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undRess_Beton on 12/31/2016 at 12:04PM

Final Classwar Karaoke Survey released!

Classwar Karaoke was, is and will be. When it was, it was centrally a series of large-scale quarterly surveys of music and film, published each February, May, August and November, from May 2008, until a final grand 34th iteration at the very close of 2016. This vast repository ranges over outlets such as Free Music Archive, YouTube and Internet Archive, with fragments and remnants dotted around the now effectively defunct or forgotten MySpace, Sonic Squirrel, Reverbnation and LastFM, with total hits running into the many millions, and still growing - always free to download, stream and view. 

 

At its peak, there was nothing like it anywhere on the Internet. Classwar Karaoke stands as unique and valuable intense and intimate documentation of an expansive international scene, experimental and progressive in outlook, comprised of such genres as Noise, Live Electronics, Spoken Word, Sound Poetry, Free Jazz, Improvisation, Industrial, Ambient, Soundart, Musique Concrete and Modern Classical, as well as environs further out, nameless and ever more difficult to define. Classwar Karaoke's trademark inclusive, light-touch curatorial policy meant that those participants having huge and long-standing reputations lay equally alongside others less well-known and less experienced; with everyone arranged alphabetically, with no headline acts, no also-rans, no differentiation. With this in mind, though, it is expedient now, at this juncture, to note the participation of names such as Bob Ostertag, Fred Frith and Rhys Chatham .... of ex-King Crimson luminaries, such as Adrian Belew, Keith Tippett and Michael Giles .... stars of the human-voice-as-instrument such as Jaap Blonk, Bryan Lewis Saunders, Adam Bohman, Phil Minton, Crank Sturgeon and Dylan Nyoukis .... of heavyweight Jazzers and Free Jazzers like Lol Coxhill, Peter Brotzman, Evan Parker and Elton Dean .... of ex-Zappa percussionist Terry Bozzio .... of ex-Henry Cow Geoff Leigh .... of Einsturzende Neubauten's Jochen Arbeit .... of The Three Johns' John Hyatt .... of Wolf Eyes' Nate Young .... of Volcano the Bear's Aaron Moore .... of artists and bands as great and varied as Otomo Yoshihide, Mark Dresser, Leif Elggren, Leafcutter John, Gerd Bressler, GX Jupitter-Larsen, Zoviet France, Pas Musique, Gino Robair, Steve Beresford, Sharon Gal, Anton Mobin, Graham Dunning and Astral Social Club. 

 

The roll-call is considerable, in fact - and goes way beyond this brief selection; earning the project its rightful presence within the wider scene. Indeed, single or mere minor degrees of separation connect Classwar Karaoke directly to everyone from towering figures such as David Bowie, Scott Walker, La Monte Young, Frank Zappa, John Zorn, Robert Ashley, Paul Simon, Robert Wyatt, Meredith Monk, Pauline Oliveros, Laurie Anderson, Mike Oldfield and Tom Waits, to bands like Talking Heads, Faust, Henry Cow, Can, The Fall, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Sonic Youth, Tortoise, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, H¸sker D¸, The Brecker Brothers, UK and Nine Inch Nails, to Jazz giants like Chet Baker, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Andy Sheppard, to those from the orchestral world such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Glenn Gould and The Kronos Quartet, through to figures as diverse as Vic Reeves, Zeena Parkins, Tony Conrad, Morton Subotnick, Robert Longo, Glenn Branca, David Torn, Mick Karn, Tony Levin, Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, John Duncan, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jon Hiseman, Phil Collins, Jeff Beck, David Toop and Hans Reichel. 

 

Classwar was never about mainstream validations, however. These surveys are themselves more exactly characterised by extensive, often complex collaboration; each survey a metting-place; each survey a font of new possible associations, friendships, project-mates. Camaraderie and inclusivity defined this project. Nothing about it reproduced the devisive logic and nepotism of the mainstream. In fact, opposition was inferred and expressions of it doggedly pusued. We are Classwar Karaoke: take us at our word.  

 

In this way, though its surveys are now suspended, Classwar Karaoke is. Indeed, other aspects of activity under that rubric persist as an ongoing series of live events and mini-festivals and a sprawling crowdfunder initiative currently boasting 46 full-length albums, featuring the likes of ÿystein J¯rgensen, Lezet, PARAL-LEL, Jukka Pekka-Kervinen, Stomhat, Dental Dames, Daniel Heikalo, Spidey Agutter, Jaan Patterson, Paul Mimlitsch, {AN} Eel, Damien Olsen, Ronny Wearns, Subversive Intentions, LIL, Sound Inhaler, Cousin Silas, Crush!!!, Chris Silver T, Miguel A. Garcia & Sebastien Branche, Jeremy Gluck, Eun-Jung & Charlie Collins, Arthur Henry Fork, Berthelot and Fiver's Stereo, as well as several compilations, of Noise, guitar pieces, bass solos, percussion pieces, and more. 

 

About 0034 survey specifically, it is enough to say that this final release is clearly no skirmish, no fizzle-out .... it is, in point of fact, another beautiful monster, dense with love, camaraderie and content, full of daring, full of interest; as good as anything else out there. From your hosts, Anthony Donovan and Jaan Patterson, dear friends of Classwar Karaoke, please enjoy! 

 

Heartfelt thanks and admirations to everyone who has taken part in and supported this project. over its eight-and-a-half years. It's been such a wonderful and interesting adventure! 

 

Love & best, 

Anthony Donovan and Jaan Patterson

December 2016


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