the aspect of collective cultural creation and experience. The “artist” would no longer so much express their personal feelings towards the world and expecting to be admired for it like in rock music, but take elements others were working on and add their touch, throw it back into a collective pool; and the actual experience of the music would not so much take place in the bedroom, but at a party where a DJ would use records as raw material for his set.
Of course the existing system of record labels, distributors and media has done everything to appropriate these tendencies and recuperate them for their economy; of course the revolution has not been successful in the sense that the old concepts have been destroyed, with a lot of help by the media they survived in people’s heads. Of course there were soon DJ stars etc, but at the same time there exists a resistance network that simply produces the better, more exciting music, and it’s self-organized, autonomous and based around sound systems and small labels.
Praxis exists in this context of feedback loops between producers, sound systems, underground distribution, always trying to add a new twist to the dialectics of liberation.

2. Many of those who enjoy the “c8” sound, if you will, find that to develop
a “scene” in their own city is quite difficult due to the music’s inherent
dissonant properties and the fact that it does not gel with the typical
noise/power electronics scene. What strategies do you/have you used to
establish a hardcore scene in your own area? In your view, what are the
inherent dangers in creating a “scene”?

In a way a scene has to create itself in order to work, but you can make that possible or facilitate it by organising events, running labels, distributing records and zines etc.
Between 1994 and 96 we were in the fortunate situation to be able to organize regular monthly parties at the 121 anarchist center in Brixton. This was quite a small venue, didn’t put us under any kind of economic pressure and therefore allowed us to persevere where we would have “failed” in a commercial context. “We” btw was not just Praxis, but a small collective of people who included people who are now involved with or run Adverse, Ambush and Break/Flow.
A typical “Dead By Dawn” night would consist of a talk, discussion or presentation that would start around 9.30pm upstairs, often to do with political or psycho-social themes, b4 the noise would start in the basement. There would be stalls of records and mags in the ground floor and eventually some experimental noise in the bar area. The space was intimate and people got to know each other. Still it took a while to kick off, only after several months people started coming regularly, but it was well worth holding out, as the events became more and more crazy and powerful.
We stopped on our own accord, expecting/hoping someone else would do something similar somewhere else, but this never really happened, at least not with the open political/cultural agenda to it.
I think this music is strongly attractive to different types of people, if they are noise-heads or ravers, as long as they have an open mind. Since it’s generally “faceless” and POST- MEDIA, the difficulty is how people can discover it and get involved.
I think you’re doing a good job by publishing a zine and doing parties – what helps a lot (or did in our case) is producing a (more or less regular) newsletter with the parties, providing information on the music and it’s political/psycho-social dimensions.

3. It has been stated by John Zerzan, Michel Foucault and other
“post-modernists” that society is constantly distancing itself from its human
reality via technology and emotional detachment. Where does computer music factor into the human being as an animal?

It hasn’t occured to me before to mention Zerzan and Foucault in one breath, since at least lately Zerzan has taken a sharp turn towards neo-primitivist Anarchism, proclaiming all technology to be alienating etc, and fighting “civilization”. I’m not down with that. I don’t think it’s desirable to reverse the technological process and go back to live without electricity, I think what needs to be done though is wrest the control of technologies from the corporations and the military and eliminate the profit-motive. I don’t think it’s technology as such that creates alienation – it’s human to create and use complex tools. It’s the combination of wage labour and a spectacular system that sells back to you everything that once may have been directly lived that creates an unbearable alienation, which certainly is aided by technology, but it can also be used to strike back.
Electronic music of course mirrors the present age, but I think especially in the case of dance music it makes an interesting loop by feeding back into the physical world at a party for example, a kind of active listening with the body and the mind.
I know that a lot of post-modernists, like Virilio, are less optimistic as to the possibility of use of technologies without being neo-primitivists. Sometimes it seems that they simply don’t see a future for freedom. And as we are dissected under the gaze of doctors and jailers, always in the “indirect light” of the surveillance systems, this is an easy conclusion to make, but is a somewhat a-historical view, because as long as there is oppression and exploitation in the world, there will always be friction, and class struggles will continue.
This is one of the ironies of the development of high-tech means of control, that in fact they also produce their anti-thesis, and more people have their hands on the means of production for audio/video/publishing via computers than ever before.

4. Obviously, Industrial once played a large part in your life, as the Vision
label and early Praxis records had Industrial elements. What was industrial
to you? What is industrial to you?

“Industrial music for industrial people” was a slogan of Throbbing Gristle in the late 70’s, and I think their music as well as early SPK, Test Dept. and Einstürzende Neubauten were really “industrial” in that their theme was life in post-industrial breakdown civilisation, utilising the waste of that society as tools to make noise with. This was a time when, for example, the London Docklands were empty, the once great port was out of business, there were an abundance of empty warehouses and ruins. There was still the trauma of WW2 and the economic recovery, the Cold War, and the failed revolution of the late 60’s… all these elements and more fed into the bleak but energetic noise. It was a music of discontent exploring the dark side of the restauration under Thatcher and Reagan, using distortion and clanging as weapons of critique.
20 years later the situation is totally different, the docklands have become another financial district surrounded by lots of yuppie homes, and industrial has become a kind of American noisy rock music, via Belgium. Or so-called power noise.
I still use the term (industrial) sometimes, manque de mieux, but what I cherish is not so much what it’s become in terms of sound or sociologically, or what’s become of its original proponents, but the meme of discontent and distortion, realism and innovation that lives on in the best, say “breakcore” music now.

5. During your journeys across America, what struck you as fascinating or
vulgar? Is pop culture a disease or the will of the people?

Both? I don’t generally find anything “vulgar”, but maybe it’s the lack of history that has some distasteful results, but is also fascinating. I’m also interested in the “melting pot” aspect, even though I’m aware that there’s a lot of apartheid at the same time, not to mention the genocide of the indigenous population. There’s a feeling of unease there, but it’s not unlike what I feel in Germany as well, thinking of the holocaust (which I think is a crime of unique proportions and I don’t want to compare the two, I’m just talking about a feeling I have thinking about the violent history of certain places I visit).
I don’t share the anti-Americanism of a lot of the European Left, of course no one feels comfortable with the fact of the military hegemony of the US over the rest of the world, but I have no illusions as to the European ruling classes.
Americans on average at least seem to be more critical of the state-machine, but not of the culture-machine yet.
Pop culture seems to go into two different directions at the same time, on the one hand becoming more and more monolithic, more global and controlled by the managers of fewer giant corporations. Four majors control 85% of the CD market already, on the other hand they try to get their tentacles into all sorts of minor movements as well, hoping to catch the next trend, to extend their control, setting up fake independent companies or quietly financing others. It wants to be a metastasis in the brains of the people, all people, but it’s also self-destructing. Mediocracy rules: They can’t even produce real stars anymore. It’s like with the general economic system that it’s attached to, the question is how many more hamburgers can be sold, how many more actors ‘cry’ when they get an award, before we give them a reason to cry.

6. We’ve spoken before about the need to create new networks outside the
manipulation of the current ones. When does a self-established network turn from communal grassroots into authoritarian crusade? Do you believe that
size implies mediocrity? Can there be “a network of everyone”?

“Networks” are really a buzzword in the “think tanks” such as the Rand Corporation (professional “thinking” bought by the money of the military and corporations) for a few years now. Their “insight” is that ‘small’ network type structures are able to challenge huge hierarchical structures successfully. At least since Vietnam the nature of warfare has changed considerably – nothing new – just as Sun Tse always said, his ideas (2’500 years old) getting picked up by Mao, and put into practice by guerrilla movements everywhere. The reaction by those in power in the 80’s was a then new doctrine of “Low Intensity Conflicts”, that was trying to deal with the “mystery” of the defeat of the Americans in Vietnam and the Russians in Afghanistan. But even then the guerrilla usually had hierarchical structures: This was also true about the German and Italian urban guerrilla in the 70’s which were both defeated (to go into details here would take too much space & time), but all this changed in the last few years.
It turns out that hierarchically organized groups can be defeated easily if their leadership is arrested, e.g. the Shining Path in Peru. But if a number of small cells operate logistically independent from each other, if one gets knocked out, then the others will still be able to carry on. This type of organization is certainly suited better for communistic or anarchist type of groups, but it’s merely a mode of organization – it is used by neo-nazi and islamic fundamentalist groups as well, so paradoxically it can be used to further authoritarian causes as well.
I have this ‘military’ meaning in mind when I talk about networks, but I’d like to emphasise that I’m interested in more than just the mode of organization, after all cultural networks don’t exactly have to work in clandestinity at this point but can use non-hierarchical structures to openly communicate and exchange goods and information. The clandestinity comes in at another level, to avoid the searchlights of the spectacular media, or the police when it’s about organizing ‘illegal’ parties.
Interestingly some think tank literature is talking about ‘cultural subversion’ alongside their standard issues such as ‘terrorism’.
To get back to your questions more precisely – ideally of course there couldn’t be a transformation of a grassroots network into authoritarian crusade, unless there are people at work who already believe in authoritarian structures; a good example being the Leninists within the Communist movement who unfortunately got the upper hand against the anti-authoritarians in the early 1920’s and later turned to party dictatorship, labour camps and other travesties of Communism.
And size shouldn’t mean mediocrity, and a “network of everyone” should be possible, but we might have to wait for a true human community of the future…

7. “You must help yourself.” Is one of many slogans that Praxis has inserted
into ads and datacide. Why can’t you help us?

I think I do help other people as much as I can – if we look where the sample is from we’ll see that there are different layers of meaning to it. A simple meaning that says “get off your ass and do something yourself” I can subscribe to, but the actual sample is from ‘Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS’, so there is another projection, another truth to it: Spoken by someone in power it denies the collectivity of those subjected by that power. Therefore we could answer: “No, we can help each other”. And if we can’t say that then then at least we should say: “O.k., I will then” and act.

8. When you wrote “Welcome to Violence”, the confrontation with the sample is inevitable for the listener. Where do you see violence in the world? Can
music be violent?

Some people react heavily to samples like that (another example is the “Kill your parents, fuck your friends and have a nice day!” on Ambush 02), but unfortunately the conception of violence they have is that violence is when one person hits another over the head with a stick, and that these samples supposedly ‘glorify’ such behavior.
The “Welcome…” sample of course is from the beginning of Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! and could be replaced by ‘intensity’ in that context, but by taking it out of context – quite on purpose – it becomes open to interpretations, so we have to live with various reflections.
But to answer your question, besides the obvious open violence we see a lot of structural violence, like when you’re at the receiving end of an IMF ‘structural readjustment plan’ and when you’re denied food, clean water and housing. There is violence in all types of oppression as well as in all types of change.
I found an interesting quote in a 1968 book on ‘Intellectuals and Socialism’:
“Today thinking can only proceed under the sign of violence. Thinking means to change the given situation, to create the space for freedom. From this follows that thinking is the conscious application of counter-force. This violence starts with the first refusal and finishes with the removal of all forms of irrational authority. Only like this the break can be brought upon that will turn the camp into a revolutionary class.”

9.
Do you have an opinion on the WTO(World Trade Organization), IMF
(International Monetary Fund) or WEF (World Economic Forum) protests
recently? Can lyric-less music promote the ideals of a protest?

It started slowly over the last few years, but since the London City riots June 18 1999, and Seattle on November 30, the international struggle against Capitalism entered a new phase. A lot of clarification has yet to happen, but I think the overall development is exciting: Internationally organized grassroots protests have managed to disrupt the flow of control-decisions by these unelected bodies, as could be seen most recently in Prague, Sept.26 2000; and a lot of people are paying attention now to the fact that big corporations are controlling more and more of the market and are becoming more powerful than whole countries, essentially redistributing world wide wealth from the masses to the few managers and profiteers.
The resistance against all this is divided though into two major streams (and many smaller ones). On the one hand there are people that are worried about “globalisation” as such, there is a resurgence of nationalism and protectionism, as well as the Zerzan-types opposing air planes for example, or neo-nazis hallucinating a international Jewish finance capital conspiracy, on the other hand there are people who understand that technological development and globalisation are not bad as such, it depends in whose hands they are. We obviously side with the latter, and think that the resistance against it has to be as global as capital.

The culture industry is a part of the capitalist economy that forms a large part of consciousness, like ‘women’s magazines’ telling women how to look like and behave, mainstream porn telling men how to look at women, brands promoting looks (from Marlboro to Gap) and behaviors and generally all of the above hijacking desires that can’t be fulfilled – only bought, often with fatal consequences to yourself or others (e.g. the producers of the goods) and the environment.
You’d think that a clever lyricist could point these things out and present them to an audience and draw attention to whatever injustices etc. but it simply doesn’t work like that anymore, by standing up there expressing themselves or preaching they will merely fulfill a function safely within the spectacle. They become product, celebrities excuses, clowns.
Lyricless music can still be different, and while it can doubtlessly be even emptier, it can also help configure a new social-space.

10. What’s next for yourself and Praxis?
We have talked relatively little about music-specifics in this interview – and I’m quite happy about that because the music is there to listen to. Thankfully in our music there are no stars, no fake celebrities. Those who pass through it to become famous soon disappear again, because the dissonance in it is not what the spectacular system wants to spread although we shouldn’t underestimate its abilities to absorb any force that agrees to collaborate.
Besides music I’m working on the next issue of the Datacide magazine and on expanding the web pages, writing and researching, musically I’m working on my own stuff, and also with Crisis Theory and other collaborations.
On Praxis there will be a bunch of new releases after the last batch that included work by Bambule, 16-17 and Nomex, the next three will be by H, Kovert and an album on double vinyl and CD by Hecate. We’re also trying to re-press some releases and keep them available longer, and distribute things better, while at the same time having most material on the web for free downloads. You choose if you need the vinyl (still the real thing, the tool) or not. Sub/Version, the label dedicated for our mutating interpretation of drum & bass just released a split of Pure and myself, and is about to come out with a 12″ by Crisis Theory (me and Rachael Kozak aka Hecate from Zhark). We’ll probably do a couple other records by the side… and whatever else we can do to visually sonically literally socially change culture in its entirety…

-DISCOURSE ABORTED-

“It’s how you feel.”
“It’s how I feel.”
“It’s how you feeeeeeel.”
“That’s how I feeeeel.”

-Jon

(2008 note by CF: This interview was conducted in 2000 and published in the California based zine Objection to Procedure. I post it here as a document to accompany an article about Praxis and the ideas behind it to be published in the next paper edition of Datacide. Other interviews or texts may be posted in the future.
I have not altered the text besides correcting a few obvious typos.
Nevertheless I want to mention a couple of issues where I was clearly too optimistic from todays point of view. One is obviously the almost enthusiastic claim that “the struggle against Capitalism has entered a new phase” with the emergence of what would be called the “anti-globalisation” movement. From the beginning I had a critical view on certain aspects of this movement, but believed that a process of “clarification” would eventually make it become a revolutionary movement in an emancipatory sense. This has not occurred.
Also there is too much talk about “corporations” and “managers” which is obscuring the fact that capital is a social relation that cannot be blamed on persons or business entities. Not that that would have been my opinion in 2000, but it’s important to me not to be misread in this, e.g. in the sense that to do away with the evils of capitalism one would only have to curb the powers of the “corporations”; obviously this would only lead to – and has historically led to – state capitalism. This is certainly no improvement.
On the side of music, more specifically regarding “lyricless” music and “breakcore”: While conscious of the fact that there were already “dj stars” and of the ability of the spectacular system to “absorb any force that agrees to collaborate”, in 2000 I seemed quite confident that “our music” would be more resistant to recuperation and more antagonistic than it turned out to be over the years.)

Brainstorm presents Datacide Soliparty 31.05 Berlin

May 10, 2008

Brainstorm brings you the next installment of wicked, tortured beats and bass to help raise funds for the printing of Datacide 10. This issue of datacide will hopefully be hitting the streets in the coming months as the final stages of its production are commencing.

Thanks to everyone who continues to support Datacide. Especially to all who created the intense experience: Parataxia, Naboa, CF, Cannibals, Nemeton, Hetzer, Rokkon, Xanopticon, Rioteer and Sanscullotes, and everyone who came out to the Scharni and otherwise helped out to make the party happen.

We documented the party and here are videos of most of the artists on the lineup .

Xanopticon

Hetzer

Rokkon

Rioteer

Naboa

Nemeton

Cannibal Brothers

Base Force One

Datacide soli party pics

April 24, 2008

thanks so much for everyone who played – Hecate, Autopsy Protocol, Narcopsy, Cannibal Brothers, Nemeton and CF, and everyone who came to the party!

The next Datacide party, again a fund-raiser for the printing costs of the next issue, will take place May 31 at Scharni 38 (Scharnweberstr. 38), only a few hundred yards away from the K9…

Finally we’re making real progress to get the paper issue out!

Line up of the May 31 party will include Xanopticon and Vile Enginez!! watch out for more details soon!

Praxis Interview – Frontpage 95-01

February 22, 2008

Praxis Rec.

von Joel Amaretto


Wir schreiben das Jahr 1995, und die Karten werden neu gemischt. Neue Szenen bilden sich und neue Innovationen bahnen sich langsam aber sicher ihren Weg. Im vergangenen halben Jahr entstand in Europa ein neuer Underground, der im Hardcore nicht nur einen aggressiven Gegenpol zu Trance, Hardtrance, House und Langweiler-Acid sieht, sondern auch eine politische Ausdrucksform. Die Protagonisten dieser Bewegung verstecken sich in den Vororten von Paris (Gangster Toons Industry, Explore Toi), Berlin (Digital Hardcore Recordings, Capital Noise), Hamburg (Cross Fade Enter Tainment), Frankfurt (PCP, Kotzaak), Kaiserslautern (Napalm) und vor allem mit Praxis Records im Londoner Stadtteil Brixton, wo mit Christoph Fringeli der ideologische Übervater dieser jungen und Außenstehenden schwer zugänglichen Szene sitzt. Joel Amaretto sprach mit dem gebürtigen Schweizer über die nächste bevorstehende Revolution.

FP:
Um alle Zusammenhänge verständlich zu machen, beschreibe zunächst diese neue Form von Hardcore, wie ihn Praxis Records propagiert.
Christoph Fringeli:
Wenn ich es auf einen Nenner bringen will, müßte ich sagen, wir machen experimentellen Hardcore, was natürlich ein weites Feld sein kann und auch sein soll. Wir sind an neuen Sounds und Strukturen interessiert, an Noise und Intensität. Die Einflüsse bei Praxis sind wohl frühe Industrialsachen, Punk, Speedmetal und HipHop. Aber immer nur gewisse Ideen daraus, sowie nicht-musikalische Konzepte.
FP:
Welchen Anspruch stellst du an die Platten, die auf Praxis veröffentlicht werden?
CF:
Die Sachen kommen alle aus einem recht kleinen Kreis von Leuten, die alle sehr gute Freunde sind, d.h. man ist auch auf anderen Ebenen in Kontakt, ein typisches Label-Künstler-Verhältnis gibt’s bei uns nicht. Um auf Praxis zu erscheinen, muß der Sound auf irgendeine Weise weitergehen. Etwas schon Existentes zu reproduzieren, interessiert uns nicht. Experimentieren heißt in unserem Falle auch, daß die Endform nicht von vornherein feststeht. Uns interessiert die Idee des Brechens von Strukturen und das Erforschen von Tiefen. Natürlich sind wir keine Akademiker, auch wenn sich das jetzt so anhören mag. Es ist mir wichtig, daß ich die Sachen zumindest teilweise in einem DJ-Set spielen kann. Daß ich mir vorstellen kann, daß die Beats und Sounds in einem Warehouse aus den Lautsprechern kommen und dabei eine Energie und Intensität produziert wird, die mit einer geistigen Öffnung einhergeht.
FP:
Das klingt teilweise noch stark nach Schlagworten der etablierten Techno-Kultur von Trance bis House. Wie erlebst du die Techno-Kultur in dem Rahmen, wie du sie definierst?
CF:
Die Szene in London ist sehr klein, was Hardcore angeht. Es gibt hier eine tiefe Spaltung. Die härteren Sachen sind einfach nicht salonfähig und es gibt kaum Clubs, die überhaupt Techno spielen. Es sei denn man zählt Trance dazu, was ich nicht tue. Akzeptiert sind nur gewisse Acid- und Detroit-Sachen. Techno ist für mich die Musik, die hier auf den illegalen Raves und Underground Squatt-Parties gespielt wird. Leider sind diese kleiner und seltener geworden, weil die Repression dagegen durch den nun gesetzlich verabschiedeten Criminal Justice Act sehr heftig wurde. Die Opposition gegen dieses Irrsinnsgesetz hat viele Raver politisiert oder in ihrer Ablehnung des Systems gefestigt. Man muß jetzt neue Strategien anwenden und sich besser organisieren.
FP:
Welchen politischen und kulturellen Kontext siehst du für Techno im Allgemeinen und welche Position nimmt dabei Praxis ein?
CF:
Techno, zumindest der Teil davon, der uns interessiert, ist angetreten die überholten, hierarischen Strukturen des Musikmarktes zu zerschmettern. Das gilt nicht nur für den Star, der mit der Bühne verschwindet, sondern auch für das Copyright (den Besitz von Ideen) bis zur Struktur der Musik selbst und dessen, woraus sie besteht. Die Technologie, die das möglich macht, ist im Prinzip der Abfall der militärischen Forschung, der als Unterhaltungselektronik verramscht wird, und es immer jedem möglich macht, diesem Pool von Ideen – der allen gehört – Dinge zu entnehmen und zu geben. Das gilt auch für andere Bereiche, aber die Musik ist der machtvollste, weil sie das Gegenteil dessen impliziert, zu dem wir verurteilt sind: Unbeweglichkeit.So sind die Augen beispielsweise starr auf den TV-Schirm gerichtet, während die Lügen ins Hirn fließen. Natürlich wurde seither in Trance eine Form gefunden, wo die Hirnwäsche auf der Tanzfläche fortgesetzt werden kann. Dort ist der Ablauf der Nacht schon mehr oder weniger festgelegt, die Möglichkeiten eingeschränkt. Die deliröse Freiheit eines Free Festivals, das keinen oder kaum Eintritt kostet, ist hingegen ein totaler Bruch mit den kapitalistischen Werten und damit auch die Geburtsstätte neuer Communities.

Deshalb werden sie auch verboten und mit militärischem Polizeiaufgebot unterdrückt. Megaraves und Pop-Techno interessiert uns nicht, weil sich da nichts Neues tut: Das ist totaler Konformismus und es macht keinen Unterschied, was da für Musik läuft. Wir glauben aber auch nicht, daß das das subversive Potential schmälert. Ein Problem ist nur, daß beides als Techno bezeichnet wird, obwohl es sich um unkompatible Dinge handelt. Vielleicht gibt es eine Grauzone zwischen illegalem Untergrund und Kommerz, in die es sich lohnt zu investieren.

FP:
In Deutschland versuchen Label wie Cross Fade Enter Tainment, Capital Noise, DHR und teilweise auch PCP den Begriff Techno ganz zu vermeiden. Sie sagen, das einzige, was sie mit Techno verbindet, sind dieselben Produktionsmittel.
CF:
Ich sehe die Notwendigkeit,sich gegen das ganze Spießertum abzugrenzen, weil man sonst von den falschen Leuten in den selben Topf geworfen wird. In England macht es gerade noch Sinn das Wort zu verwenden, obwohl auch immer weniger. Aber das ist ja auch so mit Worten wie Underground und Hardcore. Ich denke, daß wir in einer Umbruchphase sind, die vielleicht schon 1995 reif zur Explosion wird. Der Name wird sich schon von alleine finden.
FP:
Wie stehst du zur kommerziellen Ausschlachtung von Techno?
CF:
Einerseits bin ich gegen Underground-Elitismus, andererseits ist es schon so, daß sich Sachen, die populär werden, bald in Dünnschiß verwandeln. Ausschlachtung bedeutet, daß Leute oder Interessengruppen sich eines Gebiets annehmen, einzig, weil sie da eine schnelle Mark wittern. Das hat schnell mal die Folge, daß kaum mehr Integrität auf einem Gebiet zu finden ist. Das Problem bei Techno ist in diesem Zusammenhang, daß offenbar die Musikindustrie ihre alten Strategien mehr und mehr auch bei dieser Musik in Anwendung bringen konnte, wo dies eigentlich hätte unmöglich sein sollen. Es gibt jetzt wieder den Starkult! Aber bis uns sowas passiert, sind wir schon wieder ganz woanders.
FP:
Mit welcher Motivation bringt ihr euer politisches Bewußtsein ein, wo Techno im Volksmund doch nur als sinnvoller Freizeitspaß für die Jugend angesehen wird? Wie ist eure Labelphilosophie?
CF:
Mit der Trennung von Freizeit und Arbeit können wir nichts anfangen. Es ist einer der Dualismen einer Gesellschaft, die wir bekämpfen, setzt doch Freizeit voraus, daß man den Rest der Zeit versklavt wird. Gleichzeitig wird hier in England Techno nicht unbedingt als sinnvoller Freizeitspaß angesehen. Es ist schon eher eine Outlaw Music und -Kultur, wenn man von den ganzen sogenannten Intelligent-Sachen einmal absieht. Das hat viel mit der hiesigen Klassengesellschaft zu tun. Ich glaube, daß jedes Label politisch ist, gerade die, die behaupten, unpolitisch zu sein, erklären damit doch bloß, daß sie den Status Quo unterstützen. Es ist unvermeidlich, daß sich das politische Bewußtsein in dem ausdrückt, was man macht. Alles was wir tun, ist Teil unseres ganzen Lebens, unserer Bedürfnisse, von Träumen, Liebe und Haß…Und damit hat alles auch eine politische Dimension, nicht nur in einem abstrakten Sinn, sondern auch mit einem direkten Einfluß auf unsere Aktivitäten. Der Criminal Justice Act, der Festivals praktisch verbietet und sowohl den nomadischen Lebensstil der Travellers, wie auch das Hausbesetzen fast verunmöglicht, ist nur ein Teil einer generellen Entwicklung zu mehr Kontrolle, die, wenn wir sie nicht mit allen Mitteln bekämpfen, in eine totale Überwachung und Bevormundung münden werden.

Wir sehen uns aber nicht so sehr als ein Label, das Musik und andere Medien benutzt, um einen ultralinken Standpunkt zu propagieren, sondern als eine Gruppe von Leuten in der Tradition radikaler kultureller Bewegungen wie Dada, Surrealismus, und vor allem den Situationisten, ohne sich dabei an eine davon speziell anzulehnen. Wir haben eher den selben Geist bei der Verbindung von Leben, Kunst und Revolte. Wir sind Teil eines Invisible College, eines unsichtbaren Netzwerks, das den Planeten umspannt. Während wir natürlich in einer Tradition experimenteller elektronischer Musik stehen, sind Denker wie de Sade, Bataille oder Virilio ebenso wichtig.

FP:
Seid ihr an einer Systemveränderung interessiert und auf welchem Wege?
CF:
Sicher wollen wir die Systemveränderung. Aber wir glauben nicht, daß eine soziale Revolution im traditionellen Sinn ansteht. Revolutionäre Zellen zu bilden heißt heute, experimentelle Labors aufzubauen, die Viren konzipieren, die Kontrollmechanismen zugrunderichten und Kommandos, die kulturelle und politische Stätten der Unterdrückung in temporäre autonome Zonen verwandeln und verteidigen. Um diese Ziele zu erreichen können wir uns der Technologie bedienen, sie mißbrauchen und in den Dienst eines experimentellen poetischen Terrorismus stellen, dessen Ziel unsere Souveränität als physische Körper und unabhängige Geister ist.
FP:
Politik und Techno in England. In Deutschland denkt man da spontan immer nur an den Spiral Tribe und ihren Widerstand gegen die Staatsgewalten. Wie steht ihr zu den Techno-Travellern?
CF:
Ich habe enormen Respekt für den Spiral Tribe, die ja jetzt über ganz Europa verstreut sind und vor allem für die französische Szene sehr wichtig waren. Sie waren auch von ganz außerordentlicher Wichtigkeit für den hiesigen Techno-Untergrund, konnten aber eigentlich seit ’92 nicht mehr viel machen, weil sie wegen des gigantischen Castlemorton Festivals vor Gericht waren. Natürlich gibt’s noch Dutzende weitere Sound Systems hier, die teilweise immer noch Land-auf-Land-ab Parties machen und denen Respekt gebührt, aber die Spirals waren in gewissem Sinn schon das wichtigste und umstrittenste.
FP:
Mit welchen Labels oder Acts fühlt ihr euch geistig verbunden?
CF:
Da ist zunächst mal PCP, die immer eine große Inspiration waren. Natürlich Underground Resistance anno ’91, Atomu Shinzo, Lenny D. und Drop Bass Network. Dann gibt’s eine Reihe neuerer Labels und wir sind zuversichtlich, daß sich aus diesem Netzwerk eine neue Phase für Post Techno Hardcore entwickeln wird: Network 23, DHR, Cross Fade, Explore Toi, TNT und die ganzen französischen Gangstas, DJ Deadly Buda aus Pittsburgh, Caustic Visions und eine Reihe anderer, mit denen wir auch auf verschiedene Art kollaborieren werden.
FP:
Ihr organisiert in London auch Parties. Wie muß eine perfekte Party für euch aussehen?
CF:
Ich glaube nicht, daß man eine perfekte Party organisieren kann. Da müssen Elemente zusammenkommen, die außerhalb der Kontrolle der Organisatoren sind. Man kann aber sehr gute Parties organisieren. Wir machen einmal im Monat eine Party in einem berüchtigten Squatt in Brixton, einer Art anarchistischem Zentrum unter dem Motto Dead By Dawn. Sie sind sehr klein, werden aber immer perfekter.
FP:
Kürzlich fiel mir auch noch ein Magazin namens Alien Underground in die Hände, das auch von euch stammt…
CF:
Alien Underground war der nächste logische Schritt, nachdem wir Anfang ’94 angefangen haben, einen Newsletter zu publizieren. Es gab einfach mehr Ideen, als wir dort in die 8 Seiten packen konnten, zudem gab es in England kein Techno-Magazin in der Art, wie wir das gern hätten. Die Idee ist Musik-Features über Leute, die interessante experimentelle und Hardcore-Sachen machen, Plattenbesprechungen, Interviews, Essays, Buchbesprechungen, die um die Ideen kreisen, um die es auch in diesem Interview geht, zu verbinden. Sprich: Subversive Techno Culture pur. Störsignale, Noise, the invisible insurrection of a million minds. Die 2. Ausgabe erscheint Januar ’95 und ist von Deutschland aus erhältlich für 3 IRC’s (International Reply Coupons, gibt’s bei der Post), die einfach an uns gesandt werden: Praxis/Alien Underground, B.M.Jed., London WC1N 3XX, England.
FP:
Was plant ihr für 1995?
CF:
Drei bis vier Ausgaben des Magazins, Newsletters, auch eine kleine regelmäßige Publikation auf dem Internet, ungefähr monatlich eine 12″, eine CD-Compilation mit langsameren experimentellen heavy Material, die wir schon ‘ne Weile zusammengestellt haben, ein bis zwei Alben, sowie eine Compilation von schon veröffentlichtem und großteils vergriffenem Material. Natürlich machen wir auch mit den Parties weiter und spielen auch im Ausland immer mehr. Bestimmt und hoffentlich passieren auch viele unvorhergesehene Dinge.
FP:
Und wie sieht eure Vision für 1995 aus?
CF:
Der unsichtbare Aufstand gewinnt Kraft!

Break/Flow vs. Datacide (1997)

December 24, 2007

BREAK/FLOW versus DATACIDE

…once desire is specified as sexuality, it enters into forms of particularised power…
Felix Guattari

Libidinal Musics
Electronically composed sound, communally celebrated has the effect of some collective plateau phase. Music becomes a device, a prosthetics that leads to a hypersensitization – an overspill that establishes a field of flow between listeners. This incessant repetition with its controlled highs and lows, its deep grindings is nothing other than the continuation of erotics by other means, an erogenisation without object or delimited locale. The carefully placed touches of digitalised breaks, tips of searing reverb and the conducting of frequencies through skins plays the body to effect a libidinal response… to take us elsewhere. The desire for music is the desire for erotic communicstion as diffuse sensuality. Dancing becomes the means of expending the build-up of energy that wells up as a result, not only, of sound stimulus but of the general confinement of social desires. Electricity abounds. Tension and friction. The walls are silver. Desire manifests itself in the broadest social field. Channels are opened up for the release of energies which are not necessarily directed towards the genital figure of pleasure but toward a prolongation through repetition of an endless deferral of accomplishment. Tracks that never end. The night that goes on without run-off.

Machinic Mayhem
Wires, jackplugs, sockets, circuits, entangled cables. We are building a desiring-machine with no one aim other than the continuation of the various processes we can bring into further relationship with it. Dancefloor. Mixing Desk. Groove. Just as sound is made to run through treatment chambers in an effort to ward off its formation and solidification as ‘music’ so we enter into these relays to become unlimited, to ward off the formation of a distinct identity.Then something begins to vibrate, begins to function. Rhythms appear… Both sound and subjectivity become a network of actual and possible relations. A-signifying. Unidentifiable. Promulgating the urge to produce something. Because we cannot return to a fixed point of reference, because the sound no longer strives to represent anything, it can only unleash surges of intensity that correspond to an ever changing subjectivity that challenges the passivity inducing effects of models. We are always moving away from subjugation. We are always resisting the institutional control of intensive flows.

Cycle 1, Cycle 2, Cycle 3, Psychic War
A repeating loop loses all sense of place and time. An attainable plateau firmly rooted within shared biological and psychic realities. The world turns round, the world turns round, the world turns round, the world turns round. There is a pursuit of devices and techniques that take us on the verge of our local and intimate edges – the cliff-top of repetition-compulsion induces the necessary vertigo and loss of footing ascribable to the pull of the unconscious. That repetition is meaningless in light of normative, melodic musics is exactly what we are after. It can take us beyond pleasure and unpleasure, to which the ego fearfully clings, and bring to light unconscious drives and desires that strive for actualisation and proliferation. Ecoute et Repete. If the unconscious is an orphan then this repetition-compulsion obliterates the ego: our boundaries are loosened, we are in-process and the cycles of sound make of identity nothing other than a ceaseless pleasure constantly to be undertaken afresh. The prohibition of a continuing engagement of psychic warfare – access to the unconscious is prohibited, identity must be inherited.

Ministry of Identity Defense
The prohibition of a ‘succession of repetitive beats’ is simply the authorities’ answering salvo in a continuing engagement of psychic warfare. What is at stake is a battle over access to the new territories made accessible by the collision of identity and desire with machines. A manic-inducing cocktail that moves at lightening speeds to create an a-signifying scrawl on managerial control grids. Falling short of the final frontier of micro-biological implants, this penultimate frontier, this existential territory is made accessible by linking up to machines that unleash the non-discursive: a child playing with shit in the darkened glades of a forest where dancers burn money. These machines are personalised, made malleable, taken out of their rigidified context, and made to experiment and express. Machinic-sound conducts a collective proliferation of de-organised erotics, an exploration of unconscious potentialities. Listening to this. The sound of desire. The active composition of several selves again and again, the Ministry of Identity Defense must pass a law.

Libidinal Musics (2): A Guide
To come to a point of libidinal intensity whilst listening to electronic dance music it is simply a matter of reversing the cultural outlook which considers that penetration is the pinnacle of sexual gratification. This fits into the whole process whereby our energy and therefore ourselves are subjugated to easily representable and mediated images that can then be disseminated as the only path to pleasure. The phallic symbol is the cultural norm. We are continually pushed in this direction. If we maintain this mono-dimensional outlook on pleasure then we become easy prey to brainwashing and conditioning through the industrialised manipulation of libidinal energy. If there is only one path towards release then this insinuates into our consciousness that there is only one zone where we can feel pleasure and by extension that our identity is limited to a single Self. What we aim for is porno-stereo. Others may call it the body without organs. Others still may call it the great ephemeral skin. Libidinal musics is another approach to polymorphous perversity where the intersection of bass surges with syncopated kicks and spectral strings can make the skin into a field of goose bumps. This spreading of feelings of pleasure all over the surface of the body, the way it avoids centering on the genital region still makes it a libidinal sensation. Onanism? A fetishism of black vinyl? How can it be possible that music is not a desiring-machine?

LABEL:Flint Michigan @ Break/Flow
GROOVE NOTATION: “there’s only 24 hours in an evening”