„David Wallraf’s Нет Войне is 20-minutes of insistent anarchist noise-dub, with the release’s title transliterating from Cyrillic to English as “NO WAR”. Opener ‚I Hate My Government and I Hate Your Government‘ presses go on drum machines that beat out a Kingston-by-way-of-Sheffield pulse, a steady march which wobbles through buzzing oscillator tones that mass overhead. From the Iron Works there emerges a loping bass groove, which is swallowed up in a haze of static; on the other side of the clag, it continues its march, careening unto the void. ‚Congagement‘ takes a step back from the brink and subsumes the steady metronomic pace of the assembly line, a waning crepuscular crescent in which radiophonics dance and a tidal force of noise wash ebbs against the mix at low water. In ‚Everything is Going According to Plan’ the emphasis shifts to consider the ideological absurdities of nationalistic fantasy which keep the war machine in motion. A dubbed-out groove emerges from a shrouded woodland; nocturnal reverberations, dewy synthesisers and stuttering echoes lead the glowering bassline back to the factory floor and the trance of machine rhythm. Insistent bleeps and discordant signals build themselves into uneven steeples of tone — multi-layered sonic ecologies, leaden with the necropolitics of the imperial war machine — before erupting in a spew of industrial clatter and buzz.
Produced in solidarity with the LGBTQ people of Ukraine, all proceeds from Нет Войне will be donated to Nash Svit, an organisation who for more than twenty years has documented violations of LGBTQ people in Ukraine and advocated for the protection of the rights and interests of the Ukrainian LGBTQ community. Just before the war, Nash Svit advocated for the criminalisation of hate crimes on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and the adoption of legislation on same-sex civil partnership. At the time of writing, Nash Svit note that the Ukrainian LGBTQ community is experiencing many of the same problems as the rest of the nation due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, though the organisation highlights that there are a number of specific and pressing issues affecting trans*people: “They may have problems with necessary medications and discrepancy of their documents to their appearance, especially when crossing the state border. In addition, Ukrainian society still remains quite homophobic and even more transphobic. In the current grave situation, many Ukrainian LGBTQ organisations are experiencing shortage of funding necessary to work and help the community”. Further information on the organisation and donations available here:
Crisis (as well as critique) stems from the old Greek κρίνειν (krínein), meaning „to distinguish, to differentiate” or “to separate”. The original meaning of apocalypse (ἀποκάλυψις) is „revelation, disclosure, unveiling”.
At least since the financial crisis of 2007-2008, crises have spread on a global level. Climate crisis, political crises, wars, refugee crises, pandemics etc. have become ubiquitous, are interlinked and seem to multiply by the month. If etymology is of any help in understanding the current situation, one could say that the concept of crisis is in crisis itself: if too many differentiations (between before and after, between ‘normal’ and ‘unprecedented’ etc.) happen at the same time, the terrain becomes unstable, confusing and seemingly undifferentiated. Crisis as something that forces a Kantian critique to its limits because reason is confronted with too many fault lines to distinguish between. The ‘new normal’ becomes its own ontology, leaving the old one behind, crisis becomes perpetual and tiresomely quotidian. When crisis becomes the mode of normalcy itself, something else happens: the gradual revealing of a different world we are all going to inhabit; apocalypse not as the end of the world itself but as the end of a certain way of living in this world, of viewing it, structuring it, giving it meaning and interacting with and within it. This apocalypse strikes hard in the places where a certain concept of ‘normalcy’ has been central for stabilizing the social, political and economical status quo (e.g. affluent, white, heteronormative etc.). The world (i.e. certain concepts of the world, ways of viewing and explaining it) is ending for sure, what is going to be unveiled will be the result of the struggles we are currently living through.
On July first I will perform live scores for two silent movies by Maya Deren: Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) and At Land (1944) at City 46 Kino in Bremen. Deren (*1917 in Kiev, Ukraine, † 1961 New York City) was an American director, film theorist, avantgarde dancer and expert on Haitian voodoo. Her unsettling early films bring a decidedly feminine perspective to the aesthetics of surrealist filmmaking, something I enjoy after last years score work for Un Chien Andalou by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali.
Tickets are 10,- € or 7,50 € reduced and can be bought from City 46. Recordings of the show will be made available here.
Inspired by Alvin Lucier’s 1969 audiopiece I Am Sitting In A Room from 1969. One minute recording of the ambience in the room that serves as my studio (third floor facing a street in Hamburg Wilhelmsburg, windows closed, on Sunday 6th of June 2022) that gets played back and rerecorded 30 times. The resonant frequencies of the room and the recording equipment are emphasized in the process. Street noises creep into the recording and are gradually homogenized, the resulting structure still bears rhythmical hints of the initial first 60 seconds. As the title suggests, no words are uttered during the recording.
Cutting Up Men, a five track limited edition CDr with individual covers is now available on my bandcamp account. Conceived as a critique of masculinity, this album refers to Wendy Carlos, Colette Peignot, Valerie Solanas and William Burroughs.
My tape album Subsongs is now out on Econore: 10 tracks in 38 minutes as a soundtrack for a movie that was never made. The post-dramatic plot revolves around the lucid-dark, a forged mythology of the Anthropocene, birds, unemployed negativity, and the ghosts of capitalism. Go here for a PDF with extended liner notes.
Matt Nauseous has written a review for these releases over at Clean Nice Quiet. “ […] 10 tracks of fascinating noise textures, complete with field recordings of birds. Very impressive and inspiring.“
„There’s something very peculiar about this album that goes beyond just haunting or unsettling. The best way I can describe it is that it sounds, un-human. Not as though it is attempting to be aggressive and boisterous, just subtly yet very consciously alien.“ (Subsongs review by Lars Haur – On The Fringes Of Sound)
Video from the show with Yuko Araki and Daisy Dickinson on December 5th. It’s always great to play at Stubnitz. The crew is super nice, they have a heart for leftfield music and noise, one of the best soundsystems in Hamburg and you always get video documentation of your set (nearly all my live videos were filmed at that place).