Laid up after a recent hospitalization, I can’t help but meditate on the profound horror of hospitals, civilian targets, and indeed an entire civilian population being bombed into non-existence. Right now, Palestine is never far from many of our minds.
Upon my discharge this compilation by German sound art collective L-Klangkunst Werk appeared in my social feed, shared by Berlin-based artist and philosopher Verónica Mota Galindo, whose lopingly ambient soundscape “I Shall Sing Until My Land is Free” appears amongst the extensive offering. A total of 67 noise, sound, alternative and experimental works appear on CEASEFIRE 1, and L-KW states that submissions were so great they have broken the compilation into two parts, with another forthcoming, largely from FLINTA and/or POC artists.
Sonically, CEASEFIRE fits the tried-and-true post-punk compilation format: a large and disparate offering of everything from folk to punk to noise, all tied together by the general “outsider” je ne sais quoi. Standouts include the aforementioned Vero Mota track, Selina Martin’s sun-washed industrial groove-bop Lay Down Your Arms, Morgan Paige’s gospel-evoking Insanire, Xin Le’s percussive RINSE, and Peter Kirn’s chopped and droning Seaside Song – Beirut. There is tension between the tracks, and a resistance to sitting neatly together, yet standing in collective anyway.
In the tradition of many such compilations, the solidarity is clear and strong: not only are the artists raising (literal) noise in awareness of what’s going on, they are raising funds: all proceeds go to purchasing dignity kits for Gazans living with scarce access to resources. You can stream or purchase on BandCamp.
CEASEFIRE (Part 1) was curated by Decolonoize Berlin Collective, a BIPOC group seeking to support, promote and amplify non-white artists in alternative and underground music scenes.
The official German stance may be to support the bombing campaign at all cost, but it’s clear that its artists stand against this, and loudly!