Shadow World

Lining Time - Strike

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"I can’t believe forty years passed, like the blink of an eye. As a group of Dance Theatre students on the crest of a wave, we embodied change, made a call for freedom; to no longer be passively subjected to normative abusive behaviours and attitudes"

Mara De Wit - Lining Time

Shadow World is proud to reissue the only album recorded by the consciousness raising female collective Lining Time. Protest music about and for universal sisterhood, Strike puts voice to the traumas inflicted by the patriarchy and capital and remains as alive and relevant as it was when it was originally recorded in 1982, in the wake of the Reclaim the Night march. The album was released on a D.I.Y. cassette in the same year. Its message continues to be as potent and as necessary today.

Lining Time were Claire Bushe, Cathy Frost, Lisa Halse, Cathy Josefowitz and Mara De Wit. They met as a group of Dance Theatre students at Dartington College of Arts, UK. Strike is reissued on the occasion of the series of major retrospective exhibitions Cathy Josefowitz - The Thinking Body across the EU which finishes up this month, at https://www.museomacro.it/it/arrhythmics/cathy-josefowitz-the-thinking-body/

 

HERE I AM is the first thing. A powerful incantation sung in full choral style at Dartington College of Arts in 1982 and captured on tape, now in 1s and 0s for all eternity. It’s a bold phrase, this assertion of existence, this permanent claiming of space in time; these three words we were made to sing in church, that we used to recite one after another at the beginning of class. Doing so might seem mundane, or easy, but it’s not. What’s easy is not. Not declaring one’s presence, not showing up at all. Claire Bushe, Cathy Frost, Lisa Halse, Cathy Josefowitz, and Mara de Wit showed up, took a side. They called themselves Lining Time. They were here.

ANY WOMAN CAN SAY I’M A WITCH, they said. Strike is the album Lining Time made. It plays out like a freedom spell, like liberatory healing magic. Reveling in the power of the voice, Lining Time sing. Not at us, but for us. As if by putting voice to the traumas inflicted by the patriarchy and capital, they could be made right. As if the whole world might join in and sing along, might join in and take action - might join in and strike.There’s nothing exclusive about the music Lining Time made. Like many of the best and weirdest records of the post-punk era, Strike wears its amateurism as a badge of honour, flies it like a flag to rally around. It is inclusive to the extreme. Which isn’t to say anyone could’ve made Strike. That’s the thing. The music preserved here is too weirdly spare and idiosyncratic - and wildly overconfident in the way that only the young and young at heart can be. Sometimes it’s almost protest folk, acappella or accompanied by a single acoustic guitar, as on ‘It’s Possible’. Sometimes schoolroom auxiliary percussion clunks out a cyclical, ritual rhythm, as on the title track. At no point does it feel less than singular. Still, this is music about and for universal sisterhood. It invites solidarity. Take up an instrument for the cause and sing your own song.

TIME PASSES TIME PASSES TIME PASSES TIME Recorded music often functions like a time capsule. It’s not rare that an album is “lost”. Rather, it’s rare that a work is heard widely at the time it was made. Often, it’s barely heard at all. It just exists somewhere, a cave painting or an ancient piece of graffiti, waiting to be stumbled upon for whatever reason. The reason, in Strike’s case, is a wonderful posthumous exhibition of Cathy Josefowitz’s artwork, The Thinking Body, a cooperative effort between Kunsthaus Langenthal, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, MACRO Roma, Les Amis de Cathy Josefowitz, and Elise Lammer. It’s possible that some might be tempted to think of Lining Time as a sideshow curiosity to the main event, but that’d be foolish. Strike, nearly forty years old, is as alive and relevant as it was when it was recorded in the wake of the Reclaim the Night march. If anything, it’s shocking how potent and necessary its message remains today.

STRIKE!

– Kristen Gallerneaux & Bernie Brooks, 2021