November 28, 2008
To Londoners, The old Kent rd has been for many years a byword for poverty; the cheapest, dismal brown coloured property on the monopoly board and in reality a grimy thoroughfare providing the boundary of two of the most neglected regions of London, Peckham and Bermondsey. Once the heartland of a solid white working class population the area was bombed close to complete destruction during the war and then rapidly rebuilt with monolithic high-rise housing estates which by the 1980s had begun to be abandoned and crumble.
In the cold winter of 1984 we – bourbonese qualk and crew – occupied the Ambulance station, an empty five story castle-like building on the Old Kent Road. Our ambition was to create a radical ‘cultural-political centre’ (though we would never have used that term) and a general base for our activities – performance space, recording studio and office for the Recloose organisation label – in the middle of this piece of un-picturesque South East London. After lengthy renovation (removing 1 meter deep layers of dead pigeons, replacing piping, windows and tiles on the vertiginous roof) The top two stories were converted into artists studios, the middle storey our living quarters. The first floor was taken up as meeting space for anarchist groups, a free cafe and offices for the local squatters organisation, ‘S.N.O.W’ (who housed more people in 1985 than the local council). The ground floor was changed into a large performance space and bar as well as a recording studio, sculpture studios and print workshops.
November 21, 2008
This translation is an excerpt from a radical new book that has just appeared in France by the Invisible Committee (Comité invisible). The book discusses the local appropriation of power by the people, the physical blocking of the economy, and the elimination of the police force as practical routes toward insurrection.
November 10, 2008
Bit late now because it’s sold out – but, Andy Wilson’s (Sunseastar etc) latest audio product is ‘The Grand Erector’ a fancy limited edition (100), 12″ vinyl, ten page booklet type thing which also includes six audio tracks of mixes, distortions and mangling of sounds contributed by members of the Faust mailing list. Can’t vouch for the music as i haven’t heard any of it and don’t have vinyl reading technology – but it probably sounds a bit like this:
The Grand Erector – “Brasov Monkeys”
This and many other ‘fascinating’ releases are available on the Beta Lactam Rrring website – soon with free MP3 downloads!