The summer of 2013 was awesome! Thanks to a great trip to Czech Republic and Slovakia and an unforgettable collaboration between our friends Kierewiet (NL), Exit23 (BE) and us  (BE). When I find the time I will document this trip in a post with pictures and videos. But for now enjoy this overview video of Space Piknik 2013 in CZ. The first illegal teknival in CZ since 2005!
Under our Desert Storm tag you'll find a post with an interesting article published by MixMag on who is Desert Storm and what is their mission. We also included a list of the ten free parties that changed the world probably published in the same issue. Since the MixMag online archive is limited I was not able to confirm this.
Instead of just reposting the image and tell you to read it I decided to make it more blog friendly by slicing up the article. Originally I planned on posting the list of 10 in one post with a little extra information. But somehow I made a whole post out of the first one. The rest will follow. The subject has changed from "TEN FREE PARTIES THAT CHANGED THE WORLD" to "FREE PARTIES THAT CHANGED THE WORLD #1".
Written by: Luke Black
Pictures: Matt Smith, Derek Ridger/PYMCA, Tash, Darling Dept, Rex
ONE:Desert Storm, Tusla, Bosnia, New Year's Eve, 1994
During the Criminal Justice Bill protest in the summer of 1994 the crew was approached by a “Workers Aid for Bosnia” member. He asked if they were willing to travel to a war zone and host a morale boosting NYE gig. They accepted the adventurous mission to aid those in need and bring joy to people who have been lacking any happiness in a very long time. By December '94 they raised enough fund to buy a truck, aid supplies and finance the fuel needed to make the trip. A dangerous trip to Tuzla (Bosnia) at that time home to thousands of refugees who fled from the Serbian army. Although the area was declared save by the United Nations, it was still a very dangerous place to be.
Willing to take the risk they set of 2 weeks before NYE not knowing what to expect. Loaded with their tunes, sound and aid supplies such as clothing, food, medicine and other basic supplies for such as pens and books. Even before arriving at their first stop at a UN compound in Split (Croatia) they already witnessed a near fatal road accident involving Croatian soldiers. The impaled vehicle was leaking fuel yet the soldiers kept trying to get their motor back alive. They didn't hesitate to drag the soldiers out of the wreck because the soldiers couldn't care less about the whole situation. For the first time was confronted with the fact that due to the ongoing war these soldiers were involved in they became careless about these situations since they happened every day. Custom to misery.
Back on the road they had to deal with coastal winds which were lifting their truck. At risk of being tipped over or falling of a cliff they loaded 2 tons of pineapple slices to keep the 7.5 ton truck on it's four wheels.
Eventually they arrived at Split around Christmas day. Upon arrival they decided to cheer up the stationed UN soldiers and built an improvised nightclub out of pallets and trucks. And distributed some makeshift flyers to the UN soldiers and locals in town. That night locals and soldiers were able to dance all night for the first time in years. Their initiative was eventually stopped by the Military Police.
They still had a long way to go so the next day the crew left for Mostar (Bosnia). A city know for the iconic bridge Stari Most which became the symbol of ethnic unity in Bosnia after the war. The bridge itself was destroyed one month before their arrival. A temporary bridge was built next to it's ruins for the time being. Reconstruction started in 2001 and eventually reopened in 2004.
"Stari Most ruins"
The road to Mostar was again everything but safe. Off-road trough makeshift tunnels, plowing trough snow on
farm tracks and edging their way up the mountains. Passing by the besieged city of Sarajevo and the front line edge. As if that isn't nerve wrecking enough they learned about 'sniper alley'. Upon approaching a straight valley road the UN soldiers, escorting their convoy, explained that they had to wait until dark before traveling trough the valley. The trucks were instructed to dim their lights and drive as fast as possible until they reached a checkpoint 3 km ahead. This was as close to the front line as they could get. Under hostile sniper surveillance and anti-tank gun batteries nested in the hills they. Apart from one vehicle having it's chassis destroyed they made it to the checkpoint.
"Front line - Sarajevo"
On December 31st 1994 the crew finally reached their destination. Arriving in Tuzla on New Years eve they discovered that the stadium they were supposed to host their gig in had collapsed due to a mortar strike two weeks earlier. With time running out a new plan was made. The loaded all speakers onto one lorry and used it as a mobile sound system to cruise around the city. A crowd of all ages gathered behind the truck and danced their way trough town. When a cop approached the truck they feared for being arrested or shut down. "Turn the music up! But turn your lights off!" he shouted. Confused by his request to turn the music up, they confirmed that he didn't mean otherwise. Turns out he actually wanted the music to be louder, as requested by his commander. Dimming their lights was for their own safety since the Serbs were still eager to strike with mortars. Without hesitation they turned up the music and killed the lights. The cop joined the mobile dance party, shared his drink with the DJ and started dancing with soldiers who came out running from apartment with their AK47's blazing in the air. Not to fight, but out of pure excitement and joy.
They came past the local police station and every cop embraced the vibe, started dancing on their patrol cars while shooting their pistols in the air. And lit their blue emergency lighting. I guess they were out of mortar reach by then or they just didn't care anymore at that point. More people joined in each time the reached an housing estate. Kids, soldiers or even a couple or grannies.. that New Years eve the city of Tuzla was relieved of it's curfew for the first time in 3 years. The crew just let it happen and let people go crazy. Naturally they were a wee bit concerned about the guns and alcohol mixture, but in the end nobody got shot.
It must have been a surreal experience. Especially when a little girl came up to one of the crew and pointed at a dark spot on the ground when they were approaching a square. She pointed and said "Look this is my brother!". Apparently a mortar killed 40 people 2 weeks earlier and one of the was her brother. Unsure how to react the were about to leave the square until she responded "No, I want to dance for my brother". That is when reality checks in.
"Mortar strike - Bosnia"
The crew returned home, again risking their life from checkpoint to check.. yet they wanted to do more. Spreading hope in a city that is on verge of being besieged. Showing that if a bunch of wacky musicians can make it all the way to their city, that they may have a chance to survive this war. That is why they returned to provide more aid trough supplies and culture. Connecting with people trough music who have been cut off from genuine fun for ages. A temporary relieve of the nightmare that is war.
During the summer of 1995 Desert Storm returned to Bosnia and entered Sarajevo just one week after the final cease-fire. The first foreign artists to enter the city in 5 years. They discovered an active alternative scene that survived during the longest siege of a capital city, the Siege of Sarajevo. An discovered a local independent radio station called ZID committed to a cultural theme. Their programming was created to let it's listeners escape from the harsh reality of life in Sarajevo. Utilizing culture to show underneath the inhuman and dangerous conditions there is a normal modern city called Sarajevo. Local alternative bands were heavily promoted by ZID by playing their music, doing interviews and announcing gigs. During the siege bands played around 50 concerts under constant threat and risk of being shot. One of the most famous underground venues was Club Obala. The only club to be open during the whole war. It was located near the notorious Sniper Alley, so the risk of being shot while visiting the club was very high.
Desert Storm collaborated with ZID to host a gig at Club Obala and played for 5 hours on the pirate station. After the radio session playing their music and promoting their night at Club Obala they hit the streets. They cruised up and down the Sniper Alley with an open truck blasting their music just as they did in Tuzla. With the exception of an additional Kevlar helmet for the lucky crew member behind the decks.
Despite the threat of snipers they completed a successful mission in Sarajevo and gave locals a glimpse of a happy future. Eventually they linked up with Spiral Tribe and played around 20 gigs all over Bosnia. Inspiring, boosting moral and re-introduce people to the joy of life.
The trips Bosnia were documented in World Traveller Adventures under the title "STORMING SARAJEVO". World Traveller Adventures is a collection of travel stories and interviews of new age rave travellers such as members of Spiral Tribe. You can either buy or download the DVD. I'll update that post with extra sources this week. If both of these are not an option for you then you can watch it on YouTube below.
"You want to know about voting? I’m here to tell you about voting. Imagine you’re locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you ain’t allowed out until you all vote on what you’re going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch “Republican Party Reservation.” They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand new sexual organs that you did not know existed. So you vote for television and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades.
That’s voting. You’re welcome." - Spider Jerusalem on democracy
A fearless seeker of truth, god among journalists, drug enthusiast, heavy drinker,
chain smoker and a governments biggest nightmare. Spider Jerusalem is by far my most favorite comic book character ever. We have suggested reading TRANSMETROPOLITAN a few times before and will continue to do so because it is a masterpiece of philosophical and literary depth. A perfect example of how a comic can be just as inspiring, educational and eye-opening as a well written book.
Of course paperback copies are more fun to read and in this case definitely worth buying at your local comic book store, but not everyone has the ability to do so. Therefor downloading is a good alternative. CDisplay is a great viewer for reading digital comics.
- First of all ZONE of the FREE (ZotF) had it's 4th birthday somewhere this year.. so Happy Belated Birthday and whatnot. Although our activity has decreased we are still alive and kicking. Despite our 725 posts run in 2010 our goal was never to create a blog with regular updates. ZotF was created as a goto source to find information about the history of free tekno. Since that information was scattered all over this internet or disappearing even we took action and found yours truly for everyone to discover and explore.
Today I noticed that a lot of posts people run into posts that contain dead links to our uploads since our fileserver died ages ago. Since our blog is now autonomous I felt the need to make sure all information we ever published is accessible. That includes uploads. So as of today our little library it back online for the time being.. hopefully. All literature under the tags BOOK and EBOOK should be accessible and free to download.
FreeNRG: Notes From the Edge of the Dance Floor - a collection of 13 essays written by specialists and affiliates of a spectrum of youth phenomena found at the edge of the dance floor. Especially worth reading if you are interested in the DiY culture.
NO SYSTEM - Vinca Petersen tells you her story as a nomad or (free tekno) traveler with stunning pictures. Again worth buying, no download available.
THE NUMBER 23 FOR DUMMIES - this post contains the everything you need to know about the number 23 since it is so often used in the free tekno scene.
NO LOGO - no space.. no choice.. no jobs, Naomi Klein tells you why.
EXPECT RESISTANCE - a field manual for a field on which all manuals are useless, a meditation on individual transformation and collective resistance in disastrous times, and a masterpiece that raises the bar for radical publishing
L'HOMME RÉVOLTÉ - a book, also known as The Rebel, that documents the development of rebellion and revolution in Western-Europe throughout history.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM - a brilliant book that deals with the study of how man knows himself and the world, and with the issue of human freedom.
ART AND SCIENCE OF DUMPSTER DIVING - the techniques and tactics to dumpster diving. my local supermarket provides me with plenty of free food. with a little effort you can save a good amount of money or even provide your friends a free meal.
FREE CULTURE - our freedom to create.. build.. or imagine is at stake and here is why.
WEAK BECOME HEROES - a brilliant inquiry into the visual culture of altered consciousness.
A HTV Documentary that aired on 02/06/1997 documenting the UK based Mutant Dance Party Collective and Bristol Free Party Crew gearing up for a free party they realized on 14/09/1996.
Introduction to Mutant Dance in their own words; "MUTANT DANCE is a Bristol based collaboration of party people and artists specializing in UV performance and decor. Founded in 1991, Mutant Dance have been involved in the renowned Bristol
party scene since the early days of Acid House parties. Now taking that vibe all over England and Europe we bring our free party roots to clubs and festivals wherever we go. We also put on regular free parties in the South West of England. (Note to PC Netplod: We are making all this up, we know nothing about illegal warehouse raves or anything else for that matter.)
The Mutants have performed extensively in the UK and Europe, appearing at Glastonbury, Ashton Court Festival, Tribal Gathering, Megadog (Lizard), Trance Buddha (Amsterdam), Munich, Out There (Normandy), most major UK clubs and festivals, and various free parties throughout Europe.
enter Mutant Dance can add a unique live element to any club environment or party. With our mix of freaky costumes and boundless energy we guarantee to liven up any event. Our UV performers, costumed dancers, or outrageous environments, provide an extra dimension of scene setting and sensory stimulation. Mutate and survive..."
From: "Chelfyn Baxter" firstname.lastname@example.org To: Subject: They let us in!!!!! Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 19:47:43 -0000
I thought it might interest you that Bristol ravers Mutant Dance staged a free party at Stonehenge last Saturday night/Sunday morning for the equinox. We set up a Fluoro geodesic dome behind the visitors centre, lit with UV and partied all night 'til the druids arrived. Come sunrise they let not only the druids, but 150 or so assorted free party people into the circle for an hour. Even the solitary copper was chilled.....
Our local League of Human Rights requested me to post this but Gmail decided that the message sent to us was spam. Better late than never..
Big Brother Award voor GAS?
Persbericht – 22 april 2013
Op 30 mei 2013 reikt de Liga voor Mensenrechten, in partnerschap met EMSOC en datapanik.org, voor het derde jaar op rij de Big Brother Awards uit aan een persoon of organisatie die het recht op privacy op losse schroeven zet of een buitensporige drang naar controle vertoont. Wie wint de Big Brother Award 2013? De vergaande GAS-boetes, het amateuristische datalek bij NMBS, de futuristische drone van Genk of gewoon uzelf… Iedereen kan mee beslissen!
Het recht op privacy is een fundamenteel mensenrecht mede doordat het andere rechten en vrijheden mogelijk maakt, zoals de vrijheid van vereniging en de vrijheid van meningsuiting. Het recht op privacy kan enkel ingeperkt worden indien dit absoluut noodzakelijk is. Helaas stellen we vast dat dit fundamenteel recht in toenemende mate wordt uitgehold. Steeds meer samenlevingsproblematieken worden geformuleerd als veiligheidsproblemen. Sociale en economische maatregelen moeten steevast wijken voor veiligheidsmaatregelen, controle en repressie. Het wijst op een diepere mentaliteitsverandering: iedereen is potentieel verdacht. Er wordt bovendien een blind geloof gesteld in de mogelijkheden die de technologische evolutie ons biedt om dit “vermoeden van schuld” hard te maken.
En wat geeft beter blijk van de doorgedreven drang naar controle dan de omstreden GAS-boetes? Een GAS-boete opgelegd krijgen omdat je wat kruimels morst op de trappen van een kerk? Een GAS-boete opgelegd krijgen omdat je een sneeuwballengevecht houdt? Vanuit je auto naar iemand wuiven en een GAS-boete opgelegd krijgen? Je kan het zo gek niet bedenken of je kan er vandaag de dag een GAS-boete voor krijgen. Men wil mensen, en liefst de gehele samenleving, op een zodanige manier beheersen en controleren dat elke afwijking in de kiem wordt gesmoord. Door dergelijke controle verliezen we steeds meer vrijheid en dringt de overheid steeds meer binnen in ons privéleven. Laten we Big Brother toe in ons leven of zeggen we volmondig “GAS? Nee bedankt!”?
Maar nog zeven andere kandidaten komen dit jaar in aanmerking voor een Big Brother Award: het recente datalek bij NMBS, het afluisterschandaal bij opslagbedrijf Shurgard, de Genkse drone, de in opmars zijnde camera’s met automatische nummerplaatherkenning, de experimenten met vingerafdrukregistratie op school, de Amerikaanse anti-privacy lobby en tot slot “uzelf”, als gebruiker van sociale media. Wil je meer weten over het wat en waarom van deze nominaties? Neem dan snel een kijkje op www.bigbrotherawards.be en lees de volledige dossiers.
Big Brother is echt overal! Daarom deze sensibiliserende campagne die ons allen de waarde van het recht op privacy in herinnering moet brengen. Een maand lang kan het publiek haar stem uitbrengen op de kandidaat die onze privacy het meest bedreigt of een buitensporige drang naar controle vertoont. Ook een professionele expertenjury kiest haar meest “prijzenswaardige” winnaar. Als sluitstuk van de campagne worden de awards overhandigd aan de grootste privacyschenders op een ludieke én informatieve awardshow, onder leiding van Bert Gabriëls, met daaraan gekoppeld het debat “Privacy is dead, get over it!” Kom op 30 mei om 20u naar de Vooruit in Gent en schuif mee aan de debattafel. Uw privacy verdient een waardig pleitbezorger.
Today the street art movement lost an upcoming icon. Russian street artist P183 (or Pasha 183) died at the age of 29 (source). Nicknamed as the "Russian Banksy" by The Guardian he was known for his own playful way to express social commentary and mock politics.
DMCWORLD magazine published an interview with Stray Wayward (aka Spiral Mark) and Sirius, both members of the SP23 crew
(sp23.org). SP23 is creative collected formed by some of the core members of the Spiral Tribe soundsystem.
Mark is currently working on a book I am really, really.. really looking forward to. What makes me so anxious is that I am almost certain that this book will be THE book I would be able to call my bible. In "A Darker Electricity: Life On The Road With Spiral Tribe" Mark will chose to tell the story of Spiral Tribe in a creative way by weaving narrative threads together and not just create a chronological list of events. Thus creating an interesting storyline I am dieing to dig in to. Finally I will be able to read the whole story of which I now know only a few scraps I picked op from interviews, articles, flyers and other media we once searched and shared on this blog. One of the main reasons we started this blog is to collect all the information that was available online and make sure it doesn't get lost. Many websites from soundsystems in the early 90's were disappearing so we wanted to make sure that these pieces of history wouldn't get lost. Creating one place to find out more about the history of the current free tekno movement. Especially the legend of Spiral Tribe which became a great source of inspiration that became a part of the free person I am now. A part of the manifesto I put together a few years ago, which sums up what we stand and fight for as a soundsystem, is based on the reason why Spiral Tribe was formed. A group of friends got together to resist the system that limits our own creativity and freedom of expression. Their weapon in this battle was Spiral Tribe. Re-read our manifesto and you'll know which part I am referring to. 23 years later these constrains are still being enforced by governments but also still resisted by many collectives in the form of a soundsystem all over the world. Their cause became a message I now follow and actively spread. I could go on about how much influence Spiral Tribe actually had on my life but I just realized I was just mentioning the upcoming book "A Darker Electricity" and got off track. So my train of thought ends here and the influence of Spiral Tribe in my life will become a post on its own in the near future.
So.. emm.. yeah. "A Darker Electricity" a book by Mark of SP23, obviously highly anticipated by me. You can find excerpts of this book on his blog called WAYWARDTALES.
What was it about the whole free party movement that attracted you?
Mark: "I grew up going to free festivals. Stonehenge and Avebury. Something magical occurs when you escape the confines and routines of the locked-down mainstream. It's a combination of things: the community bonds that you feel while dancing together across the night – under the stars; the connection with nature; and a sense that you've stepped outside of a bubble and into the wider world... It's an escape – not away from reality but into reality."