No Führer

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No Führer

f.org

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Tracklist

  1. Without Roots the Mountain Collapses
  2.  Red Rooms are Blue and All is in Darkness
  3. Existence = Resistance
  4. All are Welcome in the Outer Ring
  5. Machine Gun

Notes

So for anyone who might just be waking up from a coma, missed the past two years of insanity that this planet’s been subjected to and are for whatever reason turning to yours truly’s website to fill you in, this is what you’ve missed: a failed real estate developer with some serious emotional hangups looking to make one last score before taking a dirt nap decided to run for president in hopes that he would lose but use his momentum to launch his own television network or something to that extent, possibly making a series of shady deals with various entities in the process. Unfortunately, said failed developer managed to run against one of the few people on this planet who could be considered even less popular than him. In the end, it got pretty nasty and both candidates came out substantially flawed and for whatever reason, the developer, now facing multiple allegations of corruption, abuse and potentially treason, running on a platform that was so outright audaciously racist and xenophobic that he may as well been a villain on an early ’90’s environmental themed kids show somehow won. After that, things got pretty dark. I’ll spare you the details since in the end, this record is only marginally about that, and I’m sure you, oh intrepid invalid are entirely capable of finding more reliable sources confirming my cautionary tale, but if you need to, feel free to open a new tab and catch up – I’ll wait.

Back? Yeah, it’s that dark. Thankfully we have a few saving graces on our side at the moment – for instance, that the truly evil sycophants attached to this current administration are incapable of effectively navigating government bureaucracy and that at the end of the day, dear leader is mostly reactionary – meaning that he’s only capable of responding to the narrow band of information that he chooses to see and as long as his vacuum keeps enforcing that sitting in the big chair’s all about crowd sizes and disputes with the media, we’ll probably all make it to 2020 without experiencing a nuclear catastrophe, missile derived or otherwise. How’s that for positive thinking? But in the meantime, we survive – I hate to say it, but as a member of one of those immigrant families (with all of our paperwork in order, thank you much), I will admit that we do have go-bags packed and routes plotted to the border in the event that one of several metaphorical shoes drop. The big question is how many shoes does there have to be in the deluge before we make the run? At least living in a college town with a substantial international population that’s less than 2 hours from the closest border crossing is a relief. Call me paranoid, but I have the feeling that Baltimore is going to be pretty nuts if things hit the fan.

But that’s all in the potential future. Lets talk about the past for a second, specifically focusing on March 2017 – and zoom in on two contemporary musicians attempting to navigate an east coast tour at a time when things were possibly at peak crazy. Because that’s exactly the premise that birthed No Führer – the second album by f.org.

First off, booking this tour was a nightmare. I mean, yeah, I’m a little rusty at booking stuff due to my aversion to social media, two years outside the US and a good three years or so dedicated to visual art and child-rearing, but come on, the fundamentals should have been sound and at least some contacts should have still been in the game. But unfortunately, a few factors were against us. First, the general alt-right reaction to the Ghost Ship tragedy lead to the shuttering of several established venues throughout the country. Second, given the uncertainty of what was going to happen on the eve of darkness, not many folks were willing to stick their necks out for some white dudes in the improv game. Third, we were on the same trek as Arrington de Diyoniso, which is normally a good thing, but considering the flack he received from being one of the clues to unravelling the PizzaGate conspiracy due to paintings of his being featured at Comet Ping Pong a few years back, it was difficult to hop onto his bills, owing to a combination of discretion and enthusiasm from the locals on our parallel journeys. Finally, it became fairly apparent that a good majority of Baltimore venues are in fact terrible places to play and book at. I won’t elaborate, but I will stand firm in my assertion that I’m better off setting down roots in Central New York than trying to make a mark in Charm City. Descriptions notwithstanding, we took what we could get and did what we could to make the most of it once it was there.

But of course, there was also the matter of getting there. If we’re still working within the confines of the whole invalid in a coma thing, the early days of said failed developer’s administration came pretty close to true fascism. Like close the borders, fascism. We heard stories of grandmothers being turned away, or Costa Ricans being accused of being members of the Iranian military and of course the general attempts at “travel bans” for various nationalities. Considering Alex flies with a Canadian passport, we were worried that he would be intercepted en route, interrogated and disappeared for thought crimes. Maybe a little paranoid, but I’m honestly amazed our currently leader hasn’t curtailed the arts in favor of his gilded visions of forged Renoir paintings and Elton John. I suppose ignorance is bliss, but at the same time, when it comes time to blast him out of some resort in order that he face the music, I’d be more than happy to recommend a couple playlists. Anyways, Alex made it just fine and we began our journey.

Through darkness. Through acceptance. In lament and celebration. All said, it was pretty raw and I couldn’t think of a better way of focusing myself creatively considering the circumstances, or any better people to face the entropic void with. These recordings, compiled on tour, exist to serve as record to our plight. Do not listen to them lightly – this is some real deal, knife to the vein, heavy, protest-addled, contemplative, post-industrial free improv, as realized in such a matter that cuts right to the bone and leaves you cold all over. I’d recommend wrapping yourself in a blanket when you listen to these, but fact of the matter is, you’re not supposed to be comfortable while listening to this.

Media

Personnel

Alex Catona – cello, electronics
Travis Johns – laptop, electronics

Recorded in March 2017 in Baltimore, Md. and Washington DC

Mixing/Mastering = t.johns
Cover photography = a.catona

Video

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