Amphi Festival 2019 was a blast! Especially the Faderhead show. This festival is that once a year thing where I can meet some of my favourite Russians, discuss manual pages for German battle tanks with attractive ladies, hide used shrimp and worry to burn my own face with a torch thing because I think I might mistake it for a microphone. I certainly miss all of the above greatly.
What do without Amphi Festival?
We do what we are doing for 18 weeks: Dance until we can’t. We showed often enough that we don’t need anyone to entertain us, we all carry the party in us and so we do it again. Saturday there is Isolation Rave 19. Certainly not Amphi.
In the post yesterday we talked about what the Covid-Crisis meant for us rather personally and for people close to us. How against the odds we somehow managed to wrestle some positives from this time. If you didn’t read it, maybe you wanna do that now. – Today I’d like to talk about how I think we can keep going.
The positive effects I mentioned yesterday are a really good argument to keep going with Isolation Rave. I can perfectly see us doing club warmups in my (or in another) place before going out, or using this as a place to present new stuff. The fact that I was able to play hours of interesting music with little scene context gave us the possibility to explore new styles and sounds compatible with our audience. 2003 is finally over. Assuming we wanna keep going and make this more interesting, there are problems that we need to tackle. Let’s go:
Platforms can actually de-platform you.
European copyright reform looming, Twitch will either have to buy proper licenses for music content or get more aggressive with taking down streams like ours. Let’s face it: takedowns don’t happen during the stream because Twitch’s filter mechanisms don’t run until after the show. Twitch’s business model of being quite unclear regarding their licensing stance (e.g. partnering with Serato and Anjunabeats while “cracking down” on DJ streams) carries the fingerprints of not wanting to resolve the issue while collecting the low hanging fruits.
Sadly that’s not great for musicians and copyright holders who contribute to twitch’s profits, while seeing nothing much in return. Twice as sad when you consider that those same musicians were hit particularly hard in the covid crisis, when their gigs disappeared. Now we could change the streaming platform and switch to mixcloud. Mixcloud runs proper licensing, so there are no takedowns and at least due royalties are paid. However they are not quite there yet: their chat sucks, community features do not exist. Check it out anyway, since we can legally leave out sets online there, I upped two of them, so you can re-listen.
So yeah, here is the morally better and more sustainable solution for streaming. But what about the rest? We need proper chat and stuff. So we thought about that, looked into options to then ask the obvious question:
Could Discord be the answer?Yes! No reason for Discord to kick us out. It’s not that nonlinear facebook crap where every conversation is ripped to pieces by a “relevance” algorithm and it’s available outside of streaming hours. That could make a platform to figure out what else to do and where and how. Like that idea of doing a Covid Recovery Meetup on Canary Islands in Winter. (Yeah, we’re serious)
But do we really want to run an Isolation Rave discord server?No! Running a server so it’s fun to use is actual work. Also splitting up a small community onto more and more different platforms and subcontainers on those platforms is not a bright idea either. We want to grow, not divide and conquer. We already have this very good Discord Server over at Faderhead and it is developing nicely. X and me and many of our friends hang out there already and perhaps it can do even more for us than just discussing the free delivery of Swedish models and cocaine! (if only) Luckily Sami is not so selfish and he said: “once you enter my house it then becomes OUR house and OUR house music!” Well he didn’t say that, but that’s a detail. OK he actually said that.
So what we did is, we integrated an Isolation Bunker. Looked like this:
Perhaps you think this is a dumb idea. If you do, we must really talk about that, so please join here.
This way we can change the streaming platform whenever we need to, (or want to) and can feel slightly more free! So here is the very simple easy to follow 5 steps plan:
Let’s check how happy we are hanging out on Discord from today. If you like it: tell everyone.
Beginning next week we will multi stream to Twitch AND to Mixcloud.
We will discuss the results and the benefits and disadvantages of tea and vegan food thereafter.
If stuff goes well it might be time for:
the uncool to rise again.
Hopefully we can use this to bring up more The Global Uprising of the Uncool again. I imagine having a platform to collect voices and questions in a more conversational way will give more input for a cool interview show where we can shine more light into less or differently exposed parts of our community. Isn’t that worth a try?
Whatever you think:
Tonight we of course see again on Twitch.tv for ISOLATION RAVE 18. X is in Antwerp again and has to work today, however I’ll do my very best alone. Starting at 2000CEST/7pm Island time, will be going till about midnight I think.
It is 119 days ago to this day. I was sitting at home and still couldn’t fathom what people would do with all that toilet paper. Remember that? Lockdown had started a week before and as I was beginning to understand that almost everything I enjoy doing would be out of reach for maybe a year. Sometimes I find my workweek challenging or draining and hopping on a train to wherever gets my head into a different space again and allows me to recover. I dreaded weekends I had no cool plan for. I would feel like wasting precious time, indulging a fear of missing out. From January to Lockdown I traveled 22000km according to Google location tracking. Since lockdown I left my city once. – If there is a thing that would have surprised me on that day, it would be that 119 days later I still didn’t feel like I missed out on much. And you, reading this, are likely a part of this conspiracy that took care of me in the past months.
On this evening I felt lonely and I decided that if I can’t go out, I’ll party at home, play a DJ Set on a Saturday night, get drunk and stream my demise to the world to at the very least be pitied. That didn’t work out. My friend Sami stopped by on his way back home from his short forest retreat and we did the first one together. Couple of hundred people stopped by and pity became party. Even a week later when I did this again I didn’t feel alone and I really felt like I made others feel less alone, so I decided I found my lockdown hobby.
Tonight, 17 editions of ISOLATION RAVE later, I feel it is time to do a recap and see what happened, what changed, what helped, what didn’t and what to do next.
Good stuff that happened
The office of Belgium’s minister president of the German speaking minority, Oliver Paasch, helped me to import X during lockdown so we could isolate together. It’s quite interesting who gets back to you when you simply ask kindly. Some days later I wasn’t alone anymore.
We rearranged my place to accommodate our new hobby. No more couch in front of TV. We needed a dance-floor. A dining table in absence of visitors is useless so it became a studio desk and DJ booth.
I built an automatic watering system for my plants even though I knew i’d be unlikely to leave this summer.
I learned about streaming and MacOS audio routing so I became tech support for other streamers. I learned during the first shitshow streams. Because, yeah, it’s live, right? Shit breaks.
X got really damn good at DJing in a really short time. I really enjoy running through new release lists on beatport and the streaming services, and finding new stuff, and damn there is a lot of stuff to find.
But most importantly and paradoxically I got back in touch with people. I tried to put a spotlight onto some of these people by running interviews in The Global Uprising of the uncool, but figured that the effort was unsustainable, especially when doing it alone. – X had to head back to Antwerp and so I gave up after 4 issues. However, I read into biology, learned what NF-κB, how charity work is done, about DEF CON stories and about epic verse. I am still thinking about rebooting this in a slightly different way, but let’s get to that later.
We gathered 500 followers on twitch.tv from timezones between Moscow and Los Angeles and many of them came back pretty much every damn week, Saturday 2000CEST, 7pm Island Time. With dozens of them we are in contact in one way or the other, sent them postcards and other weird items. It’s sometimes hard to imagine how damn far these people are from each other.
So you see, this whole covid thing in some aspects went pretty well for me personally. It didn’t for a lot of other people. Other couples and friends were less lucky and are seperated even today. Some people’s livelihoods are still under threat, their health was impacted and some of us suffered grave losses. While most measures in Germany are lifted now even some of you reading this are in lockdown or other shit situations.
Isolation Rave made us feel less alone. Not being alone is a great thing to build upon.
My dad has cancer. Leukemia. A couple of years ago they would have given him chemo and hoped for the best. But that’s not what happened. He got a targeted therapy that entered the market only 6 months before he was diagnosed. His blood levels are back to normal and while we know there is no cure, we are confident that he will die with cancer. Not from it.
How is this possible? It is due to amazing people that help pushing the boundaries of what is possible and they are right in our middle. Last week I interviewed Simon the Scientist and he gave us a glimpse how advances in immunology and systems biology gives us better perspectives for treatment.
This Wednesday I will interview Mark Haigh. Mark is bringing in support from a different angle of attack: He organizes funding with his charity BEAT:CANCER, where he raises money by organizing alternative and hard dance events. Also he is proud owner of at least one incredibly ugly bra that sold him at least n+1 raffle tickets.
So if you like to learn how Mark helps researchers to get closer to the next breakthrough, how I once gave him a concussion with my dick and how we pay for my dad’s treatment please tune in on
Wednesday, 2000CEST, 7PM Island Time.
The global uprising of the uncool. Expect a rollercoaster.
Hi. We’re at it again. All day we carefully evaluated hundreds of the finest outrun, dance and rave tracks, but our vetting process is challenging even for the best. Only the raviest, gloomiest, most outrageous are carefully butt selected and crafted to a perfect record crate. Closer to the wood, closer to nature, closer to the world’s living breath we carve the perfect sound to push every heartbeat to an exquisite experience.
We deliver the perfect ambience to get drunk at home. Alone.
ISOLATION RAVE 666. Crossing the abyss. Ah, come on, that’s too much. Better idea? No. Perfect is the enemy of done.
OK. Imagine this: My friend Sami tells everyone about my very uncool event tomorrow and then people tell him he’s shitting on me. (Actually he now finds it funny to send me pictures of turds because of that.)
Some people still have too much cool in their bloodstream that was relentlessly pushed onto them. Let’s not blame. Let’s explain.
I really think being cool sucks. Trying to be cool is, in about 93% of cases, the fig leaf behind which people hide that they are actually just giving in to peer pressure or “tradition”. Cool people don’t care for you, they are busy caring for not being perceived as weak or weird or vulnerable. I perceive being cool about something as showing off to be untouched by it. Like: I’m not freaking out about COVID, I’m not 80. I’m not freaking out about AIDS, it’s what the gays do. – But you know, the people that I love, that someone loves, they are 80, gay, survived cancer, work minimum wage. Like: I don’t need to dance naked, I’m cool with my needlessly boring existence where I devour myself in jealousy over those who do. Over those that have a selfie-stick and dare to use it. Over those that do something goddamn weird or hard or tedious or even ridiculous because it is something they genuinely enjoy.
I never fell in love with anyone cool.
That’s why I choose uncool people to hang out with. And logically I wouldn’t present anyone cool on an interview show. People that give shit or take no shit. Or at least have the indecency to send me pictures of turds.
Tomorrow, 7pm island time, 2000CEST The global uprising of the uncool. http://twitch.tv/therealstraftanz Guest: Simon Mitchell, Leading Scientist in a thing I have no clue about.
Hi. As mentioned before I’ll start a new broadcast: “The global uprising of the uncool.” First show is on Wednesday, 22.04. 2000CEST, 7pm Island Time.
In this show I will interview people I met in clubs, after shows and at isolation rave that do clearly more interesting things than dancing on a stage. Our community is vibrant, interesting and goddamn clever and I want to use this opportunity to put a spotlight on that. A spotlight on you.
My first guest is Simon Mitchell, computational systems biologist. Simon is a scientist, researcher and teacher and counts more citations of his papers than I count retweets.
We’ll talk about reckless partying, scientific journalism and medicine. Roughly.
Event follows. Please tell everyone.
See you on twitch.tv/therealstraftanz Wednesday, 22.04. 2000CEST, 7pm Island Time.
Let’s start with the obvious: Isolation Rave 5 PENTARAVE is on. Saturday, 2000CEST, 7pm Island Time. We do the usual. But this time we do it the 5th time. We’re out of vermouth, so I guess the drinks are getting sweeter.
“The global uprising of the uncool” is a new streaming show that I will start soonish on the same twitch.tv channel. It’ll be an interview show where I’ll interview one isolation raver in each installation. More details very soon. The first five guests are set already and am happy to present beautiful and very uncool set of guests from the categories: Social responsibilty, Science, Technology, Literature and Things I am afraid to do.
Hi. I feel like we are not talking enough. You and me. I mean all of you. I could of course do this personally, however then I know about the cool stuff you do, but all the others don’t.
Imagine this: I know that someone who came to our stream or to a club we frequent does rocket science, or can be booked to be put on fire, or runs a charity, or does social work. So we all talk about it on livestream, and marvel at what a brilliant bunch you are.