Well to the tenth edition of Deep Cuts! Our last edition was August's Dead Inside But It's Ok, and after that I took a break for a month to focus on our first Deep Cuts event (it was great). This month's theme, Euphoric Apocalyptica, was suggested by a writer named Zoran Petković in the midst of last year, so his and a couple of other submissions were written pre-covid, but the majority were born from this last 7 months of fuckery. It's a rollercoaster ride packed with hope, fear, breakbeats (one contribution comes from a bona fide 90s rave legend), poetry and pilgrimage. Quite unlike anything I've ever published before, I love it (even though it reflects this bewitched mess). Massive shout out to all the writers, you're the best
As always, tracks from each contribution are gathered in this month's Deep Cuts mix embedded below (this time contributed by the demonically good Kim Cosmik), the mix's tracklist is at the end of the article, the illustration comes from Trav and all Spotify-able tracks are in this playlist here (though that's not many, as this month's selections are heavily dance-leaning, naturally).
Stay safe and love yourselves, Will x
I’ll Be There was released in the heady heyday of jungle. It’s a tune driven by its blissful melody, silky breaks and an absolutely HUGE bassline. In a ‘connected’ world, this song is just one of hundreds of physical artifacts archived into the ever expanding database of our shared experience.
It’s a tune that encapsulates the euphoria of the rave, and the bittersweetness of hedonism. Dance music has always existed, at least in part, to serve as an escape from the demands of day to day. As we descend further into the depths of late stage capitalism, it’s hard not to feel the crushing weight of responsibility, or at least dread, permeating through all of our lives, and that feeling doesn’t leave in the club either. I feel like Baraka has unwittingly synthesised this feeling into five and a half minutes, with enough melancholy to keep you grounded, enough euphoria to give you escape. It brings enough to the table to be equally suited soundtracking a night out, or a last ditch attempt at revolution.
Light + Space starts with sparse intertwining drones and soundscapes which are soon overtaken by a solitary vocal. Eventually this is joined by cascading harmonies that fall away from each other in a haunting invitation that draws you deeper into the rabbit hole. This song feels like a walk through the first post-capitalist morning. It creeps out of the dawn and blooms into an uneasy sunrise. Melancholic soundscapes haunt the places in-between, the light catches on hidden corners in the twilight. Accelerationism has prevailed, capitalism has brought about its own demise, and the weight of possibility sits heavy on your shoulders as you wait amongst the infrastructure we created.
Industrious sound design meets the deafening weight of space. Blippy, nostalgic futurism dominates the percussive elements, whilst the vocals feel like a threnody that pulls back against the ceaseless march of breakbeats. Sirens blare over a cityscape wasteland. This song explores the stress and strain of urban desolation. It repurposes the functionality of progress into a driving lament. Touch Absence pushes forward until there is nowhere left to go. After everything collapses, there is a joyous coda of rebirth. An anarcho-primitivist anthem that explores the growth of a new world out of the rubble of the old.
[Touch Absence (Intimidating Stillness mix) appears at 3:30, in this month's mix, embedded above, I’ll Be There appears at 40:15]
Zoran makes electronic music under the moniker Diessa, and has forthcoming EPs on LCY's szns7n imprint, ni-NRG and edited arts.
Ever since reading Generation X by Douglas Coupland I’ve daydreamed about mental ground zero: ‘the location where one visualises oneself during the dropping of the atomic bomb’. What would it be like to watch that immense spectacle in the seconds before the end of existence?
Imagine the dystopian scene. A media blackout gives way to a pre recorded loop of Boris Johnson across every channel urging citizens to seek shelter. ‘Keep calm and carry on! Believe in a Greater Britain!’ For once the suits on the tube are the lucky ones. Above ground amid the chaos, some of us acquiesce to the futility of it all and break away to gather in the nearest open space. I’ve always thought there must be a certain sublimity as the sky glares white in the seconds before the heat wave. We fire up the soundsystem. What the fuck do I play as the soundtrack to our imminent demise? What one track will cut through the intensity as we wait to be turned to dust? I max out the volume and stick this on: ‘Grilling the Cheese’ by Cursor Miner – a relentless rave annihilator, fusing our little crowd together in a final timeless moment of apocalyptic euphoria. Boom.
Caley is a graphic designer and a DJ, you can check out previous episodes of his Halcyon:Faze show here.
The Sugar Glider
For some, this year has felt like the apocalypse itself. Big plans, big ideas, out the proverbial window where a recently unthinkable world lies in wait to destroy them. Restrained by the four walls of your room for the majority of the year, music has been an escape to set the world right for many, including myself, but when Will asked me about what I would play before the apocalypse, I immediately thought of another planet…
The nerdy part of me went straight to not being in the apocalypse itself, but administering it from the ‘Death Star’. A fictional space station from Star Wars, the Death Star contains a galactic super weapon in the form of its planet destroying laser - aka the apocalypse machine. Then I began thinking, what would a pre apocalypse party sound like onboard when they’re the ones causing it? What records that strike the balance between dark, ominous but slightly cinematic also. Not forgetting it’s a party, I mean presumably there’s a club, or many, on board the 100km wide space ship - evil entities need to let off some steam too right? Or maybe they’re not evil and are on a bid to destroy planets producing the universe’s most misogynistic lyrics - who knows? Either way, this track list became a sketch to outline my idea of what a club set would sound like onboard the Death Star having administered an apocalypse to a helpless planet.
Radar Bol (main theme) by Sammy Osmo is my perfect epic warm up track to this night. Osmo is an alias of Legowelt, and this track was the opener to his 2007 album - Schaduw Horizon. The album is influenced by real locations near to his Hague studio, and sketches out a soundtrack to his imaginary story of a Cold War animal parapsychologist living in an abandoned zoo. The psychologist - called Percival - is researching the extra-sensory powers of a Siamese cat and a chess-playing chimpanzee named Albert. After the Soviets discover the project, members of Percival’s team are assassinated one by one, forcing him and his animal ‘friends’ to escape in a small boat towards a mysterious island.
For those wanting to delve deeper, the album comes with notes and co ordinates that you can enter to find the locations of inspiration for this album. I’m sure those on the Death Star would approve of this project, and the balance of dark yet cinematic, whilst able to move you in a track I find incredibly striking and perfect for this type of apocalypse.
To follow Osmo’s epic record whilst slowly bringing up the tempo to this party, I’ve enlisted Germany’s Roman Flugel and ‘Test 1’. The stripped back skeleton of an acid track is lean and agile. Each element has plenty of space to breathe and it’s one of those that would just take over a room on a monster sound system. I can’t wait for the day to hear it out; as with many of this summer’s releases we can only imagine what it would sound like in situ. Yet, after the slower start from Sammy Osmo, I know it would go down a treat in my own hypothetical apocalypse story.
The Death Star itself is a huge metallic spaceship, spherical with a single large dimple for releasing its death inducing laser beam. It’s every sci-fi evil genius’ dream. Back down on earth however, I can think of a few places that remind me of this. My mind wanders back to my first time driving on the continent, a Ford KA full with mates as we drove from London to Amsterdam for New Year to witness an Awakenings event. It may be the definition of ‘super corporate mega-techno’ that I’ve heard being thrown around, but it was definitely a bucket list gig in a bucket list location at the time for me. After an incredibly cramped, long journey, we parked up near to the Gashouder in Amsterdam for an unforgettable night into the new year. The Gashouder is an old gas storage facility that has been repurposed for events. A huge industrial dome, it is unlike anything I’ve seen before or since. Being inside, it gives you the feeling that there is no back to the room no matter where the DJ is, leaving you to wander around in circles all night with an incredible light rig to guide on your journey. My hypothetical club on the death star would have to be shaped like this, and in homage to that pilgrimage to the ‘Venice of the north’, the next track would be Twist by Adam Beyer. (the photo below is the best attempt I made on the night...)
Twist [which appears at 7:00] is a more understated, driving track from the man at the helm of techno’s most well-know label - Drumcode. Released on his own ‘Mad Eye’ imprint, whose outputs are few and far between. There is no strict music policy or artist roster, making each release a refreshing treat away from the searing spotlight of Drumcode. It’s a middle of the night track, smoothly mixed in to bring the energy up a notch without any fireworks. A real club techno piece if ever there was one, hence its support from the likes of Richie Hawtin who would certainly have a set on my imaginary apocalypse gig.
Every good apocalypse party needs that track of self-reflection, yearning, brooding. Those sounds that take you out of the melee of life, and even out of the night itself. A moment when you feel like you feel like you’re floating, when you can appreciate the beauty of just being here with these people right now. Andrea is the man for that. The Turin-based artist has been consistently serving up incredible EPs on Munich’s genre bending Ilian Tape label for years now, but to listen to a full album of his is something else. ‘Ritorno’ was released in April this year, making it a personal go-to for lockdown escapism. The track I’ve chosen is LG_amb, a soft starting pulsing track that expands with off-kilter scatty drums over a moving array of shiny synth pads. Each time I listen to it, it takes me away. I could name many more tracks on this album to go alongside it afterwards, and recommend you do have a listen to the whole thing, but I feel we have to end this apocalypse with a classic.
Possibly not the most obvious choice for an apocalypse party on the Death Star, but the Mak and Pasteman’s edit of Whitney Houstons ‘It’s not right but it’s okay’ sums up the whole situation perfectly. A sing-a-long epic that captures the injustice whilst moving everyone in the building. The edit adds a dark flavour in the bass notes whilst still paying homage to what we’re all here for, a good time set to great lyrics. If it’s the end of the world, a world, even if I’m safe in the depths of the Death Star, this is the last track of the night I need to see me on my way.
The Sugar Glider was a couple of months away from completing their second lap of the world - raising money for OTR Bristol - when Corona pulled them back home. They wrote a gorgeous playlist article in May that fleshed out the music surrounding these experiences.
One of the things I enjoy most about hosting my Threads Radio show ‘Pinhole Science’, is that I get to keep tabs on what is happening within the international techno zeitgeist. Every fourth Monday I try to put together a distinctive setlist of new and old music from around the world, taking the listener (wherever they might physically be) somewhere new and unexplored.
I’m sure most music fans can relate to the sensation of hearing a particular track and being immediately transported to an otherworldly place. It’s this sensation that initially inspires me to lay down a soft theme for each of my radio episodes and, well, there is a certain ‘place’ that I will often return to as it haunts me with its beauty. It’s a style of techno that offers a certain vast, lush and densely humid sound that manages to bridge certain gaps between the harder side of techno with the dubbier, deeper stuff. I have come to think of this sound as kind of its own subgenre: ‘Neo-Tropical’. Bear with me…
I’m talking about a particular atmosphere that is brought to life through certain compositional/production techniques that add up to create these dense, life-size environments. These characteristics are often kicks with little distortion, complex percussion patterns and flowing subtle grooves that make clever use of the stereo-field. Often heavily inspired by world rhythms, the Neo-Tropical sound conjures up images of rainforests and harsh near-future conditions in my mind’s eye. Subtle and intricate percs go off in the background, reminding me of the millions of tiny, living insects and organisms that inhabit such places. There is an almost tribal element to the sound, stemming from the deep basslines that typically push the tracks along beneath side-chained ambiences of places dark, yet exotic.
With a single Google search I came to discover that ‘neo-tropical’ was not a new hybrid word that I had cleverly conjured up over time. Instead, the Neotropical realm, is in fact real and one of the six Biogeographical (blimey!) regions of the world - defined by the species of animals that can be found there. This realm covers mostly South America, which altogether is the home of over a quarter of the world’s forestry and subsequently many breeds of tropical birds and wildlife.
So what does this have to do with Techno, you might be asking. Well, it’s about aesthetic, I suppose. What do large industrial buildings have to do with techno? What does The Autobahn have to do with techno? Perhaps, with many clubs closing over recent years in the UK and Europe, more electronic music is finding its inspiration from nature rather than Brutalist buildings. With the current Covid-19 pandemic writing off most of 2020 in terms of club nights and festivals, as a producer, I know I have been forced to be more introspective than ever, taking influence from my deepest, inner worlds.
[Orbital Motion appears at 14:00] I’m as up for dystopian visions of the future as much as the next man and to be honest, but I really wish at least ONE sci-fi film had a full-blown techno score. It would be great to sit in the cinema watching the latest Matt Damon blockbuster to the sound of Polar Inertia or Luigi Tozzi, I would be far more likely to go and see superhero movies if the fight scenes weren’t just accompanied by standardised orchestral backings over and over again. But that’s just me. The neo-tropical style offers an engrossing mix of natural, unpredictable soundscapes with the rigid accuracy of programmed sequences, together forming a soundtrack to an increasingly formidable real-world future.
The electronic, yet environmental sound I am describing isn’t limited to a real-world geographic location; producers all around the world make music of this style. In fact, more and more of my favourite techno releases in general seem to be coming out of the Neotropical Realm itself with labels like Illegal Alien, B55 and Human Recs representing the Mexican underground, and guys like LPP, Seph and FU-5 making moves in the current Buenos Aires scene. There might just be something about these hotter, more tropical climates that is slowly importing a new perspective to the European techno landscape too. The sound of techno as we know it is undoubtedly bound to change as the epicentres of ‘the scene’ shift locations with more and more clubs around the world embracing the genre in their own unique ways.
When I hear tracks that I feel have this Neo-Tropical atmosphere, I imagine advanced military helicopters flying above, their churning blades rapidly approaching the tree-tops as brightly coloured parakeets take off en-masse. I see and hear sleek armour-clad rangers moving quickly through the harsh, overgrown forest floor beneath, equipped with the latest hardware. It is indeed a cynical vison of the future where the earth has inevitably become overgrown and unbearably hot, as what is left of humanity has finally given in to nature’s rule. Cities extend to dense woodland areas; a world so over-populated that forests are now to be left untouched as they struggle to provide enough oxygen for everyone. There are two options, the run-down mega-city slums or the dangerous, disease-ridden jungle sprawls.
In my mind, techno and sci-fi are totally connected and one will always inspire the other. If we can have sci-fi films, books and art, surely we can have sci-fi music? Techno can allow us to dream and predict the sound of the future, as bleak as it might well be.
Frank is a Glasgow based filmmaker and DJ/producer, you can check out his Pinhole Science shows here.
[Lizard Theme appears at 24:00] When I started mixing Reptant’s tracks I felt like they reflected something inherently present, even though they use currently popular 90s retro-futurist sound palette which hasn’t changed much since the last decade of the previous century. Is it just nostalgia I’m not able to acknowledge or might there be something else about them making the tracks contemporary and relevant? The fusion between reptile, technology and electro sound Reptant has made seemed familiar from the very beginning probably because of the symbolic meaning reptile/lizard has on Czech electronic music scene. The term is used for someone who (usually due to substance abuse) gravitates to music with inanimate machine sound.
Bleeping alien synths, powerful electro bass or ice-cold pads applied throughout the New Advancements in Lizard Tech EP maintain the cold-blooded feel. There is still some life but only to a limited extent. The rest is pure design. So I thought why couldn’t the end of our world look just like this? Sudden, large-scale breakdown is not happening. Rather we might be speaking of slow, barely noticeable demise we are not even aware of despite being its very designers. Constant redesign has always been intrinsically human though. Squelching technical sounds combined with field recordings feel like technology sneaking out of our control, just like a lizard would do. This all happens at a time when technology affects our lives more than ever before. You would like to get hold of it but just when you think you have regained control it changes shape and rearranges to be one step ahead.
Malleable algorithms sweeping through the cyberspace like reptiles are becoming increasingly difficult to control. Boundaries gradually vanish and everything becomes faster. Large-scale operations involving huge volumes of data can be executed in real time. Our behaviour is constantly analysed and its outcomes are efficiently processed so that our individual realities can be appropriately attuned in such way that we feel everything is as it is supposed to be. Despite the fact, that we no longer hold the reins. Expected triumph of human race rather seems to be a lizards’ jam, huge and heavy one reflecting the scale of the power shift. Is it how the end of the world as we know it could look like? Has it already begun? Is there anything left we can consider to be certain? Who knows. Welcome to the age of reptile.
Martin is a dj, promoter and a member of Audio Video Bass crew based in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Si of 2 Bad Mice
OK. A track that I would associate with this concept is Tic Tac Toe's Ephemerol [appears at 32:40]. It would have been either Fabio or Grooverider who first dropped this on me and it was most likely to have been at Rage. It came at a period in time when there was always these big euphoric breakdowns in tracks but this heralded a different type of high in a completely different breakdown. The track opens in a light kind of mood, carefully building into a nice shuffling breakbeat and then it builds expectation. The kind of thing that would "bring that rush up" and then BAM you get hit with a big nasty breakdown. You are transported to cyberstyle wastelands...imagine the scenes in Terminator with robots walking the earth - picking off resistance fighters. A dark place instead of the usual happy breakdown place so common for that period of time.
Si is one half of legendary 90s breakbeat duo 2 Bad Mice, here's a wee 1991classic. They guested on the Loose Lips show recently and played at one of our Loose Lips 5th anniversary shows in Manchester, reminding us that they're still very naughty indeed.
Community regeneration, collaborative re-connectivity, and creative rejuvenation
Fountayne is a pressure
We feel frustrated to stay locked here
Like an institutional mafia
An identity to protect but trying to challenge the status quo doesn’t happen here sometimes.
Pour your energy into your community and develop contingency
The track was released on this collaboratively written community album.
It energetically presents a reflection on where personal experiences of changes on Fountayne Road have developed from and are moving towards. In light of covid-ersa disintegration of communal creative interactivity, the album upliftingly presents the bustling talent thriving within the road through rose tinted glasses. ‘Live Your Life’ is soulful, upbeat, and hopeful. It powerfully presents the tainted entwinement of ‘euphoric apocalyptica’, encompassed by local historical quirks and the emerging gentrification; slowly consummating the community.
I want to contribute to the back story within this track. Frequenting this guardianship vortex in the heart of Tottenham, has cultivated many of my social experiences for the best part of half a decade. Through observation of friend’s experiences, I have noticed how the guardian property scheme engulfs disused commercial space for a high price tag. And it is from here where the desire to “Live my life” comes from. Enhanced by the confinements of Corona, the gentrification of areas such as Fountayne Road, have made artists feel inadvertently exploited and disconnected from each other. I managed to live there from time to time, between friends and relationships. The sense of family- commune- shared space has become progressively exclusive and niche within this Pandemic, as the influx of rent on leases has risen. We thought lockdown might provide something non-financial to the community, but we became further restricted by inability to visit other units or invite guests to visit. However, when physical movement from space to space is not possible, music, art and performance work, has flourished from within this tightknit community, ensuring a spur in connectivity and creative regeneration.
[Humans appears at 47:20]
Collapsing walls of triangular paradigm curtains.
Swelling circles of love.
Deflecting allies’ pendulums, which swing,
Showing the trouble with surviving as it is- just that-
A mastery of struggle and floating existence.
Unravel and revel in your body and mind in this time,
Take space to unwind
the developing ripples.
Contained behind the nipples of humanity
In the mammaries of music,
We transcend the process of development to do this.
Regenerate behind the law,
To the floor of rules
The flaws of sitting in a pedestal or stool of change.
Evolution is necessary,
But it’s scary
It requires exchange.
Magnificent evaporation of challenge and developmental damage
An apocalyptic marriage of manifestation
Precipitation and respiration.
Expiring to expire,
I question my desire for existence.
A resistance question to birth or not to
Restrictive when it feels that I have got to,
But shine your senses as eyes my friend.
Make fire with your natural light,
Is your sight.
Disintegrating relationships and the rebirth of independence:
Trying not to write to you is like pulling glue from my shoe
Or shooting gum from a gun.
I have these thoughts… and my brain…
Pain which just wants to run from my tum to my tongue.
My mind like new shoes.
Apparently perfect and delicate
But my god they hurt and delude.
With their beauty,
Shoes which never seem to break in fully
Damn blister concealers.
Or a shirt where I’ve done the buttons up all wrong,
Tracing the lines where I’ve entwined the cotton from.
Accidentally twisting the buttonholes
Which embrace each other,
Right down to the bottom
I have to unscrew them again.
The bubble gum gun,
Fires out pink smokes of righteousness resistance.
As I reminisce your thumb showing me the sum,
of my worth,
of my own existence
I remember your touch, so care-free
Which creeps into my cranium
And with every pressing inch,
You swell my brain again.
Like thick uranium you compel me to itch, with bittersweet hell like geranium qualities.
And a painful smile fits me from lip to cheek
As I cry about us-
Our lack of trust.
As the ink bleeds from the pen
To the pain,
To this paper,
About how we are not where we want to be
I want to love you, but like a feather
you’ve attached to when not where.
And I’m unsure when you’re not all there. Fully
Entangled in memories of pasts,
Not imaginations of futures.
To fear; not to care,
To hear and preventative scares.
And you listen
Passively to what your past says
And what mates say
And what you say-
To all that hear say
But not to me.
We’re here, but we’ve fallen out of freedom.
You and me dear we, are two scared lovers,
Not prepared to embrace life or each other.
Clinging embarrassingly, cowardly clawing to existential ecstatic resistances of us as lovers.
Dancing and laughing to alternate existences,
Which beat off beat to different vicious rhythms.
Let’s take a plane?
If only life would allow it.
If there was a pocket
of existence where we could fit ourselves
Maybe there would be a heaven
To the enduring hell we felt together.
Light as a feather my words touch you like your beat continues to touch me.
Hopefully, we find ourselves inside; outside
In and around this Pink Floyd jungle.
You will find all kinds of beasts.
Big dick binding energy.
Spiralling tarot castles,
Of star struck binding synergy.
We’re here flowing free exactly where we're meant to be,
Developing a dream of a make believe but,
Honest utopian reality.
Sllliiiieeddd into your silkiest surplus circles,
Bubbling fires of dancing phoenix dreamers,
Make believe leavers, these powerful perceivers.
We hold each other’s space here,
No fucking around
Love yourself up,
Big yourself up.
Cus you see this Raggamama flex,
She Can fill up your cup,
to oblivion of obliviousness on these,
concrete policed streets.
I’m trying to control my anger,
Surrender to the head banger.
To the stranger savagery,
I stamp my feet,
My energy ravishing
Enticing our kind of ‘we’.
Put me in front of a speaker and we will stamp for no defeat,
‘Till we’re all vanishing free.
The speaker is you
A high beat frequency vibsing,
In front of me I’m rising,
My feet feeling the truths true effigies.
So stop me from reading into this storm,
Cus I am here
In this Row
Cus I am now and this is the norm
Through this concrete jungle I grow.
Finally, I chose this song by Koffee because earlier this year I worked with some insanely talented Young People at a Theatre company in Hackney (Immediate Theatre- go and check them out!!!), where we crafted and choreographed an amazing socially- distanced dance (Dist-dance) to this song together at their annual ‘Exposure Project’. For me, it resembles the joyfulness and gratefulness, we shared emerging from ‘Zoom’ calls and Lockdown together despite some of us loosing family members to the virus. There; we created 3 short films, which addressed and explored issues of social justice appearing within the community over lockdown. For more please see the links attached below:
No New Normal
Through struggle comes serenity... Or at least we hope so. Like in an eye of a storm, the summer period of 2020 created a bitter-sweet swell, of reconnection to creative projects with time to refine and redefine the anguish; of losing or struggling to find work. For me, this ‘bitter-sweet’ entanglement is Euphoric Apocalyptica. A moment in time, where our communal rituals find themselves in limbo, people either produce work or allow the collapse of the neo-capitalist rat race to dictate the production and development of grass roots community art projects. Lockdown ensured I took a step back, reassessing the relationship between punters and product sales. Prevention from consuming the excitement of commoditized nightlife, unfolds the oxymoron of an apocalypse which creates tranquillity. Along with the experience of new dumfounded emotional reactions to each other, comes the bittersweet emersion to create the art we might usually just engage with.
What do the apocalypse's pre-drinks and afterparty sound like? Maybe they sound something like Aphex Twin's Girl/Boy Song [appears at 51:10], which encapsulates everything about why I love electronic music and why I was inspired to make it myself. I am a violinist and I love rhythm- in another life I'd be a drummer! I trained as a classical musician and later got into jazz and other musical forms where I could express myself more freely. But when I first heard electronic music it affected me quite profoundly- I'd never heard anything like it.
Being a classically trained violinist, this track amazed me, and it still does. The composition of the string parts- in terms of the harmony and arrangement- is brilliant. And the way they fit with the drums is just incredible. What I love about this track is the juxtaposition of such beautiful and tranquil melodies with such gritty and frenetic beats- two things that on their own really seem quite incongruous!
how electronic sound can get closer, perhaps, to the sounds we might imagine in our heads... For example:
The beat textures are unreal- they're like something out of a dream!...and the childlike melodies are just wonderful. It makes me want to make a track, which I'm going to do now! See you at the post apocalypse after-party ;p LOL
It might be the immense promise that The KLF brought to music at the time and the subsequent (wholly intentional) commercial self-destruction. It might be the huge illuminati themed mythology that they built around themselves. It might be the way the whole project and sound could be seen to represent the beginning of the end for “normal” music. It’s hard to put a finger on, but The KLF genuinely sound like they knew the end times were coming. Indeed, their genre-defining Chill Out album could easily be on at the pre-pre-drinks as people start to assemble. I choose this track however simply because of the unsurpassably euphoric riff at 2:08. I don’t even usually like uplifting synth riffs but this one always sends a shiver down my spine. It’s quite beautiful for the briefest of moments, before the track propels us once more into future decay.
This track is literally the sound of the end of the world, in that kind of “The Terminators are going to win” style. Cos that is a style. Nothing more to say. [Machine Gun (16 Bit Remix) appears at 54:28]
Aaron is a Techno DJ / producer from Portsmouth, and head of Taro Records.
(CONTEXT: I wrote the following in the midst of summer '19, on my iphone, on the tube, on the way to a pre-drinks for a day festival. I had just recieved Zoran's starter piece and theme suggestion that morning, and just one read got me excited, what a great theme.)
‘I spend more money on security than I make’
Safe – Young Thug
‘I can feel it, the scream that haunts our logic’
FEEL. – Kendrick Lamar [appears at 57:39]
America offers rappers death with one hand, high life with the other. American radio stations lap up rap music, tapped directly from certain vulnerable communities. Embrace your street stereotype with enough finesse, with enough personal distinction, you can enter a new world of wealth. Get the balance wrong, you lose your cut of the world. You dance at the edge of oblivion, not to mention national social upheaval.
One of my best friends hosted a reunion drinks last night, the first time he’s seen many of us in 2 years (he returned to Singapore after university). I was chatting to one friend about their job drawing up financial deals between companies, the kind that bring immediate profits and destabilise the economy in the long run (The Big Short had just explained them to me). I asked them if the office was toxically masculine, she said it was just toxic full stop, that they was trying to earn enough to get out and start a good life. They told me how confident they was that the next major global recession will come in the next year or so, I joked that they’d best practice self defence as, if the revolution comes, it’ll be coming for them. We laughed, but as it turns out they’re already taking classes. For now we drink and dance on London’s sun-baked tarmac.
Will is Deep Cuts' mama
The Forthcoming Buddhist Apocalypse Is Almost Upon Us
ONE: Tonight we're going to party like it's 1999. AGAIN
My friend and former bandmate Alex 'AJ' Holmes moved to Berlin in the gap between the Millennium Apocalypse (that didn’t happen) and the 2012 Apocalypse (that didn’t happen), and whenever we caught up, he would say "HEY! Come to Berlin, where the party never stops…. because the party never really starts". He was half joking, but this was evinced at the final closing party of Berlin's legendary Bar 25. They’d had closing parties at the end of every summer for seven or eight years, each one longer and more extreme than the last, but every year the council, who wanted to reclaim the land, would give them another reprieve, so when the sunshine reappeared Bar 25 would spring into life again. Until the next "last ever Bar 25" party. More comebacks than Quo. Finally, after a "this time it's really honestly the last ever party" party (that lasted a WHOLE WEEK), they marked the occasion by playing a "special Bar 25 anthem" on all three sound systems simultaneously. The crowd just stood around, like the sorts of zombies you only see in Romero films or after a party that has lasted a whole fucking week. Maybe about four people had their arms in the air, couple of people cried, but when the song finished, the cast of 28 Days Later just hung there in a daze. Nobody cheered. The 2 people that tried to clap petered out the moment they realized that nobody else was going to. It was a magic moment. Embarrassing and awkward in a way that would be more appropriate in a Mike Leigh film than at a rave, but also wonderful and human and THANK FUCK IT’S OVER. After 28 days of minimal techno, who could be arsed to do a clap?
Compare that to chucking out time in a UK discotheque. Thanks to the utter disregard shown us by our lizard overlords and their contemptuous licensing laws, we in the UK are spared the humiliation of nobody clapping because EVERYONE hits the floor at 25-to-close and gives it all they got, and once it’s over and the lights go on it’s like the NHS needs saving or something. People love an ending. Death is hardwired into our DNA, and the closer it gets the more we tend to celebrate and get sentimental about this LIFE thing, before it’s too fucking late. And - bigger picture - too fucking late is where we might be as a species right now, let alone just at 2am. If we ever see a dancefloor post Covid, to quote Prince again - LET’S GO CRAZY!
TWO: Even A Stopped Clock Tells The Right Time Twice A Day
The Gay Masters*, the ineffable and unknowable beings than run the entire multiverse from behind the scenes, they first entered my life around the turn of the century, when the Millennium Apocalypse didn’t happen. To the casual eye they seem like a novelty clock. However to the trained observer (i.e. me, and maybe you too if you squint hard enough) they are immortals, prolly the same ones talked about by the Mayans, conspiracy and alien nuts, and DIY enthusiasts. They who have cheated death, and in which eternal boredom become creators and destroyers of worlds. We always find them celebrating with a couple of ales, DOING THE DANCE, even as the actual time on the (broken) clock face never moves beyond twenty five to six.
(*: not to be confused with the gay-as-in-homosexual masters - they who have made a significantly major proportion of most of the great dance records and almost as many of the great pop records)
I suppose this particular incarnation of the infinite is a sort of Zen koan in novelty clock form, universe dying and reborn every moment in time with the music. I have been trying to decode the messages brought to humanity via this novelty clock over the years through a series of artistic endeavours, developing their mythos and disseminating it via music, art, films, writing and magic. At some point the phrase ‘The Forthcoming Buddhist Apocalypse Is Almost Upon Us’ popped out of me. At first I just thought it was funny, the idea of a Buddhist apocalypse. Later it started to strike a lost chord as it shares the same paradoxical strange loop logic as the clock (a strange loop can be most simply exemplified in the phrase “I Am Lying” – if I am lying when I say “I am lying” I am actually telling the truth, but if I am telling the truth when I say “I am lying”… etc).
“The Forthcoming Buddhist Apocalypse”, being in the future, snaps the Zen Buddhist twig of the eternal moment, a Zen apocalypse no longer, as Zen only deals in the here and now. One day someone in the pub asked me about The Forthcoming Buddhist Apocalypse – I decided to Ask Jeeves about it, and to my surprise….there IS an ACTUAL Buddhist Apocalypse! Of course, rather than the blood and thunder of the Abrahamic death cults that have ruled the world for so long, it turns out that not only is the Buddhist Apocalypse REALLY BORING (no surprise to anyone that has sat in zazen meditation), it is also surprisingly prescient. Basically the idea is that Buddha has bloody well had enough of humankind and withdraws from creation for 2000 years, leaving our world in stasis. This might be the same stasis that already happened in the Great Rift Valley and across Africa the last time our species dwindled to almost nothing, growing bigger brains as a result of having to develop co-operation skills in order to survive, but it could just as easily be talking about one or more of the many varied and interesting endgames that are appearing in our shared ideaspace these days.
THREE: Choice Five is coming alive!
The marvelous Ken Campbell - playwright, actor, crap ventriloquist, madman and raconteur extraordinaire (whose Pidgin version of Macbeth’s “sound and fury” soliloquy is featured on my track ‘Another Gentleman Day’) – posited that there are four choices available to any artistic endeavor:
Choice 1: Art which is decorative and familiar, and therefore serves the status quo.
Choice 2: Art which deliberately goes against the familiar, but in doing so only reinforces the status quo.
Choice 3: Art which is truly novel, genuinely subversive and challenges the status quo, although after the initial shock the status quo usually finds a way to assimilate it, and the art then becomes type 1. This always happens, the underground goes overground, and a new underground always springs up in it’s place.
Choice 4: Art which is a cunning mix of “truth” and fiction, but done with such skill and subtlety that the status quo doesn’t know what to do with it. It is highly subversive and always upsets the status quo, but being chaotic the outcome is impossible to predict, making it genuinely dangerous for all concerned (and seems to have somehow become THE tactic of choice BY the status quo these days - See also FAKE NEWS, Robert Anton Wilson’s notion of “Chapel Perilous” (which one could argue is the place we find ourselves in as a society), and the brilliant Adam Curtis documentary / polemic ‘Hypernormalisation’)
Alan Moore, that great working class wizard, author of such classics as V For Vendetta, Watchmen, and Jerusalem (and now an actor and film-maker too) added a fifth choice:
Choice 5: Art which is also a cunning mixture of the real and the unreal but has an internal logic and polemic so strong and so self-referential that the thing “comes alive” in our shared ideaspace, breaking down not only the fourth wall between artist and performer, but probably the fifth wall as well (whatever the fuck that is). It is highly subversive and chaotic, but with some skill and immersed in a web of connections, the artist, or artists, can, at least partially, direct the outcome. Sometimes.
This is the kind of art we need now.
FOUR: Immanentising the Eschaton
(ie: bringing about the Escaton, the final event or apocalypse, bringing about heaven on earth)
An example of Moore’s fifth kind of art was created by 69 of us in a pilgrimage undertook in April 2019, beginning at the Cerne Abbas chalk giant and ending at the geographical epicenter of the CERN Large Hadron Collider (from the large hard-on to the Large Hadron, geddit??! I’ll get me coat…).
On our way we visited Damanhur, a self-governing community of very down to earth but also deeply far out individuals that secretly built a giant underground temple complex inside a Swiss mountain and whose mythic core belief is that its founder was an alien from the future who traveled back in time to reset the world and avoid ultimate destruction. Whilst at Damanhur we exchanged a performance and a party for some sacred dance moves, which we then ritually performed at the centre of CERN. This ritual dance was performed at exactly 2.30pm on April 23rd, because, according to the opening line of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s 1971 literary monsterpiece ‘Illuminatus!’: “It was the 23rd of April that they finally Immanentised The Eschaton”.
Alan Moore (again) pointed out the subtle difference between the Christian Apocalypse “imminentising The Eschaton” (‘), and the slightly different spelling used by Wilson and Shea “immanentising”. Imminent means “coming soon”, so to Imminentise The Eschaton means to accelerate the big plan for Judgement Day i.e. Kill ‘em all and let God sort it out. Immanent means to make inherent in all things – IT’S ALREADY HAPPENED, heaven on earth is Right Where You Are Sitting Now. Our ritual intent was to Immanentise The Eschaton, to pull the Cosmic Trigger and re-set the world, to reconcile the planetary masculine and divine feminine (“from the large hard-on to the Large Hadron”, remember?) (any funnier the second time?), and, most importantly (IMO) to usher in what Order Of The Illuminati founder Adam Weishaupt called ‘The Age Of Grummet’ – the cycle of civilization, where poets, magicians, musicians, writers, artists and freaks takeover Planet World. Because it’s about fucking time. Greyface and his drongos have had their chance, and all they are doing is bringing myriad apocalypses closer every day.
FIVE: The Forthcoming Buddhist Apocalypse is almost upon us
SO. Where does this all leave us, in this shitter of a country, in this shitter of a year? As any fule kno, “they” are killing us for fun and profit, and the rampage doesn’t end with our society, or even our entire civilization - THEY”RE DESTROYING OUR HOMEWORLD. What’s worse is they appear to be using artistic choice number four against us too, in order to keep the population scared and confused and staring into the headlights as they do so, convinced that people like David Icke are “on to something”. We’re fucked. Even if we don’t take into account the many surprises and stranger than fiction dystopian scenarios that are soon gonna start flying at us at a faster rate than Covid in The Whitehouse, the psychopaths at the top of the pyramid would burn the whole planet for one more coked up orgasm. Their very language and thought patterns give rise to actions that make The Eschaton imminent, almost upon us. But what if there is a way to short this death cult? To bring the post apocalyptic Utopian dream of the future, after the bombs go or the bees all buzz off, into one that already exists, and like the Mexican or Toxteth Day of The Dead, the Dylan Thomas poem ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night’ or calling your band SUICIDE, an awakening to LIVE, knowing that everything we need is right here within (y)our grasp? The artists of the 99 per cent have to fight The Great ART WAR for OUR Apocalypse - one that reshapes and remodels our so far unrecognizable future as one that lives in peace, co-operation, and mutual benefit rather than like in one of those dystopian films we all like to watch…. this is our job now, to retrain as revolutionaries – Thanks for the push in the right direction Sunak, you cunt.
Will we confront what might be humanity’s last times like the lights suddenly went on at your favourite party, or will it be more like that final moment of Bar 25, with a whimper? Either way, it was a really great party, but how will it end?
The choice is yours. Let’s make it choice five. Spray-paint The Walls.
(thanks to Grammar Nazi Rebecca Machin for helping me make this slightly less incomprehensible)
Horton has no fewer than SEVENTEEN new EPs arriving shortly on his Bandcamp, to hear the forthcoming Buddhist Apocalypse mixes and other worldly delights from the sublime to the ridiculous, head to his mixcloud. Their forthcoming track 'In My Country' appears at 16:43 in the mix.
New Lives Old Ghosts / Cerulean
Touch Absence (intimidating stillness mix) / Lanark Artefax
Twist (Original Mix) / Adam Beyer
Push Try / Dawn Razor
Orbital Motion / Kike Pravda
In My Country / Horton Jupiter
Termination / Fleck ESC
Lizard theme / reptant
Internat Intruder / Cybereign
Cold light of Day / Kim Cosmik (Hatch remix)
Tic Tac Toe / Ephemerol
Dreadstep / N3
I'll be There / Baraka
Don't play / Zed Bias
Humans / Trevelyan
Girl/Boy song / Aphex Twin
Machine Gun (16bit remix) / Noisia
Feel / Kendrick Lamar