Crass – Normal Never Was
Normal Never Was is available as a limited edition 12″ single on red vinyl and includes an immediate digital download when purchased through the One Little Indian store. Only 1,000 records are being pressed. All monies raised by the project will be donated to the charity ‘Refuge’
Normal Never Was is available as a limited edition 12″ single on red vinyl and includes an immediate digital download when purchased through the One Little Independent store. Only 1,000 records are being pressed. All monies raised by the project will be donated to the charity ‘Refuge’
Late last year, anarchist punk icons Crass took the step of making the original separate track stems of their seminal debut album ‘The Feeding of the Five Thousand’ available as a free download on One Little Indian Records. With a call to take the original sixteen track recording in its pre-mix state, the intent was for people to create their own remixes and interpretations and breathe fresh life and ideas into this revolutionary music.
First released in 1978, ‘The Feeding of the Five Thousand’ pre-empted rap and grime in its hard-on-the-beat, fast fire, uncompromising lyrics, and the iconic sounds and messages are ripe for reinterpretation. Crass encouraged people to rip apart the sound and ideas and create something new, then send the files to Crass Records for future releases and charitable projects. The message is DIY like it never was before. “Yours for the taking, yours for the making,” Crass said. “You do it, we’ll stew it. Mix it backwards, forwards, and upside down. Turn up the heat and fix it with a downbeat, bring in the trumpets and let ‘em blow, let the piper call the tune to let us all know, it’s up to you to do what you like with it. The only limitation is your imagination.”
The response was fantastic with close to one hundred submissions from professionals, amateurs, do-gooders, do badders, DIYers, and give it a tryers twisting and morphing the sounds.
The first results of this creative process are ready to be heard and released in the form of a twelve-inch EP of remixes by producer and XL Recordings honcho Richard Russell under the guise rLr who tackles and further subverts the anti-war anthem ‘They’ve Got A Bomb’ and turning it into a stuttering, rhythmic rattle, whilst Boston, Massachusetts experimental synth-pop artist Glasser takes aim at ‘Do They Owe Us A Living?’ and takes the original songs simple, direct messaging into entirely different realms of rhythm and distortion.
“Crass is a great example of futuristic art and lifestyle; anchored in communal ethics and collective spirit, moving beyond mere defiance of authority and into radical ideas of love and creativity,” explains Glasser. “I’m so glad I had the chance to play around with their recordings. It’s basically the best gift a fan could get from the artists they admire. “
You can listen to the NTS show featuring Penny Rimbaud and Richard Russell here
All monies raised will go to the charity ‘Refuge’
‘Refuge is incredibly grateful to Crass and their team for helping raise vital funds for Refuge. Since the start of lockdown, Refuge has seen a 66% rise in demand for its Helpline and a 950% rise in visits to its Helpline website. This shows the sheer extent of the need for specialist domestic abuse services – not just during lockdown but beyond. Every penny raised helps us to ensure that no woman or child is turned away from safety.
‘While lockdown itself doesn’t cause domestic abuse – abuse happens all year round – it does, of course, have the potential to aggravate pre-existing abusive behaviors – and the data we have shows us the increase in the need for our services during the lockdown. Refuge worked incredibly hard at the beginning of the pandemic to make sure our services remained open and remained safe. The generous donations we have received, including those from Crass, mean we can continue to provide the life-saving and life-changing services that women experiencing domestic abuse need and deserve.’
Crass are still accepting contributions to the project with the final date for submissions being August 1st. “But don’t let that stop you,” say Crass. “Make your own album of it and get it out there but let us know if that’s what you’re up to. We’re all in this together. It’s you who makes the world around you, the mix is all yours. Tell it loud, tell it proud.”
1,2,3,4. Do they owe us a remix?
Download the stems here