Obscurantisme Terroriste


A Column

“He writes so obscurely you can’t tell what he’s saying, that’s the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, ‘You didn’t understand me; you’re an idiot.’ That’s the terrorism part” –  Michel Foucault on Jacques Derrida

Philosophy helps us to make the future seem different from the past, by providing new means of description for social or political events. In surreality, nothing really changes. Philosophers redescribe situations, objects, events and trends in partially neologistic jargon, in the hope of inciting people to adopt and extend said jargon. Redescription, rather than argument, is seemingly the only appropriate method of criticizing an existing vocabulary.

Philosophers are not the only ones at it, post-Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov, the hypernormalisation of redescription is endemic across the culture of capitalist surrealism. The Foucault quote above could easily refer to the divisive ramblings of any given Conservative representative. None of it makes any ideological sense, most of it makes no literal sense, and a great deal of it makes little grammatical sense either. The nonchalance with which this disinformation is delivered only serves to add insult to injury. They are sneering at us, we know it, yet still we do nothing.

Over the course of the past month, the right wing UK mainstream press have rabidly upped the ante in their relentless bid to culturally assassinate Jeremy Corbyn. Terms such as Kafkaesque, Orwellian and dystopian begin to take on new connotations with every bulletin. Hidden in plain sight. No one seems to blink an eyelid at these narratives full of holes. We just stare right through them, and order another latte. It’s getting harder by the day to discern reality from surreality, news from fake news, human beings from automatons. When they kick at your front door, how you going to come?


Rebellious Jukebox, yeah!

Musicality remains the only bone fide route of escape from all this madness. The pressure sounds of dropping the volume of consistency in these pages challenges all concepts of continuity. A fresh formation, a dubwise intervention, contemplation for the nation. Rewind. Start all over again.

Killer roots 12″, repressed with a repro sleeve/label of the original issue. Heavyweight vocals, roots rhythms, early eighties magnificence with added extra dub not on the original 12″:


Reconfigured for your rewind renewal, 6-tracks culled from Rolando & Jerry‘s three Wackie’s albums, neatly corralled into one all-killer-no-filler EP. Housed in a hand silkscreened disco jacket: wicked rhythms, strident horns, essential instrumental dubwise selection.


Absolutely dominant plate, recorded at Bullwackies studio just weeks apart from Horace Andy’s ‘Dance Hall Style’ (see below), two of the greatest vocal reggae LPs of all time:


Throughout an illustrious thirty-year recording career, Horace Andy‘s unmistakable falsetto has lit up just three albums of indisputable greatness: ‘Skylarking’ (Studio One); ‘In The Light’ (Hungry Town), and ‘Dance Hall Style’ (Wackies) – by some considerable distance, this writer’s personal favourite of the triumvirate.


Tom van Zeytveld AKA Phuture-T is well known to followers of hard-edged dubwise jungle, from his stellar releases on labels including Alphacut, 45Seven, and Eastern Promise Audio. In a landscape of similar-sounding steppers, Zeytveld reveals his Emperor T alias on his first outing for ZamZam Sounds, bringing a welcome experimental sensibility to the worldwide steppers arena, while keeping sound system priorities and dancefloor imperatives firmly on the agenda.


An absolute winner from the SKRS INTL camp for Ancient Monarchy, the ‘Paradise Magic Traxx Mobile Sound & Lighting’ EP arrives in the wake of their ‘RunComeTest’ EP (BokehVersions), with a wicked, red-eyed smudge of digi-dub dancehall on a Lovers Rock and R&B slant. Seekers International, in all the formats, one of the finest posses operating in a dubwise style on the planet right now. Indispensable.


‘Flower Of Sulphur’ (Thrill Jockey) is the singular creation of three improvisational luminaries: multi-instrumentalist YoshimiO (Boredoms, OOIOO, SAICOBAB); avant-garde percussionist Susie Ibarra, and audio artist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens). The trio convened on a stage for the first time in New York City, in December 2016, for a celebration of exquisite sound through exceptional performance, in a magnificent display of their collectively remarkable talents. Recorded at Roulette in Brooklyn in front of a live audience, ‘Flower of Sulphur’ is a transcendent suite of continuous improvisation, exploring the relationships between each artist and their individual instrument, and, in turn, their relationships with each other. The album captures the trio each playing their principal instruments, with no specific goal, other than the pure exploration of the space in that moment. The hour-long instillation builds to a captivating crescendo, elegantly fusing immersive layers, rewarding the listener with a gloriously emotive experience. The trio hope to conduct additional live performances throughout 2018.


CV and JAB/Zin Taylor’s ‘Thoughts Of A Dot As It Travels A Surface’ (Shelter Press) is an astounding work of ambient genius. A totally immersive experience. Every aspect of this stunning release beckons the listener inwards, embracing the ear and the imagination with its omnipresent sense of sanctity. Meditative in its somnambulant wanderings, profound in the imagery it conjures, CV and JAB lead us on a journey into sound. Oscillating wildly through a dubbed-out topography of field recordings, found sounds, dislocated  voices and abstract string swells, our journey is interrupted from time to time by hefty analogue bottom-end, regulalrly punctuated with expressively sumptuous piano interludes. Where are they taking us? Nobody knows. It’s not about the destination, just enjoy this trip. And it is a trip.


A culmination of collaborations and combined studio sessions, Young Echo drop the long player of a very young year with their self-titled second double platter, loads with 24-cuts of prime collectivity.The Young Echo collective currently stands at 11-members: Jabu, Vessel, Kahn, Neek, Ishan Sound, Ossia, Manonmars, Bogues, Rider Shafique, Chester Giles and Jasmine. Collaboratively they have fashioned the strongest statement to emerge from Bristol Sound since the heady days of yore. Detuned soundsystem stylings; love songs swaying in hacked up ambience; skeletal dancehall; microphone technique; dread electronics; outsider pop: all this, and more.


Vladimir Ivkovic’s always reliable Offen Music presents this quality, long-lost album by Mitar Suboti, a.k.a Suba, the legendary Serbian producer who moved to Brazil in the ‘90s after making amazing, cinematic records as Rex Ilusivii, and who sadly died in 1999 when on the cusp of becoming one of Brazil’s most prominent producers. It may have taken over 20 years, but ‘Wayang’ now finally finds its audience.


Jean Encoule - March 10th, 2018

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