Saturday, 5 December 2009

::05 12 09::

When Climate Camp announced they would pitch in Trafalger Square, I was in a record shop in Brussels. Yup, during the UK's largest ever climate demonstration I was buying 80s disco. Although my commitment to this cause seems questionable I did not choose to be here let alone miss an otherwise more important event.

However, having found myself in this situation it's probably worth drawing links between the point of this trip and the products of ADD. Not to mention distract me from thinking about all the other things I'd rather be doing (Benji B at Soul City London, Theo Parrish at Plastic People, Guilty Simpson in Copenhagen, waiting for paint to dry) - Brussels suspends life in a limbo where the strain is on your head rather than your lower back. The discovery of the shop in question came as a relief.

In 1980 Kano released their self-titled debut album, a gem of a record produced by band members Luciano Ninzatti, Stefano Pulga and Matteo Bonsanto. It took Italo Disco to the international stage and made nifty use of new technology like the vocoder. The tracklisting includes classics such as It's a War, Cosmic Voyager and I'm Ready. It was a good find.

I left the shop, went for a little coffee and carried on reading my press copy of Sonic Warfare by Steve Goodman (aka Kode9), out January. Chapter 5, Abusing the Military Entertainment Complex, talks about the appropriation of military technology for entertainment purposes. Goodman quotes media theorist Freidrich Kittler:

"Funkspeil, VHF tank radios, vocoders, Magnetophones...have released an abuse of army equipment that adapts ears and reaction speeds"

"Our discos are preparing our youth for a retaliatory strike"

With this in mind, Kittler's comments posit Kano as a good group to soundtrack some action. Ruckus to 'It's a War' with its use of 'army equipment' and the Danish authorities are bound to break. Or at least dance.

And whilst police are cleaning themselves up after the excitement experienced from the sweet grooves on this record, protestors will relish in the humor and harmony of this beautiful genre. Kano will be a welcome change to the asexuality and white cultures that stiffen (in a flacid way) most environmental demonstrations.

Alas, this hope might not fall on deaf ears but it'll probably be drowned out by Throbbing Gristle or Stockhausen. The closest they ever came to subversion of a human kind was at the ICA in 1976.

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