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Crass

Normal Never Was II

    Following XL Recordings honcho Richard Russell’s remix of ‘Bomb’ a few weeks back, the Crass ‘Feeding Of The Five Thousand’ remix project enters its next stage with a high-energy dancefloor deconstruction of ‘G’s Song’ by New York DJ, producer and promoter Johnny Dynell. Well known for his 1983 cult hit ‘Jam Hot’ (remixed and sampled many times over, most famously by Fatboy Slim and his group Beats International for ‘Dub Be Good To Me’ in 1990), Dynell has had a long and illustrious career in music with his roots in the 70s Downtown No Wave art-punk scene. Dynell’s connection and friendship with Crass goes back to those days when the anarchist punk icons played their only US gigs in 1978 in New York.

    ‘The 12” also includes a jarring, cut-up experimental remix of the band’s infamous ‘Banned From The Roxy’ worked on by electronic composer and video artist Charles Webber who, apart from his own extensive compositions, has for many years collaborated closely with Crass vocalist Eve Libertine on such works as the chamber opera ‘Room of Worlds’, an arrangement of Wilhelm Reich’s ‘Listen Little Man’ and the ‘Kernschmelze’ series devised by Crass founder Penny Rimbaud.

    Late last year Crass took the step of making the original separate track stems of their seminal debut album ‘The Feeding of the Five Thousand’ available as a free download. With a call to take the original sixteen track recording in its pre-mix state, the intent was for people to create their own remixes and interpretations and breathe fresh life and ideas into this revolutionary music.

    First released in 1978, ‘The Feeding of the Five Thousand’ pre-empted rap and grime in its hard-on-the-beat, fast fire, uncompromising lyrics and the iconic sounds and messages are ripe for reinterpretation. Crass encouraged people to rip apart the sound and ideas and create something new, then send the files to Crass Records for future releases and charitable projects. The message is DIY like it never was before. “Yours for the taking, yours for the making,” Crass said. “You do it, we’ll stew it. Mix it backwards, forwards and upside down. Turn up the heat and fix it with a downbeat, bring in the trumpets and let ‘em blow, let the piper call the tune to let us all know. It’s up to you to do what you like with it. The only limitation is your imagination.”

    All monies raised from the project will go to the charity ‘Refuge’ - http://www.refuge.org.uk who state:
    ‘Refuge is incredibly grateful to Crass and their team for helping raise vital funds for Refuge. Since the start of lockdown, Refuge has seen a 66% rise in demand for its Helpline, and a 950% rise in visits to its Helpline website. This shows the sheer extent of the need for specialist domestic abuse services – not just during lockdown but beyond. Every penny raised helps us to ensure that no woman or child is turned away from safety.
    ‘While lockdown itself doesn’t cause domestic abuse - abuse happens all year round - it does, of course, have the potential to aggravate pre-existing abusive behaviours – and the data we have shows us the increase in the need for our services during lockdown. Refuge worked incredibly hard at the beginning of the pandemic to make sure our services remained open and remained safe. The generous donations we have received, including those from Crass, mean we can continue to provide the life-saving and life-changing services that women experiencing domestic abuse need and deserve.’


    TRACK LISTING

    1. GSong (Johnny Dynell Remix)
    2. Banned (Charles Webber Remix)

    Mystery Jets

    A Billion Heartbeats

      All great albums start from a unique perspective. But try a window on the Strand, in an abandoned office block, overlooking the kind of political upheaval London hasn’t seen in a generation. Blaine Harrison was living as a property guardian right around the corner from Trafalgar Square when he found himself witness to an entire year of protests. Every weekend from January 2017 on, people were marching for a different cause: "In the space of six months it was Black Lives Matter, the huge ‘Our NHS’ march, Unite for Europe," he recalls. "Then the solidarity sleep-out organised by Help Refugees, where we slept in Whitehall for the night... The protestors would wake me up in the morning. I’d just walk down and join in.”

      Over the course of that year, Mystery Jets' sixth long-player, A Billion Heartbeats, was born. "This album wasn’t about making pointed opinions,” says Blaine. “It was about being a mirror for what’s going on, reflecting back the way people are feeling.” By turns tender and fierce, abstract and full of classic rock energy, A Billion Heartbeats achieves a balance of passion, fear and hope. Amid the colourful cavalcade of rich harmonies, heavy guitars and rallying cries, the album’s essential message - about personal responsibility, and the power in becoming engaged. In a sense, it's not just their "state of the nation” record but their “state of a generation” record too.

      We increasingly hear from musicians that music should be an escape these days - that there’s enough suffering in the world, enough misery on the news, without writings songs about it too. A Billion Heartbeats makes all that sound like a bit of a cop-out. These are songs of protest that get the heart racing in joy; high on hope, and serious in their message. Proof, basically, that music speaks louder than words.


      TRACK LISTING

      Disc 1
      Side A
      1. Screwdriver
      2. Petty Drone
      Side B
      1. History Has Its Eyes On You
      2. A Billion Heartbeats
      3. Endless City

      Disc 2
      Side A
      1. Hospital Radio
      2. Cenotaph
      Side B
      1. Campfire Song
      2. Watching Yourself Slowly Disappear
      3. Wrong Side Of The Tracks

      Iggy Pop

      Zombie Birdhouse

        Originally released on Animal Records in 1982 and produced by Chris Stein of Blondie, ‘Zombie Birdhouse’ is something of a lost classic.

        Produced by Chris Stein
        Remastered by Paschal Byrne at The Audio Archive, London
        Features the singles “Run Like A Villain” and ‘The Villagers”
        Sleeve Notes by Irvine Welsh
        Rare Photographs from the original photo shoot


        TRACK LISTING

        01: Run Like A Villain ( 3:01 )
        02: The Villagers ( 3:54 )
        03: Angry Hills ( 3:02 )
        04: Life Of Work ( 3:57 )
        05: The Ballad Of Cookie McBride ( 2:58 )
        06: Ordinary Bummer ( 2:43 )
        07: Eat Or Be Eaten ( 3:14 )
        08: Bulldozer ( 2:17 )
        09: Platonic ( 2:40 )
        10: The Horse Song ( 2:58 )
        11: Watching The News ( 4:11 )
        12: Street Crazies ( 3:54 )

        CD BONUS TRACK
        13: Pain And Suffering ( 2:58 )

        Iggy Pop

        The Villagers / Pain & Suffering

          Dark green 7” - the first time ‘Pain & Suffering’ has been on vinyl. Numbered. 


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