Like most East European punk rock kids born just before the fall of the Iron Curtain and raised in the 90s, my first touch with real punk records was during my teenage years through 7″ and cassette trades with people from Western countries.
While most of my pen pals lived in the UK, France, or Germany, I’ve also had some contacts in Switzerland. Like Pablo Van Paz, a Swiss punk involved in the DIY anarchist scene since the early 80s. As far as my knowledge goes, his first band was called The Decay. They were a classic anarcho-punk band formed in 1983 where he played under the alias name Insane Johnny.
Besides drumming for a various bands, from 1988 to 1998 Pablo has been also doing his own label called Resistance Productions putting out literally hundreds of cassette tapes from really obscure to more well recognized anarcho-punk bands.
He continued releasing music over the period from 1998 to 2014, this time on vinyl only, with Strongly Opposed Records. You know, early 2000’s was also the time when I’ve got in touch with him.
Orange World – Fun, Noise & Message! 7″
Orange World was formed around 1987 under the name Garbage Pail Kids. After a few line-up changes they’ve become Orange World and recorded these five songs in July 1988 at the Dynamo Studio in Zürich, although since their sound engineer just disappeared all they ever had was a rough mix. The songs were remastered in November 2000 and released on an orange 7″ by Strongly Opposed in 2001. In the true punk-rock tradition, the band split up after their second gig but reformed for two more gigs with a different line-up in 1990.
Earth Citizens – No God No Leaders No State No Religion 7″
The reincarnation of Orange World transformed into the anarcho-punk band Earth Citizens. In 1991 they’ve toured Europe and released No God No Leaders No State No Religion 7″ (Resistance Productions) and toured around Europe.
Their full-length To a Nation of Party Lovers was released on a cassette the same year (1991) and remastered on vinyl ten years later in 2001 by Strongly Opposed Records along with a compilation LP with all their remaining recordings.
Protest – The Connection 7″
April Fools’ Day in 1992 saw just two of Earth Citizens in the rehearsal room. It started out as a joke, but then Earth Citizens split up for good and continued later on as the angry two-piece political hardcore punk Protest (imagine a band in the veins of Active Minds). The band played a few gigs in Switzerland and even made it to Luxembourg and Germany.
The band recorded a cassette album and a split EP with Viktor’s Hofnarren. Unfortunately, the EP never happened. At some point Pablo (aka The Prophet) and Furz (aka Furz The System) wanted to head in different directions, so the duo split up. Half a year later Protest went to the rehearsal space again since they’ve had an offer to play at the famous 1 in 12 club in Bradford, England. The guys couldn’t make it eventually, so the band stopped right there for good.
Few years later Pablo gave a new life to all this unheard recordings and released The Connection EP in 2000.
Domo Arigato – 豆乳とパンクロック!! (SOYMILK AND PUNK ROCK!!) 7″
Probably the idea for Domo Arigato saw the light of day around 1995 out of the boredom in the small DIY punk scene in Biel. Pablo and two of Viktor’s Hofnarren have decided to practice a few times and planned a 7”. Well, the typical punk story they never recorded the 7” with this line-up but after two rehearsals the band played a whole set which was two songs as a support act for the legendary French emo band Finger Print, who actually never made it to Biel!
So Domo Arigato were the only “band” at the show and played their two songs, then the other two guys kept playing for far too long. Pablo did the Jap-vocals in kamikaze-Japanese style. The other two kind of lost interest, so the band continued with the international friends Oné (Ivory Coast) and Joakim (Sweden), who actually managed to rehearse and find some recording time
in a real studio.
The band was asked by who else than d-beat master Kawakami (RIP) to contribute to the double compilation Chaos of Destruction. So the band finally made it to the studio and recorded the songs, everyone was very happy with the output.
In the early 00’s Pablo decided that it was too bad these songs are available on partly very limited compilations, so he decided to put them out on a 7” and call it SOYMILK AND PUNK ROCK!! (which is actually the title written in Japanese letters). Although, most distros sell the EP as “Japanese Punk” even though the flyers and Strongly Opposed Records give away the correct title of the EP.
Also, the same people in Domo Arigato plus some others contributed to the mythic anarcho-punk project Umbrella Tribe that released a 7″ split with Active Minds.