EnTRANCE EDITORIALS

EDITORIALS

I was the editor of enTrance, a digital, online magazine with an international subscriber base and readership from April – Sept, 2004. As part of my duties I wrote the magazine editorials for three issues as well as bringing the magazine together from a global contributor base. To read the magazine editorials below click on the picture.

ENT 005, April – May, 2004:

Entrance 005 editorial: First Contact

ENT 006 June – July, 2004

Entrance 006 editorial: Earth Stomp

ENT 007, Aug – Sept, 2004

Entrance 007 editorial: Tribal Roots

ent005_editorial


ent006_editorial

ent007_editorial

e-zine NEWSLETTER EDITORIALS

I also provided editorial content on various in-house publications for is happening.net from 2003 – 2005. Ishappening.net is an internet business publishing electronic newsletters or e-zines (BLTC, enTrance, ACTIV8) to over 8,000 subscribers Australia-wide, as well as full digital magazines or digizines to a growing subscriber base nationally throughout Australia and overseas. These weekly editorials sourced fresh and relevant information for the target subscriber audiences, including the trance/ dance, activist and electronic music community.

ACTIV8 01/01/04

Ten years ago, on Jan 1st, 1994, the indigenous people of the oppressed Chiapas region of Mexico said “Ya Basta!” – enough is enough. The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) used the media and the power of the Internet to tell the story of their struggle against authoritarian government and the NAFTA, which promised to enslave and kill indigenous people with it’s economic policies.

In the ten years that have followed that first wave of globalisation and the peoples’ revolt against it, we have all become engaged in the same battle. Our economies, lifestyles, cultures and very lives are at war with a cadre of global elites. The equal and opposite energetic reaction to hierarchical global control by elites of the majority is forcing a groundswell of community networking and self actualisation.

The Global Village is coming together, right on track, ten years after the cry went out: “Ya Basta”. Enough is still enough, but perhaps now we have enough people involved to do something about it. Another world is not only possible, it is now happening.

Rak Razam

BLTC and enTrance 5/1/04

BEAT UNKNOWN

As we enter 2004 and the 00’s really kick in, people are catching up with the wave of technological change and the revolutions it brings. This year will make and break quite a few paradigms as the old finally gives way to the new – in the way music is made, distributed and consumed. We are now living in the future and digital music is instantly, wirelessly, downloadable, able to be shared from person to person as the global soundtrack to our lives.

On the broad scale, P2P (Peer 2 Peer) File Trading is still eating away at the record companies bloated and hierarchical Model T assembly line infrastructure. The Recording Industry Association of America and others continue to sue file trading software companies as well as the users of their software who trade digital music files amongst themselves, alienating their do with the fact that P2P developers like Kazaa (Yahoo’s most searched for item in 2003) have implemented secure online facilities for the legal sale and distribution of digital music, where the artists themselves can control what level of interaction the public have, thus eliminating the archaic publishing model of record companies themselves. They’ve also just won a legal battle for legitimacy in Europe. Kazaa call it the “Kazaa Revolution”, but it’s really about the people using P2P software as they have been since Napster and it’s clones (recently relaunched as a corporate, commercial site with the same name only). Lower prices, unlimited catalogues – peer to peer technology is driving the revolution and it could make life better for us all.

The dinosaurs must either evolve or die off – and they know it. The world’s third biggest music company, EMI, has just announced the imminent launch of an online music exchange to facilitate production, distribution, marketing and publicity all via the web. This digital asset management system promises to save EMI up to $80 million by creating a web based centralised store for all EMI content for producers, management – and artists, to tinker with. Apparently EMI also believes this will be secure from hacking and that putting all your eggs in one basket is a good idea in this age of free, distributed information. Other companies are falling over themselves to follow suit, with digital music for sale from their back catalogues in watered down subscription models under far more control.

The success story of 2003. however, has to be Apple’s i-Tunes on-line that have spearheaded the push for saleable digital music by the song. Available now for PCs as well as Macs, they’ve proven consumers will still pay for music if it’s cheap and accessible – and they can control what they buy. Ideas like the disposable DVD (the software corrupts after limited use and there’s no need to return it to the store) for movies and music have been launched in the USA to an overwhelming lack of interest. Apple, however, continues it’s dream run with technology consumers do like – the almost ubiquitous i-Pod. Apart from being able to hold the touted 10,000 songs in the 40 gig version, i-Pod mania in sweeping the world. Fads like i-Pod jacking – strangers plugging their headphones into other , where audiences become DJs in fast and furious i-Pod music battles. On top of all that, 2004 will see the release of smaller pocket size i-pods at cut prices, in various colours and with shorter memory capacities of around 400 to 800 songs, with some cases designed by Pucci and Christian Dior.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the infrastructure of music in 2004. The sound and the style of what we listen to is also changing. A whole new era is dawning as we all dance to the beat unknown…

Rak Razam

BLTC 20/1/04

Popular wisdom says that when you’re on to a good thing you stick with it. In music, however, while that may be the best way to make a buck, it may leave your audience with a nagging suspicion that all your basslines sound the same – sonic monoculture. Well that’s all changing with an explosion of new ways to create and express music in 2004. In the next few weeks we ‘ll explore a handful of mutating possibilities to dance to in the future of now:

Technology continues to change the world and this time the revolution is promising to transform clubland, as the trusty Apple iPod is doing away with turntables and turning Djing on it ‘s ear . The iPod craze, started in New York last year, is now sweeping London and replacing vinyl with MP3s and Djs with MP3js at competitive ‘NoWax’ events at the Dreambagjaguarshoes club in Shoreditch. The benefits of MP3Jing or ‘iPodding’ are obvious – no bulky gear and record crates, instantaneous download of music and amazing storage of thousands of songs on a device as small as a cigarette packet. Performers either ‘pure Pod’, ie – DJ with two iPods and a mixer, or ‘pro-Pod’, hooking your iPod up to a laptop and letting software turn it into a miniature jukebox. DJs beware – the next step has to be to do away with a human operator altogether!

Rak Razam

BLTC/ EnTrance 27/1/04

The burgeoning world of mobile ringtones is the fastest growing new musical genre of the 00’s, proliferating like a sonic virus in our earbuds. It’s drawing in the dollars over three billion $US in revenue last year alone – in fact, ringtone sales might be single handedly propping up the record companies flagging profits. Remember when downloading the latest Eminem or Kylie pop anthem to your Nokia was like, revolutionary? Ringtones that sample tv, movies and media? An Indian classical Sitar solo or some polyphonic Tuvan throat singing? Ha. That’s all so six months ago.

BRING BRING

A recent US startup is Xingtone.com, which allows users to create their own 30 second digital ringtones from any MP3 or WAV file. They (and other carrier companies are following suit) also have the added function of being able to P2P file trade your audio files through the website to others phones, creating a whole new audio network to rival the radio and internet. The capacity to pay full tracks in MP3 is just around the corner, with big music labels already licensing their catalogues to ringtone companies overseas. Add the photo and multimedia capture, sharing and screening functions of some 3G phones, a bit of reality television and your mobile phone has just become your own personal Hollywood video clip machine. Shake and stir, look out MTV!

BRING BRING

Music is rapidly changing and so is the culture that dances to it. Through wireless transmission, radio frequencies, I-Pods and personal music players, ringtones, PSP networks and other emergent technologies, the sound of the future is ringing loud and clear. Genetic and chip music, cosmic sounds, robot DJs these are just some of the bold nu sounds for a nu millennium. As that little known groover from the ancient world, Plato, is attributed to have said: “Beware changing to a new kind of music… An alteration in the modes of music is always followed by alteration in the most fundamental laws of the state.”

Rak Razam

BLTC/ EnTrance 3/2/04

CHIP MUSIC

There’s a new generation of musicians bred on computer games and the accompanying bleeps and samples of primitive sound cards, busy carving out a new underground sound. They call it Chip Music, using the proliferation of antiquated computers, handheld games of yesteryear and ripped soundcards wherever they can find them, to turn the sounds of Pac Man chasing those sad blue ghosts and Frogger into the basslines of today’s newest emergent musical genre.

Created in part as a backlash against bland, corporate music with it’s slick special effects and software tools like Pro Tools that reduce musicianship to the click of a mouse, Chip Music is about reverse engineering mad arcade sounds to both recapture the sound of the bygone 1980s analogue age and graft it as the soundscape of our sci-fi present. Like most emerging genres it’s been around for longer than you think, with many underground musicians exploring the computer-sound interface since the late 80s. Post punk musical spin doctor Malcolm Mclaren likens it to the “Velvet Underground of the 21st century, the next step in the evolution of rock and roll”.

Not only can you make it on old Gameboys, it’s also a cheap, efficient and original DIY way to become a music producer, using processors from the 8-bit past. The collection of old analogue sounds gives a raw grounding that the slick dancepop can’t compare with no matter how catchy it is, and some chip music can be pretty poptastic itself. The raw mechanical sounds and technology references in lyrics also gives the feel that the Nintendo generation have well and truly come of age. Check out some of the leading proponents of chip music like for a taste of the chip driven sounds of tomorrowsyesterday…

Rak Razam

BLTC and enTrance 5/2/04

IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR THE BASS

It’s a bit of a buzzword label at the moment, but while the umbrella term ‘sci-tech’ is currently bubbling away in the electro world ( “the complexity of science has never sounded so good!”) science itself is coming up with new ways to create music from the rhythms and sequences of nature, incorporating everything from the earth’s hum to celestial SPACE music. But the big question is – can you dance to it?

The stars and other celestial objects, including our own blue-green planet, all give off natural emissions. The earth’s hum is likened to a drone composed of a gazillion notes, but because it is several octaves too low for the human ear, we are generally oblivious to it. This hum, also called the ‘background-free oscillation’, is a mysterious Gaian soundtrack that leaves scientists puzzled. It might be caused by air pressure changes or pounding ocean waves, but one thing they do know is that in recent years the hum has been increasing in frequency. Other planets like Mars and Venus with atmospheres may have background hums that could be picked up too, and if put together could form a rough ‘space symphony’. In 2002 NASA commissioned a group of musicians and astrophysicists to put together a performance in based on signals from space recorded over the last 40 years.

Space itself produces ample free music if you have the right technological ears to hear it. Sounds are formed through charged particle vibrations most often in the form of plasma waves, made up of electrons and positive charged ions. On earth these signals are strongest during lightning storms, which sound like high pitched whistles, and the aurora borealis which whistle and pop like raw analogue. VLF or Very Low Frequency radio receivers can pick up these signals (listen to some sci-tech space music sounds from NASA @ http://www.spaceweather.com/glossary/inspire.html ). Our sun vibrates like a giant musical instrument with well defined frequencies that sound llike a lot of bass notes. Even black holes make music  no light or matter can escape, but in the event horizon around the black hole x-rays produce electromagnetic output like stellar sheet music. Fluctuating X-ray emissions can be compared to single notes and whole key changes. The whole universe is alive with music and waiting for a new generation of
electronic musicians to start sampling and get us all rocking to that old time cosmic beat.

For as the Moby track says – “we are all made of stars”. Now it’s time to start tuning in.

Rak Razam

BLTC and enTrance 20/2/04

THE GROOVE GENE

The global groover sitting opposite me on the train was wearing ambient Eastern clothes – black Thai fishing pants, Calvin Klein glasses, a beautifully crafted Hindu cross and a tetrahedron round his neck. His lips were parted and he was breathing fast, radiating a calm, controlled energy, his eyes closed in meditation and a beaming smile plastered across his face. He was also jacked into his I-Pod and immersed in his own private soundscape. What really surprised me though, were his outstretched hands laying on his knees like posing for a school photo, grasping firmly in the palm of each hand a thick chunk of quartz crystal. As he meditated in an apparent states of bliss, deep and unrestrained tumults of emotion crossing his face, my interest grew; when he finally came down and opened his eyes I asked him what he had been listening to. “Genetic Music”, he replied.

Genetic Music has been billed as ‘the first new music genre of the 21st century’ . Inspired by the sequence similarities between genes and music, this form of composing music has actually been around a few years and is beginning to seep into mainstream consciousness. http://www.dnamusiccentral.com/ has the lowdown on this emergent scene which sounds like the stuff of sci-fi , but with your own dna sequencer you too can transform base pair sequences of DNA from actual genetic code into music. Douglas Hofstader , in his book – Godel, Escher, Bach, explains: “Imagine the mRNA to be like a long piece of magnetic recording tape, and the ribosome to be like a tape recorder. As the tape passes through the playing head of the recorder, it is “read” and converted into music, or other sounds…When a “tape” of mRNA passes through the “playing head” of a ribosome, the “notes” produced are amino acids and the pieces of music they make up are proteins.”

DJ- Visionary- Artist Shapeshifter (http://www.visionarymusic.com/dna-shape.html) is one of it’s main proponents of genetic music with his Cyber-Shamanic Trance style blending with the potentials for what he call ‘DNA activation’ that “awaken us to the harmonics of the new sonic landscape”. Some more Nu Age proponents like Shapeshifter claim the sound of genetic music carries a lot more than sound itself, that in some way higher levels of information are encoded in the blueprints and frequencies themselves that engender a change in the consciousness of the listener. Regardless, as long as the dna-music sequence is funky then people can change their own consciousness to this bio-tech boogie out the dancefloor.

Rak Razam

BLTC editorial 17/2/04

ROBOT MUSIC

The future, we were always told, was going to be populated by robots and computers that would free up our leisure time and enable us to become more artful citizens. Instead technology has become an all encompassing influence that seems to free us up enough to do all the more things it enables us to do. There’s no shortage of soft and hardware that enables musicians to create and manipulate sound, but recent technological advances are promising to lift the veil between DJ/performer and audience and make everyone – or no one the DJ.

TunA is a new software application coming out of Media Lab Europe (http://www.medialabeurope.org) that employs Wi-Fi technology to let users fish for music with other users in their immediate broadcast range – becoming lmobile radio stations. TunA users can view strangers music playlist on wireless PDAs, I-Pods and even 3G video phones and wirelessly jack into their audio stream to listen themselves. Research fellow Arianna Bassoli oversaw the TunA project last year and is bringing it to the market soon. She says it “alleviates the alienation of using a Walkman, and it makes it more of a social experience. You can listen to your music and still open yourself up to people around you”. On its own a tunA-enabled device functions like a regular MP3 player, but when around a school of TunA the interface has expanded functionality, can display other users by their chosen Avatar, share personal information and provide instant messaging.

If becoming your own mobile radio station DJ is too active for you, the machines are willing and able to take over. Last year Chris Csikszentmihalyi, an assistant professor at MIT laboratories in Boston, unveiled his ‘ROBOT DJ’ prototype that threatens to DJ without getting drunk or missing a beat. But does it take requests?

The system, called DJ I, Robot (http://www.dj-i-robot.com/) allows human DJs to program up to a staggering 128 turntables at once, which would actually be something for the Guinness World Record people, but the danger is it could also phase out the human operator altogether, playing pre-programmed sets up to 50 minutes long. The DJ I, Robot program can record music, spin and even scratch from its loaded samples of other human DJS. It runs on a staggering 10,000 lines of code but runs on a conventional laptop that is then converted to three turntables with high speed motors. It can spin the platters at speeds up to 800 RPM, and has an advanced database system that analyzes and processes information.

Rak Razam

ACTIV8 ezine 23/10/2003

Thu, 23 Oct 2003 01:51:34 -0700

Hi There,

Well, George W. Bush is in Australia this week and whether you’re with him or against him, the world’s most controversial public servant has a track record that speaks for itself. This recap is from the Sydney Stop the War coalition: The coalition of the killing – Bush, Blair and Howard – waged al illegal and immoral war on Iraq despite unprecedented global opposition and protests. The lies behind this war are now being exposed. Despite Bush’s talk of ‘liberation’ the invasion of Iraq has become a war of occupation, with US forces bogged down in ongoing battles with the Iraqi people. US corporations have re-entered Iraq to carve up the spoils of war. Bush is not content to stop at Afghanistan and Iraq. He is threatening further nations, such as North Korea, Iran and Syria with military action.

In the wake of the war Prime Minister John Howard hopes to secure a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. This will be his trophy for supporting war on Iraq. The FTA will ‘lock in’ a neo-liberal agenda which gives corporations greater rights. This bilateral deal is modelled on the North American FTA where companies now have the right to sue governments for introducing environmental, labour or other regulations.

The FTA threatens the pharmaceuticals benefits scheme, quarantine laws, GM labelling and public assets. Another world is possible. A world without war, where people come before profit. If you don’t get the chance to say ‘hello’ by joining thousands of other patriotic Australian wellwishers in Canberra, take heed. The War on Terror is scheduled to last for our lifetimes and the oppressive machinery of control tightening around the globe means George’s presence will always be felt, if not seen. Time to activ8!

peace,
Rak Razam

ps. Activ8 listings are for all Australia wide groups and events to list in, so if you don’t see your state represented here please send us your info. The more people involved in a network the stronger it becomes.

Hi There, ACTIV8 ezine 6/11/2003

activ8

Sun, 09 Nov 2003 23:03:47 -0800

Hi There,

The Jabiluka National Day of Celebration last Friday marked an important turning point in Australian people’s battles for their own autonomy and against transnational corporations. After protests against the Jabiluka mine lasting many long years, Rio Tinto, the overseas owners of the mine, conceded to demands to stop the deadly uranium mining from destroying the land next to Kakadu national park. This tremendous victory for the Traditional aboriginal owners of the land, the Mirrar People, and all the activists who gave their blood, sweat and tears on this issue over the years, shows that united, the people have a strength that can overcome corporations, governments and injustice.

Which is just as well as the war isn’t over. Trasnational mining and nuclear waste companies are still eying off large swathes of Australia’s outback to feed their unsustainable needs and dispose of the repercussions of that system. Lake Eyre in South Australia has long been drained to process uranium from it’s artesian basin aganst the wishes of the local Arabunna people, and the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta’s campaign against the proposed national nuclear waste dump at Kulini Kulini is the latest affront to indigenous people’s land and dreamings.

A whole new generation of activists will have their work cut out for them to regain control of our country from transnational corporations, but the Jabiluka victory proves that the people can – and must, win.

Peace,
Rak Razam

ACTIV8 ezine 14/11/2003

activ8

Thu, 13 Nov 2003 22:19:27 -0800

Hi There,

Last Saturday was an International Day of Protest Against Israel’s “Apartheid Wall”, called for by leading Palestinian activist Dr Mustafa Barghouti .The wall – or ‘security fence’ as Ariel Shannon’s government euphemistically call the solid slabs of concrete over 20 feet high, is a symbol of the apartheid system being imposed on the Palestinian people.

The Israeli- Palestinian conflict is, as we all know, one of the most contentious issues on the planet, and in it’s own way exposes in microcosm the central problems facing humanity. There are many shades of grey in the escalating spiral of violence and reciprocal violence, of war and oppression, and both sides have to make real concessions if there is ever to be a resolution. Building 360km of fences and walls to imprison the Palestinians at a cost of over three billion American dollars, however, doesn’t address the causes of Palestinian violence – and indeed, looks set to intensify it as a whole nation is shut off from the world.

The Wall will eventually shave off 14 percent of the West Bank, trap 274,000 Palestinians in tiny enclaves and block 400,000 others from their fields, jobs, schools and hospitals, according to a critical U.N. report released last week. Moreover, the world will have a new symbol of oppression unrivalled since the Berlin Wall. As Australians face a new wave of government harassment and media exploitation of refugees turned back from our shores, spare a thought for Palestinians made to be refugees from the world and sealed off inside their own borders.

Peace,
Rak Razam

EnTrance email Bulletin 18th Dec, 2003

enTrance

Thu, 18 Dec 2003 00:49:21 -0800

Hi There,

FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY

The use of drugs, chemicals, neuroware, sacramental plants or whatever you want to call them is an old and ongoing issue in the party community and it isn’t going away anytime soon. No matter how much politicians promise to reform, legalise, etc the status quo is always reinforced leading to black market economies that actually prop up the dysfunctional world economy and keep a regular flow of criminal dissidents to fuel the fastest growing business sector – the prison industry.

What has this to do with Trance Culture, you might be asking? Well, if you’re not asking now it might be too late when the cops bust your party and strip search everyone on site, harass you for your appearance under random search laws, and generally intimidate and attempt to eradicate a lifestyle and consciousness that is very much connected with Trance Culture. In America, Home of the Free tm, the War on Drugs has been quietly escalating as multi billion dollar homeland security troops turn their attentions towards the psychedelic community and the party scene (including the infamous anti-Rave laws).

In the biggest bust since the psychedelic 60’s, two Californians were recently convicted of running an LSD lab (from an ex-nuclear silo in Kansas if you please!) that manufactured most of America’s acid. William Leonard Pickard, an ex-deputy director of UCLA’s Drug Policy Research Program, was sentenced to life in prison without parole, while Clyde Apperson was sentenced to 30 years in prison without parole, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The two men were convicted in March of two counts each of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute LSD and possession with intent to distribute. A free Leonard Pickard website is up @ http://www.freepickard.org/ to help lobby against his gross over sentencing and discuss drug legalisation issues.

With Australia entering into the fallaciously titled Free Trade Agreement with the US, and our military bundling itself to US style system, it can only be a matter of time before the black baton of justice comes smashing down on the dance floor here. An awareness of politics and current goings on in psy scenes overseas is a much needed bellweather for what will eventually affect us here. Your right to your own brain state and consciousness is an inherent human activity that state should not – and cannot control, but it might take a politically united Trance and Psy community to uphold.

Rak Razam

ACTIV8 ezine 14/11/2003

activ8

Thu, 25 December 2003 15:44:27 -0800

Merry Crassmas, Australia!

It’s hard to avoid the commercial bombardment of Christmas, and even harder sometimes to remember what it’s all about. As the pagan celebration of the solstice was appropriated by the Christians, consumer culture has appropriated the Christ-mas, leaving the ongoing spectacle of Crassmas that can only be assuaged by massive spending to prove to those closest that you love them.

The cycle of work – money-debt – good citizen also allows Australians to be so run down by the system that gross injustices can be carried out in their name. Don’t forget about the little Jewish kid born two thousand or so years ago in a manger, cause he and his family were, the bible tells us, far from home and fleeing persecution. That’s right – they were all refugees. And if Amanda Vanstone and the Australian Immigration Department had anything to say about it, well, Jesus wouldn’t be coming in no matter WHO his father is. Instead they would most likely be forced into detention camps and denied basic respect as human beings. Perhaps Mary and Joseph would be on a hunger strike, their lips sewn together in protest at their treatment, in the vain hope that they could have a better life, a safe life for their son Jesus. Dozens of refugees are doing just that right now – in their second week of a hunger strike, at Christmas, as part of the “Pacific Solution’.

As you may know, Amanda Vanstone and the Australian Government have declared the problems on Nauru have “nothing to do with Australia”. Refugees being forced back to the homeland they fled who will face persecution or death “are not our problem”. We have no responsibility to them or to their futures, and we didn’t want them here in the first place. This shocking transgression of international responsibilities is going on, Australia – IN YOUR NAME. Chew on that over Christmas dinner, and if you can stomach it, Indymedia Adelaide has updates on the refugee crisis and recent photos of their slow deaths at http://adelaide.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=6317&=webcast .

Merry Crassmas, Australia!
Rak Razam

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers

%d bloggers like this: