Optimo Music / UK / 2023 / 2LP
Anarcho Punk was the one sub-genre of Punk that emerged in isolation from the rock & roll establishment. During its pioneering days of the early 1980s it thrived in opposition to the music industry, existing as a fiercely underground alternative to the bands, labels and venues of the commercialised mainstream Punk scene. It continues to do so. Anarcho Punk represented one of the last truly underground and autonomous music movements ever witnessed and remains a movement that has never sold out and has never gone away.
The major differentiation between the Anarcho Punk acts and the more traditional Punk outfits was that for the former, albeit often more due to musical limitation than intent, the message was more important than the music. Standard song structures were often dispersed with in favour of a relentless lyrical polemic accompanied by a similarly uncompromising aural assault. As the scene grew, so did the diversity of records that emerged under the Anarcho Punk umbrella: from D & V (drums & vocals) to the proto-EBM synth-pop of Belfast’s one-man Hit Parade and the Dadaist Beefheart hybrid of The Cravats. In later days the two biggest acts of the scene, Flux of Pink Indians and Crass themselves, both released LPs which had more in common with improv Jazz than hardcore punk.
The resounding victory of Anarcho Punk is that it is now a the unifying soundtrack to a culture of resistance that spans Scotland to Indonesia and remains without compromise. It is still as removed from mainstream music and oppositional to conventional culture as it was over forty years ago and shows no sign of changing. Quite the opposite: the more popular Anarcho Punk becomes the less it has to engage with the music establishment and the more control it can enjoy. In 2023, that message remains as uncompromising as ever.
This is a double vinyl retrospective compilation of some of the most radical music ever made, a musical force that changed lives. Covering the years 1979 - 86 and including classic tracks from Crass, Poison Girls, Flux Of Pink Indians, The Mob, Zounds, Annie Anxiety, The Ex, ATV plus 10 more, all newly remastered by iconic Punk mastering engineer Daniel Husayn. It has been lovingly compiled by JD Twitch and Anarcho legend Chris Low and was ten years in the making. There are also a couple of previously unreleased mixes included. It comes as a high quality double vinyl pressing, and has a full colour sleeve with back and front images designed by the legendary Gee Vaucher. It also comes with a 6 page fold out poster on one side with detailed sleeve notes, recollections and essays on the other side.
The compilation is a fundraiser for Faslane Peace Camp. Not so far from Glasgow Faslane Naval Base is home to Britain's abhorrent Trident nuclear missiles. The camp has been there, protesting since 1982 and is still active to this day. We hope in our lifetime we will see those missiles leave Scottish soil. We have so much respect for those who have dedicated their lives to protesting these weapons and it seemed an obvious choice that the proceeds from this release should go to help them, and the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.