My dear fellow international punks, here is a very special zine from Spain that I want to share with you. It’s called I Don’t Give A Fck Zine. Without the u in Fuck, as they prefer it (it looks cooler, I’ll give them that). The name is pretty direct and fully represents the publication as you’ll soon read for yourself. The genres and topics are not a problem for this one, on its pages you can read about hip-hop, noise, free jazz, anarchopunk, drone and more.
The zine started from a newsletter, which was centered around punk, crust, grindcore, hardcore punk, powerviolence and all things in between. All of these we dearly love here, but it’s always great when things go further than expected. It’s something to celebrate and on a personal level, I stand strongly with that. There are enough limitations in the world of music so don’t need more. The world has a huge amount of things to offer, why not try to take them all? If someone tries to stop you, you can remind them the title of the zine. I’m certain, they’ll kindly understand.
So, the newsletter turned into a physical fanzine and their first 16-page long issue was published at the end of 2017. It was their first step into the world and as such was a pretty good one. Featured were interviews with bands like Agathocles and Máquina Muerta, political articles and music reviews, among many other things you would expect in any punk zine. The seed was planted, it was starting to grow and they didn’t stood there just waiting. You gotta water that shit!
There were many reasons for this zine to be born. In their Blogspot page they declare that they wanted to “fight back that postmodernism which nullifies political positionings, that nihilism which says that everything is done or that fukuyanism which says that capitalist society has won and that we don’t have any other choices of building something new and different”.
What do we make of all these overwhelming feelings that surround us constantly in the politically agitated and psychologically devastating world of today? Can we find some kind of outlet? A tiny crack, a hint of an exit? The people making this zine look at things differently, search for new routes, new escapes, new reasons and new meanings. They decided this little zine was the perfect tool for their modest means, for building bridges and networks, connecting people, transcending the digital world, while still using it to a degree to spread their message. They’ve got their feet on the ground, their bodies and souls united, but they also got their heads all over the place, moving like rippling waves, shaking like furious earthquakes. There’s something more beyond what binds and numbs us.
The writers had a real, serious need, coming from deep within, to cross the boundaries in any way they could, to document and analyze, to report, collect and share information about music, art, politics, philosophy, all those things that fuel our burning hearts and feed our restless minds, about life in all its glorious and enormous mess. They might fail in the process, but that should never stop them or anyone else trying their best. They want to try and keep trying and will do so. “Our goal is to make zines be seen as something whole, like a book or manual, and also to confront the mechanisms and instantaneity of “likes” so they don’t consume things that are more simmered in nature”, they firmly declare.
Then in 2019 came a beautiful 80-pages long double-feature. Printed in A5 format, on black and white and also written in english. They wanted to make something bigger, crafted with more care and time, always putting quality over quantity, moving at their own pace, following what their insides dictate. Who wants to create and work under some fast-food work logic, anyway?
“Money may come back, time doesn’t” states the introduction of issues #2 and #3. They continue with the same principles of the first issue, but always making that extra step, always wanting to grow and avoid what’s obvious and expected. Some of the interviews included, along with political articles and other writings, are with bands and artists like Hongo, Ruido de Rabia, Martin Sorrondeguy and Hogre. Definitely worth checking out, even if you don’t know any of them. There’s lots to be discovered.
And now, after the long but necessary introduction, let’s go with what brings us here. The big, big thing. This new zine by IDGAF, their #4, was also an A5, black and white publication, but the pages have grown to 96! Can you believe it? A total bookazine, as they call it. It has a total of around 62,000 words and will be available in two versions. One is in English (available soon) and the other in Spanish (in Europe you can get it through IDGAF and in Latin America through Imperecedero Discos). Just as they’ve been doing from the start: a new issue, a new step forward. And what a step this is, I tell you. Be it the pandemic, the political turmoil all over the world, the decline of Western civilisation, the heat death of the universe or any of the other stuff bombing us constantly. All these thoughts and visions HAD to be printed and shared. We, the other hand, are here to help spread it a bit more. Let’s zoom in for a little overview (we wouldn’t want to spoil the whole content for you)!
In this new issue they cover a wide range of scenes and topics, always widening their scope. Discussed are mental health, politics, DIY, drugs, music, war, humour, nature, literature, dictatorships, you name it. It’s a hectic cultural mix, a maximalist collage akin to patched up crust punk pants (maybe less dirty). There’s something in it for everyone. In its wonderful pages, we find in depth conversations with people from Paraguay, Chile, Mexico, Spain, from Europe, South America and North America. The questions they ask cover a broad spectrum of subjects and helps us understand not just the interviewee, but also the situation they live in, their mental state and that of the people near them, their relationship with their territory and surroundings. Every flick of a page is a journey through the world thanks to the many echoing voices of punks from different contexts, locations and situations, with ideas and ways of living that contrast each other, feedbacking, helping us all learn from their experiences. It’s like holding a little planet in our hands.
The first interview is with the political and angry noisecore duo Changoz, from Paraguay, who have been making raw music since 2009, recording in their own home, distorting everything they can, going against what’s considered a standard in the musical production landscape. It wouldn’t be fun if they cared about that, they’ve found their own way around it. That’s something that stood out for me, it was showcased when they started to talk about the way they produce their music, the content of their lyrics and their connections to the rest of South America.
Next in line is an interview for Damien de Coene, the owner of Dark Field Recordings, also known as Charles Razeur, where we dive right into different kinds of environments: dark enveloping noise, rhythmic deep static, eerie and dissonant field recordings, all while we read about technology and recording equipment, psychology and poetry, even about health and the loss of hearing, everything calmly encompassed by the aesthetic of big, droney walls of sounds. If i’m not mistaken, he was born in Belgium but now resides in Spain, so he has had the opportunity to create, work and participate in many things in those contexts, surely both very European, but different in their own way, and that has really shaped him and the place where he now stands in life.
And what cannot be missing from a zine like this? What do nerds like us crave the most?Music reviews, obviously! And not written from the position of a boring know-it-all figurehead, there’s many other places for those, but from the love for these sounds, which allows for sincere deep listening and sharing. As with everything they do, the people behind this zine prefer doing everything at their own tempo and in their own terms. That’s exactly how they select the music they listen to and review. From the industrial, dark ambient of Anemone Tube, the textural electronic atmospheres of Asmus Tietchens (both from Germany) to the classic heavy industrial hip-hop from Dalëk’s Abscence, the eclectic Atrocity Exhibition from rap wonder Danny Brown and the death industrial sound collage that burns in Himukalt’s music (these three from USA) or the blazing harsh noise wall of Dosis Letalis (from Serbia). Of course, you can’t forget the raw blackened punk abrasiveness from Ka’tzon La’tevach’s Like Lambs to the Slaughter (“zero respect for musical genres” writes the band from Israel and Spain in their Bandcamp page). And if you still want more, 2019’s Electroencephalogram, the collaboration between Sete Star Sept (Japan) and Rich Hoak (USA) might be what you’re looking for, just 12 sweet grindin’ minutes of heavy improvisation, or Teogonía’s 2020 EP, which we already covered here on DIY Conspiracy!
On page 30, we can read articles and writings by Manual De Combate’s Julio Cortés related to Chile’s uprising that started in October, 2019. Its flames are still burning today, its energy still lingering, refusing to die despite what the government has done in this incredibly poorly managed pandemic. At the end, there’s also an interview with the band, but before that we can read a bit about the context of the revolt, which gave birth to it and how it developed. There’s been demonstrations and confrontations, police brutality and political repression, tear gas, water cannons and bullets, shame and anger. Lots of anger. They kept kicking us, spitting at us, treating us like shit, all while saying they supposedly cared about us, protected us, lying to our faces with the most awful devilish grin. I read along and feel all of it in my flesh, as I was also there. I can resonate with Julio’s words and I think they perfectly transmit how it felt to have your feet on the messy, wet and dirty streets, barely breathing, tired, full of sweat and other fluids, but with energy, a bit dazed, maybe, but with our hearts exploding like never before, seeing everyone there together with you, moving on, taking up roles, helping, doing what they could in the moment. You almost felt like you could drown in the crowd, that big mass, which was taking over the avenues and squares step by step. That moment was ours and we had to do our best to keep it, ‘cause we knew they’d do everything they could to take it away. Hurting people, blinding them, taking away their lives. Nothing was off limits for them. They only wanted to exert their power over us to silence us and keep us obedient, separated and lonely.
As I wrote before, after Julio’s writings there’s an interview with the punk-free-noise band from Santiago, Manual De Combate. Alongside the zine, you can get their new album, Mapas Auténticos del Mundo Imaginario. Mapas Imaginarios del Mundo Real, an album that’s easily connected to the way IDGAF makes things, being their political motivations, the way they build trust with punks all over the world or the need to mix all the things they love, be it poetry, politics, philosophy, art, post-hardcore, jazz or noise. The album, better experienced while reading the fanzine, was released by I Don’t Give A Fck, Catalina Records (from Uruguay) and, of course, Imperecedero Discos (Chile). It was pressed in a beautiful 12” black vinyl and it’s limited to just 300 copies. You can’t miss it! If you’ve heard the album, you’ll surely want one. And if you haven’t, well, you know what to do next.
In the interview, the band freely talks about many things, with a rhythm akin to the music they make. Obviously, Chile’s situation was something they couldn’t skip and they dive into it carefully and extensively, as politics take the central position of the group’s ethos and of each of its members’ private lives. It’s not just a facade, it doesn’t need to be. It’s something we all should explore on a daily basis, always searching for a new perspective, for hidden meanings, for all the things that faintly, briefly, appear before us as glimpses of something else, something different.
The situation regarding COVID-19 and the approach of the second anniversary of the revolts, not just the one in Chile, gives us a different look at the general picture. The confinement makes us hungry for difference, for ways to feel like we’re not trapped, for liberation. Sometimes music can help us with that. You probably already know it and don’t need me to tell you that. Punk, and its various sub-genres go really far. Punk’s also connected to the vision and hypnosis of dub, the liberation and energy of free jazz, the dissecting dissociation of noise, the droning and experimental introspection of krautrock. It’s connected to the many confrontational avant-garde rock-based sounds spilled all over the globe and to the little folk rebellions we can find in many, many countries through history. We not only read about the band and what they think or do, but about a whole world of cultural connections.
In the adjacent section, Colectivo Lumes do Norte, hailing from Galicia’s crust scene, share their experience with okupas, animals, deforestation, the rural world and their relationship with nature, the Earth and the other humans as a whole. There’s also an extensive conversation about music, communality, tradition, coordination, even energy and mysticism. They share what it takes to build a strong community, all the hardships they go through to hold everything up, about organization and trust. We learn about different places and spaces, about shows and friendship, bands and crows, punk and metal, DIY and commercialization. And how they learn as well, as it is key to everything they do. What they share with us is very important and they tell us everything in a very straight-forward way. The original recording of this interview was 6 hours long, so kudos to the editor, as they edited it swiftly and kept a very good pace and cadence.
Up next we have the books and zines review section, a beloved part to most fanzines, and one that you can’t manage carelessly (unless you want to piss the nerds off). Julio Cortés appears again, this time with a short book about Japanese punk and anarchism, alongside two numbers from the noisecore zine Garbage Fountain from Finland and two more by Grindcore for Life from Poland (which was reviewed in here last year). That’s not everything, books by Byung-Chul Han, Sirgurd Olson and Joseph Roth share the same space as zines like The Black Candle (Austria), Golgotha (Germany) and Winterview (Greece). This makes for a very contrasting myriad of topics, which are more related to each other than we might think. You just have to connect the dots as you read, something the zine makes easier for us to do.
Argéniz from the great punk band Máquina Muerta (if you haven’t heard their split with Perú’s DHK, what are you waiting for?), who had already appeared in the zine, guides us through a shaky train ride. USA, México, Canada, even the internet and social networks. We see it all through his eyes and the million of eyes he’d looked at. The violence on the borders, the rawness of the situations millions face each day, the immense landscapes that could engulf everything any second, the stories and perspectives between the train wagons, the highway, the soil and the cities of North America, the things he learned with his band and the people they met. It’s not something you can easily sum up in one or two words without losing something important. Here, I’ll wish you luck and leave you with your own means.
Finally, before the epilogue, there’s great recommendations by everyone interviewed. From books (Hour of the star, Trilce, Das Kapital, Crudo Soy Fanzine, The Art of Loving, Stranger in the Woods, Walden) and music (Heavier than a Death in the Family, Symphony for a Genocide, Cahuineando, Spiritual Unity, El Brillo que tiene es lo humano que le queda, Gatillazo, Se hace por los sueños asesinos) to movies (Terra em transe, Les glaneurs et la glaneuse, Los Olvidados, The Pearl Button) and art (Antoni Pitxot), also including a very interesting project by Damien de Coene.
I could write a lot more after venturing through these pages, which placed the zine right along my other favorite ones, Crudo Soy, Chicos Estúpidos and Salvaje (the three of them from Chile). I think the perfect final words are the ones, which are actually closing the zine:
“Better to try new things and run the risk of failing, don’t you think? […] There’s no tomorrow, there is only today, do not let your inaction steal it from you. […] Nobody says it is easy, but, as long as we do not generate mechanisms with which to try to manage all of this and empower ourselves – because when it is not a pandemic, it is an economic crisis, a civil war or any variable-, as well as filter “fake news”, we will continue to be victims of its emotional roller coaster and its automatisms, we can never even try to savour our everyday life”.
I’m 100% with them on this. Are you?
If you want a copy of this edition, want to know more or you just want to share you thoughts with them, you can contact the zine on their mail [email protected]