Blackest. Ever.

Blackest ever Black

Honestly, I cannot remember when I heard about them for the first time. It must be ten or eleven years ago. Or maybe longer. But I can remember, I read it is the best music level at that time. And I can remember that as I recommended Blackest ever Black to a friend, he asked me why the whole label was not a band. Yeah. Why the label? Let us see. 

1. The color

Of course. What means „black“? We can start the discussion now, on what black means in western culture and how we can read it, and what we can think about it. But at this moment we don`t have a cultural discussion here but try to describe a music level specialized in electronic music. So… color plays a role. Obviously.

2. The music

The music is something magical. Maybe something we shouldn’t really write about. I can remember that I then forgot about the label for a few years. It must have been two or three years later when I rediscovered it. It was just one band, but it was very important. And not only for me. Maybe it gave the feeling of the 2010s again. For sure. And what were they like? Black. And another thing… but I don’t want to describe that. It’s better when you listen to it. 

3. The label

Well, the label no longer exists. And we have never reported about it. But you know: time doesn’t play such an important role for us. So. Blackest ever Black. Immerse yourselves in it. 

You can find the label on Bandcamp here. And here is the whole catalog (external links).

Enjoy this autumn music.

Summer Dreams

Summer Dreams

Derrida once said that ghosts live in phone calls. That when we are called, or watch a movie, we can then encounter a ghost. But when we dream, the spirits are there to touch. Like the dream from last summer. Or of the one that is to come. Or of the perfect summer that we are experiencing now.


We proudly present a new track by Yuki K. Summer Dreams. Here (external link):

Spring Desires

Photo ©by Inky

Gilles Deleuze says, that repetitions are differences of differences. And each spring is different from the other. That’s how we recognize it. However, these differences give us hope. But we have to recognize, that the future will never become the present.

We proudly present a new track by Yuki K. Here (external link)

The photo is made by Inky. She is a young model and photographer from Nairobi, Kenya. You can follow her work on Instagram @sueyoncehadasa. 

Forward to fight

We are proud to present another essay by Tomasz Kozak on zenvampires. Tomasz Kozak is a theoretician and visual artist combining philosophy, political sciences, and video art. He is an associate professor at the UMCS Institute of Fine Arts in Lublin, Poland. Currently, he works on a book inspired by Mark Fisher’s concept of libertarian communism.

©by Tomasz Kozak

Dead Kennedys once shouted out the Westerner’s hard-core blues. So much hate and so much pity. It’s such a bore; it gets me really sore. Gag with every breath. So I’m looking forward to death!

These days, we suddenly find ourselves in a world that is a far cry from boring. A traditional Chinese curse, ‘May you live in interesting times’, updates exponentially – through every move made by Russian jingoism during the invasion of Ukraine. So most of our societies will bid farewell to boredom in the days to come.

But some of us plan to remain dull. Certain red celebrities attest that by insisting on old songs: demented and daunting.

Take Noam Chomsky. In the 4 February interview for Truthout, he was so preoccupied with a new concert of Great Powers, with tuning into Russian concerns, that he ‘forgot’ of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity in Kyiv. And yet it did happen. It proved Ukraine is not a pawn but an independent and determinate agent. And as for self-determination, it hasalways made the very basis of socialist anti-imperialism. Mr Chomsky should be aware of so fundamental a fact.

There’s also Yannis Varoufakis: an advocate of Ukrainian neutrality. On his and DiEM25 part, he proves reluctant to mind a critical factor. Putinist Russia can hardly be filed under ‘peace- loving’ or ‘agreement-honouring’. As some stillremember, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, signed by the Russian Federation, guaranteed Ukraine territorial integrity in return for giving up nuclear weapons. In 2014, Putin killed the deal by the annexation of Crimea. Had the Ukrainians kept their nukes, would the aggression have been possible? Not bothered by the question, Varoufakisans are still happy to solicit the unilateral demilitarization. It’s not to be the Russian one, clearly.

©by Tomasz Kozak

These pronouncements are compassionate to the far-right regime’s complaints (e.g., the alleged NATO threat) andtacitly friendly to the ‘sphere of influence’ concept. Since its meaning cannot be decoupled from the imperialist tenets, those left-wingers who stick to it find themselves in an idiotic (pardon my French, aporetic) position. They will become inadvertent sidekicks of an aggressor.


As a leftist, I was infuriated. Choking with Chomsky’s smug dictums and Varoufakis’ counselling, I waited for someoneto fire soldierly expletives upon them. But then the spirits of the Classics stepped in and advised: A fistful of reminders will do.

So here you are. Socialism cannot reduce itself to non-violent idealism. The Left at its peak was bellicose and hencecapable of revolution. One could scarcely see Marx as a pacifist. According to him, pacifism contributed greatly to bourgeois ideology with the belief that too many devastating conflicts would lower stock prices. ‘War depresses thequotations of the three and four per cents!’ Hence ‘Peace everywhere and always!’

Sadly, ‘peace’ becomes a meaningless vocable when facilitated through dealings with a barbarian who revels intrampling on agreements. Marx and Engels then make themselves clear: ‘buttermilk pacifism’ (stale, soured, scared) ishardly a template for communists to follow. ‘No doubt, peace is the ultimate necessity of civilization; but what is peace with Nicholas of Russia?’ Since the tsar operates as a ‘disemboweller of whole nations’, suspension of hostilities between ‘mankind’ and ‘this madman’ would be cowardice and crime (The Manifesto of M. De Lamartine) . Communism must engage in revolutionary actions that entail, inter alia, military intervention against the fiend (GermanForeign Policy and the Latest Events in Prague).

©by Tomasz Kozak

One thus could scarcely imagine the two men being empathetic Zar-Versteher. The same goes for the idea of empathizing with Putin. He is the fascist who not only employs manifest neo- Nazis (recall SS-runes-tattooed Wagner mercenaries marking Tripoli with swastikas) but also fancies the overall destruction of everything socialists care for:human and animal rights, self- determination, national liberation, social equality, sustainable development.

The young Marx fashioned an evergreen appraisal of such a danger. Where the playing-with- fire oligarchy assumesunlimited power – there must emerge a regime ‘wherein wealth derived from gambling naturally seeks its satisfaction, where pleasure becomes debauch, where money, filth and blood commingle’ (The Class Struggles in France, 1848–1850).

Putinist kleptocracy reboots this paradigm. It gambles with the same lusts, seeks the same pleasures. Only that it grows to be a global monster on genocidal steroids. So, instead of placating the full-frontal beast, the Left should grow belligerent.

That said, I share the common fear of nuclear war. We face a loose cannon armed with the button. Therefore, it’simpossible to simply dust off an old Marxian new-year plan: ‘The table of contents for 1849 reads … world war.’ (The Revolutionary Movement) It had better not happen in 2022. On the other hand, socialists cannot just brush red bellicosityoff. It would be naïve to convince Putinism into self- limitation by the power of our peacefulness.

©by Tomasz Kozak

The hard-to-embrace truth is that the endgame of Russian oligarchs can be apocalyptic regardless of Western conciliatoriness. Backing down may not suffice to save the world as we know it. The Left has to get it. Also, no danger posed by transatlantic capitalism will turn out equally substantial in the nearest future. So we need to ally against Putinism with American and European liberals. And even – brace yourselves for the heresy – with NATO.

It isn’t a matter of our boredom-brewed death drive, once ridiculed by Dead Kennedys. Quite the opposite, the survivalof values and material amenities dear to both socialism and liberalism will be at stake. Wanna save your freedoms and luxuries, reform your societies and countries? Care to revive great hopes for your fellow citizens? Well, you must defend them. Sometimes with a pen, keyboard, camera, a painting or book – and sometimes with the MIM-104 Patriot.

Radical reds cannot then regress into a shelter of complacent pacifism. Instead, we need to see that the desired ‘patriotism’ proves progressive. And our satisfactions – egalitarian, just, creative.

Those who crave better life must be forward to fight.

©by Tomasz Kozak


We are proud to present an essay by Tomasz Kozak. Tomasz Kozak is a theoretician and visual artist combining philosophy, political sciences, and video art. He is an associate professor at the UMCS Institute of Fine Arts in Lublin, Poland. Currently, he works on a book inspired by Mark Fisher’s concept of libertarian communism.

Phantom | © Max Dogin

The Mature Marx employs the metaphor of orchestra so as to illustrate the organisational gist of labour in corporate capitalism. Each self has a great deal of individual freedom, yet at the end of or rather during the working day, they must do as they’re told by managers. ‘A single violin player is his own conductor; an orchestra requires a separate one.’ (Capital) In order to secure the ‘harmonious’ working of the separated activities, management oversees atomised ‘organs’ in accordance with precise scripts similar to sheet music. One may venture to say (ironically or not, depending on more or less ambiguous attunement) that such notations have largely contributed to the development of ‘a world literature’, once heralded with ambivalent fascination in The Communist Manifesto.

Now, however fascinating capitalist orchestrations may appear, communism must counter-measure them accordingly. As early as paradigmatic and energising, one such attempt comes into play in young Engels’ Letters from London (1843).

Time to revolt | © Max Dogin

Here emerge savvy workers immersed in scriptures of Paine and Shelley, Rousseau and Voltaire. The bookworms prove rebels taking on state religion. ‘It happens frequently that Christianity is directly attacked and Christians are called “our enemies”.’ But proletarian gestures are a far cry from undialectical univocality. Anger synergises with wit; meetings turn into waggish travesties of ‘church gatherings’. So ‘in the gallery a choir accompanied by an orchestra sings social hymns; these consist of semi-religious or wholly religious melodies with communist words’. As for the agitators, they make stand-up comedians. ‘Then, quite nonchalantly … a lecturer comes on to the platform’ and ‘delivers his address, which usually gives much occasion for laughter, for in these speeches the English intellect expresses itself in superabundant humour.’ Jocular agitation needs pick-me-ups. And there you go! ‘In one corner of the hall is a stall where books and pamphlets are sold and in another a booth with oranges and refreshments, where everyone can obtain what he needs or to which he can withdraw if the speech bores him.’ No wonder people turn out in droves: ‘during my stay in Manchester I saw the Communist Hall, which holds about 3,000 people, crowded every Sunday’.


Phantom | © Max Dogin

The ludic-orchestral element updates itself via G.A. Cohen’s Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality (1995). In his view, advanced Marxian communism’s social structure should resemble a jazz band, where every single self is entitled to their solo act: self-fulfillment. Syncopated dynamics of various fulfilments (economic, existential, political) counterpointing one another in egalitarian and just manners – creates a multi-track expanse of productive liberty. And no conducting authority, let alone top-down disciplinary superintendence, is needed. People manage to inter-play democratically, deriving multilateral satisfactions from horizontal self-organisation.

Cohen, an old geezer entrenched in All Souls College, Oxford, came up with a jazzy construal of classical Marxism in the mid-1990s. At exactly the same time, post-rave youngsters were permutating (recall Amon Tobin’s album) jazz and funk into new genres: jungle, drum and bass, breakbeat hardcore. They used to sample quotes from old records and compress them into post-industrial breaks: short sounds (beats, scratches, noises, glitches) shot at revolted listeners.

Phantom | © Max Dogin

Collisions of sonic molecules – both subversive and hedonistic – inadvertently revamped the Epicurean and Bloomian concept of clinamen. Latin-derived clinamen denotes a deflection of atoms that let them collide with one another freely (Epicurus, Lucretius) or allow each to contest hitherto trajectories and thus play whimsically with tradition (Bloom).

According to Bloom, so transgressive a swerve is by no means an innocuous play game. It can be a risky business, for the transgression, deviating from customary routes and routines, hazards a downfall into an abyss. Milton’s Satan proves a paradigmatic deflector in such a conjuncture – he ends up at the bottom of hell. Fortunately, we may resort to Marx, whose doctoral thesis on the Epicurean atomism consoled us regarding the threat of damnation. The after-life hell for individuals exists no more than the alike ‘hell of the populace’. Miscreants wanting to diverge for good and bid those who have left sod-off farewell – are allowed to whoosh by scattering into the non-judgemental beyond.

Kill your heroes | © Max Dogin

Should the rest decide to keep up the fight, we ought to engage in small, medium, and large-scale clashes. And in the spirit of bellicosity, I call for a big band of badass theorists.

Let them be funky old farts, rejuvenated rockists, growling gamers, and guerrilla glitchers. Oh, but this motley crew must also be a gang of well-versed professors. I want an academic riff-raff riffing on Marx and Engels. Arm them with pens, as red as hell. They will abduct children of Christian democrats and sodomise Tory altar boys with queer quotes. I’m waiting for a neo-Marxism invasion. Gimme local gigs and top-gear grand tours.


Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name

But what’s puzzling you

Is the nature of my game …


1. Einflüsse

Manchmal wissen wir nicht, welchem Einfluss wir unterliegen. Oder, dass unsere Kultur von anderen beeinflusst worden ist. Manchmal denken Europäer, sie wären nicht beeinflusst worden (deswegen die Illusionen von Leitkulturen und anderen Phantasien). Abgesehen von den offensichtlichen, arabischen, gibt es natürlich den Kolumbianischen Austausch, von dem Albrecht Dürer erfasst aber keinen Schimmer hatte. 

2. Eingrenzungen

Was wir daher sehr oft beobachten können, ist die Tatsache, dass Europäer sich als eingegrenzt ansehen. Ihre eigene Kultur fein säuberlich von den anderen unterschieden. Lediglich Wokeness Diskurse können uns Auskunft darüber geben, dass unsere ach so geliebte Kultur nicht alleine da steht. Dass sie auch von anderen Kulturen beeinflusst wurde. Und dass sie ein Ergebnis ist, ein dynamisches, dieser verschiedenen Einflüsse.

3. Vermischungen

Das Bewusstsein der Eingrenzung funktioniert auch zeitlich. Wir sind überzeugt davon, dass das Jetzt für unsere Kultur wichtig ist. Vielleicht blicken wir auf die 70er Jahre des letzten Jahrhunderts. Ok. Auf die 60er. Aber selten weiter. 

Wie gut Kultur durch Einflüsse, sowohl die vertikalen, die traditionellen als auch die horizontalen, die aus anderen Kulturen, funktionieren kann, wie gut sie klingt, können wir uns überzeugen, wenn wir nach Kyiv schauen. Von dort kommt die Band ДахаБраха, die verschieden Einflüsse, verschieden Eindrücke vereinigt. Und so zu einer kulturellen Avantgarde wird. 

Doch hört selbst. Ihre Seite führt auch zu einzelnen Tracks (externer Link):


Ghosts and music

1. Ghosts

In the European tradition, there are rathe quite simple explanations for repetitions. On the one hand, we have this prehistorical theory. It means, repetitions are a part of nature (no matter how we are going to define the term nature), they show us comes and goes of seasons. But we cannot imagine repetitions during a fall. On the other hand, Derrida said, repetitions have the power to conjure up ghosts. It´s not magical. When I listen to a tape with someone’s voice, it is like I listen to a ghost. And it doesn’t play a role if he is dead or still alive. Beckett´s Crapp is listening to his own voice after years. He is listening to a ghost. Crapp is a ghost. Evoked by his own voice.

2. Repetitions

But it’s on us to feel the ghost. Probably Hölderlin did it while writing his poems. Maybe one of us does it while reading it. It always depends on us. 

On the other side, there is another description. When we take sociology and Latour, repeats may tell us something about us. But what they will tell us? They will probably tell us a story about our theory of time. We already described it. The European civilization describes time as a line, as a phenomenon, which goes and never comes back. We use repeats as a possibility to compare ourselves with our previous culture. And mostly in order to speak about something like development. Maybe our understanding of time is the reason, why Europeans believe in something like development. A revolution is not a break of time but a point when we look back. 

Im don’t mention structuralism, because this text is not a philosophical essay. Rather an invitation.

3. Anthropology

But there is something more. Viveiros de Castro says, anthropologists describe mostly themselves, not the other culture. When we look at a phenomenon like a repetition, we don´t look at nature. We rather look at ourselves. The question is, what we may see when we look at it? Maybe more than a repetition? Maybe we don´t see the difference between now and earlier? Maybe we can only see the repetition as time? As continuum.

4. Music

When we listen to music by Lubomyr Melnyk, we find repetitions. And while listening to his music, may lose ourselves in the music, in time, in repetitions. And we may see not only time but also ghosts from the past. And maybe also us. Not as a ghost but as humans. And maybe we will find small differences. And will be happy about them.

You can listen to Melnyk here (external Youtube link):


Dancing Woman

by Thorsten Raab

A digital exhibition presented by


Some entities can, when we look at them, communicate with us. They tell us more than we see with eyes. Like the surface or color. They communicate with us. They can let us feel a rhythm. And the rhythm comes before the music. Creating music today, we mostly create a good rhythm before we create music. Some anthropologists say (I’m not sure if Levy – Strauss said it), that ancient cultures, mostly shaman cultures, used all the same rhythm. Rhythm can let us dance and the dance can let us forget. But rhythm is not only important for music. It’s also important for writing. Homer used it as well as Shakespeare. And even if a writer doesn´t use it (like Bursa in his poems), he worked with it. Because when we break the rhythm, the audience can feel it. The entity then has nothing to say. Or it says that it´s broken. Husserl spent hours to find out, what an entity can tell us.

When we use rhythm in paintings, it may be possible to dance. In the rhythm. Thorsten’s paintings have that rhythm. When we look at them, we can feel it. As I said describing his previous exhibition (here), we can feel the music in his pictures. And then maybe we can dance to the music. Try it. Just look and dance.

Thorsten is a painter and DJ from Hamburg, Germany. He is inspired by funk, dub, Hip-Hop, and what we know as Black Music. But also by writers like Paul Auster and Toni Morrison. And also by street art, by Outsider art (in Germany known as Art Brut), and also by the Cobra Group.

We are proud to present a second exhibition by Thorsten Raab. 

All pieces ©by Thorsten Raab. Photo edition by Zenvampires.

We don´t sell Thorstens paintings. We only show them.


Click on the picture for a better resolution.

FOXY | Acryl auf Leinwand, 100cm x 100cm
PEACE | mixed media ( Tinte, Acryl ) auf Packpapier, ca.100cm x 70cm
ROBOTNIK | Acryl Farbstifte & Edding auf grundiertes Packpapier, 100cm x 70cm
DIA DE LOS MUERTES | Acryl Farbstifte & Buntstifte auf grundiertes Packpapier
YELLOWISH GREEN (AMSTERDAM) | Acrylfarbe auf grundiertes Packpapier, ca. 100cm x 70cm
BOOST | Acryl Farbstifte & Edding, Hairspray auf grundiertes Packpapier, ca. 110cm x 80cm
DANCING WOMAN | Übermalung mit Acryl Farbstiften und Acryl auf Linoleumdruckpapier
MIXED FIGURES | Jaxonkreide & Edding auf Packpapier
MAZED | Acryl & Acryl Farbstifte auf grundiertes Packpapier, ca. 60cm x 70cm
QUEEN & PRINCE | Acryl auf grundiertem Packpapier, ca. 60cm x 70cm
SPRING AGAIN (R.I.P BIZ MARKIE) | Acryl & Acryl Farbstifte auf Packpapier, 100cm x 180cm
Don T Loose Ya Mind ( FROM TUTU ALBUM ) | Edding auf Weisspapier
LOST | Acryl Farbstifte & Edding auf grundiertes Packpapier, ca. 70cm x 64cm
N.Y.C / 2001 | Acryl Farbstifte auf Papier ( Übermalung )
OOOH JESUS | Acryl und Industrie Painter auf Malpappe , 80cm x 60cm
ABORIGINES | Acryl auf Leinwand, 70cm x 50cm

Hunger. And the Pine

Denn manche Entscheidungen haben keinen Grund. Oder sie erscheinen uns nicht vernünftig. Auf den ersten Blick. Auf den zweiten verspüren wir manchmal den Hunger nach Schmerz. Oder auch nicht.

Donald Davidson behauptet in seinen Analysen zur “Handlung und Ereignis”, dass zu einer Handlung eine “Proeinstellung” notwendig sei. Der handelnde Mensch muss diese Handlung auch ausführen wollen. So weit so gut. Ich kann mich auch zerstören wollen. In diesem Kontext hätte ich dann eine “Proeinstellung” zum Schmerz oder zur Zerstörung. Ich tue etwas, weil ich es tun will (in Wahrheit ist Davidson ein wenig komplizierter, manchmal, sagt er, machen wir Dinge nicht, obgleich wir sie machen wollen). 

Aber die positive Einstellung?

Und das scheint mir das erste Problem zu sein in Davodsons Analyse. Bei dem Begriff “Pro – Einstellung” gehen wir von einer positiven Eistellung zu etwas. Ich kann aber eine negative Einstellung zum Schmerz haben und dennoch den Schmerz verlangen (nicht jetzt gleich auf BDSM kommen, der Schmerz kann auch psychisch sein, wie bei “pine”).

Im Übrigen geht die Spieltheorie von einer ähnlichen Prämisse aus. Ich entscheide mich für eine Handlung, weil ich etwas gewinnen kann. Anhand eines Entscheidungsbaumes können wir dann den Entscheidungsweg nachverfolgen und aussagen, dass Spieler A sich so und nicht anders entschieden hat, weil er gegen den Spieler B hat gewinnen wollen. 

Entscheidungen, menschliche Entscheidungen werden stets als “positiv” bewertet. Haben wir uns negativ entschieden, gibt es zwei mögliche Auskünfte: Wir haben falsch gespielt (also das Spiel nicht verstanden) oder wir handelten unvernünftig

Aber die Vernunft?

Es ist tatsächlich der zweite Begriff, den Davidson benutzt (ohne ihn richtig zu definieren). Entscheidungen können hiernach vernünftig oder unvernünftig sein. Wir als Betrachter der Spieler sollen diese Entscheidungen dann auf diese Weise bewerten.  

Vernunft ist ein Begriff, den Kant sehr gerne nutzte. Zu Einem um Menschen von Tieren zu unterscheiden (in diesem Sinne ist seine Theorie sehr Humanzentriert – ich erlaube mir den Begriff aus seinem Businesskontext für meine Zwecke zu entführen und ihn Kant zuzuschreiben, was in gewissen Weise die Schwierigkeit der Vernunft aufzeigt, weil sie nicht negativ besetzt werden muss, vielleicht ist sie der falsche Begriff). 

Zum anderen um seinen egozentrischen Standpunkt zu untermauern (das ist jetzt sehr verkürzt, doch es sollte keine Arbeit über Kant werden). Kant sieht die Welt mit dem Blick eines vernünftigen Mannes. Er bezieht in dem Blick nicht die Gesellschaft und auch nicht die anderen gesellschaftlichen Gruppen. Alleine die Vernunft entscheidet, welche Handlungen vernünftig und welche nicht vernünftig sind. 

Aber der Hunger!

Die Unterscheidung zwischen Tier und Mensch wird später auch Davidson wiederholen. Tier (aber auch die Natur) können nicht vernünftig agieren, da ihnen die Vernunft fehlt. Auf diese Weise kann der vernünftige Mensch den Wald nicht als intelligentes Wesen betrachten, das sehr wohl Entscheidungen trifft, sich verteidigt und Interessen hat (auch im Sinne einer Spieltheorie). Sondern als Ansammlung von Bäumen mit irgendwelchen Tieren drin. 

Was passiert mit Menschen, die dennoch unvernünftige Entscheidungen treffen?Wenn unser Handeln uns keinen Gewinn bringt? Oder der Gewinn so abstrakt ist, dass wir ihn nicht leicht erkennen? Laufen wir weg, kann ein Gewinn leicht identifiziert werden, da unterstellt wird, dass wir „zum Besseren hin“ laufen. Was ist aber, wenn wir vermeintlich „ins Verderben“ laufen? Wenn wir uns zerstören wollen. Wenn wir Hunger nach Schmerz verspüren? Wenn unsere Handlungen uns nichts bringen? 

Foucault hat die Vernunft der Handelnden mit der staatlichen Gewalt in einen Zusammenhang gebracht. Die Frage natürlich wäre, ob staatliches Handeln ebenfalls stets für vernünftig gehalten werden kann. Dies ist jedoch eine ganz andere Frage. 

Aber der Schmerz?

Oft werden Wünsche nicht ausgesprochen. Und oft sind es Gefühle, die uns leiten. Sie werden nicht nur nicht ausgesprochen. Sie werden nicht formuliert. Oft agieren Menschen nicht vernünftig (im Sinne Kants und ich denke auch Davidsons). Oft wollen sie den Schmerz spüren. 

Hunger of the Pine (Link führt zu YouTube, YouTube kann Cookies sammeln auf die wir keinen Einfluss haben):

By alt-j

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