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Sweden lost!

No, I do not lament the fact that Sweden lost to Russia in yesterday’s football match, and even if I would have cared about the European Championships, another event yesterday would have been infinitely much worse anyway. On Wednesday, the Swedish parliament passed a law which will give the government the right to tap into information passing Sweden’s borders. Since the Internet is highly globalised in its structure, most traffic passes over the borders even if Swedish people are communicating with each other in Sweden. In other words, the new law gives the government the right to supervise its own citizens’ private communications without reason. Welcome to 1984!

I seldom care about politics in Sweden. I have voted twice, but not with any great conviction, but rather choosing between the lesser of many evils. Most parties in Sweden are fairly similar, and I think we will manage pretty well regardless of which happens to be in power. Until yesterday, I have had no real reason to distrust politicians in general, but failing to stop a law such as this is amazing and terrifying. Yet it is true. What is even more surprising is that those in favour were liberals! I thought liberalism was about individual freedom rather than government control, but I seem to have been mistaken. I also despise the fact that almost none of the liberals had the guts to vote against their own parties. If I had voted for any of them in the previous election, I would have felt very cheated indeed. Worse, I do not doubt that the current opposition would have passed the same law, had they been in power. When KMFDM released their song “New American Century”, I never believed that the following lines would apply to Sweden as well, but now, they seem appropriate:

Don’t do this – don’t say that
Your every move is logged and tracked
By the all oppressive eye
Spy satellites in friendly skies

Furthermore, the surveillance is done by FRA, a government authority previously known to conduct such supervising without legal support. Needless to say, I have little trust in that things will be done properly this time. Extending the rights of such authorities relies on the notion of citizens trusting the government not to make mistakes. I do not trust anyone not to make mistakes, therefore I believe any infringement of privacy in this manner is really, really bad. Besides, what kind of terrorism is supposed to be stopped by this? To my knowledge, terrorism in Sweden is not a widespread problem. The money invested in this madness could have come to much better use elsewhere, even if the goal was to combat terrorism.

My rant could go on for pages, but I really see no point in that. Instead, I shall have to wait and see what happens. Perhaps public opinion can force politicians to change or rescind the law. Perhaps there will be a couple of honourable politicians to vote for in the next general election. Perhaps someone will devise nice, subversive means of disrupting the authorities activities (I have seen some nice suggestions, such as auto-sending copies of all e-mails to the government). Regardless of all this, Sweden still lost.

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Title: Tohuvabohu
Artist: KMFDM
Label: Metropolis Records
Year: 2007

I have enjoyed KMFDM for many years now, and they are my second most played band. Although they have made releases that do not amount to much in my mind, they have release an impressive amount of albums (about one each year since the beginning) and most of them at least partly brilliant, which is rare indeed. What is even rarer is that they have managed to expand and change in a way I truly like. With the new line-up since WWIII, they have produced three albums, all of which are excellent. The sound has been sliding gradually more towards rock than industrial, so when Konietzko announced that the new album (Tohuvabohu, released in August this year) would be more electronic, I was delighted.

Tohuvabohu is an excellent album, possibly one of the best. It combines the rock influences from WWIII and Hau Ruck, and revives the electronic core of the band from earlier eras. This produces a mixture I truly love, a mixture unique to KMFDM that I have been unable to find elsewhere. I also find that Tohuvabohu is more varied than earlier albums in that the style of individual tracks differ more, although at the same time keeping within the style of the album as a whole. I love the way Lucia’s voice has been developing and the fact that she has been granted more vocal space. Lately, I seem to have nourished a weakness for industrial music with female vocalists, hm…

One of the key features of WWIII and Hau Ruck (it is a feature of earlier albums too, but I feel it much more strongly in those two most recent) is political lyrics expertly written and conveying an important message. Albeit that I do not always agree wholeheartedly or cannot relate to it, a message is there. Even though I have not yet have time (or the inclination) to analyse carefully the lyrics on Tohuvabohu, I still feel there is a difference and a shift of focus towards more everyday aspects of life. I do not say that this is bad, I just say that I like political themes more.

On the whole, Tohuvabohu is brilliant and I certainly deem it one of the top three albums by KMFDM. I have had roughly three months to absorb the music, so I feel that I am in a position to comment on its relative splendidness. In any case, I recommend Tohuvabohu to anyone who likes either rock or industrial music and favours a belligerent sound with punch.

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One task on the101 tasks in 1001 days project involves compiling a CD with my favourite music. I did this a while ago, but since I think that compilation was too heavily influenced by temporary eddies in preferences, I have now revised it to be somewhat more enduring than the one before. So, here we go:

1. Covenant – Stalker (club version)
2. Deine Lakaien – Return
3. Frontline Assembly – Vigilante
4. Fleetwood Mac – Tango in the Night
5. Infected Mushroom – Frog Machine
6. Juno Reactor – Pistolero
7. KMFDM – Professional Killer
8. Melotron – Kein Problem
9. Pink Floyd – High Hopes
10. Project Pitchfork – Drone State
11. Rammstein – Herzeleid
12. Röyksopp – Whate Else is There?
13. The knife – Heartbeats
14. Vnv Nation – Chrome

I will still count the two swaps I have already made with Martin and David, and I have already got another one. This leaves seven still to go, so if you feel like it, compile your own favourite music and nudge me gently. Remember not to exceed 74 minutes and the maximum of one track per artist.

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Best of Snigel

One task on the101 tasks in 1001 days project, involves compiling a CD with my favourite music. The idea is to exchange the CD with others, so as to broaden my musical horizons a bit. Here is what I finally decided to put om my disc:

1. Assemblage 23 – Divide
2. Covenant – Feedback
3. Deine Lakaien – Return
4. Frontline Assembly – Vigilante
5. Infected Mushroom – Frog Machine
6. Juno Reactor – Pistolero
7. KMFDM – Professional Killer
8. Melotron – Kein Problem
9. Pink Floyd – High Hopes
10. Rammstein – Der Meister
11. Secret Chiefs 3 – Zulfiqar III
12. The Birthday Massacre – Lovers End
13. The Knife – Heartbeats
14. Vnv Nation – Electronaut

Last weekend I went to Gothenburg and the thirtieth annual gaming convention there. As agreed on beforehand, I swapped music with Martin and David. Though I have started down the road, I still have much left. My goal is to swap with ten others. Of course I will give the contents a chance, which might take some time.

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Det här är första inlägget på länge med musiktema. Jag har installerat en plugin till winamp som räknar antalet gånger en låt spelas mer än 30 sekunder och varje månad tänkte jag skriva lite kort om top fem på den listan. Så här ser listan ut för december 2005:

1. Denie Lakaien – Return
2. KMFDM – Professional Killer
3. Project Pitchfork – Chains

Deine Lakaien har jag inte lyssnat så mycket på innan, men Return är en mycket bra låt. Ganska lugn och muisken passar hans djupa röst helt perfekt. Den här är utan tvekan månadens låt. Båda Professional Killer och Chains tillhör egentligen månaden innan och hade jag räknat November hade Project Pitchfork men framförallt KMFDM kommit mycket, mycket högre upp. Jag knarkade senaste albumet Hau Ruck hela månaden ut.

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I mitt förra låttips efterlyste jag mer uppblandad synth, med elgitarrer och sedan kom jag på att KMFDM är ett ganska bra exempel på band där detta har gjorts och där resultatet har blivit mycket bra. Det är en grupp jag faktiskt inte lyssnat på speciellt mycket, inte alls på sistone faktiskt. Det gäller dock inte sista veckan, då jag bara har lyssnat på KMFDM.

På sätt och vis kanske jag har tröttnat lite på monoton sång i låtar och gått mer åt det här hållet under senare tid. Ohgr, som jag tipsade om för ganska länge sedan, är också ett exempel på detta. Det finns säkert fler, men trenden är tydlig.

KMFDM står för Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid (ungefärligt översatt till engelska: “no pity for the masses”), men en del andra förslag har kommit upp, så som: keep madonna from doing music och kill mother-fucking depeche mode. Nåväl, bandet bildades 1984 och firar således 20 årsjubileum i år, vilket bara det inger respekt.

Förgrundsfiguren är den smått legendariske Sasha Konietzko och genom åren har många inom scenen kända band bidragit, några exempel är Ministry, Skinny Puppy och Nine Inch Nails. Bandet är tyskt, även om det mött störst framgångar i USA. Men nu över till låttipset, D.I.Y på skivan Adios.

Låten inleds med lite pampig orkestermusik, som sedan smidigt blandas med en inte alltför originell basgång. Stråkarna ligger kvar under delar av låten och det ger en väldigt fin blandning. Texten är en aning rebellisk och sätter sig väldigt lätt på hjärnan (varning, varning!). Här kommer den, slutkommentaren kommer efter:

A new revolution
The ulimate war
KMFDM is back for more
twice the mayhem
Triple the force
10x the action
Total Hardcore

Shangai-Stockholm-Berlin-Tel Aviv
The world rotates to the Ultra-Heavy Beat
From the gutter to the top
KMFDM will never stop

Violence, anger and anarchy
A megaton load of toxic debris
Money, power, all you can eat
The manifestation of ultimate greed

The World rotates to the Ultra-Heavy Beat

Rip the SYSTEM, throw it away

No legislation can stand in our way
Anti, Anti in the USA
Ends with a M
begins with a K

D. I. Y. destroy what destroys you
D. I. Y. do or die

Jag tror inte den här typen av musik kan bli mycket bättre än såhär, och då säger jag det på ett positivt sätt förstås! Tycker man inte om genren, tough luck, gör man det är KMFDM ett måste. Andra låtar som är bra på den skivan är till exempel: Adios, Sycophant (fint namn för övrigt) och Witness. Mer KMFDM till folket, yeah!

web: www.kmfdm.com
album: adios

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