A glorious Organ Thing of the Day today: Well the press release that came in this morning was about the latest parts of the Crass remix thing, The Feeding of the Five Thousand Remix Project, but now we’ve kind of got distracted by the heartwarming brilliance of the Commoners Choir
The press release….
As part of their ambitious ‘The Feeding of the Five Thousand Remix Project’, punk pioneers Crass have returned with another exclusive coloured 12” single featuring remixes by the masked Italian electronic producer Bob Rifo, aka The Bloody Beetroots, and Commoners Choir, the 70 strong community choir started by singer-songwriter-playwright-activist Boff Whalley. So far, the charity project has raised over £10,000 to help provide specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence.
In 2019 Crass took the step of making the original separate track stems of their seminal debut album ‘The Feeding of the Five Thousand’ available as a free download. With a call to take the original sixteen track recording in its pre-mix state, the intent was for people to create their own remixes and interpretations and breathe fresh life and ideas into this revolutionary music.
First released in 1978, ‘The Feeding of the Five Thousand’ pre-empted rap and grime in its hard-on-the-beat, fast fire, uncompromising lyrics and the iconic sounds and messages are ripe for reinterpretation. Crass encouraged people to rip apart the sound and ideas and create something new, then send the files to Crass Records for future releases and charitable projects. The message is DIY like it never was before. “Yours for the taking, yours for the making,” Crass said. “You do it, we’ll stew it. Mix it backwards, forwards and upside down. Turn up the heat and fix it with a downbeat, bring in the trumpets and let ‘em blow, let the piper call the tune to let us all know. It’s up to you to do what you like with it. The only limitation is your imagination.”
All monies raised from the project will go to the charity ‘Refuge’ who said; “We’re incredibly grateful to Crass and their team for helping raise vital funds for Refuge. Since the start of lockdown, Refuge has seen a 66% rise in demand for its Helpline, and a 950% rise in visits to its Helpline website. This shows the sheer extent of the need for specialist domestic abuse services – not just during lockdown but beyond. Every penny raised helps us to ensure that no woman or child is turned away from safety.
‘While lockdown itself doesn’t cause domestic abuse – abuse happens all year round – it does, of course, have the potential to aggravate pre-existing abusive behaviours – and the data we have shows us the increase in the need for our services during lockdown. Refuge worked incredibly hard at the beginning of the pandemic to make sure our services remained open and remained safe. The generous donations we have received, including those from Crass, mean we can continue to provide the life-saving and life-changing services that women experiencing domestic abuse need and deserve.”
Of the Commoners Choir remix Whalley (a lifelong Crass fan) tells us “Sometime last year I heard about the Crass Remix project and just felt that, well, the ‘fit’ was too perfect to miss. The invitation from Crass was to experiment with the mix, and we decided that turning G’s Song – a hurtling, full-throttle 37 second blast – into something choral and hauntingly melodic would echo the band’s strangeness, that challenging of preconceptions that had always appealed to me in the first place. G’s Song ends with the line ‘… and they’ve got no problem when you’re underground!’ which can be taken in two ways. Either it’s a gloomy fatalism that says we’re no trouble to the establishment/the system when we’re dead – or it’s a declaration of intent that we need to stop being politically underground and take our ideas into the world. I prefer the latter, obviously. The Crass/Commoners Choir remix leaves that final line to Steve Ignorant’s original strangled vocal. It’s a call to arms. For me the remix is a good marker of time and ideas, and a confirmation of how the best art can change our lives. Among the massed ranks of Commoners Choir there are quite a few whose lives as teenagers were impacted not just by Crass but by punk’s call for challenge, change and social justice; this remix is one way of connecting these threads of a lifetime (and having a ton of fun doing it).”
The Bloody Beetroots says “I wanted to guide the band into a new and unexplored territory. It was really exciting bringing their sound into the current musical landscape.”
And here’s the Bandcamp with the latest mixes and…
Links: https://crass.live/Crass / OLI
We do kind of assume that everyone knows who Crass are, is that wrong of us? – “Crass were an Anarcho-punk band formed in 1977. They popularised the anarcho-punk movement, and were advocates for such matters as direct action, animal rights, anti-facism, feminism, and environmentalism. From the word go, their career’s ending was set to be 1984, and they lived up to this intention, splitting up following a miners’ benefit gig in Wales in July that year”.
About The Bloody Beetroots
The Bloody Beetroots is the creation of Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo. Inspired by his lifelong love of punk rock and comic books, Rifo unleashed The Bloody Beetroots in late 2006 and has since crafted an intense sound that mixes his classical training, his punk rock obsession and his passion for electronic music into an edgy rock-meets-dance hybrid sound. The Bloody Beetroots first exploded on the scene via his 2009 critically acclaimed debut album ‘Romborama,’ featuring the iconic track ‘Warp 1.9.’ with Steve Aoki, both of which helped launch the American EDM boom at the end of the 2000s. His 2013 sophomore album, ‘Hide,’ featured crossover tracks with rock icons and alternative stars like Paul McCartney, Tommy Lee and others. Rifo’s third full-length album, ‘The Great Electronic Swindle’ in 2017, continued the electronic-rock narrative via collaborations with Perry Farrell, Jet, Gallows, Deap Vally and more. In 2019, The Bloody Beetroots released the ‘Heavy’ EP, which saw Rifo revisiting his classic electro style and features collaborations with Ephwurd and Dr. Fresch, in addition to three new solo originals. Via his boundary-pushing full live band shows and DJ sets, The Bloody Beetroots has performed at every major music festival around the world in addition to several headlining solo tours. A brand-new collaboration with Tom Morello called ‘The Catastrophists EP’ was released in June.
About Commoners Choir
Commoners Choir is a radical group dedicated to singing about the world around them, its inequalities and injustices, and their (4-part vocal harmony) opposition to oppression. The up to 70 members are also dedicated to reclaiming the fun in choir music as well as providing a social commentary, with inclusivity playing a big part in their manifesto. They’re based in West Yorkshire but travel to play in concert halls, at festivals, on demonstrations, on mountaintops, at cabarets, in churches, in galleries and museums – anywhere with an audience and a reason to sing.
Nore from the Chior
Commoners Choir’s response to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
Clauses 54 to 58 of the new Bill relate to protests (of more than one person). They effectively ban protests. They do so by giving the police and the Home Secretary new powers which give them the ability to ban protests on grounds which are drafted so widely that they could apply to any meaningful protest. The only kind of protests which are likely to be allowed to go ahead are those where the authorities support the aims of the protest.
Under the current law, the police can ban or impose conditions on a protest if they reasonably believe that the protest may result in serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community. But under the Bill, the grounds for the police to ban or impose conditions are dramatically widened so that they include, among other things, the noise made by a protest. It would be sufficient under the Bill to ban a protest if the noise generated by the protest “may have a relevant impact on persons in the vicinity” and “that impact may be significant”.
In practice, the Bill would allow the police to ban any protest which generates noise, which is to say, basically any protest. As the Good Law Project has noted, “It is difficult to escape the conclusion that an attack on the making of noise is a disguised attack on the very nature of the right to protest.”
The Bill also gives unfettered power to the Home Secretary, currently Priti Patel, to define the meaning of certain key definitions. She could do this, after the Bill becomes law, by ministerial regulation, with minimal parliamentary oversight. That in itself is highly disturbing.
Clause 59 creates a new criminal offence. Among other provisions, it provides up to ten years imprisonment for causing someone to suffer “serious annoyance” or even for putting someone at risk of suffering “serious annoyance”. One likely purpose of this oppressive provision is to scare people away from joining protests.
More, we want lots more….