I thought it'd be nice to end this troubled year with a classic.

Infiniti is Juan Atkins' project for spaced out techno and Chicago deep beats, mixed with his trademark future-funk electro sounds. During the early '90s several classic 12"s went out under this guise, many tracks from them included in the self-titled Tresor compilation; 'Skynet' (along with the incredible 'Never Tempt Me' 2x12") was his late '90s comeback.

I know Tresor stuff is rather common around the net, yet I couldn't resist since I also noticed that although the label did some reprints of older stuff, this one was not included. Pity, as it is the best album of that period.

Infiniti - 1998 Skynet
Info here.

Happy new year to everyone.

Terror is the name of the game

Please read this one. It just started, but it's going to get bigger.
Stop Police Violence blog.

A (mostly) valid source of info is Indymedia Athens, while many many videos can be found in TVXS (TeleVision Without Borders)- use the Translate tool, then switch back to select the link you're interested in. I had no time to search for foreign sources of info; most of the major news' networks have reports, however biased they may be. The same applies to anarchists' sources, they're much more accurate though.

BTW, another schoolboy (age 16) was shot by 'unknowns' last night. 'Someone' aimed at a group of about ten boys sitting outside their (occupied) school's yard from a distance long enough so that accurate aiming was impossible (more than 50 m/ 150 feet). Luckily, he had his hands in his pockets and the bullet was caught in his wrist instead of blasting his liver, though it could easily have had his head blown off.

The city is in constant turmoil. The pigs hit, teargas and torture at the police stations little kids and their supporting teachers, mostly participating on sitting protests and other peaceful demonstrations, trying to scare them off the streets. Meanwhile, the media are covering up the whole case big time; the National Broadcasters' Council 'suggested' to the TV channel owners and journalists they shouldn't 'promote acts of violence' by screening the riots, so now all TV cameras are gone from the streets and the pigs can do their job unobstructed by the foul menace of evidence, while all TV focus on are burned-down christmas trees and propaganda footage of attacks on policemen from the national channels. Mostly, though, TV shows films and series and crap as if nothing happens. Without the internet we'd be lost.

The other day ended the trial of eight policemen that beat a student's face into pulp in a demo two years ago. At first they had said the kid fell and hit a plant-pot... then an amateur video surfaced. They were pronounced guilty; the judge charged half of them with thirty six months in prison, the other four with eighteen, yet gave them all the right to buy off their time for 5 euros per day. That is, with 5475 euros each they walk.

The forensic reports on the bullet that inflicted the fatal wound on Alexis Grigoropoulos suggest that it 'ricocheted' somewhere, ergo the cop wasn't planning to kill the kid after all (in spite of the dozen eye witnesses that say that he aimed directly at him, he fired three shots and then left the crime scene cool and calm). As it seems, certain substances were found on the bullet, indicating it first hit a wall.
The last drop for me was something I read in certain free-thinkers' fora and blogs: policemen learn that before certain 'difficult' assignments or patrols it's practical to rub bullets in a wall before loading them. That way the bullet's surface keeps some traces of the above mentioned substances, so it's easy to forge a 'ricochet' in case of an 'accident' (=an unplanned or otherwise uncomfortable fatality, aka murder).

Is anyone of you at least interested in the above? If yes, how about a protest demo to the greek embassy or consulate of your country? Or just spreading the news a bit? I'm not interested in comments of sympathy. Just do a small thing, anything. For your sake, most of all, for practice. Soon you'll have to do more than this.

This shit is coming your way too.

Elektro Codes. Trilogy

Electrolux likes projects, 'Space Night' being the most famous and longest running. But this one is in my opinion the most interesting.

These CDs compile tracks from previous releases on Electrolux, from almost everybody in the label's roster; included are some early Anthony Rother classics (and a Karl Bartos remix on them). Robotic, ambient, funky, deep, minimal, in short all forms of late '90s electro are represented (except the dirty retro style of Clone and Gigolo), though once more a bit on the glossy tip. I'd say it was the success of those compilations that motivated the birth of specialized Mikrolux label, with some excellent results (*).
Vol.1 stays on the chill side of things. In Vol.2, CD1 samples some modern electro classics, while CD2 goes smooth again and at times a bit experimental, mostly downtempo stuff. The same norm was followed through Vol. 3.

Possibly not groundbreaking, yet essential compilations, especially for those who are interested in the electro scene before the electroclash and (later) the electro-house fads.

VA - Elektro Codes. One 1997
Info here.

VA - Elektro Codes. Two 1999
CD1 - CD2
Info here.

VA - Elektro Codes. Three 1999
CD1 - CD2
Info here.

A stroke of bad luck

Later than most of you, I'm sure, I was informed that Moritz von Oswald suffered a (rather mild) stroke, at about the end of October.

Having a few years back witnessed my father having (also a mild) one right in front of me, I can tell you that no stroke feels mild to the sufferer. Possible damage may be permanent as well as not, varying from brain damage and body paralysis to simple small problems with memory, speech or sense of space and direction (I'm no doctor, I just write what I've seen). A guy I've worked with for years, one of the best electronic musicians in Greece, suffered a good one at the age of thirty; ten years later he's composing more than ever and still plays live (Fripp-like) guitar using an e-bow.
Time is on the side of the patient, as I understand; so let's hope that things will clear out, the sooner the better. He's been one of the most important people in the music scene of the 20th century, sowing the seeds of the next generation of brain-shaping music to come; the one that still dominates the present, that is. A true pioneer, a flag carrier and an example to all of us. My hopes are with him.

I was looking some stuff on Basic Channel when I found this interview (a first, I think) that he gave for the Red Bull Academy; then I found out about the sad news.

Get well soon.

The sequel

Well, it's actually rather early to talk about the aftermath of the situation described in the last post, when most of the major cities of Greece (especially Athens and Salonica) are still in turmoil. Things got completely out of hand, the city's downtown is burning every night. The pigs kept back long enough so that many buildings were destroyed by fire, creating infernal snapshots and shot angles for the media, then with a quick sweep they cornered the rioters inside the universities. The destruction that took place will cost millions to the state (especially after they announced financial help to everyone affected by the riots on a scale they cannot afford), the market is frozen out of insecurity and lack of cash and all politicians try to exploit the situation on their behalf.
On the other hand, the pigs hired one of the 'best' lawyers in Greece (the worst weasel around) and with no remorse at all still claim it was 'an accident', even though there are about 30-40 eye witnesses that insist the boy was shot and abandoned. If they continue on this defensive scenario or use the temporary insanity plea, the cities will burn again.

There's nothing more accurate to describe the current situation than an old old saying:

He who sows wind will harvest storms.

I'm too freaked out to post anything. For the desperate, check again next week or start trying the links (and their links as well).

The 6th of December, 2008

The Athens district of Exarchia is a hangout for artists, students and junkies and traditionally the refuge of the various counter-culture movements in the last three decades. Interestingly, it's also the place with a minimum of violent crimes against person and property downtown (except against policemen). In contrast with many European cities or the USA, no one carries a gun and even knives are extremely uncommon (not even junk dealers use them). Surrounding this area are universities, museums, the main commercial district and government buildings.
During the last years the conflicts between the cops and locals have escalated. People occasionally throw rocks at passing police cars; then an hour later dozens of fully-armed squads troop the bars and cafes, gather as many people as they like as 'suspects' and put them behind bars for a process called 'identification', which gives them the right to hold you in a police station all night to 'check your criminal record' until the officer in charge comes in the morning to release you (or charge you with something). During all these hours they have the right to 'search physically' (=undress and humiliate) everyone, looking for 'guns', drugs or whatnot. Of course, 99.9% of the people there go in Exarchia for recreation or work, mostly naive students and rock fans that like to get away from the expensive bars and poser 'cool' places in the nearby areas. Things are coming to a head, as a wise man used to say.
It's Saturday night, about 9.00 PM and people are gathering around the local cafes. Just a few minutes before , a police car went by and some people (it's not sure who they were) swear and threw a couple of stones at them. The cops park the car a little further on and try to drag into the 'conflict' a SWAT squad. When they fail, they return to the place they were 'attacked' and verbally provoke a small group of kids to fight with them, giving them the finger and shouting insults in front of dozens of witnesses. When the kids fail to respond in a 'suitable' way (that is to throw some things or make a move towards them so they can have an excuse), the cops take their guns out, one of them throws a sound bomb and the other aims and shoots three times towards them, the last bullet hitting one of the group in the chest. Having their job done, they calmly walk away and mingle with the SWAT squad mentioned before a few yards away. The boy shot is dead on the spot, his friends in shock. As a direct result, minutes after the 'incident' riots break up in all major Greek cities (yes, news like that travel really fast). Police stations, banks and (unfortunately) cars and stores are attacked, often totally destroyed. The city is in turmoil since, roads blocked all over, schools closed, universities occupied (they provide asylum, no policeman may enter their premises), streets destroyed.

The cops claim the group initially attacked them with clubs and stones, even with Molotov cocktails ready, so they had to fire warning shots. As is usual in these cases, one of them hit something (the asphalt ground...) and ricocheted towards the direction of the kid. The Ministry of Internal Affairs cover them up and press releases are sent to the BBC (and other networks). This is a report written after it became widely known and indisputable that the cops killed the kid in cold blood. It still focuses on the riots. Thankfully, others check their sources better.
Bad luck for them; it was a 15 years old kid from a good family out with his friends they shot. Not a military radical, not a drug user that no one will care for. Just a fucking kid, 15 years old. And with many witnesses in line of sight, as well as an (indistinct) video, showing the cops calmly leaving the scene after they're done (check here, upper right corner).

Some photos and reports from Sky here: (*, *, *).

A lot of people die because of police brutality. Police has always been a serpent's nest, a haven for fascists, psychopaths, or the spiritually deficient but physically gifted. And lots of people died, were injured or humiliated because a freak happens to own a uniform and has the power to fuck with the lives of his/hers fellow citizens. It's not something new, a lot of cases are recorded where cops shoot and kill people, then never get fittingly prosecuted and punished. Yet I didn't sleep well these nights. Most of the people around me walk in silent shock and cannot really believe what happened. It could be their fucking kid dead that night. I can believe what's happening, yet it cripples me in a emotional level so deep that I'm constantly ready to break in tears. Don't believe what you read, we don't live in a Democracy. It's a Police State. It's a war and we are the side casualties. Fuck my house and fuck my couch and fuck this shit.