Feb 15, 2017

RhoDeo 1707 Aetix

Hello, what a Valentines day Paris the city of love trashed Barcelona 4-0 , unheard of but absolutely deserved win, which couldn't be said of Benfica who defended at home and were witnessing Borrusia Dortmund miss chance after chance only to see a rare corner score them a 1-0 victory.

Today's artists issued a blitz of records that were ruthless in both their unrelenting sociopolitical screeds and their amelodic crash of noise. The horrors of war, the arbitrary nature of legal justice, sexism, media imagery, organized religion, the flaws of the punk movement itself -- all were subjected to harsh critique. Like few other rock bands before or since, Crass took rock-as-agent-of-social-and-political-change seriously, and not just in their music. In addition to putting out their own fiercely independent records (though the majors were certainly not knocking at their door), they also formed an anarchist commune that worked with other artists and labels, and on the behalf of various political causes. Here are the brittlest and most hard-line radical of the first wave of British punk bands.........N'Joy

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Crass were an English art collective and punk rock band formed in 1977 which promoted anarchism as a political ideology, a way of life and a resistance movement. Crass popularised the anarcho-punk movement of the punk subculture, advocating direct action, animal rights, feminism and environmentalism. The band used and advocated a DIY punk ethic approach to its sound collages, leaflets, albums and films. Crass spray-painted stencilled graffiti messages in the London Underground system and on advertising billboards, coordinated squats and organised political action. The band expressed its ideals by dressing in black, military-surplus-style clothing and using a stage backdrop amalgamating icons of perceived authority such as the Christian cross, the swastika, the Union Jack and the ouroboros. The band was critical of punk subculture and youth culture in general. Crass promoted an anarchism which became more common in the punk-music scene. They are considered art punk in their use of tape collages, graphics, spoken word releases, poetry and improvisation.

The band was based around Dial House, an open-house community near Epping, Essex, and formed when Dial House founder Penny Rimbaud began jamming with Steve Ignorant (who was staying in the house at the time). Ignorant was inspired to form a band after seeing The Clash perform at Colston Hall in Bristol, whilst Rimbaud, a veteran of avant garde performance art groups such as EXIT and Ceres Confusion, was working on his book Reality Asylum. They produced "So What?" and "Do They Owe Us A Living?" as a drum-and-vocal duo. They briefly called themselves Stormtrooper before choosing Crass in reference to a line in the David Bowie song "Ziggy Stardust" ("The kids was just crass").

Other friends and household members joined (including Gee Vaucher, Pete Wright, N. A. Palmer and Steve Herman), and Crass played their first live gig at a squatted street festival in Huntley Street, North London. They planned to play five songs, but a neighbour "pulled the plug" after three. Guitarist Steve Herman left the band soon afterwards, and was replaced by Phil Clancey, aka Phil Free. Joy De Vivre and Eve Libertine also joined around this time. Other early Crass performances included a four-date tour of New York City, a festival gig in Covent Garden and regular appearances with the U.K. Subs at The White Lion, Putney and Action Space in central London. The latter performances were often poorly attended: "The audience consisted mostly of us when the Subs played and the Subs when we played".

Crass played two gigs at the Roxy Club in Covent Garden, London. According to Rimbaud, the band arrived drunk at the second show and were ejected from the stage; this inspired their song, "Banned from the Roxy", and Rimbaud's essay for Crass' self-published magazine International Anthem, "Crass at the Roxy". After the incident the band took themselves more seriously, avoiding alcohol and cannabis before shows and wearing black, military surplus-style clothing on and offstage. They introduced their stage backdrop, a logo designed by Rimbaud's friend Dave King. This gave the band a militaristic image, which led to accusations of fascism. Crass countered that their uniform appearance was intended to be a statement against the "cult of personality", so (in contrast to many rock bands) no member would be identified as the "leader".

Conceived and intended as cover artwork for a self-published pamphlet version of Rimbaud's Christ's Reality Asylum the Crass logo was an amalgam of several "icons of authority" including the Christian cross, the swastika, the Union Jack and a two-headed Ouroboros (symbolising the idea that power will eventually destroy itself). Using such deliberately mixed messages was part of Crass' strategy of presenting themselves as a "barrage of contradictions", challenging audiences to (in Rimbaud's words) "make your own fucking minds up". This included using loud, aggressive music to promote a pacifist message, a reference to their Dadaist, performance-art backgrounds and situationist ideas.

The band eschewed elaborate stage lighting during live sets, preferring to play under 40-watt household light bulbs; the technical difficulties of filming under such lighting conditions partly explains why there is little live footage of Crass. They pioneered multimedia presentation, using video technology (back-projected films and video collages by Mick Duffield and Gee Vaucher) to enhance their performances, and also distributed leaflets and handouts explaining anarchist ideas to their audiences.

Crass' first release was The Feeding of the 5000 (an 18-track, 12" 45 rpm EP on the Small Wonder label) in 1978. Workers at the record-pressing plant refused to handle it due to the allegedly blasphemous content of the song "Asylum", and the record was released without it. In its place were two minutes of silence, entitled "The Sound of Free Speech". This incident prompted Crass to set up their own independent record label, Crass Records, to prevent Small Wonder from being placed in a compromising position and to retain editorial control over their material. A re-recorded, extended version of "Asylum", renamed "Reality Asylum", was shortly afterwards released on Crass Records as a 7" single and Crass were investigated by the police due to the song's lyrics. The band were interviewed at their Dial House home by Scotland Yard's vice squad, and threatened with prosecution; however, the case was dropped. "Reality Asylum" retailed at 45p (when most other singles cost about 90p), and was the first example of Crass' "pay no more than..." policy: issuing records as inexpensively as possible. The band failed to factor value added tax into their expenses, causing them to lose money on every copy sold. A year later Crass Records released new pressings of "The Feeding of the 5000" (subtitled "The Second Sitting"), restoring the original version of "Asylum".

In 1979 the band released their second album (Stations of the Crass), financed with a loan from Poison Girls, a band with whom they regularly appeared. This was a double album, with three sides of new material and a fourth side recorded live at the Pied Bull in Islington. The next Crass single, 1980's "Bloody Revolutions", was a benefit release with Poison Girls which raised £20,000 to fund the Wapping Autonomy Centre. Crass released their third album, Penis Envy, in 1981. This marked a departure from the hardcore-punk image The Feeding of the 5000 and Stations of the Crass had given the group. It featured more-complex musical arrangements and female vocals by Eve Libertine and Joy De Vivre (singer Steve Ignorant was credited as "not on this recording"). The album addressed feminist issues, attacking marriage and sexual repression.

The last track on Penis Envy, a parody of an MOR love song entitled "Our Wedding", was made available as a white flexi disc to readers of Loving, a teenage romance magazine. Crass tricked the magazine into offering the disc, posing as "Creative Recording And Sound Services". Loving accepted the offer, telling their readers that the free Crass flexi would make "your wedding day just that bit extra special". A tabloid controversy resulted when the hoax was exposed, with the News of the World stating that the title of the flexi's originating album was "too obscene to print". Despite Loving's annoyance, Crass had broken no laws. The album was banned by the retailer HMV, and in 1984 copies of the album were seized from the Eastern Bloc record shop by Greater Manchester Police under the direction of Chief Constable James Anderton. The shop owners were charged with displaying "obscene articles for publication for gain". The judge ruled against Crass in the ensuing court case, although the decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal (except the lyrics to one song, "Bata Motel", which were upheld as "sexually provocative and obscene").

more next week...

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Perhaps the most uncompromising early British punk record, though a long way from the best. This is far more interesting for its form than its content; super-brief, incoherent rants over pummeling drums and incomprehensible vocals were made into a hardcore cliché by the early '80s, but were impossibly radical and noisy in 1978. If you're at all left-of-center, you can find a good deal to sympathize with in the lyrics, addressing class warfare, social hypocrisy, organized religion, and punk rock itself with serious venom. It's not without humor at times, either, as on the famous chorus, "Do they owe us a living? Of course they f*cking do!" (A lyric sheet, always an essential item for Crass releases, is provided.) But the melodic and textural qualities of the record, not to mention the throat-full-of-vomit vocals, are so unrelentingly harsh and monotonous that it's difficult to imagine anybody playing this for pleasure. With a band such as this, that might indeed be the point, but it doesn't make for lasting art. The most enduring piece, actually, had relatively little to do with traditional punk rock: On "Asylum," the spoken female voice delivers a vitriolic attack on Christianity over disquieting guitar feedback

Crass - The Feeding of the 5000   (flac  500mb)

01 Asylum (Voc Eve Libertine) 2:05
02 Do They Owe Us A Living ? 1:24
03 End Result 2:04
04 They've Got A Bomb 3:48
05 Punk Is Dead 1:48
06 Reject Of Society 1:07
07 General Bacardi 1:01
08 Banned From The Roxy 2:14
09 G's Song 0:35
10 Fight War Not Wars 0:34
11 Women (Voc Joy de Vivre) 1:14
12 Securicor 2:25
13 Sucks 1:44
14 You Pay 1:45
15 Angels 2:08
16 What A Shame 1:10
17 So What? 3:04
18 Well, Do They? 1:26
Ignorant & Rimbaud In Duo [Stormpooper]
19 Do They Owe Us A Living? 5:43
20 Blackburn Rovers - Thread Track 0:57
Crass In Soho
21 Heartbeat Of The Mortuary 1:45
22 Do They Owe Us A Living? 2:17
23 Demolition 1:55
24 I Don't Like It 5:03
25 Pissedorf - Thread Track 1:05
Crass In Demo
26 End Result 2:48
27 G's Song 0:42
28 General Bacardi 1:08
29 Securicor 1:55
30 Angela Rippon 1:04
31 Major General Despair 1:20
32 Do They Owe Us A Living? 1:45
33 Punk Is Dead 4:34
34 Come To Southern Studios - Run Out Track 0:20

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"They said that we were trash/Well the name is Crass, not Clash." So goes the opening of the coruscating "White Punks on Hope," and with Stations Crass takes things to an even more vicious level than on Feeding. The opening yelps and screams from Ignorant on "Mother Earth" over a slow-building burn show that there was already much more to Crass than simple crash and bash punk, and with the rest of the album the collective moves between full-on assault and an ever increasing agit-snarl experimentation. Originally released as two vinyl discs, the conclusion of the second consists of a live show in Islington the summer of 1979, with the band tearing through new and old cuts with passion, including such fierce anthems as "Do They Owe Us a Living?" and "Shaved Women." The studio tracks, including versions of some cuts from the live show, all come from a one-day session four days after the concert, and while some tracks are almost fragments, surprisingly things aren't as constantly monochrome or as rushed as one might think. Whether stripping things down to dub-tinged bass, drums, and repetitive guitar snarls or blends of staccato rhythms and found-sound noise (or even, on "Walls," trying a bit of disco), Crass creates a unique brand of fierce, inspirational music. Libertine and De Vivre make impressive cameos alongside Ignorant's lead vocals, making the perfect argument through performance that passion trumps technical skill when the chips are down. The sheer amount of issue tackling and blunt speaking throughout ranges from political statements of purpose over every aspect of the status quo to relentless self-examination. One running attack against the band was always that their words were better read than listened to, but hearing the seething hatred projected by Ignorant on "Big Man, Big M.A.N." is enough to convince one otherwise. One of the funniest tracks is the vivisection of music press figure Garry Bushell, "Hurry Up Garry," which uncannily predicts his eventual descent into right-wing tabloid idiocy.

Crass - Stations of the Crass (flac 503mb)

01 Mother Earth 4:11
02 White Punks On Hope 2:22
03 You've Got Big Hands 1:42
04 Darling 1:56
05 System 0:56
06 Big Man, Big M.A.N. 2:46
07 Hurry Up Garry 1:11
08 Fun Going On 2:16
09 Crutch Of Society 1:52
10 Heard Too Much About 1:08
11 Chairman Of The Bored 1:18
12 Tired 3:19
13 Walls 2:59
14 Upright Citizen 3:15
15 The Gasman Cometh 3:17
16 Demoncrats 3:20
17 Contaminational Power 2:01
18 Time Out 2:16
19 I Ain't Thick, It's Just A Trick 4:24
20 Outro Poem 1:20
Live At The Pied Ball. Islington. London. 7th August 1979
21 System / Big Man Big M.A.N / Banned From The Roxy / Hurry Up Garry / Time Out / They've Got A Bomb / Fight War Not Wars 12:51
22 Women / Shaved Women / You Pay / Heard Too Much About 7:10
23 Angels / What A Shame / So What / G's Song 7:19
24 Do They Owe Us A Living? 2:05
25 Punk Is Dead 1:56

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Libertine takes the lead vocals throughout Crass' third album (the one exception being de Vivre's turn on the unnerving portrayal of hospitals and waiting for death, "Health Surface"). A powerful and challenging record, Penis Envy uses the brutal, cruel description of sexism and rape on the opening track, "Bata Motel," as a launching point for a comprehensive rip through societal control and repression throughout. Smart enough to target everything from the mechanics and business of selling romance ("Smother Love") to gender stereotyping ("Systematic Death") and back again, lyrically the sharpest cut is toward those who choose to accept such a system rather than reacting back against it. Libertine's delivery places her as one of punk and post-punk's most distinct vocalists; if her atypical approach to singing has parallels to everyone from Poly Styrene to Pauline Murray, she consciously avoids sugaring the pill as the album continues on its way. One of her finest moments comes on "Where Next Columbus," a smart, blackly humorous riff on notions of discovery and control, on every level from economic and political to personal and back again. If immediate musical variety isn't as evident on Penis Envy as on Stations of the Crass' studio cuts, more than a few twists and turns are evident. There's the sudden burst of noise and layered series of voices on the environmental lament "What the Fuck," the nervous crawl into aggro charge on "Poison in a Pretty Pill," even a pretty little guitar figure to start off "Berkertex Bride." Phil Free's lead guitar work is especially effective, often a trebly white sheet of electric aggression, while Penny Rimbaud's drumming gets more varied and interesting as well. Crass' always blunt cover art reaches new but gut-wrenching heights as well, featuring a prepackaged sex doll on the front and gutted pigs on the back. The conceptual effort closes with "Our Wedding," an intentionally sappy romantic number done for a mainstream magazine as a prank.

Crass - Penis Envy (flac 299mb)

01 Bata Motel 3:31
02 Systematic Death 3:57
03 Poison In A Pretty Pill 3:36
04 What The Fuck? 6:45
05 Where Next Columbus? 3:10
06 Berkertex Bribe 3:19
07 Smother Love 1:45
08 Health Surface 3:28
09 Dry Weather 3:04
10 Our Wedding 2:03
Peel Session 7"
11 G's Song
12 Mother Earth
13 Tired
14 Shaved Women
15 Fight War Not Wars
16 Bomb

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Anonymous said...

more penis envy, not for me but my wife!!!!

Anonymous said...

hi, somere-ups for Crass or not?
please, regards, Jm from France