Friday 26 March 2021

Various Artists - The C.I.A. Tape - Conspiracy Of International Anarchists -1987- (Cassette, Bluurg Tapes), UK/Canada


The following information has been extracted from the Alternative Toronto website and the BlackDotMuseum blog and partially recombined:

The C.I.A. Tape was recorded live at the Fallout Shelter and Ildiko's, and features poetry and musical performances by Dick Lucas (of Subhumans), Mecca Normal, Nick Toczek, Rhythm Activism and Mourning Sickness.

The Fallout Shelter recordings are the Toronto postscript to the Black Wedge tour on September 5, 1987.

The Fallout Shelter was a "nuclear free" performance space and coffee house run by the peace organization A.C.T. for Disarmament on Harbord Street.

The Black Wedge was a tour of activist resistance culture organized by Jean Smith of the band Mecca Normal, which set out to "spread the word of how to combine poetry, music and politics and have a fun time doing it.” As Smith comments about the Black Wedge tour in his essay "Take Something You Care About and Make It Your Life": 

One step easier than punk! The Black Wedge is out to spread the word of how to combine poetry, music and politics and have a fun time doing it. Hardcore poems and shredding guitars, radical voices crushing sexism, militarism, poverty and conformity. The Black Wedge wants to set wild hearts and imaginations free, to release a riot of emotion–opening up a new arena for activist resistance culture.

At the beginning of 1986, Mecca Normal released their first LP on their own label, Smarten Up! Records. Soon thereafter, they flew to Montreal and hooked up with Rhythm Activism; another music duo dealing with social issues with a strong anti-authoritarian perspective. While the four stood around in the basement of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation building waiting to go live on air from coast to coast, they listened in on the segment prior to their timeslot–England’s Red Wedge was being featured. The Red Wedge was formed in the late 80's to support the Labour Party, they presented political ideas within a musical context and showcased musicians that encouraged people to vote Labour. The Black Wedge however, that came into existence that same night, would encourage people to reclaim their voices, to speak out against oppression rather than rely on electoral politics as a means to solve social problems. Answers were looked for elsewhere than e
xisting politics and against the establishment.

During the Black Wedge tour, through their lyrics or in between songs, the bands covered topics like sexism, disenfranchised citizens, poverty as well as other social issues which can be heard throughout the various songs of The C.I.A. Tape. A song like “Are you hungry Joe?” for example, includes a dialogue between Joe and someone that stands between him and the bag of groceries at a food bank, forcing Joe to argue why he needs food...

All tracks on The C.I.A. Tape were recorded live in Toronto. The tape was eventually published by Bluurg Tapes with the editing done in June '88 at T.A.S.C. Master Studios, Trinity & All Saint's College, in Leeds England.

"This tape is dedicated to all exceptionally oppressed people, but particularly to those whose entire lifestyle is being destroyed... Romany, Amerindian, Aborigine, and all other proud tribal people whose culture won't readily bow down before the all-consuming gods of western 'civilization,' social 'progress' and cash-culture.”

The original information for both Jean Smith’s essay and The C.I.A. Tape information can be retrieved from:

- Juan Vacas

This blogpost is a collaborative effort. Many thanks to: Juan Vacas (curation and assembling of text), Jon "Dietsociety" Kruithof and acab_in_1985 (SLSK) (providing rips and doing archival work). Editor: Bence.

Get it HERE

Sunday 7 March 2021

The Lost Attic WegWerpTapes (aka TLAWWT) - Self-Titled -1985- (LP, Self-Released), Netherlands

The Lost Attic was a Dutch experimental music and home-taping project by Berry Rikkerink (who sadly passed away around 2008) and in this case someone named Lupie from Groningen. Rikkerink also had the project Technological Aquiver and released different weird cassettes on his Wegwerptapes (throw-away tapes) label like Interprovinsjale Sweinen. He also had close ties to the Dutch home-taping group De Fabriek as well as some collaborations with Kapotte Muziek

The Groningen home-tapers were specially deranged in their approach when you hear their material and were also strongly embedded in the squatting scene of Groningen at the time. During the 80's the Dutch squatting scene played a hugely important role for the youth that lacked future perspectives in an ideologically divided grey and dark Europe. The Netherlands is a small country with too many people, meaning there is not enough space. It has a messed up social housing system and non-affordable rents, specially for young people. The squatting scene was built from the necessity to live. Ofcourse, as a result, it was always very politically engaged and even militant at times, and by doing so also succeeded in providing space for creative experimentation, art and lots of madness between the margins. For some people squatting saved their life, some people just sympathized with squatting while others only profited from it. Something that comes with any form of free space and inclusive and open projects in general. Many important modern cultural institutions and concert halls in The Netherlands once started as squats or have some ties with squatting starting already since the 60's, but this narrative has largely been wasted with time.

The Lost Attic WegWerpTapes is another important album of the Dutch home-taping network of the 80's. It was mastered by Nico Seelen aka O.R.D.U.C. and shows that tape music can also be pressed on vinyl, why not? It's a great example of experimental anti-music with electronic noises, casio keyboards, rastaman vibrations(!), improvised jam sessions, humor as well as a punk attitude not too happy about the Dutch monarchy (Trix Ga Naar Huis). A little bit of everything. Just some recordings on tapes, thrown away somewhere in a lost attic... A great record! It was re-released by De Fabriek during the 90's.

More info on Wegwerptapes and such is to be found in the vast archive of No Longer Forgotten Music.

Get it HERE