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The first live event since the launch of the Agit Disco project six years ago. This benefit for Housemans Bookshop had 16 Agit Disco selectors working simultaneously on two floors of the Surya Centre from 7pm until 12 or later. Thanks to Nik Gorecki at Housemans for organising it. Plenty of people came and there was a good vibe in spite of the rather short sets.

I hope to be posting some photos later.

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Selectors included:

Mark Faulkner  (ex Room 13 Scotland) who had come down from Fort William!

Caroline Heron with a video set

Sian Addicott with a set of Welsh resistance,

Stewart Home with Rebel Soul

Andy T  with his varied but tight set,

Neil Transpontine did a set on the Miners Strike,

John Eden – dancehall and reggae

Tom Vague – Post punky reggae party related to Notting Hill area

Luca Paci – resistenzia Italiana

Nic Gorecki – Roots rockin

Martin Dixon – old vinyl agit disco rediscovered

Micheline Mason – Political folk

Marc Garrett – his own mainly contemporary set

Sharon Kivland - French agit disco selection

Tracey Moberly will be at North Pole so we played her CD.

One of the headline acts to go on at 11pm is PAUL JAMROZY who was co-architect of ‘Agitative Industrialists’ Test Dept formed in the decaying docklands of South London in the early eighties. TD created percussive music with industrial debris and electronics, producing large-scale location responsive projects. Their infamous sonic assaults were regarded as a test of physical endurance that pushed the sonic envelope. Their work developed with the advent of new technology journeying through the underground dance scene and into hybrid global music.

Post TD his individual practice evolved within the wider digital diaspora of experimental sound artists and electronic practitioners. He has worked under many guises including Satellitic, Deep Face, Full Spectrum Dominance and most recently C.3.3. inspired by his music workshops inside Reading Gaol. His Polish background has also had a strong influence on his work and led to the formation of Bigos Planet an Anglo-Polish cultural radio programme for Resonance FM.


IMG_2209Cornell Campbel record snapped in the window of Sister Ray in Soho London – photo processed in Decim8

Good article on the Pete Seeger heritage:

reinterpreted in 1986 by the French rock band Carte de Séjour (meaning “green card”, “residence permit”), whose lead singer was Rachid Taha.

“The social context of the time and the identity of the musicians (born in France from Algerian immigrants) give it a completely different meaning. To take this standard patriotic song and to sing it with this “furious irony” was actually very provocative and can be considered as an act of protestation against discrimination.” Thanks 

Here is a more recent version by Madjao:
 Thanks to Sharon Kivland

What did people make of Gordon Sumner’s aka Sting’s TV concert on 22nd December with Jimmy Nail? (1). On the one hand it was a promo for his latest album ‘The Last Ship’, on the other an impressively reflexive return to the subject matter of his working class childhood in the ship-building town of Wallsend in the North East of England.


photo credit: ‘Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’

He was refreshingly honest for a celebrity. He told us that as a boy he was scared of going into the shipyards because of the noise and danger. He was inspired by catching the eye of the ship-launching Queen Mother from her regal RollsRoyce. He thought that this might have sown the seed of his aspiration to grandeur that later drove him to become a pop superstar. That was before the whole ship building industry in the North East went belly up. His songs deal with all aspects of that community from the militants to Read More »

In 1994 Nelson Mandela, Madiba, became president of South Africa. That year The Mad Professor a Guyanese record producer in South London suburb of Thornton Heath began to bring out a series of agit-disco albums under the title Black Liberation Dub.

Black Liberation Dub 1front

Black Liberation Dub  Chapter 1  1994

“Reverb slashes through the tick-tocking pulse of “Chip on the Slave Master Shoulder.” The song is almost entirely rhythm. Even its bassline is more an indistinct presence than a palpable element.” Nathan Bush

Includes tracks with titles ‘Slavery 21st Century’, ‘Freedom Must be Taken’, ‘Black Skin, White Minds’, ‘Colonial Mentality’.

Brilliant cover graphics hammer home the message of liberation.

Read More »

‘The Political Calypso; A Socio – Linguistic Process of Conflict Transformation’. by Everard M. Phillips 2009 seems like a rare book – at least you can’t buy it online. I found a copy in the Oasis Academy public library in Shirley whilst waiting for my daughter to have a music session. It seemed to hold clues as to how we might get out of the mind cage of Humanist (neo-classical) western Literary elite thinking structures? I scanned a couple of pages with my phone.

“Call and Response allows the audience to co-author the proceedings of the evening, while they are engaged in the process of co-constructing meaning…. The phenomenon of Call and Response is a co-active, reciprocal process that involves inter-communication, taken in turn, between the calypsonian and subsets of an audience, as a story is told through the medium of a calypso. The process enables the performer and the audience to engage in a form of rhetoric union, whereby they are together able to create, interpret and respond to a rhetoric act.” p.55

In this book Everard M. Phillips argues that calypso “is an attempt to consciously articulate a congruent, coherent paradigm for transforming indigenous conflict”.


Read More »

The Janey Buchan Political Song Collection at Glasgow University

Read more here

“Oh, dear me, the warld’s ill-divided,

Them that work the hardest are aye wi’ least provided.”

Janey Buchan, born 30th April 1926; died 14th January 2012.

(A Political Song night at the Concert Hall of the University of Glasgow. It was £7 pay on the door – took place on 30 November 2013)

33RPM – Voices of the Revolution,

an album of powerful revolutionary and political music produced by artists from across the globe, is to be digitally released via Bandcamp on Monday 14 October 2013.

The collection of 33 songs chronicles oppression, uprisings, land rights issues, political and social abuses and acts of revolution drawn directly from the experiences of established and emerging artists representing over 33 countries across 6 continents, and spans Afrofuturismo, Indian folk-rock, soulful New Zealand reggae, Electro Caribe, Malian hip hop and Iranian electronica amongst other diverse styles and genres.

A global snapshot of musical resistance. Including ‘our’ very own incendary Jun Tzu

Full details of the players on Facebook and here:

The new acoustic album by Manic Street Preachers sounds as if they haven’t lost their agit disco punch. In a review by Rick Pearson in the Metro he reckons it is their ‘bitterest’ record since ‘Holy Bible’ in 1994. My attention was brought to the political importance of the Manics, especially to the youth of South Wales, by the Agit Disco selection made by Sian Addicott. The track ’30 year War’ was written before Thatcher died – “it’s a critique of the attack on the working classes over the last 30 years” James Dean Bradfield.



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