Sunday, 6 August 2017

Interlude: ale to Our Future, a Grave New Zine

I know it might hard to believe for some but the internet is not solely useful to push the like button when your crush displays her or his new ironic tats on Instagram. Call me old-fashioned all you like, it is also a great tool to get in touch with interesting, like-minded people. 

A few months ago, D-Beat extravagant and Discharge philosopher Rodney Shades, also renowned for his falsetto prowess in the mighty Thisclose, sent me his fanzine in response to the write-up I did about Thisclose in The Chronicles of Dis series. Yes, you read that well a FANZINE. With actual paper, ink and typos, like in the old days. I was of course thrilled and humbled by this friendly gesture motivated by a common love for the affairs of the Dis and, upon receiving the second installment of said zine, I figured that I might as well throw a few words about Our Future.

I romantically stuck that one to my bed

Also the name of Rodney's label, and although I suppose it is meant to evoke No Future records, the phrase Our Future never fails to remind me of Disclose's song "Future extinction" (in fact, I am hearing it in my head right now) which I see as a positive sign of prophetic proportions. 

Here is the fanzine's editorial line:

The first issue of Our Future revolved around the early 90's collaboration between Extreme Noise Terror and The KLF that culminated at the 1992 Brit Awards when ENT played to a surrealistic audience of toffs in bow ties and cocktail dresses (check the video if you haven't, it epitomizes the expression "wtf"). Following this focus on music blending hardcore-punk and techno music, there is also a short but excellent piece about Exithippies which reconciled me with this Japanese bunch. 

The second issue of the zine deals with Discharge's cursed and polemical Grave new world Lp (often said to have caused many breakups since 1986) from several angles and not just through their new haircuts. There are long, detailed, fascinating interviews with then guitar player Fish (formerly from The Skeptix) and with the Discharge tour manager during the band's catastrophic trip to the U$ of A. You will also find an analysis of the Lp from a diachronic perspective and a text about Grave New World, an early 90's band from Tokyo with Crow's singer, that I found extremely interesting. 

Both issues are packed with reproductions of old photographs, flyers and posters. The real strength of Our Future lies in its high contextualization of bands and their musical outputs. The writing is always thoughtful and accurate and exemplifies how we - as punks or whatever - are capable of documenting and reflecting upon our own history and culture. This is nerdy in the best sense of the term. 

And if you are not convinced already, just look how great Our Future looks when placed close to a Discharge record. 

A Discharge nature morte

This is a top read and a great effort at keeping the fanzine culture alive and - more importantly - relevant, educational and fun. So do yourself a favour and check what Our Future has to offer here. And while you are at it, check the great 24-song compilation The new wave of the grave new beat which features glorious acts of Discharge orthodoxy such as Bombardement, Lifelock Thisclose and Monadh by 5,000 (Scatha fans take notes on this one).   

Hear nothing, see nothing but read something.     


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