The last of next week’s Catharsis reunion shows will take place at the conclusion of a full day of performances, discussions and tabling in Washington, DC, the day before the Presidential Inauguration. This festival of resistance will offer a venue in which to envision a world without capitalism or hierarchy and to strategize about how to get there.
The date is December 21, 2012. There has been a lot of talk about the world ending today. Most of it is idle chatter, but this obsession with the apocalypse captures the spirit of the times, implying some latent fear—or hope—far beyond pseudo-Mayan numerology. Given the seeming defeat of the revolutionary movements of 2011 and the difficulty of imagining a post-capitalist form of life, it is not surprising that a pessimistic eschatological vision of the end of the world has so much currency today. Yet history shows that fixation on the apocalypse is simply one avatar of a force that also appears as social revolution.
So, to celebrate yet another end of the world, we wish to direct your attention to a new short film, “In the Middle of the Desert,” by Bulgarian anarchist filmmaker Hristina Vardeva, composed as a companion piece to the excellent text “Introduction to the Apocalypse.”
Two decades ago, before the music industry had fully colonized it, the do-it-yourself underground was a space of exodus and experimentation, often in violent opposition to the rest of the world. This was the context in which Catharsis appeared, one of a new wave of bands to meld metal drama with the raw urgency of hardcore punk. They quickly distinguished themselves by an almost self-destructive intensity and uncompromising anticapitalist ethic. Inverting Christian iconography to champion the struggle of the individual against a hostile cosmos, they took up the centuries-old banner No Gods, No Masters, extending this project of total defiance into their increasingly tumultuous lives. This apocalyptic orientation in turn informed their music, as they sought to hit upon the magic combination of words, harmonies, and rhythms that could spark a global conflagration.
Catharsis broke up in 2002, following relentless touring on three continents and a final catastrophic five months in Europe. After a decade of watching the old records sell for absurd prices while bootleggers profited off substandard editions, we’ve finally taken it upon ourselves to offer a proper collection of their work.
This discography, “Light from a Dead Star,” includes their debut 7”, the “Samsara” and “Passion” LPs, and the split LPs with Gehenna and Newborn. It also includes the final Catharsis song, “Absolution,” recorded alongside “Arsonist’s Prayer” in their last session but never released. That totals two hours of music on four LPs, packaged in a box with oversize booklets offering all the original artwork.
These will be back from the pressing plant in mid-January, just in time for a handful of Catharsis reunion shows. In the meantime, the discography can be pre-ordered from CrimethInc. Far East (North America) and Refuse Records (Europe).
All records are now sold out.
Pre-orders from CrimethInc. will come on limited-edition colored vinyl; they will include digital versions of all these songs and others, plus video footage, fliers, and other archival material. We’ll throw in some additional treats as well. These are unavoidably expensive, but the digital download of the discography will be available in January at a price anyone can afford.
[UPDATE: The colored vinyl, limited to 100 copies, has sold-out. All pre-orders from here on will include black vinyl, limited also, to 400 copies.]
In addition, Catharsis is briefly reuniting to play four shows this January: January 17 in Raleigh, NC; January 18 in Baltimore, MD; January 19 in New York City; and January 20 in Washington, DC, at a benefit show for political prisoners as part of a counter-inaugural festival of resistance.
CrimethInc. agents have completed a speaking tour of northern Europe, offering 45 presentations in less than two months. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the countless organizers, hosts, and attendees who made this possible and inspired us so much in the course of our trip.
Some of the highlights of the tour included the Zrenjanin Antifascist Festival, attended by anarchists from over a dozen countries; radical history walking tours of Helsinki and several other cities; the candles filling Skogskyrkogården cemetery on the night of All Saints’ Day; and traveling with our comrade from Black Mosquito, whose hard work got the tour off the ground in the first place. We were struck by the large turnouts—peaking at almost 120, but regularly 50 or more. These seem to indicate a growing interest in anarchism throughout northern Europe.
And none too soon. Up to now, the nations of northern Europe have remained islands of relative economic stability and social peace as the continent burns from the south up, but this won’t last forever. Outside of Oslo, a European Dubai still buoyed by oil money, growing fascist power in the parliaments and on the streets attests to the general sense that it’s just a matter of time before capitalism fails its most historically privileged middle classes. As faith in the present system erodes, it’s especially important for anarchists to offer a vision of liberation, rather than simply preserving subcultural ghettos or taking a quixotic stand as the last defenders of social democracy. One of the reasons we chose to tour northern Europe at this time was to offer comrades there a preview of the context they may soon find themselves in, which is already upon us in the United States. What happens in northern Europe in the next few years may well determine the scope of what is possible in the rest of the world.
Finally, we are able to offer our article, “Designed to Kill: Border Policy and How to Change It,” in Spanish translation: Diseñada Para Matar: Política Fronteriza y Como Cambiarla. A printable zine pdf is also available in English and Spanish. Please circulate these wherever they can be useful!
We’re excited to announce our collaboration with Minneapolis rapper P.O.S in distributing over 600 copies of our Work book and several times that many “Capitalism Is a Pyramid Scheme” posters in preorders for his excellent new album, “We Don’t Even Live Here,” on Rhymesayers Entertainment.
P.O.S approached us some time ago about including our material in this release, his fourth solo album, which deals with some of the same subjects. We were flattered to receive this invitation from someone whose music we appreciate so much. His razor-sharp wit opens windows on startling vulnerability; his insouciance comes off a thousand times realer than garden-variety hip hop posturing. And we think it’s high time that someone in his position reached out to combine art with radical points of departure: music should offer emergency escape hatches out of this world, not just temporary vacations from it.
We’re interested in future collaborations with other musicians, artists, and anyone else who wants to shake things up. But P.O.S got there first, and he deserves credit for that.
A big thanks to him and his team for making this happen. We’re looking forward to making contact with everyone who learns about our projects via his album.
We have just the thing for the final weeks of the US Presidential election spectacle: a new video from our comrades Test Their Logik, “Democracy’s Bankrupt.” This anthem eloquently expresses the disillusionment with electoral democracy that is spreading around North America today. Recommended for use alongside our “Vote Here” stickers and our poster series, “What Does Democracy Mean?”
Following their debut album, “A,” Test Their Logik’s “Democracy’s Bankrupt” is the first single off their upcoming album “Be,” due to drop on December 21.
Unrast has just published the first full-length book of German CrimethInc. translations, Message in a Bottle: Selected CrimethInc. Communiqués 1996-2011. Our comrades in Black Mosquito have worked hard to translate and prepare this collection. A speaking tour throughout German-speaking Europe is currently underway to discuss the issues it raises.
For the next two months, CrimethInc. operatives are conducting a speaking tour in Europe to support the recent publication of CrimethInc. texts in German, Serbo-Croat, Russian, Finnish, and other languages. The discussions will draw on the past decade and a half of CrimethInc. activity to discuss liberation and anarchist strategy in the changing context of the 21st century.
We’re thrilled to announce the availability of the new second edition of Recipes for Disaster: an anarchist cookbook. We’ve dedicated an entire blog post to detailing the improvements, but here is the tl;dr version: Comprised of the same content as the first edition, the redesigned second edition boasts a new larger 7″ x 10″ format; photos and diagrams that are 77% and 164% larger, respectively; twenty-one new photos and a new introduction; improved typography and readability; and a more durable layflat binding; all for the same ol’ price of $12.
For those who have what is now the ‘old’ version, don’t fret! It’s still just as useful as it was yesterday, and the only new piece of writing is the Introduction to the Second Edition, which we’ve posted below in it’s entirety: