Subject: txt-tracks 1-5 from techNet, uk

gruesse von ELEKTRO
From: Pit Schultz
Status: RO
Techno: Psycho-Social Tumult

Track +1: 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.

TechNET focuses on techno music as the locus of a 'digital underground' and plays with the implications that this new culture brings. TechNET composes the theoretical challenges that we infer from the music, and connects these with tractates on aphasia, synaesthesia, body/mind intensifiers, sensorimotors, public energy, anonymity and dissolution, tecknowledgi and the power of pleasure. We take philosophical ideas and fuse them to our own tentative optimism within the context of all-nite techno parties, immersed in the dynamics of a constantly changing, mutating and open space that is techno music.

Track +2: No Stars Here

Celebrity creation is dependent on a number of elements: it is part of a practice in which cultural events are always interpreted by a conformity to the cult of the individual (or in the case of groups- individuals as a homogenous unit). Conduits of celebrity creation, the music journalists, are like sycophantic courtesans; close enough to the mirage of success they actively disseminate the servility that becomes a need. But throughout all this, in order to maintain its efficacy as a celebrity-machine, the sluice gates to stardom are kept slightly ajar.

But there is a hollowness, the sickly taste of false promise. The illusion is weakened and like the emperor's new clothes, the celebrity stands naked as hype dissipates and the celebrity's fifteen minutes is fifteen months ago. To maintain its turnover the music industry requires this constant succession of heirs who are not only functionaries to profit and loss but also priests in a social magic of control: every 'star' added to a jostling firmament shines with the pallid light of subservience, mapping out co-ordinates that inhibit stray movements.

Despite the factory-line of record sales, DJ fees and circulation numbers, techno is unstable and its cataclysms make it possible to detect plural voices where subjectivity is heightened to such a degree that it becomes the for itself in any moment whatsoever. Within these continuously mutating compositions there is this power to haze out the fixed points of the celebrity machine and with them the false ascendancy and tautological circuitry of industry. Each record is a crowd. No stars here comes everybody.

A digital underground is developed by re-mixing ideas that disrupt the psycho-social order demanded by linear time. The subjective experience of listening enables the digital underground to devise times where linearity can be destroyed, so that the present no longer comes after the past or before the future. Techno conceives of times contained in the pleasure of dancing and listening to body music, yielding an overflow of the senses, encouraged by the experiments with beats and frequencies.

The new celebrants experience time as broken, fractured, yet complete, finite and perfect. Heterogeneous and discontinuous, yet perceiving time as stretched, looped, combined or reversed. Body music has always been the enemy of the continuous, homogeneous, irreversible and infinite conception of linear time.

A digital underground constructs time as multi-dimensional waves of potential. There is movement and change in any direction from any point. Whilst promoters of linearity want objective measurement of precise and equal instants of time to be the basis for control, regulation and hierarchy, techno is a current into freedom grasped in the moment.

Track +3: The New Celebrants

Inside the crowd, the new celebrants. 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 individuals 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...

No centre. No focal point. The new celebrants move through a digital underground where business is not the over-riding principle; where it is possible to create autonomy from the phantasms of fashion and directives; where self-promotion and competitive instincts are not criticised through envy but because they undermine burgeoning collectivities. This autonomy is heightened when vested interests are minimised to the point of nothingness - nothing to gain and nothing to lose. For then the digital underground, like the model of the network, can move laterally and unencumbered to create patchworks and not vertically to re-impose hierarchic structures. This is crucial to the new celebrants whose identities are not stable enough to promote anything but this contagion to compose...playing for one's own pleasure which alone can create the conditions for new communication...These voyagers rail against the norms of neutrality and anonymously expend their time and energy so as to blank-cheque commerciality.

...feeling like another self...As distance dissolves into space and space dissolves into the haze of continual abeyance, the new celebrants loose track of time. The dance becomes a beyond unmarked by the archaic calligraphy of computer text, irreducible to mystic yearnings but all the same a kind of blank. A nothing. A nothing so far imagined. A nothing that gives the lie to the word-net we throw over it. Body movements in strobe/smoke. We are here suspended in a slow motion that lets sparks fly as it visually contradicts the call to speed-emotion of the music. This is our sovereign moment, spreading a virus of pleasure and awakening. The moment where future and past no longer meet in consciousness, where the music reverses the effect of gravity. Lost hours. Lost days. Intertwined in ever escalating cycles of repetition whose pulsations present unimaginable sounds almost heard in the sudden space surrounding acres of bass drum. AnarchOz.

Track +4: Intensifier

cross the threshold into countless doorless rooms...

shattering the mirror of travel, the fragile skin between interior and exterior is punctured...

a celebration begins where our own energy is spent freely and limitlessly...

rapture of haemoglobin, DNA experience caustic visions...

instantaneous explosions, the sudden flare of identity assassinations, the paroxysm of speed...

nostalgia for an alphabet fading in the rapid path of strobe lights...

bodies enwrapped in bass, dancing in and out of time...

escaping from gravity as the mind shifts into dissolution, cut through by assemblages of sound...

seeing with ears, fire consumption, the power of pleasure...

here come the all pervasive ghost mob...

Track +5: No More Words

It is difficult for words to say that which it is their purpose to deny...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 a need to have others speak for us; they make us receptive to the fixity of imposed meaning. If being without words is meaningless then techno hints at the possibility of any or all 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...

...Who knows what happens when we hear the sounds? Thoughts can race without being apprehended as thoughts and it is an indication of the tyranny of words that experience must pass through language to make it 'real'. As we listen in the network of composition there is a challenge to invent new vocabularies to communicate what it is that occurs, to express explorations and to rewrite the multiple personalities of the music. As a challenge to language that is imbued with hierarchisations, techno conducts the fleeting awareness that, just as what is possible is limited by pre-conceptions, listening demands more ignorance than knowledge. For then we are mobile...stammer bass kick unfurling in blue analogue...tabula rasa.

Track +6: Positive Futurism

Nobody knows where you're at...We could begin anywhere. A history of techno would be too obvious and would imply that the creative phase was over. Any attempts at a genealogy, a hierarchical archaeology, or a precise pinpointing of musicians prohibit an understanding of the simultaneity of multiple codes, the overlapping between styles and forms. Techno cannot be allotted a place as either a 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.

crackdown...In Britain, the Criminal Justice Act is testament to the government's need to silence noise 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 are 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.

techknowledgi...The music studio is re-defining the human as a continuously mutating collage of old and new technologies, as adaptations designed through play and experimentation. In this model, samplers are the hyper- concentrated representation of the subjective experience of time, with possibilities for time travel through stretching, combining, looping, compressing and reversing sounds. Sequencers form new desires for composing, connected to the breaking up of an individual into a collection of experiments. Drum machines and synths are tools for survival against mediocre audio programming and the restrictions of commerciality, fashion, competition and self-promotion. Routes constructed between music studios and dance floors circulate into resistance against unacceptable states of mind. Only with machines can we recognise that most information is data trash. Only with machines can repetitious sound blocks crash to create unexpected forms.

sensorimotors... The listener as the operator. These sounds are eminently favourable to the birth and contagion of an intense excitement with its inferred incitement given propulsion by a rolling flanged bassline that chases melodies away with accentuated off-beat boosted cymbal rushes that touch internal organs by impatient percussive patterns that encourage waste pure and simple. Dislocated dance. Social magic. We stumble across limits to conceptualising. Close your eyes and listen to blurred vision. Eyes cease to order things. Your senses overflow into one another, emerging as a senseless confusion of taste, smell and memory. The very air is tormented into an audio gel. Body music surrounds the listener who thinks as a pack intuitively knowing how to go all out...The secret is to hear what you've never heard before.

Above tracks composed by TechNET
contact:BM Jed, London WC1N 3XX

Listener as Operator

'I do not write experimental experimenting is done before I make my music. Afterwards it is the listener who must experiment'.
Edgar Varese

In any discussions on the reception of music there are two common and inter-related assumptions: music is seen as an art form that is responded to physically and if it is granted any 'intelligence' it is as a spiritual or mystical consciousness. The difficulty of talking about music leads to an apprehension of the listening experience made manifest by the media's promotion of music makers as personalities. This advances a cultural mechanism whereby the producers of, say, a record, are held in higher esteem than its consumers. But beyond the production/consumption dichotomy and the cultural inaction this creates there lies a social arena that enables the interpenetrating of this apparent division. The listener as operator. The dancer as engineer.

Meaning is generated socially. Without dialogue there can be no meaning. Without interaction there can be no communication. The production/consumption dichotomy intends to regard listening to a record as an activity devoid of creative interaction, as passive. But this negates the experience of listening as a social activity. Leaving aside notions of consciousness itself being formed in a process of social interaction and concentrating on the record maker, even on this side of the dichotomy we see not the work of individual genius but someone in creative interaction with music technology (a process of fusion, development and adaptation), with the whole history of a given genre, with an assumed audience and context for the record. Factors such as experiencing a record, through anticipation and expectation, and hence of gathering meaning from the record, let alone dancing to it, are hardly even talked about by the producer/consumer dichotomy.

Look at another form of audible communication, language. Rather than perceiving language as a stable edifice that speakers inhabit as a ready-made system, language is more accurately apprehended as a continuous generative process implemented in the social-verbal interaction of speakers. Rather than dealing with 'signs' that are abstracted out from the process of their generation, language operates between speaker and addressee with both parties informed by the other: the speaker can only speak with an addressee in mind, the addressee too, can respond and be the speaker- both sides are impregnated with each other. Language is perceived as social-interaction, and there is still to take into account the context of the exchange, the notion of 'inner voice' etc.

Following on from this it is possible to speak of a 'space between' when we talk of communication as dialogue. Being intangible this 'space between' gives little concrete evidence of its existence and so theories of communication can fall back on one of two poles: the individual communicating (psyche) or the system of language (signs)- the first yields 'stars' and 'personalities', the second, musical notation. Furthermore, with music it is possible for this 'space between' to be materialised as the record. So the record becomes a conceptual space, a machine that the listener operates. The record is not simply a communication that must be interpreted and fixed down but a place of interaction where meaning is generated by both the music maker and the listener.

The listener is involved in a silent production that never ends and becomes engaged in a creativity that flourishes at the very point where practice ceases to have its own language (a know-how without discourse). This practice of the listener, this operating the record, can relate to its manifold uses: mixing, scratching, sampling, slowing up, speeding down, burning, smashing, lock-grooving; using it to dance to, as a psycho-physical energiser. Whatever its use the record cannot exist without the response of its audience, without the active perception and inner responsiveness of the listener that is just as able to take something different from the record, to invent and experiment anew, to make connections. The record does not say it all, its sounds generate a different movement in the paths of the conceptual operation of the listener than they had in those of the producer.

This is a wider sensorium than the delineation of producer and consumer suggests. For listening simultaneously demands openness to a surrounding world. Even at its most private, listening is about being socially connected, about making meanings. Listening is an activity that anticipates and expects. Being far from passive, it actively follows the desires it unleashes, opening itself up to communication and allowing subjectivity to mutate and merge. By being opened and joined, by desiring the sounds, by being engulfed by them, means that listening, once it occupies the 'space between', can no longer be satisfied with reproducing models but can change minds. Listening is social-inspiration.

Above tracks programmed by TechNET
contact: BM Jed, London, WC1N 3XX

The Intensifier

the use of speed
Around 1988 the intensifier started going to illegal parties and raves. Mostly happening in lost empty factories on the edges of wastelands, people danced on burnt-up cars, fucked suspensions moving in four-four time. The intensifier climbs over scaffolding. Metal drumming against metal and fires shifting edges. Parties could go anywhere. The intensifier loses it, then realises there is nothing to lose. Lucid confusion. In night-empty cities, a generation compose with speed, thinking/feeling; uncertainty, immensity, motion, forgetfulness, radiance, waste. Transformed by moving fast, taking it all in at high velocity. The intensifier dancing, hooded, grey, enwrapped in white smoke and light. The intensifier moves, uses speed. Each party was the end of an era. Something to take and use. Compose yourself. Move.

the art of deception
The intensifier has no identity, no ideology, has no cause or desire to persuade. The intensifier senses the boundaries between things, like when sound is loaded into a computer to be recoded as a graphic and manipulated, combined, played with touch. Devious and impossible to anticipate, subtle and insubstantial, the intensifier leaves no trace. Mysterious and inaudible, no-one knows where it is going. Pretending to stand still and accommodate itself to the subliminal designs of corporate machines, the intensifier knows speed and deception secretly free it from imposed values.

the endless mix
The intensifier reads/writes about...the activity of listening to music is a silent production...a drift across the sounds...a metamorphosis of the music created by wandering ears...the listener insinuates into the music the ruses of pleasure, manipulation, combination, steals it, is transported into it, multiplies in the reverberations of stories stirring in a memory or the internal rumblings of sounds moving through a body, this silent production is an invention of is the outlet or product of invisible histories...we listen to the landscape of our is a movement of strata, a play of spaces, the listener slips their own world into the language the forms of music are stolen by transients filling them with forests of desires, metaphors of their own quests...the intensifier understands that the listener is the operator, using the endless mix of sound in unforeseen ways...

the rhythm versus the melody
The intensifier, grey against a dark sky, dancing, every bone and bacteria in its body moving. Some things are taken and used in devious, invisible, silent ways, uses neither determined nor captured by the military-entertainment-surveillance industries in which these things are designed, manufactured and marketed. The intensifier dances, moves and transforms itself, insinuates itself in the memories of users. The individual is a crowd, the movement of incoherent and contradictory masses of social relations, swarms of possibilities, endless immersions in space. The intensifier dancing, grey and faceless. Wandering uses create an incoherent and contradictory anti-discipline manifest in the intensifier, grey against a dark sky, dancing. The intensifier insinuates itself everywhere, moving, transforming, inspiring celebrations. The intensifier combines rhythms and melodies, rhythm becomes melody and melody becomes rhythm.

the space war
The intensifier uses sound as a cultural weapon, inspiring thousands of simultaneous explosions on the borders between memory and loss. Immersing bodies in unpredictable ways, sound enters in several directions at once, producing internal connections and motions, anticipating a desire to interact with others. Through this body/mind motion a building is converted into a space of social-inspiration, a space that can be changed, reversed, stretched, wasted, lost or destroyed. The intensifier, fused to this psycho-social energy, moves through a space-between.

the future of music
The intensifier moves on, keeps moving. There are no rules. Genres cross fertilise constantly, mapping the mutant subjectivities of dancers. Now half-way through another decade, the intensifier isn't waiting for the next new style to be re-discovered, only to be {... end of article lost]