ArticlesDatacide 12

TECHNO: Psycho-Social Tumult (Remix)

„Sound invades us, impels us, drags us, transpierces us… it takes leave of the earth…It makes us want to die. Ecstasy and hypnosis. Colours do not move a people. Flags can do nothing without trumpets”
Deleuze & Guattari – Thousand Plateaus

TechNET is a multi-personal affirmation of techno that seeks to elaborate and propel the continued outbursts of psycho-social tumult that this music is creating. Never numbered or dated, each issue of TechNET could be the first or the last. Always at a beginning and always incomplete, TechNET is a “glorified flyer” that is given away at parties, deposited in record shops and sent out along the third rail. What follows are re-mixed and re-connected compositions sampled from TechNET tracks.

Positive Futurism
We could begin anywhere. A history would be too obvious and would imply that techno’s creative phase was over, that it was now time to juggle with rarity. Such attempts at a genealogy of techno, a hierarchical archeology, or a precise pinpointing of musicians would prohibit an understanding of the simultaneity of multiple codes, the overlapping between styles and forms. Techno cannot be alotted a place as either pop or an avant-garde music – on the whole it doesn’t take refuge in art and slips away from categorisation as the net of naming is unfurled. It avoids the discipline of nostalgia which keeps people in the thrall of the past, unable to even think of the future but always referring back. Nostalgia is a language of lack, a language that fills people with longings for a past that never happened, a present that never comes, for the gift that never arrives.

No More Words
Techno music opens up a space for a critique of language or at least it raises the issue of power inherent in language. A rejection of words in the form of vocals to a song allows the listener a far more open field of exploration, a space where it is possible to discover those immanent thoughts that are beyond syntax. For words guide us to order, they instil in us the need to have others speak for us; they make us receptive to the fixity of imposed meaning…a living and illicit speech where listening is not judged as passive but part of a process of communication. The letter kills the spirit, life in general is mobility itself.

What Is Heard In Sound Is The Non-Face
Techno is an open secret, an anonymous pool of power. Faceless and from no-place it encourages us to immerse ourselves in its dynamism, to be aligned and arrayed with everyone, to be cut through and enlarged by all that input, all those mute articulations. Records issued under a variety of names and composed by packs resist moves to codify and canonise, challenging the celebrity-machine that functions as a visible indexation of ‘success’. ‘Stars’ imply an upward mobility, they spawn sycophantic imitators, idol builders and “faces on the scene”. Increasingly now the music industry attempts to make big time profits from the previously unmarketable faceless techno bollocks. Singled out. Captured. Careering.

Inside the Crowd
Techno parties have no centre, no focal point. Crowds have never written their own history, crowds are never the source around which a narrative is built. Individuals are said to be the agents of change, the doers, but this, after all else, is one more means of seeing the social in shorthand. Only crowds have acted only crowds have changed things. This is another area where binary oppositions do not equip us to go – a sense of the non-ordinary, the uninscribed can be felt from within a crowd, the stepping out from everyday cause and effect. Because we are brought up from day one with, an at best, muted sense of what collectivities can achieve but a too heightened sense of indivuduals as the enactors, we tend to view the outcome of an event in terms of the concrete results it achieves. This blinds us to the unquantifiable, but none the less, very real effect of being in a crowd. In a techno party all are equal – no one has the right to give a command.

In Britain, the new Criminal Justice Act is testament to the government’s need to silence noises that scramble its codes and lead to its dysfunction These new laws are a response to the political nature of people coming together in groups where there is a greater chance for inspiration, creativity and disturbance. The Act is not an attack on our ‘civil liberties’ as the radical left in its various shades tell us. Any ‘rights’ we are supposed to have a merely granted to us by the lawmakers to ensure that the myth of a “free” society may be maintained. Those organisers of opposition to the Criminal Justice Act focus on the injustice of the state but we wish to explore the poetics of altered States.

11pm. Cross the threshold into a countless doorless rooms…the shattering of the mirror of travel…the fragile skin between inner and outer has been punctured, a celebration begins where our own energy is spent freely and limitlessly…instantaneous explosions and the sudden flare of identity assassination…paroxysm of speed…nostalgia for an alphabet fading in the rapid path of strobe lights…bodies enwrapped in bass, dancing in and out time…escaping gravity as the mind shifts into dissolution, cut through by assemblages of sound…fire consumption and the absurdity of excess…the power of pleasure…the all pervasive ghost mob. 7am.


Above tracks cut through with samples from: Dead by Dawn parties, Deuleze and Guattari, Stephen Pfhol, Henri Bergson, Alex Trocchi, and Elias Canetti.

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