Reviews 23/09/00


Apeman #6

Looks like yet another one of those magazines that is trying to sneak into the mainstream in a bit of a hip-hop bit of an arty fashion sort of way. It's actually a LOT better than that. Some cool attitude and graphics. Also gets a big thumbs up because about half of it is about the Waterhouse area of Kingston Jamaica. Sort of dub psychogeography with King Tubby, Jammy, Junior Reid and Halfpint all getting a look in. Some cool anecdotes, but you probably wouldn't choose to start here if you are a novice. Also great features on the Ford Cortina as icon, Tito Puente overview, plus Company Flow, Bronx Dogs, etc. Well worth a look and I'm looking forward to more!


No address given, but £3.00 from Dub Vendor or the Last Chance Saloon.


Anamorphosis: Stewart Home, Searchlight and the Plot to Destroy Civilisation - by "Larry O'Hara" and Friends

The latest installment in Stewart Home's increasingly eccentric pamphlets. Anamorphosis is that thing where you look at a painting from a different angle and a completely different image is revealed. As the bulk of the booklet concerns the feuds for which Stewart has become famous, this is perhaps an apt title. There's a whole lot of "fiction" about the activities of everyone's favourite "independent anti-fascist researcher", plus a letter from him and others to Green Anarchist complaining about their loony fascistic "Irrationalists" diatribe (support for Aum-style sarin attacks and the Oklahoma bombing).

There's also a welcome transcript of Stewart's lecture at the Fortean Times Unconvention about mind control and the failure of Green Anarchist to mount their picket against him there. "Death in June Not Mysterious" gets another outing, along with a special offer to receive Home's dossier on Tony Wakeford. Plus an interview and some reprinted reportage on the key players in the neoist network. Nothing earth-shattering (unless you're featured in it!) but a good addition to your bedside table anyhow.

£3.75 from Sabotage Editions, BM Senior, London WC1N 3XX, UK.


Morgenmuffel #6 & #7

Top comics from Isy down in Brighton. Wicked subject material - cooking, riots, autobiog stuff. Some very wry observations about the scene she is in, too. Issue 6 has a good strip on N30/Seattle, a great page of stoopid lyrics she likes, plus articles on Prisoner Support and "Situations I Hate". 7 is mostly focussed on the autobiographical, but also has strips on working class hero Harry Cowley, Euro 2000 and the Earth First gathering. Plus "People I Hate" and a review of "The Enemy is Middle Class". Thoroughly recommended - spikey but compassionate. Everything that a zine should be. Keep it up! Please! I need my print-fix!

About 2 or 3 1st class stamps per issue (plus chocolate, tapes, beer, etc) to: Box B, 21 Little Preston Street, Brighton, BN1 2HQ





Jah Vengeance - No Light (Full Watts 7")

Heyyyyyy! This is the follow up to the absolutely devastating "Kill or Be Killed" by Bloodclaat Gangsta Youth (i.e. the best record so far of the Millennium - Official!). Reggae vocals submerged under washes of deftly manipulated noise, topped off with a righteous rudebwoy beat - half rhythm, half ammunition. This is perhaps less full on than the label's pummelling debut, but it certainly wakes you up all the same. The A-side ends with a mental ascension that reminds me of that Non track on "Blood and Flame" that gets faster and faster. If anything the 'Version' side is even better - shimmering distortion dubbed to buggery. Forward Full Watts!




The Best of Radio Savage Houndy Beastie double CD
Radio Savage Houndy Beastie - The Spring Collection 2000 CD

OK, who the FUCK let THESE PEOPLE loose in a Radio Station? Completely barmy CD retrospectives of Leeds-based early "morning" (i.e. when you and me are normally asleep) community radio show of the same name. Some genuine roll around on the floor with eyes streaming comedy moments (language tapes subverted), some very astutely put together collages ("Lighten Up With Eleanor Rigby" pieces together some ludicrously upbeat cheesy-listening versions of the existensialist classic), plus shamefacedly ripped off music (Massive Attack, Get Carter, and lots more for you spotters), and even some audience phone-ins ("Why are you still awake? Are you wankered on Drugs?").

Occassionally slips into quoterama student humour, but is generally a damn fine, nay ESSENTIAL listen. If you enjoyed the Godhaven zine, then you're going to bloody well love these little beauties. Merrick, Gyrus, Mahalia and Phagus are all present and correct, with some new blood to keep things swilling about.

Merrick tells me "They're 3quid for Spring Collection and a fiver for the Beast Of, plus 50p PandP, from the Godhaven Ink address (Godhaven c/o Rooted Media, The Cardigan Centre, 145-149 Cardigan Road, Leeds LS6 1LJ). Cheques payable to Godhaven Ink and drawn on a UK bank account. Outside the UK they're 10 and 15 USdollars repectively, post paid. Dollars in CASH notes only, sent @ owners risk."

So there you go.

Jah Shaka - Dingwalls 17th October 2000

Camden is an unusual venue for Jah Shaka and his soundsystem - he seems more at home in venues like school halls, recreation centres and deep deep south London. This was reflected in the audience, which included a number of Camden trendy teenagers in skintight jeans as well as the usual rasta/clapped-out old raver/dub-obsessive-in-dodgy-knitwear contingent. All for the good though - take the music to the people! The gig was also atypical from the perspective that it kicked off at 9 and finished at 3, in stark contrast to the usual all-night and early morning vibes.

Shaka's style was more song-based and less uncompromising than when I last saw him (at the Essential Festival) and the sound, whilst bloody loud and overdriven, was less dense than Abashanti-I's. The bass was rougher and didn't do that all consuming rib cage rattle that you get so addicted to. However, as was pointed out to one of our number by a suitably militant rasta - we were not there to judge.

The sound and the spaces between the tracks allowed for conversation to flow freely. We agreed that, even though it was a total cliché, we'd now successfully reached the age where we're allowed to mutter about all this new-fangled techno nonsense being a poor cousin to dub reggae anyway. Other ramblings included a non-euclidean look at ellipses and circles, and the role of bass being the conjunction of rhythm and melody. Standard pissed up bollocks, basically, and quite right too.

The only song I recognised all night was a DJ cut of "Mandela" by the Abyssinians. Marvelous stuff, but as with all the waves in Shaka's ocean of dubplates - never to be repeated.

The crowd got on down and the usual reverent silence was replaced by some whooping and shouting at the selections. One of us was a suitably unselfconscious New Zealander who distinguished himself by jumping up and down and shouting "bring that beat back" a la Public Enemy and demanding "more bass!" - good on him. This was hilariously echoed by another member of the crowd who requested "more mixing!" - presumably being unaware of Shaka's one record deck set up… Also lots of faux Ali-G raggamuffin chants from the Surrey-massive. Embarrassing, but kind of endearing as well.

Vocal cuts were followed by some great chanting from the MC over the dubs. The fresh-faced young 'uns thinned out as the night wore on, while the hardcore Shaka-ites increased in number. A posse of really cool Sikhs showed up at some point and rocked out. You got the feeling that Shaka was holding back the good stuff as a reward for those who stood their ground. The lights went on at 3:00am after a blistering Johnny Clarke cut. Shaka played on, dancing and gesticulating in what can only be described as a shamanic fashion at his picture of Haile Selassie. Spooky.


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