Text & Mix via Noisey
If there was any music that articulated the feelings of hatred towards Margaret Thatcher in the early 80s, it was anarcho-punk. Fiercely underground and independent from the rest of the music business, the genre was a grass roots movement that delivered on punk’s original promise to actually be politically threatening.
Over thirty years on, it’s stronger than ever, with more bands taking up the torch and citing anarcho-punk as an influence. Chris Low was there at the beginning, drumming for a number of the seminal acts while barely into his teens, with his current band, PART1, scheduled to make their first reformation show at Rebellion, the world’s largest punk festival, this summer. Following a year playing anarcho-punk DJ sets in Tokyo, Low’s compiled a monster mix of his favorite tunes and answered a few questions about the whole thing. Scroll to the bottom for the tracklist too.
INTERVIEW BY GAVIN MCINNES
PORTRAITS BY TODD JORDAN
Via The Heavy Mental
Back in 1969, an art student who called himself Penny Rimbaud was walking through the English countryside and discovered a 16th Century farm house. Where most would have continued walking, Rimbaud saw infinite possibilities. “This could be an anarchist collective art center,” he immediately thought, “where people from all over the world would come to exchange ideas.” “Then they’d go back home and start their own!” he yelled aloud.
Over the next few years he pieced together a band of other art school kids and they called themselves EXIT. Things were slow at first and Penny’s dreams looked like they may not make it much farther than Epping Forest where the house was located. Then a truant teenager named Steve Ignorant walked up the driveway and shortly after, the anarchist punk band Crass was formed. Unlike EXIT, Crass didn’t ostracize their audience by playing avant-garde noise. They played songs. And they weren’t just songs, they were empowering anthems about going your own way and never letting anyone tell you what to do. By the late 70s, the momentum was overwhelming. Pen’s best friend from art school Gee Vaucher moved back from New York and began to give the band a visual identity. Now Crass were a “thing” and Dial House was their headquarters. Their pranks garnered global media attention and had Margaret Thatcher denouncing them in parliament. Smart punks around the world who felt bored by fashionistas like the Sex Pistols and the Exploited, latched on to Crass’ intellectual revolution. I was one of those kids and we duplicated the Crass graffiti stencils from the records so we could cover our own streets with the words “THERE IS NO AUTHORITY BUT YOURSELF.” They weren’t just a band. They were the brains of punk and provided the foundation for the modern anarchist movement. It’s hard to imagine Occupy without Crass. In fact, it’s hard to imaging a lot of teenage punk rebellion without Crass.
It’s been a quarter of a century since the band disbanded but Dial House is still regularly attended by anarchists and outcasts seeking to change their own environments. It’s been over 40 years since Penny had his epiphany on that hill in Essex and despite it all, it’s still happening. That’s because, no matter what you say about Penny and Gee (yes, she still lives there) they walk the walk. The band has come and gone but the ethos of Dial House has never faltered. That’s why, at 70-years-old, Rimbaud is finalizing a plan to continue the culture of Dial House after he’s gone. He recently had an art show at New York’s Boo Hooray to sell a collection of his drawings in order to pay off the remaining debt on the home and convert the entire estate into a trust that will continue to do what it’s been doing since he found it. It will remain a place where people come to exchange ideas, forever. I’ve gotten to know Penny quite well over the years and visit Dial House with my kids regularly. I always come back feeling refreshed and inspired. The kids say, “It’s magic there.”
Penny Rimbaud: I’d like to point out that the above ‘history’ is fairly inaccurate on several levels, but as it seems to be a rather nicely put together little piece, I’m not going to spend time correcting it. Everyone has their own version of events, and the above one is most decidedly Gavin’s, which is fine by me.
So here is a new video from COLD CAVE’s A Little Death To Laugh 7″ that came out in September. Their new 7″ Oceans With No End, which is coming out on Deathwish Inc., can be pre-ordered HERE! In the meantime, check out the new COLD CAVE video entitled “A Little Death To Laugh” after the jump! This visual was filmed by Amy Lee.
I loved the world before MTV, before they tried to co-opt the underground! In the early 80′s, weirdos found their kindred spirits on late night TV. In Los Angeles, we had New Wave Theater that was hosted by the late Peter Ivers. He championed the sonic freak circus while other media outlets wanted to have us committed. New Wave Theater was the show that we could watch to see the Circle Jerks, 45 Grave, Angry Samoans, Snake Finger, Fear, Castration Squad, Legal Weapon and UXA. Keep in mind, this was before the first real music video had been made, so these performances were our music videos. I didn’t realize when I was younger but this show also served as a visual time capsule for future generations to look at. Honestly we didn’t like every band that was on the show, but we knew we watching something special. Peter Ivers’ passion for what he was doing was evident. I know when I watch Gun Club blazing through “Fire Spirit” I get chills. If any older heads read this post, make sure to let us know if you watched this show…Today CVLT Nation salutes New Wave Theater and Peter Ivers for giving a fuck when no one else would! Now check out this spazzadelic video essay featuring some of my favorite bands!
COLD CAVE has a new EP entitled Oceans With No End in the works that will be released via Deathwish Inc.in the very near future. Personally, I really like the title track and can’t stop listening to it. No wonder so many people dig this band! COLD CAVE has put up their new song “Oceans With No End” for the world to hear – check it out below!
The Chameleons are a band i play when i want to fell happy or think about being obsessed with British Post Punk. When i hear their song Up the Down Escalator I can not help but fucking smile. Something about the The Chameleons tunes make me feel like this powerful being running through super high grass with the sun beaming down on to me. Mark Burgess and his crew knew how to write songs that have stood the test of time. The Chameleons seemed to put music over fashion which i always had respect for.Today CVLT Nation would like to salute a great British band The Chameleons with a huge live video essay…So after the jump check out return of the roughnecks and step back in time!
I do believe in magic and I do believe in the power of the COCTEAU TWINS! Elizabeth & Robbie changed my live with ethereal sonic ear candy that still sounds new to this very day. How would I describe the COCTEAU TWINS? Pure fucking ecstasy would not even do them justice. The Tishbites DVD came out in 2004 and is full of awesome promo videos from the COCTEAU TWINS. If you are fan, this is a must-see because all of your favorite songs in video form is a visual winner! So after the jump, come with CVLT Nation as we salute the TWINS and watch over an hour of fantastic songs!
When I first heard Joy Division, the streets of San Francisco never looked the same. I spent a week listening to this band nonstop, thinking to myself, why did Ian have to take his life? That’s the real fucked up thing about suicide – it’s so final, there is no coming back! When I look into Curtis’s eyes, I can see the problems of humanity in his vision. He’s dead, but his lyrics and voice will be heard for generations to come. Being the nerd I am, I found CVLT Nation’s favorite tumblr this moment, called Fuck Yeah Ian Curtis…It’s filled with all sorts of pictures and info about the Joy Division frontman. So after the jump, check out this huge Ian Curtis photo gallery…Shadowplay into a new day…
I’m not even going to write that much, just know that right here and now, you can download a full set of EMBRACE & RITES OF SPRING, recorded live in 1985 in Bethesda, MD. I will say this – if you are a EMBRACE & RITES OF SPRING fan, get this, blast it ultra loud and ride some gnarly waves of emotion!!!…
Download links after the jump!