Making a Noise – Making a Difference: Techno-Punk and Terra-ism
By Graham St John (University of Queensland)
This article charts the convergence of post-punk/post-settler logics in the techno-punk development in Australia. Exploring how punk would become implicated in the cultural politics of a settler society struggling for legitimacy, it maps the ground out of which Labrats sound system (and their hybrid outfit Combat Wombat) arose. It provides an entry to punk through an analysis of the concept of hardcore in the context of cultural mobilisations which, following more than two centuries of European colonisation, evince desires to make reparations and forge alliances with Indigenous people and landscape. To achieve this, the article traces the contours and investigates the implications of Sydney’s techno-punk emergence (as seen in The Jellyheads, Non Bossy Posse, Vibe Tribe and Ohms not Bombs), tracking the mobile and media savvy exploits of 1990s DIY sound systems and techno terra-ists>, aesthetes and activists adopting intimate and tactical media technologies, committing to independent and decentralised EDM creativity, and implicated in a movement for legitimate presence.
techno, anarcho-punk, hardcore, sound systems, postcolonialism, Sydney techno-punk scene
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