In Search of the True Electricity (and more from Praxis Newsletter 3, 1994)


We didn’t say ‘hard music is good’ and ‘soft music is bad’; this is not the problem. The question is with what intention, motivation, attitude this music is made. Techno is about innovation as much as about intensity. If something is underground or overground isn’t necessarily determined by the amount of records sold, than how far it is driven by market forces themselves. Our polemic response to the trance- and ambient hypes (in nl1&2) wasn’t directed against repetitive electronics that may induce some sort of trance, nor against electronic music without the dance beats, but mainly against the mechanism how labels (such as ‘Trance’ etc) get created that serve one purpose above all: to reach the white middle class kids who have the money to spend on CD’s and expensive clubs. How the corporations pick things up, how the media is their sales agent (or do you think it just ‘happens’ that magazines have those ads next to the features and interviews?). What happens next is that it becomes obvious that money is being made, and so many bedroom artists are jumping on the bandwagon, desperate to suck corporate dick and the result is shiny tack, still pretentious but without substance. What about some fake string sounds straight out of the presets, for that uplifting feeling? Why this is supposed to be ‘intelligent’ is a total mystery to me, coupled with the claim that more hardcore, ‘working class’ styles are supposed to be primitive and stupid.

Yes we do see it in a cultural/social context that original music gets toned down to satisfy the demands of commerce, that it gets transformed from something different into something conformist. You may be able to use the market, but you have to have an idea who you are dealing with.

Don’t be fooled – the market is in a crisis. Records are selling badly, so on the one hand it’s screaming for new input constantly, on the other hand no one is prepared to risk anything that’s out of the ordinary. So what you get is endless recycling of things that were successful at one time – in the desperate attempt to make a few more bucks with the same old shit, or with watered down versions of what’s really going on.

This is possible only because they still manage to marginalise the radical alternatives. ‘Hardcore’ (of any sort) always (at least implicitly) says ‘no’ to the state of things, and is always pointing towards the future. This at least potentially bears a danger for the established order, because resisting the present bullshit and (re-)claiming your future is simply not what state and business want you to do.

Therefore we get prescribed this mixture of positivism and nostalgia, a lethal cocktail that permeates present day culture – and also supposed sub-culture. We get back to basics, Victorian Values, every decade of the century seems to have its different revivalists, may they consider themselves monarchists, fascists, communists etc, we get 50’s nostalgia (when capitalism, big cars and rock’n’roll were cool), 60’s nostalgia (when the world was full of colour), and different sorts of 70’s images get the recycling treatment, from glam to punk. Finally there are decidedly different forms of Archaic Revivals available dealing with times pre-historic and therefore easy to claim as records are scarce – in different forms by neo-hippies as well as the extreme right wing in Europe. The past is up for grabs, but it’s a completely fictional past everybody’s gaze is firmly fixed on. The propaganda machinery of late capitalism has indeed done a marvellous job discrediting the radical, futurist, utopian movements in recent history and the banning of ‘no’ has made it a citizens duty to be ‘positive’ in the face of grim realities. The result of this is a situation where criticism isn’t allowed, and at the same time a disgusting cynicism prevails.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn from history, look for useful ideas, check out all the heretic and utopian movements that have either been aborted in the course of time, or ideas thathave only been kept alive by small circles, but we have to do it without sentimentality.

It is the Reality Film that has to be recut, rewritten, redirected.Now. The transparency of the world, the terrorist seizing of truth and the body, the ‘indirect light’ of surveillance, the production of disaster (the disaster of production) rules.
Control needs the rulers of production who need to control.
Control must be destroyed.

This project is bound to fail if it stays within the confines of reason and order, it needs a utopian angle that refuses to escape into the past or virtuality. We won’t fall for false liberation because we know that behind the lies of scarcity (survival) lies an abundance of passions (life). Whatever technology we can get our hands on we shall use: to contaminate the networks of power, to short circuit Control, to create webworks of counter-intelligence and information. To amplify NOISE.
NOISE is what interferes with Control’s broadcast of pacification and programming, fear and oppression. Noise erupts when anyone takes their life in their own hands, when lovers touch, when people dance, or fight,.negating the madness of production, the ruling principle of western thought.

It is irreversible: “Once the cloud of lies … was pierced, myth was shattered, leaving a vacuum that could be filled only by a delirious freedom and a splendid poetry.”

Originally appeared in Praxis Newsletter 3, april 1994



Besides the above text (which is actually to be seen in the context of an ongoing controversy on “hardcore” and “violence” started with the first newsletter – and which along with the other newsletters will be documented on this site in the future), there were quite a few other pieces in this unusually large newsletter 3 (12 A5 pages). A section of news informing about the acquittal of Spiral Tribe, activities against the criminal justice act, and upcoming parties. A whole page of reviews of other free newsletters and “glorified flyers”, passages from “The Metasexual Manifesto” by Marco Vassi, a fax from Konig Theatre, Barcelona, on their “Sanctus Body-Space”, some reports on parties and reviews, a text by Flint Michigan on “Crowds and Power, the New Urban Noise column (featuring then-new releases by Caustic Visions, Inevitech, Philius, DJ Repete, SP23, Woody McBride, DJ Hyperactive, Euromasters, Jammin Unit and Atomu Shinzo!

On the back side of the newsletter was a text by the Association of Autonomous Astronauts on “Cluster Concepts”.

Distributed with the newsletter was a flyer of the next party of our friends from VFM, check out the line-up!


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