Gossip Saturday's @ PRIME Boston at Prime the Nightclub at Umbria Prime, Sat, May 18 10:00p
Prime the Nightclub at Umbria Prime, 295 Franklin St.,
PRIME Boston at Prime the Nightclub at Umbria Prime, Sat, May 18 10:00pDJ NRG is back for Gossip Saturdays at PRIME Boston Guestlist / Groups / VIP: VIP@SammysVIP.com SMS: 617 224 2800 **Ladies FREE before 11PM / Reduced Admission until 12AM on Guestlist**
Nrg Thursdays! From The Producers Of Global Dance Festival, Global Dance Kicks Off The Weekend With The Planets Leading Trance And House Pioneers And Pushes The Limit Of Your Nrg.
Featuring Main Floor Resident Djs Ecotek Trajikk
Warm Up Residents Include: Jaceo & Vedic Dublin Jontron Marshall Monica Sergio Santana The Real Wolfe Tommy Michael Plus Denvers Very Own Elite Mash-Up Crew, Klutch Beat Featuring Es Chinorey And Suk In The Beatport Lounge.
A New Era In Club Culture Has Commenced. With Meticulous Attention To Detail, And An Emphasis On The Future, We Aim To Make Beta The Best Nightclub In North America.
Nrg Thursday ! From The Producers Of Global Dance Festival, Global Dance Kicks Off The Weekend With The Planet‚s Leading Trance And House Pioneers And Pushes The Limit Of Your Nrg.
Featuring Main Floor Resident Djs Ecotek Trajikk
Warm Up Residents Include: Jaceo & Vedic Dublin Jontron Marshall Monica Sergio Santana The Real Wolfe Tommy Michael Plus Denver‚s Very Own Elite Mash-Up Crew, Klutch Beat Featuring Es Chinorey And Suk In The Beatport Lounge.
A New Era In Club Culture Has Commenced. With Meticulous Attention To Detail, And An Emphasis On The Future, We Aim To Make Beta The Best Nightclub In North America.
Nrg Thursdays! From The Producers Of Global Dance Festival, Global Dance Kicks Off The Weekend With The Planet‚s Leading Trance And House Pioneers And Pushes The Limit Of Your Nrg.
Featuring Main Floor Resident Djs Ecotek Trajikk
Warm Up Residents Include: Jaceo & Vedic Dublin Jontron Marshall Monica Sergio Santana The Real Wolfe Tommy Michael Plus Denver‚s Very Own Elite Mash-Up Crew, Klutch Beat Featuring Es Chinorey And Suk In The Beatport Lounge. A New Era In Club Culture Has Commenced. With Meticulous Attention To Detail, And An Emphasis On The Future, We Aim To Make Beta The Best Nightclub In North America.
It was a remarkable failure. My most impossible objective: to do the Man in a day.
Yes, that was the plan. Mounting pressures and misfortune back in the world (a new job approaching, a lost suitcase care of US Airlines and other miscellaneous matters), forced my decision to attend the week long Burning Man festival in Nevada‚s Black Rock Desert for one day only.
Good thing, I thought, that my friend Seth was driving up on Wednesday night with the intention of departing by noon Friday (i.e. about 30 hours after our eventual arrival inside the festival at 4:30 AM Thursday). Seth would return to San Francisco to catch a flight to his mate's wedding. He was solid about this. I was resolute too‚¶. but Black Rock City has ways of tampering with your default settings, disrupting connections with the outside world, exposing sound intentions to immolation.
So there we were, making the six hour drive to Nevada out of the Haight in a hired Honda Element Zipcar - me, Seth, and his Mozilla workpal Arun. These guys are smart, explorationists, driven, dedicated tech-visionaries, not uncommon credentials for citizens of Black Rock City. We each had a bike strapped on at the rear ‚" for Black Rock City, which this year would be populated by an excess of 50,000 Burners, is a metropolis of treadlies, the principal means of transport throughout the city grid, down the promenades and across the open playa. Stopping for supplies in Reno - the Emerald City of Nevada, all grandeur and illusion - Seth and I stocked up for our day long ride through the city of marvels and its environs (Arun was staying for the duration).
We had a two hour wait in the queue upon arrival. It was nothing by comparison to the recent Boom festival in Portugal, which has become a monumental ordeal for participants some of whom endured a 30 hour wait and slow crawl to enter the world‚s premier psytrance festival (more on that in a future report). Seth drove right into the left wing of the grid to our co-ordinates: the corner of G and 9:00. It was the Mootopia camp just opposite The Deep End, the popular dance camp completing their Burning Man adventure in 2008. Soon enough I vied for some sleep inside a dome belonging to the Root Society, out on the edge of the city on the corner of the Esplanade and 10:00. The dome featured a hive of comfortable Dr Seussian beds, no small hint of evolved Bohemia.
With a linked entrance, a larger 90 foot dome featured the biggest indoor dance floor on the playa with a whomping sound system, clustered climbing positions for random displays of fleshy gesticulations, and hoisted rings and harnesses for nocturnal acrobatics. The place was a circus, and you the performer.
I would find myself performing there later that night, but not before humping my pedals around the city, biting the dust on the soft, uneven desert surface, seeking shade under the Man, positioned on a tower dedicated to diversity, one of the hallmarks, we‚re informed, of the American Dream, the theme of this year‚s event. If there‚s something that this event teaches us, it‚s a tolerance for difference, a hospitality unparalleled, a meaningfulness in the desert of the surreal that manifests in the act, and indeed the art, of giving.
We seek sanctuary at Center Camp under the intense midday sun, hovering for a while at the epicentre of the Burner scene, a vast ritual-theatre with no script. There are several performance platforms around this vast arena, but the stage boundaries are fuzzy as I hitch a ride in the moving spectacle of fury crotchless riding chaps, painted nipples and pink parasols. Having rung the virgin bell at the gate entrance only a few hours before, Arun announces that he is overwhelmed by sensory data. It appears as if he‚s had an empathogenic Pi√Īata broken over him and has merged with its contents. On his maiden Burn, wearing a fur-lined Moo outfit, he is already part of the performance‚¶. A stranger slips Baileys into my iced coffee‚¶. It courses through my veins as we saddle up and head out.
The day is filled with encounters ‚" with new and old friends at camp Low Expectations part of the Blue Light District occupying a choc right on The Wheel at C and 5:30-6:00.
The camp could be called "The Comfortable Couch", or "Got Bacon", a lowkey affair whose hardcore geek mainstays have long assumed various volunteer roles at the event and in the Organisation. There's usually a few imbedded freakologists lurking around. I also meet Coach Ted, a man whose been Burning in absentia and finally made it home; the folks at Spock Mountain Laboratories with the scoop on ‚DJ Testitio‚; Wonder Woman and other Mootopians; and ventured out into The Deep End...
As night falls over Black Rock City, it explodes with a collective charge unparalleled anywhere on the planet. The city ordinance to ‚leave no trace‚ and the commitment to develop responsible energy conservation strategies conflicting and other times complimenting the orgiastic desire to lay waste to one‚s personal and collective resources. After all we were Burners, casted to perform in a ritual-theatre of sacrifice, sophisticated yet primal. And so, after dusk, with enough inspiration to overpower mortality, we plough through the dune-ripples racing ahead of the spice worms who would intoxicate us with sleep, or worse‚¶. wakefulness. This was extreme partying, and we were the dosed-up denizens of deep playa.
Dismounting at the far terminus of the Esplanade at 2:00, I'd been riding the escalator all the way to the roof. But this was no smooth transit, with no predictable momentum, nor clear meaning. No certain arrival, and an even less certain departure. With its blinking mirages, fine dust white-outs, and blizzards of sensory impressions obfuscating clear directions, clarity and certitude are in short supply on the playa, a delirium that is translated into a style of music that plays havoc with predictability. Through broken polyrhythmic patterns, the festal distraction is embodied in the electro breakbeat, notorious for its derangement of repetition. Aural decay, a breakdown of structure, and an arse shifting funk.
A spectre appears out of the desert night ‚¶.. it‚s me‚¶ With fellow night rider, Seth, who wears a plastic gold $ necklace, and Arun, aglow in Mootopian fur on an EL wired steed, we dismount in the open space of the Opulent Temple, an art and sound camp in its sixth year, built on the perennial shores of breakdown and release.
Opulent Temple. Photo: (evil) Stefan
It was around midmorning and Lee Coombs was coming on. Now here‚s a guy who knows how to shift arse, and when it comes to finely sculpted and well-cropped playa-butt, this is not, by anyone's countenance, a standard operation. Coombs is a master of the build, accumulating all that tension, obtaining critical thresholds, until the electronic floodgates are finally opened and the playa-massive - the fleshive - is permitted to erupt with abandon. At the Opulent Temple, you know that moment has arrived as flames blast out from the DJ booth, a chamber that is part steampunk time machine and alchemist‚s laboratory.
Mutate and Survive
Hours passed and it seems like I had danced across time and space ‚¶ into the subjunctive realm. Near sunrise over the other side of the Man above 10:00, I stumbled into the dome of the Root Society. It was like morning assembly in the asylum, with duo 3l3tronic animating the disturbance. As the golden disc arose in the east, I made contact with the folks at the Green Gorilla Lounge, hunkering down over the raw funk cooking in their dome. It was here that I made interception with an object words can hardly translate.
It was the most audacious sound art vehicle on the playa. A mobile three level club in the shape of a yellow bath-time duck, the Disco Duck had unloaded its weird human cargo to greet the rising sun. With an auxiliary vehicle (a fur-lined double-decker bus) stocked with an arsenal of champagne, and with the morning sunlight refracting off its golden glitterball head, the duck was exposed in all of its splendour (check this flickr video illustrating how the giant duck with its green lasers for eyes and a fire-spitting mohawk, became integral to the nightworld at Burning Man).
Constructed upon an armoured amphibious assault vehicle, an instrument of warfare is reclaimed and transmuted into a pleasure machine. Although the amphibious vehicle lay hidden in its design, the vehicle is reminiscent of the reclamational work of legendary industrial-sculpture collective the Mutoid Waste Co, renowned for recruiting war machines for radical assaults on the senses. Throwing the first acid house warehouse raves in London at the old Coach Station and mutating the refuse of modern culture into the Marvelous, these salvage-situationists had been instrumental conspirators in London‚s reclamational sensibility. Throughout the mid to late 1980s, and into the 1990s, the Mutoids had been busy revivifying obsolescence and transforming forgotten landscapes into objects and sites of beauty, stirring those who came to witness, and dance, with a passion to make some noise. In London and across Europe, furnishing squatted buildings with anthropomorphic engines, mutated bike parts, transmuted MIG fighter jets, and raising subterranean spaces of difference where all became a spectacle to each other, they incited fellowship and inspired the imagination.
MWCo Tankhenge framing Rieschstaag Berlin '92. Photo: Rene Menges
MWCo. Set for 'Blast Off 94', Tachelles Berlin. Photo: Rene Menges
In Australia, Robin Mutoid Cooke‚s Mutonia Sculpture Park, which includes Planehenge among other pieces, constitutes an important development in this recycladelic diaspora. This is important to mention not least since last Winter Solstice, Mutonia, near Marree in outback South Australia, hosted the annual Mighty Burning Demon festival, a small gathering in which the burning of an anthropomorphic figure transpires. Sound familiar?
The MWCo were building ‚art cars‚ before the Man was first set aflame on Baker Beach in the mid 1980s. There are exceptional video compilations of early Mutoid work on Youtube. Note the ‚zombie beat‚ elicited by the Mutoid band presaging an electronic soundtrack at parties. And Robin Mutoid‚s lens on the MWCo can be found in his chapter in FreeNRG.
With the prospect of nuclear armageddon shaping their artifice, the Mutoids developed a near obsession with a post-apocalyptic Mad Max aesthetic. ‚Mutate and Survive‚‚"a rephrasing of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament slogan ‚Protest and Survive‚‚"became the Mutoid mantra conveying dissatisfaction with conventional forms of protest which they thought ineffectual, and which would emblematize their own brand of resistance to the nuclear age.
All of this is not remote from Burning Man. For one thing, The Death Guild, with their Thunderdome arena and fleet of vehicles at least in part inspired by the Road Warrior, have long been integral to the event. The Death Guild illustrate that, out here, almost anyone can be a post-apocalyptic cult hero. For another thing, MWCo artists landed at Burning Man in force this year with their head-turning motorised animatronic fire-breathing horse and covered wagon Spaghetti West 10, and a pair of dinosaur-like mechanical beasts: the Dino-Dumper and the Clamp-O-Saurus.
Mutoid Waste Co's Spaghetti West 10. Photo: Colombian
But I digress. It was now Friday, approaching noon. Apart from a couple dozey hours on a mattress in the shade at the Deep End, I‚d hardly slept. At this point the reasoning behind my departure was occulted by a looming white-out, my plans drifting rapidly out of view. Twenty-four hours in the desert and I was like Sergeant Howie, the archetype of order and organisation whose convictions made him the prime candidate for incineration in The Wickerman.
I rode downtown to camp Low Expectations to say goodbye to my friends. I arrive there and within minutes I‚m drawing from a bottle of Tabu Dry. It was my friend Michael's parting gesture. Soon I‚d be on the road back to California.
Just then, Jessica says, ‚why don‚t you stay.‚
I was stumped. I couldn‚t rightly recall. But then I remembered something. I didn‚t have water, much food, nor a tent, blanket, supplies for another 4 days in the desert. I‚d prepared for one day, as I needed to get back to the city ‚¶. for something.
‚But we have more than enough water, food. Even a tent and a blanket....‚
I was reclining on a tres comfortable couch in the middle of the desert glissading on absinthe, surrounded by 50,000 fellow pilgrims within a two mile radius. With each word she spoke I had fewer reasons to leave, until I was finally check-mated: ‚we can give you a ride back on the bus‚.
What had I been thinking? Hadn‚t I realised I‚d get caught in this momentum, this open-ended potlatch of epic proportions, this vast canvas the significance of which lies in the relationships one forms through shared consumption in extreme conditions? Out here, in one of the most physically inhospitable landscapes in the country, transformed over a week into one of the more socially receptive environments a human can know, I was like the guy who once turned up at the entrance naked as an experiment to learn if and how he could survive. My failure to leave and his successful survival are strangely connected, if by nothing other than the compelling gift.
I would soon cycle back across the city to break the news to Seth - himself on schedule to bail at noon. "Congratulations", he smiles, handing me his remaining supplies, "you failed".
Thanks to crew at Low Expectations who made this short story odyssean. Nods to Seth and Arun and others at Mootopia. And further gratitude to Coach Ted, Lee Coombs the super-cockers and all those other-selves who Burn.
This August, celebrating ten years since the original event, psytrance freaks swept into the field of dreams known as the Ozora Festival, the international psychedelic trance event in Hungary. The organisers and their friends know how to hold a party, with a great venue and production qualities satisfying the large numbers of participants descending on this green farm site near the town of Ozora a couple of hours out of Budapest, surely one of Europe‚s most charming cities. It was one of the best psychedelic trance line-ups to date.
Over 15,000 freaks assembled to board the Ozora Mothership. But it wasn‚t a smooth abduction. In fact, at the gate on Monday night, and well into the Tuesday morning, the event‚s first night, the freaks were freaking out. And for good reason, as we were set an outrageous endurance test. On that night, emptied out of our rides, we faced a failed ticket verification system and an avoidable crush lasting for over 12 hours. Avoidable, since organisers knew 5000 had bought tickets and should have implemented an appropriate entrance strategy (and back up plan). Instead, the gate held all the appearances of the entrance to a refugee camp. As a wide river of ticket-holders were funnelled through the eye of needle (one ticket stall!) they were confronted with nothing short of massive incompetence - of the kind that some event industries can apparently walk away with since, as cynical minds aver, the goodwill of participants is being exploited.
Many other types of event would have seen rioting. With thousands corralled in a structure resembling a livestock race, we were like sheep edging towards the slaughterhouse. It was especially dispiriting for those like myself and my fellow travellers who had journeyed great distances from other continents. With the prospect of standing in the queue for over ten hours, many, like myself, were forced to buy another ticket so they could avoid the trauma. The ordeals of gate entry at large psytrance festivals have grown onerous in the last years. It might be said that ordeals are implicit to a pilgrimage or similar type experience, but this is a commercial event and those who are taking the money owe to ticket holders a responsible and humane entrance strategy (all this said, the ticketing agency Access All Areas refunded my ticket, and Amin from AAA writes to me that Ozora are determined not to ever repeat this situation).
It‚s clear that the event line-up was Ozora‚s main dedication. And who can complain about that. It was quite simply spectacular, giving cause for many black sheep to develop amnesia over the entrance trauma, and graze in the field of dreams over seven days - shuffling out to Liquid Soul, Vibrasphere, Echotek, Son Kite, Tristan, Hallucinogen, and Blue Planet Corporation among a litany of young and old hands: from Etnica, Total Eclipse, to Hyper Frequencies to Neuromotor and Martin Freeland (aka Man with No Name), who demolished the main floor with his killer final set.
MWNM by Bojan Bilic
Photo: P Ekman
The main stage, which took the appearance of a thatched hut, was located in a ampitheatre-like cove formed by green hills on three sides with the steepest and tallest at the back of the stage. The surrounding hills around offered perspective on the dance floor for many splayed out under shade structures or dancing under water spurting from post-top sprinklers positioned on an edge of the field.Dia KL
Photos P Ekman
Not open to camping, this sheltered arena was open to sheep shepherded by a donkey across the surrounding fields. The cove held a pagan-like appearance, with the circumference of the dance floor marked by a ring of giant dead trees ‚planted‚ in place. At the back of the dance floor there was a huge fire burning each night following the daily restocking.
Photo by P. Ekman
And on the summit overlooking the stage at the far end of the field there stood two wicker-like figures formed from trees and frozen in dance, a DNA spiral positioned between them. And on the heights to the left of field a cornfield was the context for a labyrinth.
Valeria Castellano Jan Szalkowski
Given that you had to negotiate Ozora‚s main thoroughfare, a thin valley trail lined with psy-fashion boutiques and instant freak merchants, arriving at the main floor was like locating the supermarket in a mega-plex, where the goal can only be achieved once you‚ve passed hundreds of specialist shops and distractions. This aspect was also a little disturbing ‚" the pressures of fashion and ‚things‚ becoming too much for those bereft of the hat and the horse.
Photo by P. Ekman
Perhaps it's due to the alternative pretentions of festivals like Ozora that such commoditising stands out for criticism. Many festival-goers have long sought the confines of these events as a safe harbour from the possessive power of commodities. Still, these were mostly small-scale traders and craft-sellers, and there was no advertising hoardings or brand campaigning on site.But it was most certainly worth one's while negotiating the last bend of the market alley, passing the chaishop and into Ozora cove, for you were broadsided by a superior audio-visual experience. The Ozora dance floor was a focal point unparalleled in many psytrance festivals where the energy is distributed across multiple stages. The only other key venue (besides a small cinema with sound system) was the Chill out tent, where the likes of Aes Dana, Chill in Berlin, Entheogenic, Vibrasphere and Ott performed in a noctilucent galaxy.
The Chill featured quality sound production and became the venue for the after party which continued right through to midday Monday, with a renegade system running in a tepee down the valley. But the main stage was an extraordinary venue with a dedication to the psychedelic progression. That is, progressive electro trajectories during many of the days accept the last when a distinct progressive psychedelia held the day, from Prometheus at 3am, through Protoculture and onwards through Digicult, Blue Planet Corporation to Shane Gobi and Man With No Name (among others).
This Footage screened on local TV gives you a good idea of what was going down at Ozora.
Photo by P. Ekman
Totality Freaks and Shadow Dancing
Besides the gate fiasco, and the implicit problem with having one individual (namely the owner of the farmland at Ozora) capitalise on the experience, this was a memorable addition to a now ten-year tradition. The Solipse Festival, held on this site in 1999 with 20,000 people celebrating the total solar eclipse, was instrumental in the development of post-Goa trance culture (a compilation was released before that festival: Solipse - The Full Solar Eclipse Festival Compilation 1999).
Star Sounds Orchestra at Solipse 1999 (Ozora)
Solipse 1999 @ Ozora
Etnica, who performed at that event, were called back for the 2009 anniversary along with many others who have played at Ozora over the years. Solipse 1999 was likely the most popular and formative event in psytrance at that time, cementing the association between psytrance and the total solar eclipse, the musical with the cosmic event. Though with different people participating in the event-organisation since the initial festival, each Ozora festival has carried the spirit of the initial experience, which for many participants holds a spiritual appeal. Other acts performing at Ozora 09, including Shpongle, Hallucinogen and Total Eclipse, have all had significant involvement with total solar eclipse event productions and performances. In this way, Ozora 09 was quite a retrospective, with Shpongle headlining in a live performance on Saturday night.
Raja Ram and Simon Posford. Photos by Juan
With 12 performers on stage, it was a rare live performance from the act formed by Simon Posford and Raja Ram in the mid 1990s following their witnessing of a total solar eclipse in India in 1996 (an experience which gave life to their ethnodelic ‚‚¶And the Day Turned to Night‚ (the closing epic on their debut Are You Shpongled?).
It‚s possibly the only time when you‚ll see people applauding the sky. The perfect yet brief marriage of the sun and moon. The spirit of totality birthing Ozora had been building for a few years prior to that event. By all accounts, the first ‚eclipse rave‚ was held near the coastal city of Arica at the edge of the Atacama desert, Chile, on November 2nd and 3rd 1994. Held in the immediate years of transition from Pinochet, that event was organised chiefly through a Chilean-German partnership, and was sponsored by outfitters Pash and filmed by MTV. The event featured Derrick May and for the first time in his homeland, Ricardo Villalobos.
Eclipse chasing has a long and interesting history that would inevitably merge with psychedelic culture. The experience of totality associated with a total eclipse of the sun, has historically been a cause for celebration and/or alarm, and interpreted according to local cosmological systems. Scientists have shown great interest in total solar eclipses since the eighteenth century but it was in 1836 that solar physicist Francis Bailey had founded the industry of eclipse chasing at the same time as generating fervor for solar physics. From that period populations were known to travel from locations outside the line of totality to view the spectacle, with multinational scientific expeditions mounted over the next century.Eclipse chasing would eventually become a recreational pursuit with the interventions of the Pedas-Sigler family of educators who, from the early 1970s, initiated eclipse tourism on board cruise ships. These entrepreneurs had, in fact, attempted to stage a rock festival (‚Eclipse ‚70‚ in March 1970), in the line of the moon‚s shadow in 1970 in a tiny fishing village in Suffolk, Virginia, called Eclipse (so named after a total eclipse there in 1900). But the proposed event was opposed by the townsfolk who condemned the potential ‚freak-out‚ on their turf only months after Woodstock. This might have been the greatest party that never happened. However, instead, on July 10 1972 they undertook their ‚Voyage to Darkness‚ cruise off the north Atlantic coast of Canada. Mixing science with sociality, it was beginning of a great adventure - they've been holding eclipse cruises ever since.
These eclipse tours demonstrated that it was not only subscribers to Sky and Telescope that were gravitating to remote regions where shadow bands race across the Earth. Since the early 1970s, the 100 mile wide shadow has drawn many into its path. Later maven of integrative medicine, Andrew Weil exemplified the psychonaut drawn to the marriage of the sun and the moon, the HierosGamos from which he would draw considerable psychocultural significance, as explained in his Marriage of the Sun and Moon: A Quest for Unity in Consciousness (Houghton Mifflin 1980: 222) where he describes his experience of an eclipse in Miahuatl√°n, Oaxaca, Mexico, in March 1970. But, with the failure of Ted Pedas to draw the eclipse into the orbit of the counterculture in that same year, and having aborted the dance music eclipse festival idea for lunar liner cruises, with the aid of cheaper travel, electronic music technologies and the Internet, it would take another 25-30 years for the dance music festal eclipse event to materialise.
By the late 1990s, as a cavalcade of spiritualists, astrologers and psychedelic big-game hunters found themselves in the playing fields of the HierosGamos, scientists and hippies found themselves proximate to one another in social spatio-temporal scenarios (ie parties) planned according to the alignment of celestial spheres at sites anticipated as optimum observation points on the line of totality. Curiously scientists and hippies would share a moniker ‚" ‚freaks‚, referencing the collision of travel, adventure and curiosity in a shared cosmic experience. But it would be the psytrance orientated festivals where, despite the growing presence of those determined to record the experience using photographic equipment, which accommodates those who implicitly recognise that a total solar eclipse is not merely a ‚cosmic event‚ to observe remotely, but a wild social experience in which one was immersed totally. Like a dozen turns of the New Year celebrated simultaneoulsy, the alignments would affect a licentious atmosphere among the crowds gathering in the totality.
So, as cosmic cowboys, prophets and prospectors joined the hunt, a whole new social event came into being as a highly specialised traveller phenomenon. Following the Eclipse Rave in Chile, Solar Eclipse Festivals subsequently attracted travellers to events in Siberia, Venezuela/Columbia, and South Asia in the late 1990s. There was another Solipse festival in June 2001 in South Africa and in early December 2002 there were festivals mounted on the path of totality near Lindhurst, South Australia (Outback Eclipse) and in South Africa. By that time, these events had accumulated a large following which was observed in 2006 at Soulclipse in Southern Turkey. Recently there have been smaller events in Siberia and Japan with another significant festal-cosmic event juncture planned for Easter Island in July 2010 with the Honu Eclipse and then beyond that, near Cairns, Australia, in November 2012.
House of Diversity
In his memoirs, the research scientist Francis Bailey wrote of his total eclipse experience in 1842 setting up his telescope inside a building at the university in Pavia Italy: ‚All I wanted was to be left alone during the whole time of the eclipse, being fully persuaded that nothing is so injurious to the making of accurate observations as the intrusion of unnecessary company‚ (in Weil p.60). Bailey was expressing a concern, common to the singular research scientist, yet remote from the experience of the eclipse festival, for while other humans may disrupt scientific measurements, in the immeasurable landscape of the vibe ‚company‚ is critical. And not just your close friends or family, but those others who have also journeyed from far and wide to celebrate the event. And it was this spirit of adventure and diversity - this cosmic vibe - that has carried through to the Ozora of the present, with participants arriving from a multitude of countries, and with the dance floor populated by those speaking many languages ‚" sharing in the experience.
And let us not forget where this event, one of the premiere events in contemporary psytrance, is located: in space and time. Just prior to heading to Ozora I found myself attempting to recover from jetlag in Budapest, with the assistance of Botond Vitos, a local researcher of psytrance who graciously hosted me at his apartment a couple of streets from the Danube. On the day before heading to Ozora I found myself wandering around the House of Terror (Terror H√°za).
More specifically, I found myself standing inside a room in a cellar of the building by this name, where hundreds of people had been murdered at the end of rope on a crude gallows. That device was itself the product of a crude system belonging to the Fascist and Communist regimes who cast their long shadow over Hungary post WWII. Special attention is devoted to the Hungarian Communist regime, one of the harshest dictatorships in Europe. The building is a haunting reminder of the dark manifestation. Both the Nazis and Communists established it as a h√°za of execution, an infamous house of horrors which operated until 1956, and re-opened in 2002 as a grizzly museum, a memorial to its many victims, and a reminder of the dark potentiality of humankind. One of the macabre aspects of the House of Terror is that it's situated on Andr√°ssy Boulevard, one of Budapest‚s main thoroughfares. Indeed you could walk inside the building and choke back on your double cheeseburger as you tour the basement where many hundreds of prominent and relatively unknown Hungarians (some political enemies, others in the wrong place at the wrong time) met unspeakable suffering, endured brutal interrogations and were led, if they survived these tortures, to a cold, miserable, end.
A decade after the end of Communism, two hours away, thousands of totality freaks were dancing in the shadow of the moon. It was a new kind of totality, the spirit of which was the polar opposite, if you will, to the tyranny of totalitarianism that had stifled life in the region following WWII. Ten years downstream from that event, I landed in the field of dreams. And, awash in a sound bath of languages ‚" e.g. Hungarian, German, Russian, Italian, Swedish, Hebrew, Ukranian, French, Japanese, etc (and of course English of varying inflections) ‚" I was reminded how psychedelic trance is a transnational home to diversity and is a symbol of hope.
Many thanks to the photographers including Alex604, Bojan Bilic, Boris Voglar, Dia KL, P. Ekman, Jan Szalkowski, Juan, Sean Vassallo, and Valeria Castellano.
I rose from the deck to carve a few shapes in the night.
And made a quick meal of it.
Lurching aft, and then to starboard, it took all my effort to avoid shirt-fronting the subs and stumble overboard without a trace.
I've waded through effluvious moshpits across Europe, parlayed with psychedelic bogans from Wonthaggi, and thrown it all in with jihadi of doof and other party fundamentalists in locations too numerous to mention. But what could have prepared me for this new peril, this eightball odyssey on the High Sea, this berth on a ship of divine fools?
Sailing south-east in the Cook Islands, north-east of New Zealand, we were charting the frontiers of dance, scanning the horizon for the perfect rave. But like a frumptious colony of crustacea, my colleagues in extreme recreation clung to all that was available, including the makeshift dance floor, resembling, at times, an incident room. This was no time for showcasing new form, for aerial hieroglyphs of the kind one might inscribe when, as in this case, broadsided by quality sound. Like pale-faced practitioners in an unorthodox church of dance, we rode it out, on a steady 145 BPM at 30 knots.
It was the morning of July 11, and I had boarded the Tekou Maru II, an Island Trader with eight crew which had now steamed over 100 nautical miles south-east of Rarotonga. Months earlier, I‚d enlisted with the Black Pearl Eclipse Adventure, a ten day journey from Melbourne to Rarotonga whose highlight was a sea-faring trip to intercept with the line of totality arching across the South Pacific. Over the previous week, I had joined my rogue brethren in bonhomie and compatriots in eclipse chasing and duty free drinking who occupied the Raro Backpackers on the western beachfront of the main island. Small groups split off to explore the island, snorkel reefs, go ocean fishing (providing dinner for beach feast parties on two occasions), climb mountains or chill on the decks of beach-front bungalows.
Images by Jacq Smith
Others climbed to the base of Te Rua Manga, ‚the Needle‚, which afforded majestic views over Rarotonga. Our group arrived on the island alongside other consortiums of scientists, totality freaks and amateur astronomers who had travelled to the Cook Islands to observe the eclipse‚"such as the 500 who would sail to the island of Mangaia, which, alongside Easter Island (Rapa Nui), was reported to offer one of the best land-based vantage points for observing the eclipse on its 11,000 km journey over the South Pacific (cloud cover would dash the hopes of those who travelled to Mangaia).
¬†Image by Martin Heine
To Keu, our curious young neighbour who was drawn over to marvel at the spectacle of the freaks now inhabiting the Raro backpackers and breaking-in a new sound system far surpassing anything he'd heard or seen before, we were an unfathomable fraternity of foreigners - in his amazement, "totally random". Be that as it may, our purpose on the island was far from random.
And not self-obsessed. On Friday night, Black Pearl held a benefit night at the shorefront club Rehab, where several DJs performed (Jules, Shadow FX, Ed Motive and Doobie) raising $700 for a local charity supporting islanders suffering from industrial and road accidents.
But the main performance was a few days off, and my ragtag posse of shadow dancers were preparing for the jump-off point. For my own part, I volunteered for this mission with two successful sorties stenciled on my fuselage. The first near Lindhurst, South Australia, in early December 2002. The second near Antalya, southern Turkey, Easter 2006. Both total solar eclipses were celebrated at electronic dance music festivals‚"predominantly psytrance‚"mounted on the line of totality. Such events have been held since at least November 2nd 1994, the date of the ‚eclipse rave‚ in Chile, near the coastal city of Arica at the edge of the Atacama. That event signaled the birth of a highly specialised traveler phenomenon. That moment when the Moon‚s perfect union with the Sun activates the fleeting display of its golden corona had made deep grooves upon my soul in these ecstatic social contexts, with this cosmic event enervating the social experience, and the orgiastic sociality of the festival enabling an intimate connection between those who shared the experience. It was, therefore, a total experience where the umbra of the total solar eclipse crossfades with the ecstatic aesthetic of the dance party: a cosmic vibe sought by totality freaks who hunt this magic across the planet.
On Rarotonga, Saturday July 10, every thing had been set in motion to rendezvous with totality. John-Paris McKenzie, operator of Black Pearl Eclipse Adventures, is no stranger to the cosmic vibe, to being gowned in the golden fleece. He had notched up six previous total solar eclipse events in locations the world over and had been gowned in totality more than twice as long as any one else on board. The totality freak‚s freak, Paris had fitted out the Island Trader with a quality sound system, hired DJs/producers (including Shadow FX, who has a reputation for driving women crazy, as seen in footage (compiled at Boom 200 reproduced on his website, the gregarious Ed Motive and the viceroy of vigilance Aaron Smiles.
Shadow FX (James Hayes)
A dance floor had been fashioned on the freight deck, and there was even a chill area aft. There was substantial risk involved in this venture, perhaps greater than that faced by the Pedas-Sigler family of educators who initiated formal eclipse cruises‚"on ocean liners‚"back in the early 1970s. Much depended upon the weather. Would the sea be rough? Would clouds occlude the eclipse? Would voyagers grow mutinous?
While there had been a severe storm the night we arrived on Raro, the winds had now grown comparably light. But out on the open sea, as the Tekou Maru II cut through swell upon swell and Venus undulated off the port bow, many a voyager‚s stomach was exposed to turbulence. As the night air grew rank with unsettled guts and an unremitting torpor, these Melbournites were rewriting the meaning of the ‚Melbourne shuffle‚: long periods of motionlessness followed by rapid bursts of activity on the dance floor, which in this case involved the rapid freighting of one‚s stomach contents into buckets and over the rails‚"a transference of energy kicked-off by one of the locals, the ship‚s nurse, who gave it all up soon after our vessel left the harbour at Rarotonga. Many passengers capitulated in similar fashion throughout the night, as the roiling progressive psychedelic builds played by Brendan Armstrong, Tony Loucas and Aaron Smiles were met with a chunderous applause. Sick!
¬†Images by Martin Heine
At around 8.00 AM on Sunday July 11, we had sailed into the Straights of the Non-Ordinary. My guts ceased churning as swells rode against the hull no more. It took me a while to recognise that the ship‚s engines had stopped. I wheeled about to take in 360 degrees of ocean horizon. We were now drifting in The Path, an unusual dawn on any seas, high or low, an uncharted region apparently remedying nocturnal nauseas and maritime maladies. As the night lifted in a floating world where the veils were growing thinner, anxieties and troubles that had mounted over the past weeks and the previous night were rapidly evaporating. While the sky to the east remained cloudy, with the assistance of my special issue eclipse glasses it became apparent that the Moon was moving into alchemical alignment with the Sun. Voyagers were awakening to greet the cone of shadow racing across the Earth toward us. And as the Sun came to form a crescent off the starboard bow, it grew evident that the cumulus curtains were parting across the proscenium arches of the heavens and we privileged avatars were minutes away from one of the greatest spectacles on Earth.
We were on a bearing to collide with the cosmos, and what‚s-more, had tickets to front row seats. As show time approached, awareness of duration had vaporized, though it must have been around 8:20 AM by which time the music was switched off, and our prow was in direct alignment with a Sun occluding Moon.
¬†Images by Tony Loucas
¬† Inside this time-out-of-time so remote from land and routine consciousness, cosmic travelers were awash in a heavenly ambiance. New music was now being broadcast from the distant horizon, an overture that cannot be sampled, reproduced or replayed with any accuracy. Cries rose from the decks as awe-struck and bespectacled voyagers gained every vantage to absorb a sea of shadows that now came flooding over them like a tsunami. At this numinous threshold in space-time a divine chorus lifted me off the deck.
Image by Tony Loucas
I was not alone in the ascension. Voyagers, some hobbling out from the cabins aft, some rubbing sleep from their eyes and gaining the observation deck, others hunkered down on the dance floor, and others still fumbling with camera equipment, became exposed to a transfigurement routinely reported since Eighteenth Century astronomers predicted this cosmic event. The jubilant reaction of eclipse voyagers is reminiscent of that described by Andrew Weil who was in Miahuatl√°n, Oaxaca, Mexico on March 7, 1970, as the umbra passed over the villagers, who broke into a ‚spontaneous ovation of the heavens‚. The description can be found in Weil‚s Marriage of the Sun and Moon: A Quest for Unity in Consciousness, where it is told that the total eclipse, which lasted over three minutes, was an experience, and held an impact, that was immeasurable. For those moments in the umbra, the present lasted for a prolonged duration. Weil explained that there was a quality to those minutes ‚that must be like the feeling in the eye of a hurricane. After all the dramatic changes of accelerating intensity, everything stopped: There was an improbable sense of peace and equilibrium. Time did not flow.‚ Indeed, it was three-and-a-half-minutes of clock time incomparable to any duration he‚d previously known.
Weil went on to offer an explanation for why the people of Miahuatl√°n were getting high. At this privileged juncture in time and space where humans share in the perfect alignment of Earth, Moon and Sun with their own bodies, ‚to participate in that moment of uncanny equilibrium is to have one‚s faith strengthened in the possibility of equilibrium and to experience the paradox that balance and stillness are to be found at the heart of all change‚. Furthermore, the union of the Sun and the Moon is recurrent in philosophies and myths world-wide, that are ‚symbolic of the union of conscious and unconscious forces within the human psyche that must take place if one is to become whole.‚ Typically accessed via meditation, drugs, hypnosis, trance and other techniques, those hidden realms of consciousness occulted to us in our daily lives, are said to be perfectly represented by the corona of the Sun in union with the Moon, which is also recognized as a union of masculine and feminine energies. Thus, a total solar eclipse signifies an alchemical exchange of solar and lunar phases of consciousness, with totality contextualizing something of a peak psychocultural experience.
By extension, the integral view provides perspective on why this cosmic synchronicity appears to have held such significance for the global psychedelic trance community, where, since the mid 1990s, dance parties and festivals have been mounted on the line of totality, growing in size and proportion with each event. But there is something more going on, since this perfect alignment does not simply involve a line-up of the Earth, Moon and Sun with the individual Self, but potentially of manifold selves, a multitude. And so the Sun‚s perfect corona signals an opening, a portal that opens not simply to the possibilities of individual human creativity, but to novel forms of social experimentation. There can be no denying that the experience, which attracted dozens of people from varying backgrounds, many strangers to one another, had the effect of unifying many who came, witnessed and were transfigured.
In those social events that have grown on the line of totality over the past decades, fellowship in dance has been integral to the experience of the eclipse. It might be argued that since there was barely any dancing, not of the kind where dancers can maintain trance-like states, along with the contents of their stomachs, the voyage was missing that special vibe. Yet this fails to capture the significance of the experience, for the sound system, a quality rig with quality selections and performances, remained integral to the experience, offering voyagers a soundtrack to a trip that, given its remoteness from land and other people, resembled a space opera, with the grand symphony itself beginning after 8:00 AM Sunday morning when the ship‚s engine was shut down, the sound system was turned off, and the cosmic music began.
Image by Tony Loucas
An unusual extravagance perhaps, but it was in this liminality, after the system was shut off and before the afternoon tunes appeared care of Ed Motive and Doobie and Rodney, that the sound system made its real significance felt. At this oceanic crossroads, the silence grew louder, the shadows harboured an alien glow and my compatriots were beholden with the shining appearance of the Pirates of Penzance. And it could not have been so without the progressive psychedelic trance swabbing the deck all night long care of Tony Loucas, Aaron Smiles and Shadow FX.
Still aglow from the experience, fellow voyager, Kitty Forest, put it like this:
Shadow FX cued a perfectly moving version of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' as the stars of the show slipped gently behind soft cloud and I wept again with gratitude. How easily it could all have been missed and Mother had reminded us one final time it was her decision, never ours, to view this eclipse. We had all taken a huge gamble and traveled long and hard on the off chance we would witness a three minute natural marvel. And we won.
In the wake of a Moon-occulted Sun, no voyager aboard this victorious floating theatre could now be uneducated to the meaning of the name of our vision quest: Black Pearl, in the realisation that the valuable black pearl harvested in the region was just now mirrored in the morning sky.
Image by Tony Loucas
Yet the cosmic black pearl is rarer than any saltwater gemstones of the region. Unlike the gem harvested from the seabed, this ‚black pearl‚ held no monetary value, other than the relatively cheap cost of the adventure itself. No exchange value. The experience of singularity encountered when the Sun aligns with the Moon in a perfect marriage where the observer must also be a party to this alignment at a precise terrestrial location, holds a value that can hardly be measured, a value that is, at its foundations, spiritual.
¬†Image by Martin Heine
Returning to Rarotonga, as hunter-voyagers, we had collectively harpooned a total solar eclipse off Mangaia - among the greatest of catches for experiential big game hunters, now obtained to distribute among our various tribes and communities.
Thanks to Paris for organising Black Pearl, and to my brothers in the PLA and all voyagers for accompanying me on this adventure. Thanks also to the people of Rarotonga, Pa the mountain guide and the captain and crew of the Tekou Maru II. And thanks to all the photographers for their disciplined attention to detail.
Confirm your attendance on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/197138083747062/ Marble Productions & GBE Present: "FOAMTASTIC-2" (Foam Party) August 25th 2012 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Marble Productions and GBE and teaming up once again to bring you a foam filled night of fun! Mountains of foam combined with bone shaking sound, mind bending visuals and the jaw dropping production you have come to expect from our events. Get ready for Portland! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *VASKI Rottun Records/ Play Me Too Minneapolis, MN -American sensation Vaski has spent the better part of two years touring, shaking the globe with his electro-derived dubstep. With releases from the prestigious Rottun Recordings and Play Me Records, Vaski is no stranger to the top of the dubstep kingdom. Starting with his first release, Resonate EP, each of Vaski's successive releases have enjoyed top-ten status. When asked about his breakout success, Vaski said, "It isn't anything I feel directly responsible for. I make music and people like it. I work hard to try to meet expectations of my fans, that's all I can do." The last few months have seen Vaski plant his music live across three continents and nearly a dozen countries. Known for his theatrical stage presence and entertaining antics, seeing Vaski live is more than just a show, it's an experience. 2012 will be an iconic one for the young producer/performer. With a number of releases hitting the beatport charts soon, the sky's the limit for the midwestern sensation. With his sights set on continued touring through North America, keep an eye on his website, www.vaskimusic.com, for tour dates and other news from the evolving world of Vaski. *RUN DMT "Union of Opposites" Album Release Tour Play Me Records/ Mad Decent Records Austin, TX -Austin, TX own RUN DMT's sound is a reflection of a torrid love affair with heavy basslines, thunderous beats, and haunting melodies. Forming in the summer of 2010, RUN DMT decided to take the approach of no-holds-barred heavy bass music without borders, touching on Dubstep, Drumstep, Moombahton, UK Funky, atmospheric Downtempo and more. In its short 1.5 year of history it has made high profile appearances at Camp Bisco, Nocturnal Festival, Bass Invasion, and Snowglobe Music Festival. Its original productions and remixes have become recent playlist staples for DJs ranging from Bassnectar to MSTRKRFT to Craze to 12th Planet and beyond. RUN DMT's first official release on Play Me Records shot straight to the TOP TEN on Beatport with "Drop Top" hitting #2 on the Drum & Bass Charts, and "Bro 2.0" hitting #3 on the Dubstep Charts. RUN DMT has released tracks on JFK's Teenage Riot Records, Evol Intent, T&A and Heavy Artillery, and are featured on the soundtrack for the video game, "Mortal Kombat" (2011). RUN DMT has also remixed for the likes of Bird Peterson, Asking Alexandria, and Figure. The debut full length album "Union of Opposites" to be released in June 2012 on Play Me Records worldwide and will feature the likes of Chali 2na, Dj Swamp, and more. RUN DMT's first mixtape was released late December 2011 exclusively thru Mad Decent: http://maddecent.com/blog/run-dmt-ye...ite-rabbit-mix Be sure to check out RUN DMT's new album "Union of Opposites" out NOW!! *AARON SIMPSON Simply Records Seattle, WA With Local support from: *JAMES RENEGADE *TOKEN & KILLA K *SENCE *MINESWEEPA ------------------------------ STAGE 2: ----------------------------------- *JAMES EGBERT -live! Fuzion Muzik/ http://www.jamesegbertmusic.com/ https://www.facebook.com/thejamesegbert Denver, CO -Although James Egbert has been writing and producing music for most of his life, it wasn't until 2011 that he decided to jump into the world of EDM where he has quickly established himself as one of the most talented up and coming artists in the scene. Perfecting the heavy bass sounds that drive electro house and dubstep bangers, James adds an important emphasis on musicality and attention to detail that has allowed his tracks to stand out among the rest. After locking in his very first live performance on the main stage of Global Dance Festival in Colorado, he has made a habit of setting the bar high for himself and has since shared the stage with some of EDM's biggest names including Avicii, Wolfgang Gartner and Zedd. 2012 has so far been a break through year for the tireless producer. The self-release of his 6-song EP "In The Beginning" on Fuzion Muzik topped the Electro House, Dubstep and Progressive House charts on Beatport as well as reaching #2 on the Top 100 releases. Shortly after following up the success of his EP with a single on Bazooka Records, "Legion", which reached #15 on the Electro House charts, James was selected as a winner of Insomniac's Discovery Project which earned him a slot on the biggest electronic music festival in North America, Electric Daisy Carnival. With his release schedule already filled up for the rest of the year and a live set that's bursting with purely original music, James Egbert is fully equipped for success and making significant strides towards the top. *IAN K Seattlehardcore/ Harder, Faster, Louder/ Smokeshack Seattle, WA *POWERMITTEN -live! Cresfresh Coalition/ Harder, Faster, Louder Seattle, WA With Local support from: *WAY WAY *HAL-V & SPACE CASE *STRIVE *ZK & TORRENT *CHRONIC ILLNESS -------------------- TICKETS: -------------------- Pre-sales available at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/260624 Very Limited: $15 SOLD OUT Limited: $20 SOLD OUT General Tier 1: $25 General Tier 2: $30 ----------------------------------------- PHYSICAL TICKET LOCATIONS: --------------------------------------------- *OREGON* Location: Platinum Records Address: 104 Southwest 2nd Avenue Portland, OR 97204 Location: The Venue Civic Center Address: 1029 Narregan Street Medford, OR *WASHINGTON* Location: Brown Paper Tickets Seattle Address: 220 Nickerson St. Seattle, WA Location: Bicycles West Address: 1183 Andover Park West Tukwila, WA Location: My World Dance and Fitness Studio Address: 849 Hiawatha Place South Seattle, WA Location: Old Town Bistro Silverdale Address: 3388 NW Byron Street Silverdale, WA Location: Suede Urban Lifestyle Boutique Address: 2326 Rainier Ave Seattle, WA Location: The Zuch, LLC Address: 504 E. University Way Ellensburg, WA -------------------- FEATURING: -------------------- -Massive Sound by Liquid NRG plus more TBA! -Jaw dropping lighting by Positive Systems -Visuals on multiple screens by Looptid -Decorations by USC, Looptid plus more TBA! -Vendor booths -Outdoor smoking area -Much more TBA!!!!! -------------------- VENUE: -------------------- Bohemia Warehouse 517 North Tillamook Street Portland, OR 97227 --------------- MORE INFO: --------------- https://www.facebook.com/pages/MARBL...36547553034072 https://www.facebook.com/groundbreakingevents https://www.facebook.com/marbleproductions http://www.myspace.com/marble_productions
The Altern80s Club er et m√•nedlig konsept i Oslo som hyller den m√łrkere siden av ti√•ret som gjorde dystert catchy - nemlig '80-tallet! Forvent kjent og fremmed , melodi√łst og merkelig s√• vel som hardt og silkemykt fra fjernt og n√¶rt innen synthpop , new wave , postpunk , cold wave , flexipop , new romantik , italodisco , EBM , minimalistisk elektro , dark wave , new beat , industrial , hiNRG , neue Deutsche welle og andre nostalgiske obskuriteter av det h√łyst musikalske slaget.