Premiere: Joshua Idehen & LOOR – Kill The Bill

5 Minute Read

Music for protest and action on Optimo.

Some might say dance music isn’t political. Bollocks to that, it has been, it is and always will be political. It’s important that we remember our roots in such strange times and this new release on Optimo Music seeks to emphasise and define the importance of protest.

Recent legislation has been introduced seeking to ban the right to protest, it’s all gone a bit George Orwell but everyone’s been too busy watching shit TV and buying things they don’t need to notice.

At this point we’ll hand you over to Joshua Idehen & LOOR who want to make their point:


Describe the inspiration behind the EP?

J: Gwilym (LOOR) and I had several chats before we started sharing stuff, we were just getting into the thick of 2021, I mean, there really wasn’t anything else to talk about then, or now. Boris is in charge and the fascists are kicking off, and we’re in the middle of the pandemic.

G: Yeah, the geopolitical situation felt very intense and hopeless – yet there were these precious ruptures of resistance and joy- like the toppling of the Colston statue in Bristol. There was so much going on that we settled on four words that would guide the creative process: Politics, Hope, Despair, Rage.

Why and what should we protesting?

J: We should be protesting the UK government, repeatedly, consistently, resolutely, if only for letting over a hundred and sixty thousand people die needlessly because of covid, for splitting the UK just so they could get a brexit, and because Boris is a lying dick would shouldn’t be in charge of a paper boat.

G: Agreed- even if the only issue was the government’s fatal mismanagement of the pandemic and the associated corruption that resulted- that should have been enough for a mass protest movement. However, the perpetual crisis of the pandemic allowed the government to push through legislation that endangers the right to protest itself- it is doing this because it is threatened by legitimate political movements like BLM, BDS and XE.

The Conservative government has the blood of 160,000 people on its hands and is quite effectively washing it off with legislation that takes us further towards a fascist state.

What’s your biggest concern as a result of new legislation?

J: I don’t think my imagination has the capacity to imagine what a woman who wanted to use sonic weapons to deter refugees would do with this policing bill. I mean, listen to what she said about kneeling footballers last year, that’s the woman who’s going to decide if your protest is too noisy. Nah, mate, my concerns can’t match what might happen.

G: The PCSC bill takes aim at various minority groups from traveller communities to homeless people. There isn’t one main concern as the bill reads like a general declaration of war to anyone who is not fulfilled by the status quo. This bill is not simply legislation- it is part of the government’s self-declared “culture war”.

Ultimately, the bill oppresses the democratic rights of minorities and then removes any right to protest that oppression.

Why do you feel it is important that music and politics remain intertwined?

J: Music is art. Art is political. You say something even (especially) when you say nothing.

G: On the one hand I agree with Josh’s statement- on the other- in my own music, which is instrumental, I often feel like I’m not doing my bit – it can feel self-indulgent and escapist. One of the reasons I was so keen to work with Josh is that I find his words and delivery so expressive of my own concerns.

How should people mobilise in response to the current political climate?

J: Don’t ask me, man. I’m angry and all I can do now is write.

G: I mean, that’s the question isn’t it? It’s a very big question and not one that I’m qualified to answer. Our means of organisation – social media platforms- are owned by private companies that have close relationships with the state and our mainstream media is the same. I think a more practical question to consider is how do you organise a protest, in a state that has outlawed protest, if you are constantly being surveilled and censored by the platforms that you are organising on and media companies are intent on misrepresenting your cause?