The Syndicalist Printshop, Anti-Cimex posters, and the Really Fast Sleeve Variations
One of the most memorable aspects of Anti-Cimex's oeuvre is the artwork for the 2nd and 3rd EPs. They are iconic. As a teenage punker in the 90s, long before I had heard the music, I knew the sleeves. I believe the first time I saw the artwork was in the old Havoc Records printed catalog of shirts and backpatches. It wasn't too long after that I discovered that R. Cobb, who made the artwork for the "Raped Ass" sleeve, was a well-known radical antiwar artist (and the artwork was not made for the sleeve--they reappropriated it!). Only recently, however, did I learn that the back cover artwork for "VOAB" came from a Swedish comic book called Gravmannen. Apparently the band did not have access to a photocopier that could reduce the artwork, so they had to redraw the image to fit on the sleeve.
Intrepid journalist TG asked Mats Bodenmalm about the posters and told me:
The posters for the Goteborg gig were printed by "Swempa Anarkist Forum" via the Syndicalists, and they did 5,000 copies of the posters, plasted all over GBG and in Sweden generally, after the gig Bodenmalm took 1,500 of the remaining posters, he said "as many as we could carry, they were very heavy." Years later he used the posters for packaging of record mailorders. Then, in his words, "One day in 1986 there were 25-30 happy Germans stood outside the venue waiting for a killer concert, but instead they got soup at the squat down the road". Hahahaha! This is actually a classic story that punks used to share at parties when I was a kid, but had forgotten all about it.
In an excellent new interview, Patrik from Really Fast Records says that the anarchist printshop responsible for those posters also printed the sleeves for the first "Really Fast" compilation LP. I get jittery just thinking about the sleeve of that record. A true gem.
Patrik says: "We printed all sleeves at once. Got a contact through Sixten [later the bassist of Anti-Cimex] at A-Records and the sleeves were printed at a left wing trade union in Gothenburg." (I have lightly edited Patrik's quotes from this interview for clarity.)
Sixten was also the contact for Really Fast for their pressing of "Raped Ass," according to Patrik, which resulted in some anger, as I reported about 12 years ago after corresponding with Patrik. Here is what Patrik has to say now:
We heard that A-records were out of copies that they were not going make a second press. We thought that was sad so we were in contact with Sixten at A-records and asked if we could make a press. That was okay by him. We also spoke with Jonsson in Anti-Cimex at a gig and he said – hell yeah!!! I believe he was quite drunk when we asked him so we followed-up that with a confirmation by phone. Sixten arranged so we got the master disc and we pressed 300 copies. The idea was to sell them for 5 SEK each to distros and they would sell them for 10 SEK. I remember that the cost to press them was 3,50 SEK and the difference, 1,50 SEK, was basically the postage. Anyhow – when the record came out some of the guys in Anti-Cimex were really pissed off and claimed we did not have the rights and that we ripped them off. But – you know – we thought we had deal and we also thought it was a good thing that more records came out. There was alot of people that liked it but could not buy it as there was no second press. It’s a great record, by the way!
I have not written a post specifically about the Really Fast sleeve on this archive, but I have mentioned it in passing here and here (and in my 2001 MRR article linked above). There are three sleeve variations associated with the Really Fast version. All have the same vinyl (same matrix as all pressings of the record). Here is what Patrik says:
We made a sleeve and Staffan and my brother Magnus (who played drums in S.O.D) copied them at their school on a lousy machine. The sleeves were really pale. After 30 copies, the guitarist of Kurt i Kuvös drew a violin on the sleeve and they made 120 more sleeves with that. On top of that they left the original on top of the locker and I guess the cleaning lady found it and threw it away. So for the final 150 sleeves we just xeroxed the original A-records artwork as a two piece sleeve.
There you have it. The three versions are the rare one without the violin, the less rare one with the violin, and the still rare two-piece sleeve, which has the exact same artwork as the regular cardboard sleeve but on thin paper very similar to the paper used for the Skitslickers GBG sleeve. You can see a photo of the sleeve without the violin on the page with the interview with Patrik. My own copy (w/ violin) is printed very lightly. The first copy of "Raped Ass" I ever acquired, from the infamous Tony from Hawaii, was the two-piece sleeve. I cherish it.