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This nOde last updated March 22nd, 2005 and is permanently morphing...
(7 Muluk (Water) / 12 Kumk'u - 189/260 - 18.104.22.168.9)
Born in Auckland, New
New media and occult sciences artist. Cybernetic surgeon, techno shaman, trance theologian, astral attache, existential electro alchemist, meta magician
Visual arts and sound curator/director of
‘Closet Artists Gallery’
during the late 70s and early 80s.
Writing and performing rock, punk,
funk and industrial music
during the late 70s and early 80s.
Awarded Arts Council Travel grant in 1983,
to travel to America
Rap and hip hop performer/writer during the
mid 80s. Dee
Jaying at ‘psychedelic’disco/techno parties in Goa, India,
Tokyo, Europe, ‘86 - ‘94.
The existential quest is a theme which runs through my life. The arts have provided a metaphorical vehicle for me to communicate some of my discoveries which relates to collective consciousness and each individual's personal dharma. Art is a symbolic, sensoria language, which has the potential to reach the transpersonal psyche and reconnect us with the creative source. I use my creations and other people's work to orchestrate a hybrid medium, within a dance party context, to bring about psycho-emotional transformations. Rhythms and frequencies and sounds catalyse enzymes and chemistry in the brain and body-mind. I don't see myself as a conventional musician or DJ, I am more of a sound therapist, an infonaut, acybernetic surgeon stitching together a contemporary mosaic of music and sonic geometry which takes the participants on a journey within themselves and interpersonally. I am not sure who Ray Castle is. I am finding out what I am here to do. Life is an unending journey of self discovery. I do feel as though my work is about being a communications conduit for universal consciousness. Working through ego and power-lust, control issues, to be a clear channel. Manipulation drives are a complex for DJs to wrestle with, or anyone holding the power to direct people.
Dance has always been here. There is a great deal of social implication in the role that dance serves. The fashion and style that is hung on this medium is multitudinal. Music and rhythms are inherent to the vibrational nature of life. Music and dance culture reflects whats going on in society and in the cosmos. Techno has finally come into the mainstream and is headed for corporate comodification like what happened to rock music, which is now a kind of classical form, like jazz or blues. But all that has gone is embedded in the current form. Technology has greatly influenced the sound and music of our time, plus the definition of being a musician, or artist. Now the whole studio is an instrument. Techno and the tribal role of DJs has eclipsed the hierarchical staged-centred rock style show, with the audience all facing one way, focused on being entertained by mythical gods. Midi programming, soft ware, virtual synth architecture and drum machines have fractalised-polyrhythms. All the various sub-genres of dance music, are like sub sects of a greater cult. This year and even more, next year, the styles are and will break down and will cross over further. Psychedelic-trance has come out of Euro techno and disco with its 4/4 marching doof beat. And urban hip hop break beats have been speed up and mutated into jungle and drum and bass. Art is always a syntax of ideas and forms. Computers have enhanced our capacity to create grooves, manipulate wave forms and cut and paste compositional structures. It would be impossible for a drummer to play the rapid 160 bpm patterns of drum and bass. The full power stomping beat of trance is good to a point, but its regimented 16th-patterned form is starting to become quite stale. Its always the hybrid that is fascinating. What has been of uplifting value with psy trance is that it has brought more spiritual, extraterrestrial vibe into dance music, its not strictly sex, or urban club music, like house, or jungle, or the urban angst of hip hop. The more cosmic frequencies of Psy trance work well outdoors with the light play in nature, and the longer journey type dance party. But rhythmically some of the drum n bass percussion programing is very progressive and cyber. There is a different dynamic than 4/4 structures. Here you have this rapid 160 bpm snare polyrhythm attack underpinned by a half speed 80 bpm kick and bass groove. Its a fresh, invigorating, timing formula, which creats a more sensual sway, rather than a full pounding, fixed, marching, doof beat. A lot of the atmospheres and moods in typical breakbeat and drum and bass are still quite austere and minimal, or too cheesy for me, but it has much psychedelic potential. You can paint different ambient washes in the back, which you can't do with riffy, regimented, trance. Its all to do with gaps in space and time. There has been very fixed camps, especially the polarisation of black music -- primarily funky hip hop, jungle -- versus -- white cerebral techno styles. With the corresponding crowds these different genres and scenes attract. Youth culture, especially, projects so much of its identity on to it. I don't see very many black people coming to psy trance parties. They seem more centred in earthy, funky, sexy, beats. Psy trance is more resonating with a state of ascension and astral gliding on galactic gated wavelengths. It all seems to run in cycles, with the whites re-interpreting the black funk. I can see this with tech step, a darker version of urban jungle and with break trance. The last two tunes I have done have pushed all this to the max. Fresh territory. Where trance and drum and bass go on a phantasmagoria whirly gig into another dimension of body-groove-gestalt. If I send these tracks to typical trance labels or typical drum and bass labels, they would all have a freakbeat fit, it doesn't fit comfortably into their tight categories. But when the labels make a fixed fashion concept out of their stable, they trap the music, and it eventually must break down again to move forward. New carriers and springboard publishers will emerge to herald and forge the zeitgeist paradigm pulse. That's why the underground always regenerates itself like a groove compost heep.
The system is set up in a circle (4 stacks of speakers)
and often there are 4 totem poles for the 4 elements and 4 cardinal points.
Prior to the music starting there is a group meditation in a circle of all the
facilitating participants. Frankencense (a kind of incense) is used to clear
and purify the space. Often the first sounds are chanting or acoustic drumming
Gradually organic ambient
sounds come in followed by slower techno beats. Ideally, this progression of
rhythmic moods builds slower, with the very easy accessable beats coming earlier
in the night prior to midnite. After which the pulse quickens to a more pithy,
full power, punchy beat which loosens up the musculature and primes people for
the full cathartic fireworks in the middle of the night. There are ebbs and flows,
and peak climaxes, which eventually culminates with the light arriving and the
journey goes into a religious kind of ecstasy
in the soft glow of dawn. The faces of the dancers start to emerge like photographic
paper in a darkroom. Dancing thru the night is more of an inner journey but
still feeling the psychic aura of those around you, who are locked into the
same wavelength, syncopated rhythms. In the morning, there is a sense of oneness
and unity, being together on the dancefloor. A feeling of inseparable timelessness.
A kind of ancient rite of passage back
to the source with the first sun rise. As the blooming rays of dawn hit
your body there is a resurgence of energy and a renewed flight occurs. This
is augmented by ascending, angelic-like, reverential, morning music. As apposed
to the more deeper, chaotic,
hektec-night-atmospheres, in the music.
What bothers me about dance music is that it has a short life. Its very transient. The more you slow it down the longer is lasts. If you take all the beats out, it becomes timeless. It won't be long until we will be composing musical works which change each time you listen to them. An evolving ecology of intuitive circuits. I can't say I have one particular favorite recording artist. To make a top 10, is too limiting. Its constantly changing. For sure there are always pieces being made that are stunning and very contemporary and speak of the spirit of the time. But it is hard for any one artist or group to stay vitally hot on the vibe, consistently. Artists tend to peak. Mostly, if they have some commercial success, they tend to cling on to the formulas that gave them visibility. Fashion is an undulating tide, and the more enduring creative innovators can interpret the constant shifts, reinventing themselves, as they rock with the waves. The job of a DJ is to take individual tunes out of the collective whirlpool, data flow, and create an information chain-reaction-statement out of it. And when the artists hear their music reinterpreted in a mix, their tunes take on a life of their own. One tune can have magnificent bearing and influence upon the direction of a collective movement. Then other tunes come which mirror that one back, which creates the evolution. Its more than any one artist. Its greater than one. All we really can be is a clear vehicle, or channel, to allow something much greater and universal to flow thru, without attaching too much personality or ego identification to it. Then it comes down to the fundamental role -- pop, fashion, art, culture or spirituality -- serves for society's psychic health.
There are some new pieces, both dance and slower contemplative ones, with the umbrella names of Insectoid, Higher Spin States and Exotic Matter. You will only hear them at underground parties, because only some of it is released. There will be an album of Insectoid, and Exotic Matter material out before too long, and also some new works from Mantaray, plus I will be curating a compilation of psychotropic techno from Oz. In regards DJ mixes, some it has a journey quality, but hearing the mix of a party is like looking at photos of the event, it is devoid of the spirit and electrical charge which created the, here and now, bio-feedback experience -- cum -- party -- cum -- ritual.
It would seem to indicate that the collective is seeking
a more liberated, individualised, experience of 'truth', rather than an institutionalised
dogmatic religion. It also suggests a spiritualising of science and technology.
Music and art are going to move in radical new directions, and will mirror global
consciousness in a far reaching egalitarian medium. Since Uranus entered its
home sign of Aquarius, we have seen a rapid escalation of the applications of
to shrink the geographical and idealogical borders of the world, with free access
to life-enhancing information.
Its going to get more refined, sophisticated and powerful as a communicationscentral
nervous system. Its definitely going to have major impacts on the music
industry and its info-marfia-like distribution systems.
Part of the shamanic richness I strive for is the magic of trying to extend the natural universal laws into TRANCE-DANCE music and channeling this music in my role as a DJ TECHNO SHAMAN. So that the collective group dynamic can come into alignment, to use these potent spacial moments to access certain knowledge or DATA IN OUR DNA or THE TRANSPERSONAL SELF. We are like the Aborigine, eons ago, who contemplated the planetsphere with their 'dream-time', whilst beating their sticks and blowing thru a hollowed out pipe (didjeridu).
These open-air, wilderness, TRIBADELIC, pagan-like parties (rituals), are along this line of primordial communion. I see cathartic dance as a reconnective therapy, and a rekindling of a free-form play space, which we had as children.
The peak experiece, weather it is a sexual orgasm or the self abandonment we feel at a trance dance party, is a letting go of the defences which bind us to our ego, our aloneness, and the controlling personality of the mind. One aspect of the GOA MYTHICAL DANCE PARTY movement has been to bring a more spiritual vibration into this art form, and make the whole experience more cosmic, and ultimately more holistically edifying. This has encompassed a neo-hippie fashion trend, which has identified with the taoistic East and its dieties, and a revisioning of SOUND FREQUENCY ALCHEMY, ritual magic, image media, ceremonial art installations. All of which are in fused into a potentially healing, unifying social event, for the individual, the community and the planet. When we dance together, we are one. There is a MICRO/MACRO reverberating affect. Like people meditating or praying together. A now POST GOA, anti-podal mindscape. A mystical experience mediated via the technology. It relates to the maxim of the Aquarian age, where science and a more individuated religious experience can merge.Composers and DJs of Trance Techno, tend to be anonymous communal artists, and don't have the hierarchical, narcissism of the previous rock musician archetype. The author of Cyberia, Douglas Rushkoff, states that, 'the mission of cyberspace counterculture of the 90s is to explore unmapped realms of consciousness and to rechoose reality consciously and purposefully.' And to challenge existing media, manipulated, paradigms of world view held by the dominator culture.
DEE JAYS ARE POWER FREAKS ! I feel a huge amount of responsibility in this role. If you sense the need to cast yourself in this directing, controlling, position, then try and do it in a clear minded way, without unconciously projecting too many personal agendas through the prime time of these trance-dance, altered state, sacred spaces. The dancers put themselves in your hands to take them on a journey, its like psychic surgery. Its important to understand the dynamic of raising this energy in the body and psyche, through progressing the various levels of intensity in the music, to make a spiralling progression. Its to do with raising the kundalini serpent energy in the body's chakra system. The party is a chakra journey, and finally you reach a crown-chakra-type unfolding, like a flower, when the light comes in the morning, and the progression of the music should reflect this. But this can only come if you have ridden through the more interior, darker, dimensions of the vigorous, visceral night groove. This darkness into light, sound into light, dynamic is a powerful quality of the Goa style, wilderness partys. If you can adjust the sound with this celestial shift of energy, it creates immense, ecstatic rapture, which can take the gathering into a melting, ascension, state.
This transcendent, dissolving, unifying experience is fundamental to the psycho/spiritual nature of humans. Deep down we yearn to experience this connectivity to the whole, which is what we experienced when we were in our mother's womb; at that initial stage, our spirit is taking form, coming into a body. We truly feel that we are the centre of the universe, floating in space (the oceanic womb), where there is no ego, no sense of self, no separateness, we feel a total interconnectivity with everything. The innate desire to lose ones self in a transcendent, transporting experience, pulls us back to that primordial source experience; it is like a returning home. This can be realised in various communal spiritual practices which all the religions tell us about, or to lesser degrees, even just going to the pub or being in a crowd at a sports match. This ectatic state of intoxication on the spirit, or just being part of an event, is the craving we have when we gather together for social intercourse, or even as a passive audience. Humans have a strong need to come together for a unifying collective experience, and I sense, it connects us to a very communal, tribal, element in our social nature. The Greeks strove to recreate this archetypal need with their emotionally-charged, mythological, theatre. The mass hysteria at a sporting event, matches that of a full blown rave. Perhaps one is seen to be more regimented than the other, but there are codes of conduct, mind sets, and regulartory factors, weather that be referees, djs, rules, bpms, or beat/style genres of music and body expression. And of course, psyche-lubricating-substances, or soma, are a part of the whole dissolving process which assist in the dropping of our defences, temporarily. So that we can let go and feel connected to something greater than ourselves, but then we have to come back down again and be alone with all our conflicting feelings. So its always this pull between wanting to be in a fusion state, the bliss we experienced in the womb, and the pain of having to become a separate entity and live in the boundaries of the body and work with mental and emotional processes which challenge us with a vast array of dysfunctionalism in our innate quest for unconditional love, both interpersonally and communally.
It can be seen as, ESCAPISM FROM THE MUNDANE, seeking nirvana or shunyata, the religious bliss state. Music is the most powerful, emotion catalysing, vibration, artform, we have as spiritual warriors.
Frequency and rhythm activates the chemistry in the psychosomatic body/mind. Deep images, sensations and memories are re-ignited. These dance rituals are about the gestalt of the body, releasing regenerative, primitive, psychosexual energies, which we as 'civilised', mind driven, westerners, are convoluted about, with our awkward, retentive, neurotic, social programming. The DANCE CATHEXIS -- a group cathartic psychodrama -- on tribal, techno, beats, offers a potent temenos (sacred space) for reintegration of disconnected parts of the Self., which becomes a therapeutic SONIC HOMEOPATHY of sorts. So techno tunes are like tinctures, and when we dance to them they activate cellular memory, in our metabolism, like electronic enzymes. Combining this with PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS creates a powerful catabolic, biochemical reaction.
I feel that Goa trance is TAPPING INTO A QUANTUM QUICK STEP.
A promethean quest to awaken spiritual ideals and experiences via technology with a popular, collective, art movement. The hippies, in the 60s, gave us aspects of that, and now it is coming around again on a higher arc of the spiral. Rushkoff defines it as 'A SYNERGISTIC CONGREGATION OF CREATIVE THINKERS bringing the tools of hi-tech and advanced spirituality together.' The foundations of our most deeply held beliefs and myths are being shaken, with a rebirth and revisioning of ancient spiritual ideas. The dilemma of a fixed, static, traditional religion, is that it struggles to maintain a position in the present which is wholly conditioned by the perceptions of the past. India, the home of religion, has been a sanctuary for dharma bums, mystics, truth seekers, misfits, freaks, druggies, drop-outs, hippies, anarchists, futurists, new agers and a plethora of world travellers, who are seeking to escape the mundane world, questing for a higher experience and answers to to the big picture.
India and psychedelic trance-dance is for those who want to shred their egos and embrace something quite numinous (spirit reflecting) and potentially more psychically edifying. This TRIBADELIC TECHNO TRANCE movement was started in the, time-warped, ancient vase of --Goa-- India-- by the SEASONAL NOMADIC JETSET HIPPIES, who are most definitely outside of conventional society. They sustained their unshackled, fringe, bohemian, lifestyle, by smuggling bomm shankar (charus) out of India to the West and Japan and collecting the latest mind-blowing psychedelic dance music. Charis (hash) had been legal in India, up till the mid 70s, and its use by Hindu yogis and sadhus, as a soma, or heightener of the senses, was a part of that culture's tradition, until America put heavy anti-drug pressure on all Asian countries at that time. Goa techno trance actually originated from hard line, electronic body music, groups, like Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, Frontline Assembly, as well as Eurobeat. This international, underground cult, network, of outer space travellers and drug dealers, then brought this music with them, on tape, to Goa, to play at beach and jungle parties that they made, which were non commercial, spontaneous, extremely flambouyant, outrageous; and boom!... the Goa trance --hyperspace-- collective mindset evolved. On top of this, there was a copius supply of acid and other hallucinogens always free at most parties there. After 1989, the party season in India has been intermittent, because of politics, especially related to drugs and the growing popularity of the scene. This once, secret, DANCE-DHARMA-ZONE, became much publicised and the parties more difficult to make and less magical.
Goa, the actual place in India, now has become more mythical than actually a free environment for partying, which it once was. With its present commercial, toursit treadmill, commodification, and the attention focused on it, via this music fashion, its now been tamed into a kind of clubby Ibiza, and has lost its raw, out-there, wildness, which the freaks gave it. But at least its in India, which is totally mad, chaotic and surreal, and will maintain some degree of unhinged, unpredictability, as apposed to other Asian tourist traps like Thailand and Bali. India is freak friendly, hardcore and in-your-face. Its more conducive to time travellers and truth seekers than straight tourism. Thats why its a hippie mecca, and will continue to be so. A unique genre of dance music has been spored from this, A CYBORGANIC COUNTER CULTURE OF PSYCHONAUTS, distinct from the mainstream of urban house, hip-hop, rave, acid, techno which was being generated in Europe and America, for clubs and urban venues, with lots of commercial manipulations and hype by music press and labels, just like we are ironically, currently, witnessing in London now, with 'Goa Trance'. DJs and musicians who have experienced the exotic seduction of the Goa vibe, then went back home to the West to do custom made tunes for the occassion and set up labels to promote it, and now it is being packaged as a pop fashion, which inevitably happens to any social art movemet which has some substance. Its amazing it took this long to become hip, its been going on now, for ten years, but its basic principles are ancient.
London is very good at whipping up fashion-fad-fusions with its infectious media, but in reality England, with its justice cimminal laws, is one of the most repressive societies for such events, but this just fuels its underground shadow, offshoot, -- English eccentricity -- which I see as a curiously creative rebellion against a very traditional class society. Lets see where this freaky, flavor of the month implodes too, now, globally. POP ALWAYS REGURGITATES ITSELF. Goa is not about one scene calling the shots, its A UNIVERSAL FREQUENCY FREEWAY. The party scene in Goa, India, had always been very international, which flushed out narrow, parochial attitudes and tastes. Although the quality of psychedelic music being produced in London, has been very prolific and quintessential, of recent, its root 4/4 beat form is grounded in 80s Euro techno. Similarly, If you look back to the 60s, you can see what the British electric guitarists did with American blues music. Its all about innovation, what ever form it takes, and obviously now, the present immense palette of technology offersinfinite possibility for psychic, sonic, evolution in this medium. Which is an electronic umbilical chord, that links us all together in one pulsating, DOOFADELIC, trance dance, and offers the possibility to break down psychological, cultural and political boundaries. The vibe in abstract trance music is to do with universal themes, not subjectivepersonality fetish, soapy romanticism or urban frustrations, which has made it rather illusive to market by the music industry corporations, ie: give it a face. Its production and networking has been by a very alternative, grass roots, international, subculture. Now we have a whole new psychedelic wave of computer wizz-kids, who didn't party in the 60s, but many were born then, thus are fully hip to its revolutionary spirit, and are now redefining and reinventing it, with a MIDI MAVERICK, post modern, attitude. I remember, in '86/'87, having to dig around the b-sides of dance records, or theirdub versions, to find more spacey, weird, instrumental mixes, to suit our more, off-centre, way-ward, esoteric needs. This thread of meta-music is like a sound track for a journey thru time; past, present and future. There were always too many insipid vocals, and often tracks were too short. So we used to use Sony walkmans--no dats then--to cut up the track, edit it, and stitch it together with various versions to make custom Goa mega mixes for the party. At this time techno musicians had no idea of what was being done to their material and the context it was being played in. The ELECKTRICKERY of the techno shaman's cybertools allows for a kind of SOUND SORCERY, all of which enhances the capcity to do this sacred work. There is often a thin line dividing and defining the various qualities of doof, techno, acid, trance or whatever you want to call it. Basically it comes down to whatever evokes the spirit to a state of emotive, euphoric, ecstatic, aliveness; but within this there is a potent fertile space for subliminal suggestion. And for me, it is stearing it towards a connection with the UNIVERSAL OM. The PSYCHIC SONIC HARMONIC that unites us all to the cosmos and creation; a THEOSOPHICAL TRANCE.
I don't want the focus on me, in the environment of a dance party. Essentially the DJ is a channel, for sound morphing the vibe, which creates a force field, or magnetic resonance. The essence of dance music is that it has brought the main event back to the individual rather than focusing on a creative ego on stage or live musicians, as in rock music. Even live techno tweaking musicians, I am dubious about. Laurie Anderson says: 'Watching someone play a keyboard is as interesting as watching someone doing the ironing'. I would much prefer some abstract, symbolic, theatre. Its all to do with personal empowerment via movement, as the frequencies and beats move the air in the space which triggers your emotional body. The lighting and art also tunes and sanctifies the space, preparing the ground for magick to eventuate, rather than formula, commercial, fashion, fictions, with lots of voyeurism and ego jerk-off. I wish to strive for higher consciousness events and music is a powerful catalyser. Esoterically, as the dervish dancers knew, we are able to tap into invisible realms of meaning, to penetrate the true nature of the physical space-time continuum. The electron does behave like a particle, with access to information about the rest of the universe. These parties are like a pluton, neutron, electron dance of pure energy, which flushes out blocked psychic residue.
We are META MUTATING GLOBAL INFORMATIONAL BEINGS, there is a metacontinuity in CHAOS MATH. A dance party is a CHIROS SATORI EXPERIENCE (time outside of regular time), where one can gain a bright-light-bulb-like experience of illumination and understanding. As when the raver or dancer states that s/he feels most alive when they are dancing, and this religious-like ecstasy, offers a healing of our various splits and a reintegration with our instinctual self, through such peak, bliss, experiences, which will permeate thru into all aspects of our life; so it can have a very transformational, life altering, affect. And yes, dance parties have transmuted the role that organized religion once had to lift us onto the sacramental and SUPRAMENTAL PLANE.