• Praxis Newsletter

Scaremonger EP (Praxis 1, 1992) now on YouTube

For those who like to listen to their music on YouTube we just added Praxis 1 – Scaremonger EP to the Praxis Youtube channel.

More info, download link, press clippings in our discography:
https://praxis-records.net/scaremonger-scaremonger-ep/

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Nihil Fist: Hatecore Video online now

Just posted on the Zombiefleshaeter/Kritik am Leben YouTube channel: Nihil Fist’s Hatecore video from 1999

Four years before his debut 12″ for Praxis ‘Think & Destroy!‘ – Classic harsh riot sounds!

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Videos from Vinyl Resistance festival (first night), Lynx – Psychic Defence – Base Force One

The Vinyl Resistance festival in Monza took place March 3-5, and paynomindtous just uploaded video clips of all the performances of the first night, including Methackus, Pablito el Drito, DJ Balli, Lynx, Psychic Defence, Base Force One,  and A034. It was a great night!

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The Sound of Vision 1986-1992

Vision was a label project that I founded in 1986 and finished in 1992. The publications of Vision were not limited to cassettes and records but also included printed materials and visuals. These – fanzines, posters, t-shirts – like the recordings, received catalogue numbers.
Vision 1 was a zine and appeared in November 1986. While there was a subjectivist/romantic feel to it, there were also the first signs of a critical approach which later became prevalent in the label.
In a short article about Sonic Youth, for example, you could read: ‘Finally we reached the end of our cursed categories: “Punk”, “New Wave”, “Psychedelia”, “Avantgarde” etc. We are at a point where a band, in the shape of a recording or a performance, has to present an autonomous work, not to say a work of art. But the relation art – pop/pop art – rock’n’roll is already stressed, dubious. The end of this innocence certainly contributes to the general frustration, the absence of a “movement” (…) to insecurity and the well known prophecies of doom about the death of rock’n’roll, the evasion to short lived and unsubstantial revivals (…).’

Or in a review of the album 1000 Hours by the Sheffield based electronic band Hula: ‘Confusion seems complete, so that it seems doubtful that a spirit of our times will even be recognisable in retrospect’. Or: ‘The means of domination veer between conditioning and tear gas, between silent programming and pacification and if necessary the bloody subjugation of those anti-social elements that somehow eluded complete control’ in a review of Mark Stewart’s As the Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade which was also described as ‘Dance music for our civil war parties’.

The ideas of the Surrealists, Burroughs’ Cut-Up-Methods, Industrial Culture, Post-Punk, the experiences of the bitter defeats of the early 80s squatting movement, the political reaction under Thatcher, Reagan and Kohl all came together and demanded to be processed in sound, image and word.

My first band was a trio called Flowers of Evil and we had the occasional live gigs in Basel. Soon it shrank to a duo, the drum part was played by a Roland 606 which we couldn’t properly program, so most tracks just had one drum pattern. We played NYE at the Alte Stadtgärtnerei, a recently squatted social and cultural centre (see below for a picture from its eviction with pigs heads from an anti-ART fair installation used as missiles against the police at the eviction in 1988) and produced a cassette with four tracks which became, in May 1987, the first sonic release on Vision.

Before that, the second edition of the zine came out: “turn to crime” including the Coil interview which later became the only text from the Vision zines to be reprinted in Datacide.

Quite a few things were happening in Basel at the time. First were the singles by Les Fleur d’Hiver and Falter im nächtlichen Raum released by Winterschatten, the only underground record store in Basel at the time. Then there were more rock (or guitar pop) oriented bands such as thE silencE crieS, The Hydrogen Candymen, Man Without Future and The Baboons.
Another line of development included the releases by 16-17, U&U, Hirnschlag and Melx, which were considerably more radical and aggressive.

Seeing Melx and 16-17 live was indeed a turning point for me and for the label.
Melx – Markus Kneubühler and Alex Buess – presented what hip hop could be after Mark Stewart: no compromise hard beats, scratches, distorted vocals, a treatment of intensification, disturbing and agitational.
16-17 on the other hand created a tsunami of electric energy making you feel like being catapulted in an ejection seat. Knut Remond hammering his unique beats, Kneubühler turning the guitar into a noise machine and Buess with a screeching overblown saxophone and screamed vocal shreds.

It was only logical that Alex and I soon started working together. I became a member of Melx and we recorded a second cassette. Melx re-explored similar themes, made versions and remixes. The same lyrics were used with different beats: ‘Are you already in a Coma?’, ‘They are going to Program you’, ‘I danced with a Zombie’.
Here different principles were at work than with songwriting in a rock format. Versioning, remixing and plagiarism first rose their head in dub and early electronic dance music and would later mutate into a kind of collective cultural production in some forms of techno.

The first two records released on Vision were two albums of Fluid Mask which showed early signs of a ‘Sound of Vision’, which would be further developed with the following releases. Already then a certain tension between a more experimental approach and more traditional songwriting became increasingly evident.

Despite including a remix 12” with the second Fluid Mask album the rock structures remained initially intact, which was also the case with the later LPs by Ix-Ex-Splue and Thin King. Especially Ix-Ex-Splue had been moving towards rock music from more noisy and experimental roots, while my own interests were going in the opposite direction of electronics, noise, studio work and remixing.

Alex Buess’ Wwolff 2.8.1. Studio was a place by the freight train station Wolf, deep underground. Concrete hallways lead to the laboratory in the bunker, far from any seasons. This was where most Vision records were produced.

The third vinyl record was The Metalhouse Masterbeats by Melx, a 4-track 12” limited to 250 copies which was conceptualised as a DJ Tool consisting mainly of beats which DJs and other producers were meant to use, abuse and develop.
Thus the record was not merely a sound carrier with superior sound quality compared to the cassette, but had its own particular properties. Alex kept upgrading the studio, adding further possibilities. One result was Victims of the Mixing Desk, where he applied radical remix concepts to previously published material from the Vision catalogue.
The studio became an instrument, the ‘Vision’ became more concrete.

In retrospect the most convincing shape this experimenting took was in the form of the LP The Electric Noise Twist. Here elements of industrial, free jazz, noise, improvisation were combined with influences from rock and dance. The beats were played by hand, but triggered samples, vocals shouted through a megaphone, the guitar played through a Korg synthesizer and completely mutated. The procedure was largely improvised, the result still sounds intense and unique today.

By 1989, records had completely replaced cassettes. This had some serious economic consequences as well as in terms of distribution. The cassettes usually had a run of 100 copies (sometimes less) and were mostly distributed by ourselves or by Calypso Now, a Swiss tape distribution. With records both costs and ambition were a lot higher. There would be studio costs, covers were printed and the first press runs (usually 500 copies) could barely cover these expenses. Finances had to be organised, distribution extended to other countries.
With this purpose, countless contacts were established and an international network of smaller and bigger distros, fanzines and magazines were supplied with our records.

In the same year – 1989 – I started working for RecRec, the most important distributor of independent and experimental records in Switzerland. Suddenly I was in the midst of the ‘independent business’. This accelerated learning processes which in turn had effects on Vision.
As much as we tried to counter it at RecRec, the ‘independent’ market was going in a direction where it became almost impossible to subvert the market mechanisms. On the contrary, we became factors within the game and were all too often forced to throw all our weight behind ‘big’ products, while more obscure records only sold very few copies.
The ‘independent’ scene, instead of challenging the mechanisms of the music business, increasingly replicated them. This was frustrating and disillusioning.

Around that time I came into contact with Situationist ideas at first through the English underground zine Vague. I got myself a copy of Society of the Spectacle and The Revolution of Everyday Life. Here I found an encompassing revolutionary critique of modern society. With the terms ‘spectacle’ and ‘recuperation’ it grasped exactly what I experienced in the small subsegment of culture industry where I made a rather modest living at that point.

Shreds from Vaneigem, Smile and Vague started appearing in lyrics of Fluid Mask, Melx and Electric Noise Twist.
When the Neoists called for an Art Strike 1990-93, which was supposed to cause not only a breakdown of the culture industry but an intensification of the class struggle and the downfall of capitalism, I was enthusiastic and distributed countless stickers declaring ‘Just Say No To Art!’ and ‘Demolish Serious Culture!’.

Nevertheless the momentum of the label was too hard to ignore and I continued to publish cultural artifacts. Amongst them was the first and only CD to appear on Vision, Knock Out – The Sound of Vision, a compilation and stock taking with previously released material by all bands plus Hirnschlag, a project of Alex Buess from 1984 which had never been published on Vision but could be seen as a precursor.

Around the turn of the decade, the parameters of the counterculture were subject to massive changes. The relationship of ‘artist’ and ‘consumer’ in Rock’n’roll had been a one-way-communication from the stage down, something that was increasingly replicated in the ‘independent’ scene. This was fundamentally challenged by Acid House and Techno. Completely new dimensions seemed to open up for a new collective counter-culture. Anonymity, white labels, illegal parties and festivals were for me a practical application of the demand to ‘Demolish Serious Culture!’.

After I moved to South London into a squat in late 1991, the dynamic of regular collaboration and constant exchange with Basel was lacking. The Vision-scene fell apart, most bands dissolved. [The significant exception to this are the collaborations with Alex Buess in the form of the 16-17 (Praxis 31, 1999), Cortex (Praxis 48, 2011) and ‘Skin Craft’ (Praxis 55, 2016) records.]

At this time I founded Praxis and Alien Underground and later Sub/Version and Datacide.
To make labels, produce and distribute records and printed matters were always methods of a cultural intervention, a metapolitical agitation.

When Melx said: ‘Magnetised human skins control the behaviour of people’, the aim was to short circuit this control and to express an antagonism towards official culture and aesthetics, towards state and capital. In the case of Vision this happened in a heterogeneous, confusing and sometimes confused way, and without a doubt all those involved had different viewpoints on this.
To me it was an intense learning process, and looking back I recognise myself much more at the end of these 5 years than at the beginning.

‘To go “further” today means to fight a guerrilla war in marginal cultural zones and to avoid a sidelining and ghettoisation as much as the cultivation of partial aspects as a reservoir of poses for the turnover of commodities’, it said in the last printed issue of Vision at the end of the ‘80s, and, ‘It’s not about the shock-value of extreme data, rather about definition; not about violence but about heightened awareness. Do everything in order not to be called as a defence witness in the case against the real world (to quote Breton). Discographies should serve as evidence in the face of this imaginary tribunal.’

Christoph Fringeli

originally written in German for

Lurker Grand/André P. Tschan: Heute und Danach – The Swiss Underground Music Scene of the 80’s (Edition Patrick Frey No121, Zürich 2012, ISBN 978-3-905929-21-8)

Translated and revised by the author for

Almanac for Noise & Politics 2016 (datacide_publishing, Berlin 2016)

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Prole Sector: Bass_Dubstep_Techno 2016 Mix

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Subscribe to Datacide – only 12 euros for 3 issues until the end of 2016

THIS SPECIAL OFFER HAS EXPIRED – SUBSCRIPTIONS NOW COST EUR 15.00

still a steal for what you get ! 

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Subscription for 3 print issues of Datacide, the magazine for noise and politics!

The price includes shipping to anywhere in the world.

Choose which issue you want your subscription to begin (let us know in the comments section of your order or paypal payment) and be the first to receive the upcoming issues hot of the press!

You can include back issues in the subscription, currently available are issues 11 (only few copies left!), 12, 13, 14 and the new issue 15! Also available are the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Almanac for Noise & Politics, which can also be included in the subscription.

Datacide is a magazine that covers experimental electronic music, from the avant-garde to hard dance music, their intersections with radical politics and counterculture, in depth political and historical analysis and critique as well as experimental fiction, poetry and visual works. In each issue there is an extensive record review section as well as detailed book reviews, comics and news items.

Datacide is not affiliated or part of any specific political group but engages in a revolutionary critique that rejects the historically discredited strains of leftism associated with Social Democracy and Leninism, drawing on the rich heritage of dissident Marxism, libertarian communism and critical theory instead.

Datacide is a critical voice in the increasingly irrational and rightwards lurching ‘post-truth’ times of conspiratorial world views and identity politics.

Find more information about the contents of the single issues on the DATACIDE WEBSITE!

[Note that if you don’t want to open an account in our online shop, you can also just send EUR 12.00 via paypal to info AT datacide-magazine.com stating which issue you want your subscription to start!]

Subscription rates will change on January 1st, 2017 and will be EUR 15.00 for three issues, starting either with the (then) current or next issue. Available back issues will still be EUR 12.00 for a pack of three (including postage), but this offer will no longer include the current or upcoming issues.

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Broken Pictures Taken with a Broken Camera – Praxis Crawlspace Continues (Autotoxicity 1997)

autotoxicityreviewsheet001
BROKEN PICTURES TAKEN WITH A BROKEN CAMERA – PRAXIS CRAWLSPACE CONTINUES…

All that is solid melts into the air… as winter beckons the pace and opportunity and diversity is expanded. There is always some kind of oppositional dialectic at work. Autonomy against conformity, refusal against palatability, movement against force, and all of these elements against each other. Datacide #3 is here, providing the central artery through which this unstable underground flows, forever decomposing before it can become a new nameable substance. Twisted polemic, fiction, interviews and multiple reviews. On the vinyl front there seems to be a lot to recommend. So what’s happening?

The Praxis / Pure partnership continues in the degenerate party mode with Subversion 002: Antichrist. This samples from the 1984 classic Nature Unveiled album which was built around a nihilist / atheist interpretation of Lautreamont’s “Maldoror” – itself a hugely influential polemic rooted in a twisting and twisted logic of shipwreck fascination, the brutality of nature and the dynamic of evil. The ‘antichrist’ sample comes heavily distorted, darkened and looped – the record adds a break and there you go. The music conjures the passage about christ forming into the body of a charging rhinoceros (a pure and good side to techstep?) only to be brought down and suffer gradual annihilation through the spirit of evil.

New Skin #1 (test press) is a rough cut 5 tracker of broken beats -heavy kick and distortion and visible silences which betrays a praxis influence. Jungle received on a hyper fast signal rate through a faulty scrambler to a bunch of k’ed up troops dug into a bunker. Patterns of extreme style meld together into an anti style. Infra-red night focus on a fast moving predator… coming… towards.. you. Certainly not about anything new emerging from the current, more a case of tiredness, decay, betrayal, taking things towards a precipice yet conscious of creating a cult. Almost like a celebration of absence… an absence of style, an absence of structure, an absence of celebration. Moments go against the grain… a thick bass scrape, well faded h-core memories… the final chapter in the DJ tools series – ‘anti-beats and anti-breaks (volume 1)’

Welcome to Violence / Base Force One (Praxis 27) is more chaos. 1>punk b-lines, marxist-leninist posturing, jackal hi-jacking the cluttered airwaves, manipulating the interference and fast flowing static 2>tech-breaks meets hawaii 5-0 and settles for a rave creation beat-em-up video soundtrack 3>trademark drilled out grooves and anti-funk flanked by cut-up montage and broken beats 4>antrap breaks (remember them?) usher in a return for the kickdrum. Shares an affinity with the previous release to refuse to atrophy into a particular style. The unsymphonised finishing.

Battle Trax 003 – Industrial Bass Machine sees Scott Weiser get in on the act to beef up Phil Klein’s retro electro label. The tracks on IBM certainly plough a retro vein but they maintain that electro magic – the craft and guile – rather than colouring in around the contours. Everything is well (counter) balanced – beats roll, rise and fall, the sci-fi- samples and manipulated robot vocals are not overplayed (like on Battle Trax 002). Best track is ‘Devastate the Planet’ which is full-on and smart with breathing rhythms, chaotic breakdowns and a wicked sense of timing.

Metic ep / Audio Illusion – interesting label which has been used for Klein’s more hardcore based offering gives us a 5-tracker that thrashes between hardcore, electro and techno and has an overall feel of post-gabba that matches the intensity of atmosphere and phobia but dispatches with the diminishing dimensionality of that music. Draws on PCP dark-core in places, and goes for a slowed down but overlaid structure, such that your brain is pummelled into submission and then a melody seems to seep through.

Uncivilised World 001 – Ho A 4-tracker that uses 3 tracks to take hardcore to a new plateau, the fourth track being pretty indescribable(!) Fast french h-core cut up into beats forcing a duality – ultra speed and mid-pace techno with swoops, reverses, etc. Elsewhere there is distanced kick and foregrounded shard samples, low apocalypse blankets of sound bringing in new utilisations of the kick.

Uncivilised World 002 – Elektroplasma Big noises made about this ep such that the sheer anticipation in playing it and the slowed down, over-electrified textures makes it similar to the full-on industrial assault of Throbbing Gristle on my then tender teenage ears. The fact that it exists in (spite of) a post-techno world only adds to the exhilaration… it comes across on one side as a dis-carded flux of noises, not fitting in anywhere due to its raw inconformity. As with the previous ep (below the noise) pace is fucked around with, fast speed noises checking slow speed rhythms. Side two begins with a straight up h-core number trying to rekindle a lost battle to attain a pure intensity of sound structures – bomb blasts, piling machines, rocket launches, ultra-amplified thought processes and headache pulses? The final track is a breakdown of the previous into elements of pure noise that realign themselves into a tunnelled techno arrangement pulling in bleeps from the edge of infinity. awesome.

Uncivilised World 003 – ADC Slight paradigm shift for the Rome-tech school of broken beats. In line with UCW 1&2 there is more of an invitation (responsibility?) to foreground dark and strange textures, create hybrid patterns from mismatched perceptions. Creates – in this case- a dual sense of approach – almost 2 tracks over-laid to a dark ambience with silences and a complicated stop/start beat pattern. in some senses similar to the recent Somatic Responses ‘Passages’ ep on UFO. Very, very disorientating – hard beats that penetrate into your head but at the same time refuse to be compartmentalised in some music-perception process. In this regard I suppose it is true to one of the possible original traits of hardcore, but by now we have arrived at a situation of nihilist mixology – no peaks, no journeys, no atmospheres, no experiences to offer or share, no tricks, no egos, no stars, (no here comes everybody)

If UCW is being touted as the best new label of the year in the datacide gramophone awards then last years winner – Zero Tolerance – is still setting fine examples and benchmarks in sound innovation. The highlight of the label was the Centuria ‘Backlash’ ep (ZTR 007) throwing in an incredible mix of melody and rough sound, treating layers of memory with a paint stripping blowtorch (see interview with perpetrators elsewhere in this magazine). This cut was preceded by the house distortion ‘tribute’ of Neuroviolence (ZTR 006) and followed by the building site techno of Integer (ZTR 008). This latest release squeezes in an array of dropped clang sounds and horns, and concentrates on a more totalising rhythm – on one track there is a fat bass sound squeezed out of a keyboard similar to 80’s industrial funk moments (Slab, Hula, Severed Heads, etc). But the overall feel of the ep is a bit of a letdown – hard sequences jarring in and out of sync. Kind of in between a for and against techno without getting the best out of either stance.

Published as a review sheet by Autotoxicity in late 1997

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Praxis 51 – Noize Creator: The Future is Cancelled on Youtube

New addition to the Praxis Youtube channel:
Praxis 51 – Noize Creator: The Future is Cancelled

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Praxis Records Interview by Joel Amaretto, Frontpage 01-1995

This interview was published in the January 1995 issue of Frontpage, the German techno monthly. It’s been reposted on the datacide site a few years back, but never on the Praxis site – here we go:

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frontpage4-05096

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 Squat-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, hierarchischen 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!

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“Skin Craft” – RIND & NOL

Two powerful compositions by Alex Buess and Daniel Buess, rearranged by Cortex.
RIND is a work using three large self-built cow skin frame drums, 1 horse skin container drum, metal plates and electronics. NOL is a composition by Alex Buess for a percussion trio from 1995. The two pieces were recorded live in 2010 and 2003 respectively, also featuring the musicians Daniel Stalder, Peter Conradin Zumthor and Matthias Würsch. They were electronically treated by Cortex in the studion in 2015. This release continues the collaboration with Alex Buess that goes back to the pre-Praxis days of the Vision label since 1987 and includes Praxis 31 by 16-17 and Praxis 48 by Cortex, both of which also included Daniel Buess.
Cover art by Darkam and layout by Lynx.

Vinyl master by A.F. at Centraldubs
Press run of 500 copies at Optimal

Praxis 55 Sleeve

ALEX BUESS – is a musician, saxophonist, composer, producer who lives in Basel, Switzerland. He has collaborated with Stephan Wittwer, Paul Schütze, Kevin Martin, Peter Brötzmann, William Parker, Raoul Björkenheim, Toshinori Kondo, Bill Laswell, Kevin Shields, Tim Hodgkinson, Michael Wertmüller and many other musicians in the wide field of improvisation, electronics, electroacoustic music and composition.

He plays/played in the groups ICE, GOD, Phantom City, The Bug, Sprawl, Cortex and his own group 16-17, as well as Melx and The Electric Noise Twist. The latter were part of a close collaboration with Christoph Fringeli’s Vision label from 1987-1991, before Christoph moved to London and started the Praxis label, a collaboration that continued over the decades with releases by 16-17 and Cortex on Praxis.

Alex has written compositions for various contemporary music ensembles and also works as a producer and sound engineer. He has appeared at numerous new music festivals and his compositions are performed in Europe and throughout the world.
His studies include electronics, acoustics, musicology, phonetics,semantics and composition and his work reflects his experiences with electronic technology, written contemporary music, film music, new mixing and production techniques and computer music.

DANIEL BUESS – studied at the Musikhochschule Basel with Siegfried Schmid and with Isao Nakamura in Karlsruhe. Studies in traditional South Indian percussion music, specially the Mridangam from 1995 till 1998 and in Arabic percussion music in Cairo, Egypt from Nov. 2007 till Jan. 2008.

Daniel was involved in various groups and ensembles in the realm of experimental and improvised music, like “Ensemble Phœnix Basel” of which he was a core-member and solo-percussionist since its foundation in 1998, Cortex, 16-17 (both with Alex Buess), HOW2 (with the percussionist Daniel Stalder), “Katarakt”, “B&B” (with the flautist Christoph Bösch), MIR (with Papiro and Michael Zaugg), Buggatronic (with James Hullick). Other collaborations include artists like Hany Bedair, Knut Remond, Zbigniew Karkowski, Kasper T.Toeplitz, John Duncan, Michael Wertmüller, Phill Niblock, Julio Estrada, Stephan Wittwer, Volker Heyn, Thomas Lauck, Tim Hodgkinson, Iancu Dumitrescu and many others.

At his regular tours through Europe, Asia and Australia, he performed at the most highly recognised festivals for experimental music as well as at several underground-places, open spaces and independent venues. Sadly Daniel passed away in February 2016, making “Skin Craft” unexpectedly a posthumous release.

 
LINKS:
BUY “Skin Craft” on vinyl
BUY “Skin Craft” in digital formats
“Skin Craft” on Discogs
Alex Buess website
Alex Buess Discogs
Alex Buess Wikipedia [english][deutsch]
Daniel Buess website
Daniel Buess Discogs
Daniel Buess Wikipedia
Darkam website

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