“OUT NOW!!!” the self-promoting blurb proclaimed on a myspace post. I wish I had a better way to introduce a record label in a profile or review, but I did not come across this label by ways of a indie record shop, merch table or touring punk band. I saw the wildly flashing red ad on a computer screen hours away from any metropolitan area.
Proletopia records is the label. Hard core punk is the music. Beijing is the home base for it all.
Oddly enough the website for this label has been short lived since it is now offline.
The use of 1!..2!..3!..exclamation points following “OUT NOW” means it must be good. Or really bad and they must flog those records. Or excited that they released a copyleft record. Well that's for you to decide, but for myself I find the music good enough to download. Or if I had extra cash maybe even buy a CD. The fact that the label's releases were copy left is what got my attention. Let's face it, if the music is for us proles, we have to make it ourselves and to get other fellow worker's music, we need it cheap or better yet free.
Why the name Proletopia? The first things that crossed my mind when I read that name were, myopia and utopia. The second one is more relevant. The label's name is a contraction of the words proletariat and utopia.
The bands on the label are from all ends of the Earth: South America, Europe, North America and Asia.
Ska and Oi! Bands also make a strong showing on the label roster.
Right: The fact that the label's releases were copy left is what got my attention
Earlier this year the label released two compilation albums: Black and Red (also called in full black sunrise and red sunrise ).
There are too many bands to give space to them all but I will feature a couple now to give an idea of the label....
Gum bleed is a Chinese street punk band that reminds me of another street punk band: the Casualties. The same mammoth size mohawks and street punk music style. But clone band it's not. Surf rock band like the ventures, instruments like klezmer clarinets, and other influences seem to find their way in at times. Many tracks are largely metal influenced. Most unusual is the punked up cover of the Metis anthem, Red River Valley.
The adrenaline dumping into arteries from the high energy sound and screaming lyrics are sure to wake us up with after a tiring shift at the factory, store or call centre. With tracks titles like “don't forget the Class struggle” and People's War” Gum Bleed is very much relevant to working class punks.
Factory Minds is a ska punk band from San Jose, California that formed in February 2008. A listen to them and you know the Clash was a big influence on them.
Brigada Oi! is a Oi! band from Columbia that formed in 1999. Lyrics are in Spanish.
Piolet Rock Proletario---Venezuela
Breaking To Top---PRC
Mr. Irish Bastards---Germany
Unity of inferior---Russia