Designed by Mark Kelsey (mk[at]noiselabs[dot]com), Significance Invocation Technician

Play your favorite live mix tape of a rave or other event on one sound system; on another sound system, or even on your walkman with the earphone over just one ear, apply a traditional drumming tape. We especially recommend "Festival and Ritual Drumming" by Louis Martinie, the head drummer at the Rampart Street Spiritual Voodoo Temple in New Orleans. But any aboriginal rhythm sound from Africa, the Americas or Australia will work.

Turn one volume up or down as needed; pause whichever sound needs to be in sync, and be your own DJ and insert your own breaks as you read the meditation below.

Report all interesting results of this experement to: feedback@noiselabs.com


The beat: Live drumming is where we come from...

Continue meditation and read the following; or read immediately following your meditation period, while the music is still going:

A lot of people have posted interesting observations on the rave lists. Many of the most revolutionary and mind-shattering on-line posts seem to date to 1993-- a watershed year in both rave and internet culture(s). The most important posts talk about the feeling of connectedness, how raving made the writers' lives more positive and loving, how they have invoked the feeling of the rave community into other aspects of their lives, and even created networks of people around the world. The new masses or posses are, in many ways, a new, electronic form of tribalism ­­ seemingly arising spontaneously and subconsciously­­ for this new aeon.

Another very important stream of commentary has been the techno beat not being part of our Western "performance" idea of music and art. The Western idea is that one person is better than the rest of us and we sit and listen to ego- driven music with its standard, quite rigid classical beat system. We as the audience are alienated, out of the loop, we gaze passively upon the chosen few who perform. We are not part of them.

Techno is a whole different trip. At events everyone is there to express, to involve, to enjoy, to love, to be seen, to be accepted, to feel and emote, and to participate actively. A good event is fully participatory. Good DJ's play what the dancers are feeling; they move people in a positive way and bring them to an emotional and energetic climax. The best DJ's dance, too.

Raves are sacred spaces or Temporary Autonomous Zones, according to modern philosopher Hakim Bey. These TAZs are to free ourselves and others of the ideas and mindsets forced upon up by the fucked up corporate entity which passes for culture. The TAZ is a direct response to and escape from the crap (people we know throwing their attitudes and expectations at us; the mass media brainwashing us into consuming and being good little mindless cogs) that fills up our lives. The TAZ is a space for all of us to move forward emotionally and spiritually by allowing us to be who we really are ­­and who we really can be. No coercion, no bullshit.

Up to now, most of this tribal participation at events has been expressed as incredible dancing. Many people at rave events talk about being taken over by the beat, going out of their body and experiencing a whole different level of consciousness. Some people say they have no memory of their dance, or have no idea where the power to move in such incredible ways comes from. Others simply use the word "possessed."

It is surprising that there haven't been more postings regarding movement and the physical effect of the beat. This beat is usually described, off the cuff, as "primitive," tribal" and "opening up the reptilian pre-western culture side of the brain." Think about Paleolithic art for a second. Picture the fire; the drawings of bison, the shamans who created those shadows on the wall we see thousands of years later in pictures and in museums. Picture yourself sitting in that cave, around the smoky fire. Put another log on. We're moving to the beat... And listen.

Listen to the drums...

That is an ancient beat; ancient energies are being invoked. There are specific groups who have recognized that this new pattern of movement, community building and energy raising as also being incredibly old. The new techno pagans, in particular, have made this critical connection and discussed it in some detail. Because the techno pagans are in magickal circles of traditional neo-pagan groups and see the parallels between the magickal (magick with a k refers to ceremonial or "real magick", the new spelling of the word was coined by the most famous 20th century magickian, Aliester Crowley) or pagan communities and the rave masses. The techno-pagans appear to have the most knowledge of the positive uses of these energies.

Specific improvements to reach closer to the ancient idea of the beat:

  • The beat, the dance, the feelings and energies invoked at raves need to be consciously focused, the techno-pagans say. That is, a person should have some intention or reason to be there and make good on a feeling, a wish, something they want to do for themselves (e.g. to make themselves better, stop smoking, etc.) or another or the earth or what have you. Use the energy you put out in dancing to achieve what you will ("Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of the Law; For Love Is The Law, Love Under Will").
  • Raves/Events need to invoke specific energies which will help and heal everyone: people who participate, the rave community, even the world and all species.
  • Sometimes that energy raised is best expressed or channeled through specific "god-forms." These patterns or archetypes are visualized and invoked in various neo-pagan and wiccan circles as the god Pan, or Venus, or Eris, the goddess of Chaos, or .... ? (insert a favorite deity you would like to contact here; or, read "Programming and Meta-Programming in the Human Bio-Computer" by John Lilly on how to make anything or anyone a deity).
  • Herbs, from sage to tobacco to marihuana are part of the offerings, and also key in raising or meeting with specific energies. Human beings have evidently been tuning into interesting mind spaces with the aid/use of this ancient technology for a very long time. They should only be used with intention and reverence. There is no room for abuse of substances or "getting wasted" in sacred space.
  • Listen to Africa, especially West African tribal drumming, where the blues, jazz and the Voodoo drums all come from.
  • Experience drumming with your hands. Contact a local group near you, such as the Earth Drum Council, if you want to learn how to make your own beat. Earth Drum runs an open "Drum and Dance Jam" in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass. two Saturdays each month.

Hand drumming on a goat skin djembe is a completely different experience; your so-called mind can't keep up with the patterns or beats. What does? The same part of you which dances like no one has ever danced in the whole world, the hidden genius part of you who moves in space and time and is part of this new/ancient community of the beat.

Yes, there is a pattern of energy and consciousness raising going on here. We move, repeat and amplify the pattern with our dance or strike on the drum or breakbeat on the turntable; it is part of our world beat. You are part of it.

When we move and make the beat together, we are all a part of it...


Report all results from this experement to feedback@noiselabs.com

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Updated 30 December 1996
Steve Hoey, Chief Safety Inspector