Friday, November 12, 2010

Free seeds or Free trade?

In their urge to please the World Trade Organisation, major multinational corporations such as Monsanto and commodify everything (and anyone?) in the name of that holiest of holy, Free Trade, the Swedish government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, now wishes to impose even stricter regulation on so called "free seeds". The explicit aim, other than simply adopting policies decided in the EU, is to promote agricultural biodiversity by making it easier to sell seeds to "hobby farmers" within the European Union. It's interesting to note that the way to make things easier for "regular people" generally means "getting more restrictions", whereas to make things easier for "corporations" generally means "removing restrictions".

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SMP - Coda (2010)

A veritable "jack in the box", Jason Bazinet has worked with industrial giants like Chemlab, 16volt and Front Line Assembly as a drummer - most recently on the 2010 Midi Ghetto Tour in the US and Canada and FLA's (mostly) European 2010 tour. Even going so far as to do three drum-gigs a night for most of the Midi Ghetto Tour (16volt and Chemlab, and also filling in for Left Spine Down). In addition, he's involved to greater and lesser degrees with 64K, Monicom, The Crills as well as the elusive and enigmatic Loyal Opposition. It would be easy to forget he's also founder, only constant and currently sole member of SMP (Sounds of Mass Production) - the coldwave/industrial rock-rap crossover hybrid of a monster. Formed in the early 90's, SMP debuted with Stalemate on the (in-)famous Re-Constriction in 1995 and has since gone on to release four more full-length albums, two remix albums, one mixtape and too many collaborations and remixes to count. Needless to say, the news of a new album in the works got me all kinds of excited - especially since Bazinet announced that 2008's remix album Pissing on the Legacy would be the end of SMP.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mortiis - Perfectly Defect (2010)

With his roots as bass player in the black metal band Emperor, Mortiis has come a long way over the years. From the first instrumental ambient/darkwave solo albums (as well as side projects Vond and Fata Morgana), to the synth pop/electro-industrial styling of 2001's The Smell of Rain (which saw Mortiis picking up the mic for the first time) and the harsher industrial rock of 2004's The Grudge (by which time "Mortiis" had turned into a full-blown band, rather than being the solo outfit of Håvard Ellefsen). It's now been three years since the release of Some Kind of Heroin, the remix version of The Grudge. During those years Mortiis (as a band) have been touring, working on new material and Mortiis (the frontman, Håvard) has shed the last parts of the mask he'd been wearing since way back in the day. In part as a gift to the fans, and (I suppose) in part as a teaser for the next full CD (The Great Deceiver, slated for an early 2011 release) Mortiis has released Perfectly Defect online.