Saturday, October 02, 2010

Alien Underground

Over at Datacide, Christoph has been publishing texts from Alien Underground, a great zine published in South London in 1994/95 offerin 'techno theory for juvenile delinquents'. Two issues were published before the project morphed into Datacide, still going strong albeit with a somewhat irregular publishing schedule.

Highlights include interviews with Digital Hardcore Recordings, Mille Plateaux and Sadie Plant (by Matt Fuller), Flint Michigan on the Critical Arts Ensemble, and an article on the anti-rave Criminal Justice Bill.

Reading these made me nostalgic for that scene, encompassing Dead by Dawn in Brixton, squat parties, the Association of Autonomous Astronauts, anti-CJB demonstrations and all round techno-optimism - with a combination of Deleuze & Guattari and very fast and loud beats seeming to offer a new radical line of flight from capitalism. In those days I seriously thought I would never listen to a guitar again! Well maybe it wasn't sufficient basis on its own for a 21st century radical movement, but it certainly created some interesting situations and opened up new possibilities, some of which are still being played out (in all senses of the phrase).

There's a couple of old pieces from me: a report of a London History Workshop meeting on jazz culture: 'The powers restricting “raves” in the Criminal Justice Act are not the first authoritarian response to a dance-based culture. The association of popular dancing with sex, intoxication, and black people has made it an object of moralist suspicion at various times in history. It was the jazz dance craze which swept across much of the west that was the source of both pleasure and panic in the 1920s'; and a review of the book Microphone Fiends: '"Underground” nights in expensive clubs and “underground” compilations on major record labels might be bullshit, but loads of people taking over empty buildings and creating free or very cheap space for parties on their own terms is a real alternative to the commodity culture industry. And when sound systems become the focus for a serious showdown with the cops in central London, as happened on October 9th [anti-CJB demonstration], it is clear we are no longer just talking about empty gestures of fake rebellion'.

Yup, I've been repeating myself for at least 15 years, but hey, once you've got your schtick why change it?

No comments: