Sunday, October 07, 2007

More Dead by Dawn

Some more on Brixton mid-90s speedcore night, Dead by Dawn, following my previous post.

John Eden has pointed me in the direction of Controlled Weirdness's Unearthly Records site, where there are some more Dead by Dawn flyers - from where I sourced the following:

A short history of Dead by Dawn (Praxis Newsletter, August 1994)

'We would like to set the facts straight for those Cultural Studies students who intend to write their dissertations about us. This is our story so far.

A chance meeting on Blackfriars Bridge between a member of the Praxis DJ team and a senior executive of the 121 Centre Management Committee, revealed a shared interest in the dark secrets of Freemasonry (top Vatican banker Roberto Calvi was found hanged beneath Blackfriars Bridge in 1984, £23 grand in various currencies stuffed in his pockets, believed to have been a victim of the forces of Masonic mind control).

Well anyway, a subsequent chat over chips and beans revealed that these rogues had far more in common than just an unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theory. They both felt a desparate need to wreak havoc on the jaded and boring London club scene. Soon plans were afoot to do a once-a-month techno all-nighter at the 121 Centre in Brixton, to create an experience that would reflect the energy and experimentation of the music they both so dearly loved.

The idea is so simple, but very effective. An evening of noises that assault the mind and body, kicking off with a talk/discussion for the party-goers to digest and then the hardest, fastest, weirdest techno available on vinyl, mixed together, at no expense spared, by the wickedest DJs in London.

Also supplied for spiritual refreshment during the evening is an electronic disturbance zone and anti-ambient space. Records, zines, free information and other weapons are available and a cheap bar for people to blow their giros on.

So what have the talks been about? Well, so far we've had - Advance Party and Squash giving detailed information about the Government's plans for universal conformity with their Criminal Justice Bill and its attacks on ravers and squatters; the London Psychogeographical Association explaining how chaos theory is a ruling class conspiracy; the Lesbian and Gay Freedom Movement discussing what sex would be like in an anarchist society; the editors of Underground, the London-based filthy free newspaper for the demolition of serious culture, demonstrating the possibilities of electronic art, encouraging us to make love to computers and conceive an army of bastard cyborgs, as well as revealing plans for the transmission of strange signals on the Fast Breeder computer bulletin board; and an evening with Stewart Home, chatting about his life, work, techniques for psychological warfare on the ruling class and why he wants to smash the literary establishment.

So this project continues: Dead by Dawn on the first Saturday of the month, operating beneath the underground, inciting the invisible insurrection of a million minds.

John has also gone to the trouble of digitalising some sections from the Dead by Dawn album, released on vinyl at the 23rd and final party in 1996. As well as tracks by various people who played at DbD, the album includes short recordings of people chatting at the parties and other background noise (as well as someone talking about DbD on a London pirate station). This makes it quite a unique audio document - it's rare for there to be any record of the conversations people have in clubs, in all their stoned/intense glory. Check it out: Download Dead by Dawn samples (MP3)

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