Let’s reverse the spotlight.

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.

Would you watch this?

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

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