Less-Lethal, vol. 1

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feat. Weasel Walter, Dave Phillips, Lasse Marhaug, Mark Fell, Justice Yeldham, Gaeoudjiparl van den Dobbelsteen, Fancisco Lopez, Carlos Giffoni, Torturing Nurse, Powerbooks for Peace, Zbigniew Karkowski

“LESS-LETHAL, vol. 1 is a sarcastic approach to the use of commercially available music in the military context (see Waco, Noriega, etc.) It includes a 16-page booklet with an essay by German researcher Paul Paulun about nonlethal force and its historical relationship with sound and music.
The foundations for this project were laid around 1999, with a long period of research into the equally blurry and fascinating fields of nonlethal weapons (also known as less-lethal weapons) and the behavioural sciences. Over the course of this time, we found that one of the most interesting aspects of this phenomenon – full of mythology and speculation – was the use of commercially available music in the context of armed conflict, torture and crowd control. Particularly the sheer lack of imagination on the part of military experts who resort to the use of pop music as a weapon, by playing it back for painfully long periods of time at very high volumes.
The direct relationship between sound and behaviour has been documented outside the military over the centuries, from the musical treatment of mental patients in the Ottoman Empire to Muzak’s stimulus progression theory. With this in mind, it was the PSYOP’s complete lack of research which provided an excellent starting point for a challenging musical exercise. Eleven artists were invited to contribute a sound piece that could be used as a weapon in an armed conflict.
The resulting tracks approach the subject matter in radically different ways. Amplitude, duration and repetition may indeed constitute key elements of discomfort, but these tracks all go well beyond that. Exploring dynamics and frequency range, structure, latent content, or various aspects from the realm of psychoacoustics, these pieces pose a stimulating (and less lethal) alternative to the average weaponized AOR.
For maximum deterrent effects, play at maximum volume. Loop playback encouraged.”