In the final instalment of our current round of Sherry Sessions videos, Mr Braidy relates the harrowing tale of the circumstances in which he lost his job at Manchester’s Museum of Hard House.
Set audio-enabled browsers to maximum bass: on Tuesday 14 July at 22:30 UK time, Museum of Techno – series 1 kicked off on Resonance FM.
Joining us for lunch in the Museum Cafe was writer, researcher and activist Jeremy Gilbert, with whom we assessed the power of the Rave as a political force and its run-in with the Criminal Justice Act 1994.
And the Technicians continued their re-categorisation of the Museum’s kick drum collection, offering their opinions and expertise on such topics as how ravers would perform in an actual civil war situation, dance music’s evolution to mainstream acceptability, and where to purchase post-club cornish pasties.
Here is an MP3 for your listening pleasure: on Soundcloud, and on the MoT website itself:
Oh my actual days, we’re technologically integrated. We’ve managed to set up our website so that when we make a new post, it creates a blog post on our Myspace, and makes a tweet on Twitter. Furthermore, I’ve managed to set up Facebook so that it watches our Twitter, and then updates our Facebook status with the Twitter post.
Like some enormous house of electronic cards, just waiting to collapse. Hurrah.
In recent Youtube videos Cornwell and I have discussed various topics relating to religion. Today, we were talking on the telephone about the many parallels between Christian church services and club nights.
It strikes me that the similarities are compelling. They don’t make sense from a religious viewpoint, of course – the idea that clubs, in which people meet, dance, shout, take mind-altering substances and cop off with each other are similar to churches would be offensive to many believers.
But believers are wrong, and the parallels between church and nightclub definitely make sense from a humanist, anthropological or otherwise scientific persepective:
- Individuals assemble weekly in a group with a shared subculture
- They execute movements and listen to sounds which they have trained themselves to know and love, which change the way they feel about the world, and which mark them out as a discrete social group
- Clubbers like to do each other in the toilets, while the Catholic church has struggled deflect or talk down dozens of allegations of sexual abuse by its clergy of members of the congregation.
Viewed from this comparative viewpoint, it’s not qualitatively what happens that separates churches from nightclubs – it’s more a question of how much these things happen, the order in which they take place and where in the layouts of the venues (pews = dancefloor, pulpit = DJ booth, organ = sound system, vestry = toilet cubicle).
It crossed our minds that Christian raves and Christian dance music must either already exist, or be about to happen, so we did a cursory Google search and lo, it came to pass:
And here is a “trance remix” of a song published by Hillsong, the australian pentecostal megachurch:
Several thoughts cross my mind in relation to these videos.
First among them, of course, is the observation: “Oh, for fuck’s sake.”
But putting that to one side, do you notice how the Christian rave is at first glance similar to a secular rave, but, looking more closely, is subtlely yet obviously inferior in all regards? This is another reason for christians to be hesitant to accept fully rave culture into their religious practices – raves provide a possible portal through which churches might lose members, since they are like church services, but louder, longer, brighter, more honest, and with better sacrament.
Imagine turning up at a church, where believers are repeatedly told that flaccid, psychoactively inert flour wafers and weak, vinegar-like communion wine will cause them to become one with their God, and handing out a load of magic mushrooms. “Fuck, there’s no distinction between self and the world outside my body, and my mind is an expression of the natural workings of the whole universe. There is no life, no death, either everything-including-me or nothing is god, and both amount to the same thing!” That would challenge the world-view of at least a few parishioners, I imagine.
Update 12 July 2009
There can be only one reason I didn’t include the following video in this post, the reason being that it makes all my points perfectly in 3 minutes, thus removing the point of me having made my post in the first place.
We are developing a set of tracks, based on techno and acid house classics, which are suitable for quiet environments like restaurants and new age emporia. We present here an example of our work: a “new age” reworking of Hardfloor’s classic “Acperience 1“. We hope that you enjoy it.
Oh my actual non-existent God: we’re going to do a radio show on London’s Arts Radio station, Resonance FM!
We’ll kick off with a one-hour special, in which we want to give you an in-depth tour of the museum; and then we’ll begin a series of shorter but no less informative regular shows. We’ll be featuring richly learned discussions, useful information for the home techno producer, track reviews and interviews with luminaries from the UK and international electronic music scene.
Thanks to everyone who’s supported us so far – and we hope you enjoy the show.
Mssrs Braidy and Cornwell
Technicians, Museum of Techno
We’ve had an amazing reaction to this one – and there’s more to come. For now, though, get yourself over to our Youtube page to familiarise yourselves with our Sherry Sessions, so that you can best appreciate… the following:
Sherry sessions: Down to Work
Our first, experimental Sherry Sessions videos (Cheese and Spiders) have achieved a high degree of critical acclaim following their recent release on Youtube, and have given rise to a desire for a wider audience.
So we have decided to develop a format in which we start to interact with our many friends on Myspace and Youtube, taking inspiration from them for our own techno, making techno live in the studio, and dispensing the deep wisdom garnered therefrom.
We have already received numerous contributions of music for review and discussion; if you would like to join in, please drop us a line via Myspace or Youtube.
Technician, Museum of Techno
Do you have any appalling early attempts at making electronic music? Can we broadcast them?
Send your rubbish tunes