25.11.16

Techno Party



Throw together a building without owner, opening times without curfew, people without limits, music without definition, and you have a squat party.

That pair of words conjures up more images than any two in the English language.  Crowded night buses.  Roads to nowhere. Lorries. Dogs. Queueing and smoking.  Haggling. Drinking.  Snorting.  All just a preamble to the main feature: the dancefloor, and all the subplots that spin out of control on it.

A stage of pallets and speakers, set for a chemical cabaret.  The fantastical, the fanatical, the enlightened, the dejected - a lineup of gems in the rough - all take their turns and bow out. 

Next up: the Old Bill. Their stony-faced dispatch enters stage right: cue first intermission break.  Floodlights glare on flattened beer cans and electrified, blinking stares.  Rolly smoke pirouettes in the air.

Eventually they retreat, freeing the party. Regular scheduling resumes: heaving techno, sweating effuse from the walls and ceiling.  Dripping on our necks.  A dancer's long, blonde hair is tossed like 3 sheets to the wind.  

A fairy-tale pixie enchanting the DJ.  LSD administered like communion by traveler-priests.  Conspiratorial huddle grows outwards from the decks.  Ethereal, pervasive reality.  Sunrise and sunset, following too closely on each other's heels. 

You've been holding yourself back for something but can't remember why, now.  Commitments to the outside world recede, reduced to pinpoints on the horizon. Hoarded energies held back for the future are released as steam to the present, pumping up the volume on the moment to the max. 

Monday to Friday, you are marooned in the forced routines of work, study and mass transit.  But between Friday and Monday, the blaze of sight and sound consumes you.  You leap from one weekend to the next, uncharted outcroppings in oceans of static.   The poise and polish of everyday life vanish with all the routines.  You are not your best self here, just your real self.

Mornings so raw and honest, all contingency plans become obsolete except for constant movement. Staying  ahead of the people who would compromise today for tomorrow's prospects, postpone all action until it's achieved via remote-control. The only way to move beyond their reach is to Keep. On. Dancing.

Between parties all these details are magically forgotten, stored in a part of your brain that's only used when fucked. A saga that resumes every time you drop another pill. Don't leave it too long though, lest you forget to reach --

The End.

You can find great photos of parties from the years that this piece refers to at London photographer Molly Macindoe's website.

3 comments:

  1. 30 years I've lived a huge part of my life on the dance floor... Small parties big parties squat parties legal parties house parties, parties in a field. But for me son many fall down nowadays with the music. I so want to go to a great underground party that doesn't play techno!! The world is awash with amazing music old and new. To dance the night away in an abandoned factory to amazing soul and funk? Well I think id sink to my knees and kiss the dance floor.... Or the DJ. Nothing wrong whatsoever with techno... But I have reached an age where I don't want to dance to one beat one genre all night long no matter what it is. Mix it up party organisers, djs!

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  3. Yeah, I feel ya... I mean, I've never actually gotten bored of techno, but there are still plenty of days when I'd rather hear some DnB or even (gasp) a bit of house.

    This piece was written c. 2003 though, so it's describing a pretty different techno scene than what we have today... especially in Berlin!

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Berlin, Germany
...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, streetart, left-wing activism, social media trends and green issues. Other publications that I have written for include: Urban Challenger Blog, Siegesaeule, Shlur, Alternative Berlin, Sensanostra.