Educacion Cinica

Cryptid I Exist demo cassette

Crusty noise punk blitz from a foursome who appear to have hooked up in Melbourne and at least partly dispersed since: Kyle from SHEER MAG, drumming here, was pandemically confined to Oz but has returned to Philadelphia. Not sure where vocalist JonCon (also of ZODIAK) lives, either. So you may or may not see CRYPTID live any time soon, but their demo is rad—chaotic, sure, and pretty thrashin’ fast for a noise-not-music band, but fully holding itself together with a nail-hard rhythmic frame as all sort of swirling psychedelic gloop enters the fray. This was also released, just prior to the tape versions, as a cool looking lathe-cut on the Winter Garden label, which you are way late to get a copy of, but comes with this apology from the label guy for potential bad sound quality: “my dog Ruben bumped the gain up without my knowledge so some of them are flooded with distortion.” He means an actual dog, as opposed to his friend trying to help out in the studio.

Fantasma Demo 2023 cassette

Educacion Cinica keeps bringing the best in South American-adjacent music, now in the form of the duo FANTASMA, formed by two Brazilians who tried their luck in NY. Filtered through the lens of the excellent Brazilian punk and post-punk scene, FANTASMA creates an incredible mixture of moods and feelings. DIÄT and STRAW MAN ARMY come to mind when thinking of the overall style of songwriting. A demo that goes by fast and leaves you wanting much, much more.

Haren Demo 2022 cassette

HAREN is a three-piece band from Murcia, Spain, and their demo tape is (also) released by Educacion Cíncia from Buenos Aires. A quick note on current tape labels such as Educacion Cíncia: they keep punk fresh. It is impossible to keep up with how many random bands there are with streamable records, yet for those whom a physical release is still important, tape labels have become more handy than ever. It gets better when they are focused on a local scene and function as a platform for the bands to show off. Tapes are cheap and small, ship easily, still look alright and allow a lot of mastering bullshit. What better format, right? I also dig the fanzine-esque promo that is written by the label of this release. But back to HAREN: They play street punk/Oi!, but uptempo and with enough dirt that it swings into the UK82 sound with a significant amount of melodies. Don’t expect blazing energy, it’s much more rudimentary and therefore predictable. But how many variations are there for power chords? While the songs do not offer anything extraordinary, HAREN does not slip into becoming background music. There is an elusive determination behind their playing that demands attention and feeds their simple melodies to my brain. It’s capital-letter punk music—if you played it for a mohawk owner, they would start to move. The guitars play dense-to-bouncy and mid-tempo, and the vocals add a bit of a hymn-like feel to each track. This is a decent tape, proving that punk is still accessible and showing how putting yourself into your music can improve your songs no matter how simple they are.

Inyeccion Marginada cassette

Maybe you know them from their rather excellent demo released by the vital Discos Enfermos from Barcelona earlier this year. Maybe you don’t. If that is the case, I can tell you this: INYECCION is a band with members from Chile and Argentina, with a sound that merges perfectly noisy and raw Latin American punk with a little of the classic UK82 style. Maybe it’s because I’m Mexican, but I feel a lot of the bubbly energy and celebratory discomfort of the early ’90s Mexican scene in these two songs. “Inyeccion” is an awesome street punk anthem about the despair generated by the lack of opportunities our countries offer to the youth. It has bile, it has vigor, it has hatred. It’s beautiful. “Peleas Callejeras” starts with a clean riff and devolves into a pure mayhem-inducing ritual. Love the way the male and female vocals interact in both tracks, so vicious.

Systema Sobrevivir demo cassette

This is the demo debut for Bogotá’s SYSTEMA. You can get it on cassette with some really cool artwork. These guys talk business and get to the point. They get mean, brutal, and raw while perfectly creating dynamics inside each song in order to release the right amount of aggression for those moshpit-inducing violent attacks we love. They remind me of the rough sound of ’80s Italian hardcore and the primitive scorched earth approach of ’90s Mexican and South American punk. This is a beautiful and fulfilling aesthetic experience. We need a full-length now.

Voces de Ultratumba Demo + Live Session cassette

VOCES DE ULTRATUMBA were the first all-female Galician punk band, an important stepping stone for a male-dominated scene. After recording a demo, some lineup changes occurred and, finally, the band changed their name to LA TRAICION. Buried since the ’80s, this demo was not forgotten and now sees the light of day. Side A is a rehearsal recording, while Side B is a live recording at the legendary Kremlin. Hauntingly beautiful and hauntingly disturbing, VOCES DE ULTRATUMBA perfectly encapsulates Spanish post-punk. Each song has its own mood and its own atmosphere, a quality that makes listening to this demo a gloomy journey into the unknown. The recording quality just adds another layer of discomfort, the good kind of discomfort, the one you would expect from an obscure ’80s post-punk release. A sinister recording that still feels in place with the current state of the world.