“CRASS as it was in the beginning, but with all the power of now.”
CRASS, an English art collective/punk band formed in England in 1977, embraced anarchism as a political ideology, a way of life, and a movement of resistance. Popularizing the anarcho-punk movement, CRASS, advocated direct action, animal rights, feminism, antifascism, and environmentalism, promoted through their DIY ethic.
Now CRASS revisit their legacy with the Crassical Collection, out on the 2nd of October 2020 via One Little Independent Records. The collection includes Stations of the Crass, Feeding of the Five Thousand (The Second Sitting), Penis Envy, Christ – The Album, Yes Sir, I Will, Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day, and Best Before 1984. Each of the records have been repackaged and bolstered by rare and unreleased tracks, and stunning new artwork from Gee Vaucher, who has lovingly created what could only be considered a true artefact.
Leading up to the release of the Crassical Collection, CRASS has embarked on the ambitious The Feeding of the Five Thousand Remix Project. Beginning in late 2019, 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. With a call to take the original 16 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.
The first six albums include two CDs: the first disc is the main album remastered by Alex Gordon and Penny Rimbaud at Abbey Road Studios, and the second a mixture of rare live and remastered studio recordings. Each package also includes a fold-out poster and a high-quality 60-page booklet featuring all lyrics along with extensive liner notes from band members Penny Rimbaud and Steve Ignorant, which shed light on the making of the records.
The resulting Normal Never Was series has just released its third installment, featuring remixes by legendary producer Steve Aoki and Japanese outsider musician Mikado Koko. All proceeds from the Normal Never Was series are being donated to the Refuge charity (www.refuge.org.uk).
“Different genre, different world, but common ground,” Rimbaud told Rolling Stone of Steve Aoki’s remix of Banned from the Roxy. “Steve’s contribution to the remix project defies the divide and rule notions of the governing classes and brings us together in a vibrant scream for liberation.”
Aoki added, “Remixing the legendary band CRASS was a big honor for me, and when they told me the proceeds from the remix would all be donated to a Refuge to help women in need my answer was an immediate yes. There’s a lot of people and problems that need our help and attention in this world, and I only hope that the money raised by this remix project helps to unfuck some of it.”
“Mikado Koko is a ground-breaking Japanese artist and musician stretching the boundaries of feminism and the avant-garde,” Rimbaud told Vive le Rock!, which debuted Koko’s “Asylum” remix. “No wonder, then, that she was drawn to remixing ‘Reality Asylum’ and thereby proving the universality of the liberationist cause.”
The Best Before 1984 Crassical Collection is brand-new and has also been remastered and features five fold-out posters and a 52-page booklet.
“Number seven – the one that almost got away,” Rimbaud notes. “This final Crassical Collection double CD contains the original album plus a further album’s worth of related material; good, bad and indifferent. Half the band want it out, while the other half wanted out, but hey, here it is in all its glory.”
Penny Rimbaud shares a few thoughts about the video for Sheep Farming In The Falklands 3, directed by visual artist George K:
“This previously unreleased version of Sheep Farming in the Falklands was written and produced sometime after hostilities had ceased. The first listener to send us the lyrics in full will be handsomely rewarded. I’ve tried, but despite having written them, I still can’t get it word for word.”
Order the Crassical Collection here
Normal Never Was III, as well as the first two sets of remixes in the series, are available to listen to over at Spotify. Physical copies of Normal Never Was III will be available on October 16th. Pre-order Here
- Best Before 1984 (Crassical Collection)
- Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day (Crassical Collection)
- Yes Sir, I Will (Crassical Collection)
- Christ – The Album (Crassical Collection)
- Penis Envy
- Stations of the Crass
- Feeding of the Five Thousand (The Second Sitting)
Additionally, Bandcamp has published an interview with Steve Ignorant, and Penny Rimbaud, who go over the Crass discography, now available on the site:
“We were two very pissed-off persons. Steve was a very young pissed off person, and I was a getting-old pissed-off person. We sort of met on the pissed-off-ness, really.”
And take up Sheep Farming In The Falklands below.
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