Andy Wilson & Michael Tencer (eds): The Assassin
Published: Dec 2014, 518pp
In the fortresses of the Assassins were kept alight the lamps of learning, culture and intellectual freedom which elsewhere were dimmed by the forces of barbarism. The Assassins present us with the intriguing spectacle of mutually supporting opposites, of wisdom safeguarded by ignorance, of free thought by fanaticism, of the utmost daring in speculation by an utter submission of intellect and will.
Frank Ridley, The Assassins
The Assassin includes excerpts from all the Unkant publications released since we started out in 2011: Ben Watson, Adorno for Revolutionaries • Sean Bonney, Happiness : Poems After Rimbaud • Ray Challinor, The Struggle for Hearts and Minds : Essays on the Second World War • Dave Black & Chris Ford, 1839 : The Chartist Insurrection •Ben Watson, Blake in Cambridge • Jim Higgins, More Years for the Locust : The Origins of the SWP • Ken Fox, Azmud : An Oily Saga on the Surface of the Word Bath in 5 Expired Generations • Dave Renton, Socialism From Below: Writings from an Unfinished Tradition • Andy Wilson (ed), Cosmic Orgasm : The Music of Iancu Dumitrescu • Esther Leslie, Derelicts : Thought Worms from the Wreckage • Rob Dellar, Splitting in Two : Mad Pride and Punk Rock Oblivion • Dave Black (ed), Helen Macfarlane : Red Republican.
There are also 100s of pages of scores, photographs, poems, paintings and images, essays, comics, reviews, notices and manifestos from the AMM, its friends and supporters. Featured articles include essays on Comic Book Marxism • Jeff Keen Flix • Critique of the Situationist Dialectic • Wilhelm Reich and Class Consciousness • The State of Scripts • Cartoon Trumpets and Horseshit • The 60s Counterculture, and the Culture of the Left, and more.
Jules Alford • Ana-Maria Avram • Derek Bailey • Dave Black • Sean Bonney • Sharon Borthwick • Sky Budgen • Dunya Bueler • Marie-Angelique Bueler • Stuart Calton • Eugene Chadbourne • Louise Challice • Ray Challinor • Sophie Clare • Ged Colgan • Eleanor Crook • Rob Dellar • THF Drenching • Iancu Dumitrescu • Evil Dick • Simon H. Fell • Keith Fisher • Chris Ford • Ken Fox • Richard Hemmings • Jim Higgins • I’d M Thfft Able • Stefan Jaworzyn • Asger Jorn • jwcurry • Jeff Keen •Ian Land• Daphne Lawless • Esther Leslie • Johan Lif • Steven Lowery • Manchester Left Writers • Len Massey • David Mills • Elkka Reign Nyoukis • Dan O’Donnell • Guillaume Ollendorff • Out To Lunch • Harvey Pekar • Ed Piskor • Michel Prigent • JH Prynne • The Psychedelic Bolsheviks • Tom Raworth •Dave Renton • Jenny Russell • Peter Shield • Andy Shone • Sonic Pleasure • Verity Spott • Luke Staunton • Michael Tencer • John Tursi • Ben, Iris and Mordecai Watson • Andy and Huxley Wilson • Susann Witt-Stahl.
Headless Bert and Ernie, by I’d M Thfft Able.
Early copies of The Assassin will contain postcards, including facsimiles of cards sent by Derek Bailey – ‘Improv is Rubbish’ and ‘Improv is Still Rubbish’ – and a CD, The Assassin Political Mixes, with the following track listing:
- Worn Paws: the Horny-Handed Sons of Socialist Activism vs. the Dead Hand of Idealist Reiteration & the Dead Hand of Opportunism Both (AMM#1, 6-vi-2011) The AMM begins as it means to go on, with disagreements, superlative guitar, the seriousness of Keith Fisher and much umm-ing and aah-ing.
- AMM with Susann Witt-Stahl in Hamburg (Skt. Pauli, Hamburg, 4-xi-2011)
- The Blackledge Grimoire (AMM#2, 12-x-2011) Ben’s critique of Paul Blackledge evolves into Alasdair MacIntyre’s physical reaction to Gerry Healy.
- Wolfhard Kutz’s Debra Kedabra (Resonance FM, 21-ii-2007) the organiser of the Zappanale recites a Zappa song in German to improvised saxophone by Lol Coxhill.
- Boning Up (AMM#3, 15-xii-2014) Alan Tomlinson talks about the trombone and Keith Fisher reports back from Hamburg as actress Helene le Bohec recites Baudelaire / Mordecai tells Ian Morrison he’s not funny.
- Tomlinson & le Bohec (AMM#3, 15-xii-2014) Alan Tomlinson plays trombone / Gamma interjects / Out To Lunch talks methodology.
- Academic Anguish with Nina Power, Sean Bonney and Oscillatorial Binnage (AMM#4, 7-vi-2012) Ritual slaughter, murder in the cathedral, it’s all here.
- Brimming with Mordecai and Wilkinson (AMM#5, 20-xii-2014) Oscillatorial Binnage do their subtle and wondrous thing with mood and noise and Alan Wilkinson plays alto saxophone to Mordecai’s mouth organ, which keeps him in the key of C (when Alan plays tender and sad like this, using the instrument given him by Matthew Coe’s widow, he says he’s generally thinking of Xero Slingsby, who died at the absurdly young age of 30 and whose absence we all regret).
- Kjeld-Willy Hensen’s ‘There is no hell, there is only Frank Zappa’ (Larvik, 12-ii-2012) another bit of random ejectamenta to cheer you up, Norwegian Zappa fan recites his Saga.
- Dave Black Says All Hands On Board (AMM#6, 13-vii-2013) the AMM’s brainiest theoretician outlines what Marx meant by ‘our party’.
- OTL and Paul Seacroft do the Absolute Idea (AMM#6, 13-vii-2013) a text by Eugene Gogol with a lot of Hegel in it.
- Seacroft and McLachan (AMM#8, 5-xii-2013) Ian Morrison and Dave Black discuss drugs / Robert Dellar uses long words on the same issue / Piano interventions by Out To Lunch / Esther Leslie explains her methodology / Paul Seacroft plays lapsteel and Ian McLachan plays trombone.
- AMM talk of Politics (AMM#8, 5-xii-2013) … for a change.
- Esther reads from Derelicts (AMM#9, 25-v-2014) with Paul Seacroft on lapsteel.
- Macfarlane on Hegel via le Bohec (AMM#10, 1-ix-2014)