Socialist Worker

Fresh new sounds in the fight against fascism

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 1906

Stop the BNP

Corey Johnson

LOVE MUSIC Hate Racism, the anti-fascist music campaign, is set to release a 'Stop the BNP' fundraising compilation. It will feature many of the acts that would have played at the Manchester and London carnivals that were blocked by the police earlier this month.

A promo for the CD is already available from LMHR. It has been put together by Corey Johnson, an up and coming producer with the Brixton-based Defenders LOS sound system. Many of the tracks feature Defenders LOS artists, including singer Nay-dean and Corey Johnson himself. These tracks form the core of laid back hip-hop and soul that holds the CD together.

Johnson's tracks are smooth and summery, with a touch of urban grit and melancholy. The three Nay-dean tracks in particular-'Fly Guy', 'I Just Wanna' and 'Street Life'-have a classic 1970s disco soul feel to them. They're thoroughly appealing and suggest she's a talent to look out for. But having set his signature sound as a backdrop, Johnson ventures further afield, skillfully splicing in contemporary R&B, ragga, indie rock and more. The music is peppered with messages from activists and artists promoting the fight against the fascist BNP.

Highlights include Street Dreams' 'My Life's Like', a beautiful and lyrical tune that easily compares to the best of modern American R&B. The ragga tracks also stand out, from the boistrous righteousness of Dirty Dogz' 'Back to School' to the dark militancy of Navigator's 'Blaze Them', which features sinister samples from George W Bush.

Some of the tunes are bafflingly uncategorisable. 'X-Directory' is one of those rare tunes that deserves to be called boundary-breaking. It's an utterly fresh hybrid of rock, hip-hop and jazzy soul. Million Dan's 'Dogz & Sledges' somehow manages to cross ragga vocals with a driving punk rock sound.

The indie acts featured include the cream of the new rock scene, such as The Fades, The Others and Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. They're all strongly influenced by the 1970s punk and post-punk sound, combining the melodies of The Clash with the clatter of The Fall. My personal highlight is Art Brut's 'Formed a Band', which brims with agitational energy and cutting irony.

All in all, this promo presents an excellent cross-section of fresh, modern music from up and coming artists across the genres, Blending music and politics effectively is a tricky business. LMHR and Corey Johnson should be congratulated on pulling it off with such style.

To find out how to get hold of the Stop the BNP promo, e-mail Love Music Hate Racism at [email protected]

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Article information

Sat 19 Jun 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1906
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