What is Agit Disco?

It’s a book now and people seem to enjoy browsing it better in that form…

It’s also a YouTube channel.. so you can hear about 80% of what’s here:


Here are a few one liners:

– Homemade Compilations

– Mix-Tapes for the digital age

– an Active Archive

– 23 CDs of political musics with commentaries

Selectors have said:

“There is a shed load of agit disco out there”

“Dissident Island Discs”

Political music as disco sets – CD length and quality for home burning on CD – annotated and introduced by the compilers – with CD cover image made up by Stefan with an image supplied by the compiler – no audio here as yet (ideas welcome as we’d like to be able to at least stream the tracks…)

Annotated playlists of political musics by, mainly, working class writers. Stefan asked all the people he knew who were into music and were ‘political animals’ and were also, often, writers as well. Then a few of these people (Martin, Johnny and Peter H) suggested other people. There are about another ten contributions to come in (women have not yet been so forthcoming with their selections – why not?). It is not planned to grow the project any further after these have come in. It might then take the form of a book or radio something…

The CDs shown are not for sale as yet, and won’t be unless we get a publlishing deal. Still the idea is to make, share and think about your own selection…

What do you think?

Comments (3)

The (URI) to TrackBack this photo is: http://www.stefan-szczelkun.org.uk/agitdisco/wp-trackback.php?p=193
  1. Thanks for offering to send me one of the AgitDisco CDs.   
    While I think it’s a good project I think sending me the CD  
     wd be somewhat of a waste.  Why?  B/c I’m entirely too steeped  
     in the young anarchist punk subculture & have gotten increasingly  
     frustrated w/ its attitude toward culture in general & music in particular.   
     Many of my friends THINK they’re really into music, while I think that they just  
     agree w/ the lyrics of what they like & the music is so secondary  
     it barely matters.  If the music were actually CHALLENGING  
    in any significant way, they’d probably dislike it.  The basis for most  
    popular political music is precisely that – that it be POPULAR – meaning  
    that it meet the oppressive LCD (Lowest Common Denominator).   

    A relevant story: some Iranian musicians were visiting.   
     They were staying w/ one of my best friends, an extremely dedicated  
     political activist.  She wanted to play music to please them so she put  
     on a tape of Palestinian songs.  The Iranians started making fun of it  
     b/c, to them (& to me) this was just military music – it didn’t matter  
     if it was Palestinian or not – what mattered was that it was musically  
     an oppressive narrow-minded conformist product.  I felt bad for my  
     friend, she meant well – to her, it was Palestinian = politically correct.   
     She had little feel for the MUSIC & cdn’t recognize the fascism in the form.   
     The musicians, however, got it right away.

    I often think about things like American tank soldiers listening to Death Metal  
    & such-like to spur them on to mindless acts of destructive aggression.  
    Can you imagine them listening to extremely quiet instrumental music of  
    Morton Feldman in their tanks?  Hardly.   

    Anyway, what I’m getting at here is that I’m interested in the MUSIC  
     & usually won’t even listen to anything w/ LYRICS anymore b/c I’m so sick  
     of the emphasis on the words.  My (M)Usic projects are political  
     insofar as they’re organized to promote quick free-thinking.   
     Most punk & pop music is the opposite to me.  No matter what the  
     message in the words, the form is usually so drearily conformist  
     & unimaginative that I can’t stand it.  The socio-political aspect of  
     my (M)Usic is based around creating social models for interaction,  
     NOT around propaganda.   

    No matter how much I agree w/ what people say, I want to like  
     the WAY they say it too – & THAT, I usually don’t.  ALAS, the punk  
     subculture, eg, is something that I’m allied w/ b/c of its anarchy, etc,  
     but NOT b/c of its cultural production – wch I think  
     is generally piss-poor b/c it’s so close-minded in conception.   

     ANYWAY, the music in yr agitdisco collection  
     obviously covers various genres but it still seems to  
     center primarily around the words.  HENCE I REVOLT!  



    tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCEDecember 6th, 2008 at 16:18
  2. Virtually all of my AD4 selection I chose firstly cos the music works (for me at least) – and then having lyrics, either subtle or overt, that give rise to a thought or two makes it all work twice over. I am a musician and the music is where I start when I listen to something new – I know that’s not the case for everyone. Still – there are a lot of words on ths site and as yet no music. Not good. I shall see what can be done.

    martinDecember 8th, 2008 at 22:07
  3. British political pop from the Thatcher years – a short playlist (that you can actually hear! – S)


    MartinMarch 30th, 2009 at 08:13

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