We are your friends.

Isolation Rave 4: We are your friends

So this is crisis. Some of us already faced tragic loss and still, it is not like WW1 and nothing like the movies. Turns out we can’t send in some big dude with bigger guns to shoot the problem. We are so aware that insurrection or any fascist wet dream of civil war is totally useless, we do not even consider it. Suddenly people that hardly ever pose as lead characters in our stories are the underpaid and exploited heroes. Most of them women. Women, those people that of course originally existed to be rescued by aforementioned dude with the bigger guns. Those are at the front line. Or at the last line of defense. In the trenches.

Think about that. In crisis the common way to describe essential work uses metaphors from WW1, no matter how useless. Caring for someone, leaving more space to others, in metaphors that smell of blood and gun grease, as beacons for the broken narratives of a global death cult.

And on top of all that Resistanz was postponed.

In this cancelled year of our Lord 2020, I got in touch again with people I thought lost, with things I unlearned, and I am sure I am not alone in this. And that’s the point: not being alone. In isolation we touch base with our communities and start doing more of what we should have been doing all the time. – Stop losing ourselves in the war metaphors of a global death cult and rather celbrate these idiots we trust to get wasted with and those that care, those that make sure we have some space to breathe.

We are your friends.

Join us for the celebrations.

Saturday, 11.04.2020, 2000CEST 1900BST 1800GMT etc

Hotel Rooms, Acid and Brass.

Isolation Rave 3: Woodwinds of Jericho

When I once met Glen Matlock, Bass player of the Sex Pistols, in a Pub, I asked him whether he ever crowdsurfed a hotel room. After some discussion what exactly my question means I showed him a video from a Hotel room of mine. He watched it twice and than told me that the Sex Pistols were at all times able to afford own Hotelrooms for each of the Band’s Members. In this moment I understood, that Punk Rock was never as secular, as out of bounds, as classless as it was trying to convey. Behind its facade it was still the same burgeois simulation of freedom, this time camouflaged by some edgy looking dudes.

It seems to me that truly grassroot, communal, anti-classist art is only found in places where the means of production of that art are secularized to a point where everyone can join in and where these forms of art are part of the communal culture. Jeremy Deller understood that before me. – I think Jeremy found this quality in Brass bands and in Acid House, “two authentic forms of folk art rooted in specific communities” and he brought these two together in form of Acid Brass.

Since you and me and all the others reading this are part of a community quite similar to this, I find it fitting to honor this anti-classist notion by playing some minutes of brass music on my live stream.

Join me on Saturday, 04.04.2020 2000h CET (1900h GMT) on


It sucks.

Ok people. It sucks. Seriously. My social contacts since Faderhead left last week were:

  1. Jannis to hand him a weird holographic bag at his doorstep.
  2. The dude that sold me packs or ramen noodles.

Isolation is bad for me and I’m shit at being alone. Wednesday evening I was fuck done with everything and Thursday I was scatterbrained and unmotivated at (tele)work. The fact that I can’t even hang with my lover until this is all over makes me feel like putting the risk groups in a giant mixer and lick escalators, but this seems impolite and such.

So I feel like doing nothing at all, because everything is shit anyway, but guess what:

If I decide to do nothing, there is a 100% chance I will stay exactly as miserable as before.

So: I set up a twitch channel and so I will get myself intoxicated on twitch and learn about kopyright regulations. This time alone, for stupid reasons. Which is sad.

Which is why I again need to ask you for your support:

Since I’m alone I will integrate a zoom meeting into the stream. I need volunteers with apocalyptic outfits and awesome dance moves or at least a drink. Absolutely no toilet paper.

More in the evening,

-jl, straftanz.zk


Sami and JL dancing uncool.

Hi. I don’t like people trying to be cool.

Being cool is about being unaffected, even untouchable. Yeah, it’s cool when shit can’t touch you, but guess what: most of the time it can, and then when you’re trying to be cool about it, you are just playing pretend. But then again, not trying to play this game, being touchable, vulnerable, giving a fuck on stuff, comes with risks. When you actually act like you realize that you and others in fact are vulnerable, you may feel the urge of taking action. And when you take action you might be wrong and make a fool of yourself. And even when you don’t, you are actually signaling that you are vulnerable to those cool kids that believe, there is actually someone who isn’t.

I don’t like people trying to be cool and I am not one of the cool kids. And the simplest exercise in not being cool is to be ridiculous. Once you exercise being ridiculous, it becomes easier to actually give a shit, to take the risk, to accept that you and others are vulnerable, but also that pretending you are not doesn’t help. Instead of pretending you will seek action, seek action more often, seek change, not just for you, but for others and the world you live in. And when you’re wrong you will know, in contrast to the cool kids, you did more than zero to protect what’s vulnerable.

Saturday evening I will conduct a little exercise in not being cool by being ridiculous. The current crisis dictates it and I want you to join.

Saturday night we will start our video stream on Facebook live, right here. Take care, take care of the others, especially those vulnerable and never be afraid to be ridiculous when trying your best. Stay safe, don’t be cool and join us:

Isolation Rave 1 21.03.2020. 2000CET.

jl, straftanz.zk


Hi. Did you all wash your hands properly? I hope you did. In grim times we need proper amusement. Here you see me trying to set up the isolation broadcast system. (IBS) I have no clue what I’m doing here, but until Saturday evening there is still time.



In the meantime I contracted a guest performer. Faderhead will come over and do nothing actually useful. That’s great. #notouch

Here’s the plan:
We will broadcast Saturday evening at 2000CET. I’ll DJ whack shit and we’ll get intoxicated. When sufficiently intoxicated I’ll tell you things are alright and you will believe me. There might be dancing and cowboys.


Here is the to-do list, you will replicate these things in your place:

* Get a proper subwoofer
* Get drinks
* Get bathsalts or whatever you perverts stick up your butt
* Launch an event so y’all know where to got (I’ll do this one alone)

Please tell me in the comments what I forgot. You may also PM. I’ll add it to the list. Maybe.

Until then: Stay healthy. Stay safe. Keep the spirits high.


Riding a dead horse.

Stock photo of straftanz

“We’re too old for this shit.” These words of my valued brother and friend Lord Visconti appear cryptic and meaningless to me, especially in context of that rumor that the average restroom of any german goth festival is a geriatric facility, where no one is sure anymore whether catheters signify kinks or health issues. What does all of this even mean? Can we even live long enough to get old enough for that mythic restroom? How are we “still alive” when your favourite hobby-horse-project is dead? Shouldn’t this all be over? Isn’t it really time?

Two weeks ago Leighton James Thompson asked us whether the dead (that’s us) would play just one more show at Resistanz festival 2020. Our answer would have been “no, this project ended, please re-read our last communique”, but the prospect of a hotel room at Resistanz, booked in someones else’s name, a free flight, etc. seemed really really compelling and so we said yes. Yes, without really knowing whether we even can. We didn’t even blink.

When answering Leighton’s request something was suddenly clear: What is any given moment truly lived but the kept promise of doing it once more? One more track. One more breath. One more hit of the kick drum. One more time. One more drink. One more line? You are what you do and inevitably you do what you are. That’s why the “yes” came a tad too easy.
When focusing on the moment we learn that there is no place to go that’s demonstrably better than doing what you are. – So obviously the question of riding a dead horse is actually about the rider’s necrophilia.

Resistanz was about living this moment collectively and so Straftanz will return. One more time. Just to see what you perverts, regardless of age, are going to do with the dead horse that is us.

tldr; Straftanz is back for one more show at Resistanz. Just one. The decision to do that is both questionable and philosophical. It boils down to the question of riding a dead horse turning out to be not about the horse but about the rider’s necrophilia.

The Recap

“See you at one of the parties, then – maybe Zeche Carl next week?” she said as she was heading off. “I’d rather not”, I replied. “I really don’t wan’t to go there anymore.” She shrugged. “Maybe Eisenlager? Or Matrix?” – “No, definitely not. I can’t afford all the anti-depressants I would need to survive that.” With some bewilderment, she threw a “why?” at me, and I felt compelled to answer. Once more. Just this one more time. So yet again, I started explaining the right thing to the wrong people.

“For me, being part of an underground culture entails the enjoyment of greater freedoms than you get elsewhere. I have no interest in hanging out with people who don’t want me to raise my arms in a fucking hands-up-break because it’s too techno, I don’t want to argue with people about whether I happen to be in their personal dancing spot that they always use. I am fed up with that bullshit; I just want it to stop. It will die out before too long anyway, as everyone I meet in those places seems to be getting old. But If I could, I’d accelerate the process.”

In order to illustrate my statement more clearly, I once again described the incident with a guy who, indeed, touched me and attempted to pull down my arm while I was dancing, and the girl at the Matrix who insisted that I was, in some way, occupying the place where she is used to dance. – “That never happened to me! Are you sure you didn’t do anything freakish?”, she asked me, befuddled.

“I am a freak”, I replied. “Yes, you’re talking to one right now, and perhaps nothing of the sort has ever happened to you simply because you’ve been going out with the same people for years, and perhaps you’ve just never done anything freakish. You’ve joined the line. You’ve never even turned around.” My statement seemed to anger her, which, in a sense, made me happy. They were finally passionate for once. Sure, I’d prefer them to be passionate about genuine issues like right-wingers organising their festivals, but unlike me, those are no easy target. To elucidate my point just once more: When we asked people at E-tropolis Festival Oberhausen if they like to join us for an all-inclusive hotel-room afterparty with absolutely everything provided, they started rambling about friends they needed to pick up, and their plans to potentially buy some shit at McDonald’s, et cetera. Needless to say, no one showed up.

Resistanz Festival, Sheffield. A corridor at Club Corporation.

“I just did a cleansing ritual in the room over there”, he explained earnestly. His face was covered with thick traces of light rose lipstick. “Would you like to cleanse yourself, too?” – “I’m sorry, I’m behind my schedule”, I replied and asked him whether it would make sense to perform the ritual after the show. “No. There is no point. But you’ll be fine anyway.”

I found my dressing room packed with people. Among others a tall man mixing equal amounts of whisky and cola in a half-gallon plastic bottle. Another man with aviator sun glasses, evidently in an exceptional mood, greeted me with a friendly gesture of fuck you. The man with the guitars appeared to be in a state of blissful flux, staring intently at an empty corner. “I’m behind my schedule”, I repeated. The man with the sunglasses smiled. “I really like the way you put that.” He offered help. Presented a Bouquet previously hidden under his table.

We were at home, and as a band, we had no intentions of leaving the place alive. We pulled off our last show ever, and it certainly wasn’t our best, but we did it in front of 700 freaks and felt elevated. When I asked people about their further plans for the night, they already knew the number of my hotel room. 30 showed up right after the venue closed, with food, their friends, booze and everything else in tow. They even asked nicely before opening the fizzy wine I had put on ice. This is, basically, what continued to happen for three days and three nights.

I felt like a Messiah. Not your Messiah or anyone else’s, but most certainly my own. I had freed myself. I have given up my band, my bass, my booze (at least the parts I couldn’t finish myself). I gave my friend Mark a concussion and was forgiven. I was objectified and bitten by Becca and she was forgiven. Everything was forgiven: our everyday lives, our habits of making people buy shit they don’t need, our jobs. Our very purpose was forgiven. The mere concept of a purpose faded into oblivion against the chaos that was unleashed as the tribe gathered for the fourth time. Resistanz wasn’t your stock industrial festival. It was way more.

We can’t go back were Straftanz came from. “Industrial” is no longer about breaking boundaries, dissolving mainstream culture or building a lifestyle outside lifestyle. Today, its main function is to provide a safe space for people in their mid-thirties or beyond. A place for them to name musical styles and brag about having been ‘in’ for longer than the ‘kids’. A place that stays the same: a cozy blanket under which they may hide from the world. And as much as I can recognise the legitimacy of this, I do not want to help provide this sort of anaesthesia: The ongoing desire for security devours freedom, causes fear and horrible sex.

Forward ever. I will move on and I won’t mind if you walk along. I’ll let you know where I am, every now and then. But when you stop, I shall continue my conquest of the nothing, just as Renzo Novatore did: “So turn to yourselves rather than to your Gods or to your idols. Find what hides in yourselves; bring it to light; show yourselves!”

jl, May 2014