Carrying the (Not Yet Fully Extinguished) Torch


Couldn’t sleep - here’s a rant. Powered by gnocci and tequila. And memories of a useless youth.

I don’t have nearly the time I used to, and that’s probably a good thing. Less time to wander aimlessly through the realms of digital archival reels, seeking, finding a stray link here or there. Outliers. Folders folding into folders. Time becomes a loop. Theory of the moebius typed shit. But once I locked into something, it became pretty damn fun to follow that white rabbit.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the future of rave. It’s needed, more than ever. It’s also fully becoing fully boot-stamped into its face in the way that good ol big C / neon loves to do it - first as tragedy, then as farce.

I blame the phone.

Anyway, I digress. I’ll continue this digression. I’m worried about this whole lack of shows thing. This whole distance as a policy thing. On the one hand I feel like it’s brewing the proper response, in time. We’ll embrace and hug and yadda yadda. But maybe not? Maybe it’s deeper into the cranial folds this time? Time becomes a loop. I’ve sought out the ones in the woods, the renegade masters, D4 damagas, but its some ill behavior out there…we forgot how to social.

i guess i seen it in like 2007, somfing like dat. but this time it’s fully hashed, cooked into a new beast. we used to call them poseurs. now we all pose. point is i think itll come back around but i don’t see it coming full circle for another 3-5 at least. this mind medicine is messy, but the conditions for culture cure are critically compromised.

thats all for now. lets do something for the end of year perhaps? thanks, scorpio szn.


Have to agree, the future of things is a bit worrying at the moment. I think yer right, 3-5ish years before things start getting back up to speed for sure. We can only hope it all ends up like what happened after the Spanish flu and we get a roaring 20’s type scenario! That would be ace :slightly_smiling_face:


Honestly this Travis Scott thing is what made it begin to sink in…we’ve got 10 people, all under 27, one as young as 9, dead. I think all of cardiac arrest, correct me if I’m wrong?

Then a weekend later, Lil Uzi is telling people to “Rage” at Day in Vegas (poor taste, what kind of MC is this tone deaf??) and gets turned off by the booth. Meanwhile SZA is stopping the show to be uber careful when a fan is passed out. It’s rippling through…

Now for me these sorts of events trickle down into our scenes, more and more the underground is self policed by scene queens and kings, but what this tells me is that major festivals are going to be heavily policed, surveilled, and in general the audiences will be more corralled and expected to keep calm and carry on filming.

This bodes ill for the culture of music events in general. When our youth has forgotten how to act at shows and events, when they can’t take care of themselves or others because older participants haven’t shown them by example, the chain is broken.

This has really interesting implications for the future. Anyone care to chime in how they feel about this event and the future of live events?


Bad vibes

But also good

I think it’s looking good for the most part but we’re gonna have to get past some weird shit.
Maybe the general population will stop glorifying artists as much and maybe start appreciating the actual music more


I feel like there’s not enough of a cultural shift happening in the background for people to start behaving different when things get back to “normal”. Like glorifying celebrities in your scene/community is just human behaviour, don’t think that’ll change.
It’s all too easy when things become the same as they were (like pre-pandemic) for people to also behave just like they did previously in the same situation.
It’s a bit like when you meet old friends you start behaving in a way you did when you saw each other a lot, even though you’ve had so many formative experiences in the meantime. Not sure that makes sense?


that makes a lot of sense for sure.

I mean, when almost everything nowadays is disseminated through a vicarious external medium (ie. the internet), don’t we always pose, to an extent? Better to have a great time with people who might be perceived as posers rather than aloof, gatekeep-y elitists.


Lots of Interesting thoughts here! I feel like it’s super complicated and v contextual, so some scenes will probably lack elders and others will lack youth? Say what u will about NYT & Jon Carimanica, but I thought the popcast episode on the Travis Scott disaster was a real good discussion. There’s a duty of care that an artist has for their audience at shows, regardless of whether or not anyone is “glorifying” them. Age is certainly a huge issue with those sorts of crowds, and so the duty of care kinda doubles with that as often the performer might be one of the few people there with any experience in that situation.

In my country, at least, there’s been a lot of work that younger promoters in particular have done to link up with some of the people who have been around for ages. Mostly this has been through the lens of trying to big up local histories, but I think there’s been a secondary effect of a more informed, respectful and positive music scene. So I’m fairly optimistic in that area. But it’s also v easy to see how lots of kids don’t make it to that scene - they end up at massive festivals that care more about numbers than people, and function more as excuses to get wasted. I’m not against drugs, but there’s an illusion among a lot of kids that those giant festivals are good places to do them, when in reality they’re often some of the worst spaces for it cos the promoters just can’t account for the safety of people at that scale. Add to that the fact that a lot of older people in the scene tend to avoid those spaces, and you get events where there’s a crowd of teens that don’t know how to look out for each other yet and no one else there - physically or institutionally - to look out for them either


Additionally, I’m curious about the attitudes a lot of the younger people have around the safety of these larger events re: COVID. From those I’ve talked to I’ve got a mixed bag of responses, but as things have dragged on longer around here (and got worse) it definitely feels like a lot of them are starting to care less. I don’t blame them for it - I absolutely would have been the same when younger - but I do worry about the wider outcome of it, in terms of the virus but also in terms of the attitudes those people will have towards events moving forward as well as the attitudes others will have towards them?


I think our roaring 20s already peaked around the late 10s, I mean what scenes even have the potential for halcyon other than Moscow Kiev or Tiblisi? Maybe I’m bitter but look at Oz, it’s completely fucked.


It’s also very possible that all of this could take us away from club and festival based scenes back into renegades and one-off warehouse parties but the whole culture of sharing locations, posting and taking photos to me has replaced the whole treasure hunt word-of-mouth culture of undergrounds that made it so meaningful.

There’s a whole generation now who has never known what it feels like to spend a night driving around a warehouse district, through the woods, or out into the desert with their windows rolled down listening for the bass…like I said, culture in general is taking a huge hit and it’s deep in our minds.

What have been peoples’ experiences at events lately?

Lately it all seems very anaseptic and paranoid, to me.

People aren’t able to relax yet. And it’s been nearly two fucking years.


Holy shit, don’t get me started on how utterly bloody rooted Straya is at the moment! Gah, not a big enough wall to beat my head against.


One day at a time. This too shall pass. Sending love.


Mate, I felt going out had become extremely antiseptic and insanely homogenised BEFORE the pandemic ha ha I moved to bush about a month after lockdown so haven’t been to a gig since. Tbh, hadn’t been to gig as a punter since Autechre were last in town, but I’ve stage managed a shit tonne of shows for work before lockdown. I basically hit the point I couldn’t handle the stupid amount of wankers and would rather stay in and make tracks, paint or watch a movie.

And I know exactly what you mean about sharing/selfie taking prats. Like, I went to see Jlin at Sydney Festival a few years back and the whole dancefloor was taken up with idiots taking selfies and checking in, prattling on about their clothes and saying ‘ermagerd’ a lot, and then they all just left. Like, not one was there for the show at all, just to make sure they had a record on their Insta’s they were at the ‘cool’ gig, then off they fucked to whatever other ‘cool’ thing they had to go check in at. It mad me so mad and very sad. It was a frigging WICKED gig too. I it’s not me showing my age either, cos I know younger peeps who feel the same way about it too. Disturbing, group think behaviour like that always scares the utter shit out of me tbh. The best thing to hear with that though is those kids I know have been saying they’re vibing a growing wave of people their age who a very uncomfortable with that side of things and want to move away from it, so that’s very positive imo.

Things will never go back to the way they were, but I think if people consciously try to remove the ‘must be online at all time and if I don’t appear to be totally hip I’m socially dead’ attitude when they go to gigs that could help enormously to foster a new configuration for the underground. If there is such a thing anymore that is, it’s all so fluid now. :man_shrugging:


Yes, fucking yes. Someone else sees what I see. My hope is that it comes around again 5 years or so, but it’s a cultural thing. It’s memory loss, we have a pretty high turnover rates in our scenes because of the intensity of it all, but ideally there are folks like you and I waiting it out spinning in our rooms and painting, and then a few years down the line we find the others and start booking to buy a system and some generators and lug em out into the bush / woods. It’s just unseen levels of drone behavior out there these days…


My own anecdotes from someone who is around Zoomer age (first time I’m even using that term, lol):
A lot of people who are big into nights / culture / social happenings especially involving music are, for the lack of a better phrase, terminally online. Not all, but a good amount. Basically means people who are really glued to their screens, mobile, desktop, or otherwise. Some people are more online than others, some people deal with it better. That’s the way things are now, for better and worse.

I remember reading a short article that partially refutes that people being glued to their screens is not always a bad thing - it’s synonymous with people wanting to connect, interact, and find people with like-minded interests, regardless of the medium or context. After all, a track created by two people separated by geographical distance back-and-forthing stems doesn’t make it any less of a track. Granted, that doesn’t mean that social interactions through a screen is the prime method of social interaction, or that being hooked on your phone is a good thing.

Went to a concert for the first time in almost three years (lol) about two weeks ago. Two of them around my age said that they deleted Instagram because they were sick of it / on a social cleanse. I think one of them mentioned how sick they were of ads on Insta, but that’s another conversation pertaining to marketing on social media networks…

Point is, there’s just so much shit happening all the time, everywhere, day in and day out. The phone is one way to navigate this existential, batshit minefield. The real question is whether it’s even worth going through… and for the most part, the answer is yes. Info on the sidelines of apps (as I like to call them) is filled with useless, ultra-marketable bullshit. I’m hardwired to ignore and evade that stuff, but a lot of people aren’t. Some of my friends fall victim to that - one of my friends said he knowingly wastes time watching all the detritus on the Snapchat featured content. I know not to have TikTok on my phone because I know I can’t mentally, spiritually, and psychologically afford such a timesink. I’m also not up for the challenge of going down that rabbit hole.

IMO, it’s all a matter of self-consciousness, self-discipline, self-control. Knowing if what’s right, if something’s too much, or if something’s just simply a waste of time. Hopefully general viewpoints on things will change overtime for people to react more positively and self-aware.

shit this is diatribe’s quite lengthy :crazy_face:


Some really nice points and perspectives here, not been to a rave/gig/concert for a while now but I saw a warehouse project my mate went to recently and wow, the amount of people holding their phones up filming it was actually jaw dropping. Was a sea of phones, everyone trying to capture the moment forever, to show it off to their followers, to just even say that they were there. It’s a mad world we live in for sure.
I have no complaints about what I saw but I do wish people would just put their phones down in these scenarios and remember why they’re actually there…to listen to the music and have an insane time. I feel like people get way to stuck in the reverberation chamber of social media, trying their best to be something, trying their best to show people they are doing something.

Perked me up a bit when you said that. I honestly don’t think it’s worth going through unless I have a valid reason in which I can use the minefield to my advantage. If I don’t I’m just going to be hitting mine after mine hoping to find the right mine which throws me in the right way if you get me. Aaaaand I just realized you said for the most part so yeah.

I feel we all want to connect with everything but ourselves, some may find that corny as fck but it’s really true. And through phones and social media we can connect with millions and millions of people wherever on the world at any given time. Yet when we are in that crowd listening and bopping to that music, phone in pocket, out of sight and out of mind, we are really connecting to ourselves on a level we originally intended to.


This ties in to a tweet I saw a few weeks ago - the idea that concerts are supposed to be a communal experience with the people around you, rather than the one artist, band or DJ giving an individual performance to you.

IMO phones aren’t necessarily 100% bad. Ppl are always gonna record shows, concerts and whatnot. I’d like to preserve my memories to some extent, too. Camcorders were recording shows for a good while at this point. The bigger underlying problem is how immediately phones are connected to other connections / means of communications. You’re recording a show with the same device you use for an alarm / socials / almost everything a computer does when you don’t have one available to you.
I don’t know what else to say. :crazy_face: Maybe someone less scatterbrained can explain my idea more thoughtfully.

I do agree ppl should be less on their phones in concerts. I remember midway through a Brockhampton concert some guy was like “yooo put down your phones”. At the very least, be more considerate.


I’ve been thinking the next time I do a gig (whenever the hell that will be) I’m going to insert a ‘please turn off your mobile phone’ thing at the start of my video show, like they do at cinemas. I’m dead curious to see what people would do ha ha


For real, whenever it is I get to doing gigs and sets I really want it to be an intimate experience with the listeners and the music. Like don’t all stand there staring at me and recording me. I’m just giving you the experience to enjoy with the sounds I love. We need to stop idolizing the artist and start living within the experience they are giving us.
I’ve got a mate who has ideas for a 360 dance floor and speakers. The crowd would all be looking at each other instead of all staring at the artist, topped off with 360 speakers that go all the way around the dance floor it would bring a completely different experience and atmosphere compared to the majority of sets now.
Hell, if I can in the future I’d want to be fully apart of the crowd, I’d que up the last 2 tracks and let them play whilst I go out into the crowd and just bop away with everyone else and just share the experience with them. Honestly can’t wait hahaha


Yes! I feel like the person performing can really set the tone and something like that would be universally respected and often admired. Of course there’s always gonna be idiots but at least it makes people conscious of their device use.