thank u for this, i was just about to mention how important vibrant irl scenes are to the development of dance music. its why we can still name places like Paradise Garage and Musicians Institute and Big Apple Records even tho they dont exist anymore. these physical places where fellow djs and producers and promoters and fans can all meet and discuss as social equals is something that needs to be reiterated as a social and political need. if u need more proof read the recent RA piece on the history of Basic Channel, and notice how important Hard Wax was even in the early days as an important trade hub and meeting ground for techno Berliners, not to mention the American and Jamaican visitors who supplied the imports:
and we must recognize it as an inherently political need and a demand for an inclusive and equal urban environment for creative work, esp in an age where authoritarian forces are inherently threatened by it and have actively tried to destroy it for the past 10 years with intense gentrification and austerity, trying to neutralize urban life as a whole as a privilege for rich finance gamblers. which is how u get to a point where about 2 dozen of queer youth are killed in a fire in oakland because of being locked in the only arts co-op the city has allowed to exist, and instead of reacting by trying to fund even the littlest more resources away from police and tax cuts for the rich to fund inclusive youth arts grants and other programs, city officials around the usa react by quickly shutting down all the arts activities outside the market they couldn’t wait to shut down anyway
this rlly just goes back to that old socialist and modernist concept of The Right To The City, the right for all the working class people in all urbanism to control and shape the collective environments of our cities, free from any economic authoritarian restrictions. and really wasnt this what all good dance music scenes do to an extent and demand as well. its why much of the traditions of The 'Nuum, as one singular example, stem from the most modernist of activities, of jumping from council estate rooftop to council estate rooftop to covertly transmit a pirate fm signal, making a cool beat on ur apartment desktop, bouncing it to tape, then biking over to ur friend at the record store to make a quick batch of dubplates, and probs the most obvious of all, hosting and djing a rave at an abandoned warehouse, making incredible cultural (not to mention ecological!) reuse of a giant building capitalism built and then left to rot when no longer profitable.
reminding me again of probs one of my favorite writers ever, Marshall Berman. who i think is more important then ever, because i dont think its any coincidence that the person who could probs makes Jordan Peterson look like the babbling fascist fuckwad he is is a happy-go-lucky Marxist Jew from the Bronx who loves the subway and loves urban life, and has defended it against all inside and out who wanna destroy it with market competition and ethnonationalism til his death (rip ). ill post these two reviews from Jacobin about his recent posthumonus essay collection and u can see how it fits:
Marshall traveled, as he himself said of Andrei Biely’s masterwork Petersburg, on a “shadow passport.” As we read him in Modernism in the Streets, he can take us to someplace not on any street map we’ve hitherto encountered, not even on Manhattan’s grid plan. With Marshall, we can leap into spectral spaces, journey across boundaries and transgress frontiers, including academic disciplinary frontiers, bypassing border patrols en route. That’s what his shadow passport can bring us, will always bring us.
That’s what he has passed on to us, passed on to me. I’ll keep my “official” passport in my jacket inside pocket, but Marshall’s shadow passport will always be in some secret sleeve, out of authority’s sight, beyond their ken, even beyond their strip searches.
And with this shadow passport, we might discover another sort of citizenship, one that helps expand and enlarge ourselves, something less toxic than a citizenship based around flag and nation. It’s a citizenship expressed through our connection with cities, “an open and shared identity by identifying with cities.”
This was Marshall’s great romantic dream at the very end of his life. It’s a vision that goes back to the Old Testament, yet ironically informs our own times, too, coming closer to home than perhaps even Marshall himself imagined.
The Old Testament wrote of “cities of refuge” set aside as sanctuaries for people, as spaces of asylum to protect innocents — and sometimes the guilty: “These towns will be cities of refuge,” the Book of Numbers says, “for the sons of Israel as well as for the stranger and the settler amongst you.” Marshall recognized, in his valedictory essay, “The Bible and Public Space,” that Adam and Eve were “the world’s first refugees.”
He also recognized how the Hebraic tradition acknowledges the right to an urban immunity and hospitality that goes beyond mere particularism, beyond a search for unique refuge: it offers a divine hope for a form of urban sovereignty where people can become wholly human. “Is there some sort of place,” Marshall wondered, “that can nourish people’s sense of identity without crushing other people’s identity?” Yes, he said: “The way is the city” (Marshall’s emphasis).