• Praxis Newsletter

Rosalie: Wrong Skies

Rosalie is a Dutch music producer, musician and visual artist. She has had releases on Dark Winter and Buddhist on Fire as well as a few contributions to compilations on other labels. Wrong Skies was released on praxis_digital August 6, and is be accompanied by a video for one of the tracks . Industrial breakcore with noise takes, drones and unexpected fresh twists, using VST plug-in Soft-synths, drum programming, acoustic and electric instruments and her own voice.

Video clip by Rosalie to the track Lost Afar from the her new album Wrong Skies.
  • Buy digital album HERE (Praxis Bandcamp page)
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Christoph Fringeli & DJ Pure: Dark Star/Anti-Christ

Sub/Version 012
Christoph Fringeli & DJ Pure
Dark Star/Anti-Christ

Originally released as Sub/Version 001 as a one-sided 12″, Dark Star became a seminal track of the touching point of dark and heavy drum’n’bass/techstep with the emerging breakcore sound, produced “in a cold cellar in Vienna” as the label proclaimed, in 1997. Anti-Christ was the follow-up released the year after. Now those two classic tracks are made available again on vinyl as Sub/Version 012. The cold techstepping B-side of Sub/Version 002 is available as a bonus on the digital release.

Out June 21, 2021 – Pre-Order HERE.

Full versions of all the tracks on our SoundCloud
Full versions on our YouTube channel

Download Infosheet/Press release:

LINKS

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Limited re-press of Praxis 33 – Nomex: Trocante Gramofony E.P. out now!

Limited 2021 re-press of Praxis 33 on black vinyl

Originally released in 1999, Trocante Gramofony E.P. by Nomex is re-pressed in a limited edition of 100 copies on black vinyl from the original plates.

Trocante Gramofony opens with the monumental ‘Fire Is The Centre’, followed by two other Nomex masterpieces, ‘Life Destroy’ and ‘No-Step 2000’, as well as three speaker-destroying fragments and locked grooves.

Trocante Gramofony E.P. was originally released in an edition of 500 copies on transparent white vinyl as Praxis 33.

It was a departure from Nomex’s releases on his own Adverse label and was naturally quite different from the DJ Scud collaborations on Maschinenbau. In relation to his other solo work, Trocante Gramofony is perhaps less conceptual and more composed.

‘Fire Is The Centre’ features vocal snippets recorded at a Dead By Dawn party sometime between 1994-1996. Some of these snippets had been used on the Dead By Dawn record by Shitness & The Jackal, but here they were embedded in a surging wall of noise spread over the first side of the record, complete with crackles, shrieks and ever mounting intensity.

The second side opens with ‘Life Destroy’ an intense collage of voice, noise and music and ends with ‘No-Step 2000’.

Tracks don’t end in orderly fashion, instead the needle jumps out of the groove or is locked in a loop. The flow gets interrupted in the middle of the side of the record. These elements are again vinyl specific and can’t easily be transported to the digital realm, and this is one reason we decided to make this brilliant record available again in its ideal format, the vinyl 12”.

  • Check out the Praxis 33 discography page HERE.
  • Buy the vinyl incl. download code in our online shop
  • Buy download with or without vinyl on our bandcamp page
  • Read John Eden’s interview with Nomex in datacide thirteen
  • Read Jo Burzynska’s appraisal of his life and work here.

Also check out this live performance by Nomex from 2011, newly uploaded to our YouTube Channel:

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Article about 16-17 by Manuel Liebeskind

Great article by Manuel Liebeskind about 16-17:

16-17 line up of the mid 90s

Basel, Switzerland, early 1980ies. The local punk scene was not a scene really. Too small. But for the remainders of those who kept their interest in the attitude, 16-17 were the fathers of the true spirit. The do-it yourself idea, the no-musical-boundaries-for-nobody attitude, the forward thinking, experimenting musicians, leaving everything else behind. 16-17, in their original line-up, Knut Remond on drums, Alex Buess on saxophone and bass clarinet, and Markus Kneubühler on guitar, have been pioneers in what was later called jazzcore, noisecore or avantgarde jazz-punk, all helpless attempts to put a genre label on something that has successfully escaped all genre descriptions. At the time a fully improvising trio, they introduced electronic elements early on, electronic percussion, tape loops or guitar sounds shaped by modular synths.

CONTINUE READING ON LIEBESKIND.TV

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Videos of Live Sets from Praxis Label Night 2005 @ Hirscheneck, Basel are online now

PraxisLabelNight 2005 poster designed by Papiro

Two videos of live sets from the Praxis Label Night which took place at the Hirscheneck in Basel on November 19, 2005 are now up on our YouTube channel for your delectation! It’s the sets by Vile Enginez and by Nihil Fist. Both artists had brand new releases out for which the party doubled up as a record release event. Vile Enginez Overthrow/Undermine (Sub/Version 008) and Nihil Fist Resistance is Fertile (Praxis42). Great sets also by Kovert, The Wirebug aka Dan Hekate and CF, but not enough footage of those. Wicked footage though of Vile Enginez and Nihil Fist. Check it out, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

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Quarterly Sales Charts in our Shop Blog

Find quarterly sales charts of our outlets in the Praxis Shop Blog page in our online shop!

After publishing monthly charts for a few months in 2020, we switch to a quarterly schedule, having just published the list of the 10 best selling records of the first quarter 2021, as well as the best selling files and print items. The list is comprised of sales in our own online store, the Praxis discogs shop, physical items on Bandcamp. This plus wholesale orders. Usually this also includes sales in our physical shop in Berlin, but the Disconnect Store has been closed due to Corona restrictions.

The quarterly charts will allow an a bit more representative impression of what actually sells, as monthly sales go up and down considerably depending if we have exclusive releases out or other important items in stock in a particular month.

As you can see the charts are heavily tilted towards our own or exclusive or semi-exclusive distribution items. This could distract from the fact that our selection is quite broad and countless titles just sell a copy or two each month and thus never show up in the top ten.

Besides these quarterly charts, the Shop Blog features irregular updates and news flashes. Check it out HERE.

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16-17: Gyatso vinyl edition released 22-02-2021!

The first ever vinyl edition of the classic 1994 album Gyatso by 16-17 is out today!

The vinyl version features 6 tracks and comes with a download code for the full 13 tracks album. For the presale period there were even three additional live tracks added to the package. If you’re quick, you can still grab those, they will be removed from the release in the evening of February 23.

Order via bandcamp (either digital only or the record with download and receive an immediate download link). We recommend this if you’re only ordering the album, or if only ordering downloads/files.

If you are looking to combine the order with other records/magazines etc you can order it via our online shop. You will then receive a download code.

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Noize Creator: Who I Am (Tactical Time Weapon Mix By Noirodyn)

Noize Creator: Who I Am (Tactical Time Weapon Mix by Noirodyn, PraxisX2, 2021).
Relaunching the Praxis Digital Remix Series, Noirodyn is back with a remix of Noize Creator’s ‘Who I Am’ from ‘The Future Is Cancelled’ 12″(Praxis 51, 2013). Reminiscent of the hard drum’n’bass meets breakcore style of his releases on Sub/Version (under the monicker Vile Enginez) this is an epic interpretation of Noize Creator’s harsh breakcore work.

Now exclusively avaiable via the praxis bandcamp (link above)

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Praxis Records Sales Charts 2020 – Physical and Digital

An overview over the retail sales through our various channels in the year 2020. Physical products include vinyl, print, cassettes, CDs etc sold via the Praxis Online Shop, the physical Praxis Shop @ Disconnect Store Berlin, seller PRAXISRECORDS on discogs, and physical sales via the Praxis Bandcamp. In contrast to the monthly charts we publish in our shop blog, the charts here do not include wholesale/B2B sales.

These records (and magazines) sold the most copies in our stores in 2020

Digital sales (below) are the digital sales on our bandcamp page.

The order of the first 7 on the physical sales chart turned out to be an extremely close race, with the sales in the physical shop tipping the balance in favour of the most recent issue of Datacide. The most sales of Inferno to Zero were in the Praxis Online Shop, while Slaughter Politics did best on Bandcamp. Sales on discogs are much more evenly distributed with no clear “winners” (and the platform doesn’t allow for sales of print items).

Physical (Print, Vinyl, Cassette)

  1. Datacide Eighteen (Datacide 18)
  2. Nihil Fist: Inferno to Zero (Cathartic Noise Experience X-016)
  3. Slaughter Politics (Praxis 21 re-press 2020 on red vinyl)
  4. Nihil Fist: Audio Death (Independent Bloc 36, Bloc-02)
  5. Xylocaine: Succulent (Terrornoize Industry TNI25)
  6. 16-17: The Pandemic Wargames Remixes (Praxis 58)
  7. Jack Lucifer: King of the Dead (Terrornoize Industry TNI26)
  8. DJ Task: Interpretation des Leidens (Flash Fingers Berlin FFBLN02)
  9. Datacide Seventeen
  10. Messias: Dystopia Transcendence (Cathartic Noise Experience X-017)

Close runners-up: The Wirebug (Praxis 57), TNIADV#03

Digital:

  1. Slaughter Politics (Praxis 21)
  2. DJ Scud: Strong Back/Heavy Duty (Sub/Version 009)
  3. The Wirebug: Factory Food (Praxis 57)
  4. Nomex & Scud: Maschinenbau EP (Praxis 56)
  5. Bourbonese Qualk: Autonomia (Praxis 5)
  6. 16-17: The Pandemic Wargames Remixes (Praxis 58)
  7. Base Force One: Expenditure of Excess Energy (Still Raven 003)
  8. DJ Jackal: Drumtrax (Praxis 9)
  9. Base Force One: Welcome to Violence (Praxis 27)
  10. Eiterherd: !984 vs. 1999 Vision vs. Reality (Praxis 30/Widerstand LP1)

On a side note: digital sales only account for less than 3% of total turnover(!)

Our sales channels:

Praxis Online Shop / Discogs / Bandcamp / Booklooker / Datacide

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16-17: Gyatso (Liner Notes by Jason Pettigrew, 2008)

Jason Pettigrew’s liner notes which provide interesting additional information about the album Gyatso by 16-17 were originally published in the booklet for the 2008 CD rerelease on Savage Land. We republish them here in view of the forthcoming first vinyl release of the album next month.

GYATSO NOTES

Breaking boundaries? For over two decades, Swiss splatter-core outfit 16-17 obliterated the walls between so-called “exclusive” musical genres, turning the constructs of jazz, metal and punk into dust while exploring new ways to convey the urgency and power ricocheting in the band members’ skulls. Since their 1983 inception, 16-17—sax player/chairman Alex Buess, drummer Knut Remond and guitarist Markus Kneubühler—created an aesthetic that consistently delivered maximum devastation, exhaustion and catharsis.

Admittedly, you may have seen similarly toned descriptions heaped upon any number of outfits and individuals that have dared mix genres to create a new strain of aural virus. But don’t take the word of an over-zealous liner-note writer when calendars carry the ultimate truth: 16-17’s first release, the 1984 cassette, Buffbunker And Hardkore (currently available, along with the eponymous 1987 release and 1989’s When All Else Fails, in the Early Recordings set, issued by Savage Land in 2006), predates the then-nascent Downtown New York scene by five years—way before John Zorn heard his first Napalm Death record and started compacting Ornette Coleman’s repertoire into blink-and-you’ll-miss-it blasts that simultaneously offended punks and jazz purists. To his credit, Buess spent many years constructing a forward-thinking campaign of sonic evacuation—as opposed to, say, blowing his mouthpieces into Styrofoam cups of water to a rarified audience of cosmopolitan hipsters.

Although 16-17’s music was parsecs away from whatever the rest of European (FMP, ECM) and New York-based (Zzz) jazz scenes were doing, Buess wondered if the outfit had reached a creative dead end. After a 1989 tour of Germany in support of When All Else Fails, he felt the band had reached a sonic and personal plateau. From 1990 to 1994, 16-17 played few concerts, and the ennui was contagious: Remond pursued solo works and recordings with Voice Crack and Borbetomagus, while Kneubühler withdrew from playing music entirely. Buess became fascinated with recording techniques and the new digital technology (sampling, effects processing, Pro Tools and hard-disk editing) that had recently become available. He realized he had inadvertently created walls around himself in
16-17’s live-band format, but wondered what new musical dimensions he could chart by using the studio as an instrument. He began outfitting his Basel, Switzerland facility, Wolf 2.8.1., with as much new (computer workstations, digital outboard gear) and vintage equipment (tape echo units, microphones, modular synthesizers) as he could afford.

In 1993, Buess met Kevin Martin at the sessions for Liebefeld, the second album by Swiss hyper-jazz group Alboth! Martin, the British saxophonist, producer, promoter and leader of the mighty 10-piece aggregate God, helmed the sessions, while Buess was summoned to add his mercurial sax work to the proceedings. Martin was a big 16-17 fan who, over the years, had tried to contact the band, but always fallen short, thanks to Buess’ not having a fixed address or phone at the time. Nevertheless, the two musicians became friends, bonding as self-professed “sound maniacs,” who shared similar attitudes, aesthetics and approaches to music.
Their first musical foray together was recording Under The Skin, the 1994 debut album by Martin’s ad hoc dark-dub unit Ice. The sessions were significantly enlightening on both a musical and personal level that Buess asked Martin to produce 16-17’s new recordings.

“We both have similar psychological profiles and patterns,” Buess says about his working relationship with Martin. “Kevin once told me that making extreme music is like eating very hot and spicy meals: The adrenaline level rises, and you feel like burning. We want our records to be an adventure for the listener.”

“I really liked the intensity of 16-17’s early recordings,” recalls Martin. “But I felt they were more like live documents and I wanted to hear them enhanced by the power of studio layering/technology. I was obsessed by Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad production team and I felt it would be amazing to hear a free-jazz outfit given a similarly heavyweight sonic-assault treatment.”

Buess had approximately six hours of 16-and 24-track live recordings of the original trio, from which he and Martin began their editing process. Their first step was to edit and assemble Remond’s drums into loops of varying lengths. Then, at Martin’s suggestion, the rhythm tracks were shipped off to Godflesh bassist C. Christian “Benny” Green in Birmingham, to add his own
low-end theory to 16-17’s idiosyncratic skree. (Martin: “I felt he was largely underrated and Justin [Broadrick] got most of the attention in Godflesh. I felt Benny was an immense bass player and I knew he had really eclectic tastes.”) With the rhythm bed in place, Martin and Buess added Kneubühler’s already corrosive guitar work (which was further mutated by a bevy of digital effects) to the mix. Martin then dropped samples of his own design—including, but not limited to short soundtrack excerpts, orchestras,
machine sounds, sirens, the band members’ performances and voices lifted from ceremonies, loudspeaker announcements, choirs and porn videos—to add an otherworldly texture to the proceedings. (According to the production notes, the samples had file names like “Sick Animal-Eraserhead,” “Slow Motion,” “Pulp,” “Berserk Machine,” “Tribal Suicide” and “Lead Pipe Trance.”) Then, the mighty Buess—who would routinely win gold medals if circular breathing ever became an Olympic sport—played new sax parts over the constructions. The reconfiguring of the existing material via computer editing and sampling with Buess’ looming physicality made for a disc that Buess describes as “a mixture of dinosaur and rocket! We were very happy when we listened to the mixes. [The tracks] don’t sound constructed at all. It still kept the impression of live sound, but it was much more powerful.”

Looking back on the proceedings, Martin says he enjoyed his role as Phil Spector from Hell, with Buess egging him onward. “Alex was an invaluable part of my production-learning process,” he reflects. “He did seem a little alarmed by the continuously harsh use of high frequency. He’s a perfectionist and a worrier—so am I—but we were both trying to see how far we could go. We both wanted to push the boundaries of jazz, and I particularly wanted the cerebral impact to combine with an equally uncompromising physical attack. At the time, I was transfixed by the sonic sorcery that digital innovation had allowed. That, combined with the analogue gear gave the record some warmth and some completely barbaric frequency ranges.

“Alex wanted me to stoke up the fire,” he continues. “He made it apparent to me that he felt my God recordings were too laid-back. [Laughs.] I took the bait, wanting to amplify their musical rage with my dreams of a wall of noise.”

The sessions were a successful manifestation of Buess’ personal aesthetics, as well as his non-musical influences. He is fond of using the term “biomechanical”—originally coined by Swiss artist H.R. Giger, whose frequent images of chrome-plated and mechanized human decay are well known to describe the human and technological processes of the music. Likewise, Buess also cites the modern minimalist architecture of Peter Zumthor and sculptor/film director Bernhard Luginbühl as visual analogues for the disc’s raison d’etre. “[The works of these people] helped us in finding a vocabulary, an expression chart, for the production,” he says. “That’s why if you listen to [Gyatso], you’ll find all these elements as a fusion.” Clearly, the most curious of his influences shines through in the title. Buess titled the disc in homage to Palden Gyatso, the Tibetan monk who was imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese government for 33 years before human-rights activists secured his release. At first listen, one would think the title was ironic, considering all of the sonic violence contained within. Not surprisingly, Buess prefers having balls over merely being ironic. “It was a political and human statement,” he says, emphasizing the importance of the title. “We respected the great energy and intensity of this man. Gyatso is not so much about violence; it’s about energy and power.”
Released in June 1994 on Martin’s Pathological label, Gyatso significantly polarized listeners due to its sophisticated production and primitive emotional context. The opening salvo, “Attack > Impulse,” is the sound of world panic: The drums regenerate from snare rolls to Uzi fire as Buess’ sax work seemingly channels everything from dive-bombing jets to wounded animals. The rudimentary beats and pulsating frequencies on “Black And Blue” generate menace while Buess viciously tongues his reeds like a meth-addled King Curtis as the public address system in Hell’s airport instructs the damned to their final destination. “Motor” is as close as the disc gets to old school 16-17 (similar to the tracks on the trio’s self-titled release), but it remains fortified by the dense production and samples that sound like several hundred immolated orchestras. “White Out” is exactly that, a full-on mélange of sax shrieking and punishing tribal beats (or is it actually a motorcycle idling?), densely packed to approximate death by avalanche. Alternate mixes of “The Trawler” and “Motor” were added at the disc’s end to document the level of audio morphing and, according to Martin, “increase pressure on the listener.” Mission accomplished!

“It was really something that was different to what everybody was doing then,” opines Buess. “The computer technology had started to develop, but a lot of people—especially in the musical field—were still not aware of the huge amount of possibilities this technology would add to creative studio production. Gyatso was received curiously: Some people and journalists loved it immediately because of the furious energy and ‘constructive deconstruction.’ Naturally, some people hated the disc because it was too relentless.”

Martin’s take is significantly more passionate—and a lot more brusquer. “This was cyber-jazz that was virtually ignored at the time, while every critic sucked Zorn’s dick. Zorn was—and is—incredible, but Alex is a hugely underrated player, capable of amazing explosions of sound and emotion. Alex is more of a splatter technician who’s more interested in releasing his demons than shifting units. He seems to need the release more than prettying things up for the listener.”

If some knee-jerking critics decried that 16-17 had traded their soul for a body mass of integrated circuits, all bets were off in the live arena. Buess enlisted Alboth! drummer Michael Werthmüller and bassist Damian Bennett (from British doom merchants Deathless) for several tours in late ‘94 and ‘95. The trio realized Gyatso onstage with sampling technology that allowed them to replicate the disc’s punishing density and psychotropic dynamics. More importantly, the performances also raised the bar significantly in a way best described as “future primitive.” Each new performance found the trio balancing the brusque improvisation tempered by instinct and impulse (“attack” or otherwise) alongside the cerebral knowledge of operating and interfacing with the technology, and then responding to that gear essentially as a mechanized fourth member. (The band’s blistering performance at the 1995 Taktlos Festival was recorded; Buess promises its release will see the light of day.)

Gyatso sold respectably, considering how positively alien the thing sounded in a jazz climate marked by releases that were either reprehensible or simply coma-inducing. Buess had found respect from some unusual quarters, as well: Kevin Shields, the leader of renowned atmospheric guitar act My Bloody Valentine, was so fascinated by the disc that he extended an invite to Buess to join the band in the studio as programmer as they worked on what was to be the follow-up to their landmark recording, Loveless. (“I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t so productive,” recalls Buess about his month-long stint in their studio in the summer of 1995. “There’s not much more I can say about it.”)

The experience of Gyatso became a crucial first step in 16-17’s new direction. Human Distortion, a 1998 four-track EP for Alec Empire’s Digital Hardcore label, teemed with sonics both furious (Buess’ civilization-destroying sax tones) and fucked-up (samples of a television reporter delivering news of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on the tastelessly titled “Headlead”). Likewise, Mechanophobia, a 12-inch single for the Swiss label Praxis released the following year, was impossible to get your head around at first listen, let alone getting your groove on in a dance club. But 13 years after its release, Gyatso—the original collision of worlds old and future—remains as vibrant and violent, caustic and confusing than ever. It also sounds like it was recorded last week. No small feat, considering how many of history’s genre-specific releases of an “intense” nature (punk, industrial rock, heavy metal, free jazz et al) have their own date-stamped crosses to bear.

“I’m surprised it still stands up so well,” admits Martin. “It is a difficult listen, and willfully so. But it was made to stretch the parameters of a stagnant jazz scene, where the spirit of Teo Macero could still be used to ignite reaction and demand both love and hate. No neutrality—Switzerland’s had enough of that!”

“I think all creative, innovative minds try to get as near as possible to an enhanced imagination,” offers Buess. “It does not matter by which means you reach this goal. It’s about trying to get the most out of what you can imagine. Which is why I think people like Albert Ayler, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker would have explored electronics with the same enthusiasm they had explored their instruments with during their lifetimes. If there is an urgency to express something, you’ll always find a way to do it.

“It’s all about choice,” he resigns. “If your choices are right, all the doors are open to whatever you can imagine. If the choices are wrong, everything is just meaningless and superficial.”

Jason Pettigrew
Two-Way Mirror
Cleveland, USA

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