Suggested Audio Candy:
New Atlantic “Yes To Satan”
I know all about euphoria. Natural highs such as the birth of my child have provided me with unscalable highs which have kept my sails hoisted high during the most treacherous storms. That kind of rush cannot be duplicated through narcotics and I would never be foolhardy enough to suggest otherwise but chemical-induced highs have provided me with plenty of mind-bending euphoric releases of their own. I may be near forty now but these memories never seem to lessen with time. If anything they intensify.
It was Love Doves and Refreshers back then; MDMA to the uninitiated. Crude jagged little pills which unlocked your potential; made your wings extend to full span and caused every nerve ending to convulse with unparalleled fervor. Not the desire to copulate, nor the encouragement to test your strength, merely the will to dance your ass off and do so all night from the first whistle and glancing strobe to the ultimate swan song and inevitable powering down. By that point all the disheveled revelers had directed every last droplet of energy into pulling all manner of audacious moves and used up the next day’s reserves also, culminating in the dreaded come down.
Those battle-hardened rave Gods had transmogrified into geriatrics by the time effects wore off and we huddled under blankets and studied one another’s skin impurities whilst feeling akin to a barrel of broken biscuits. Had it been alcohol that filled our ventricles then no doubt weekly oaths would be made never to drink again but, because of that rush, that incredible buzz, we had our return tickets at the ready. There was nothing else in the world which compared to the moment the DJ began bleeding through your favorite breakbeat anthem and the lasers beamed your way to facilitate.
I always was a whore for the big bass drum; a little hi-hat woven around each thump and a stabbing synth to add the icing to a most delectable cake. There were the calms before each storm, those steady build-ups to the inevitable drop but once that almighty drop occurred it was multiple mental orgasms and the love in the room became palpable. Every single soul gushed affection and each were united by the music. I know I’m a long way down the line now and music has changed considerably but I truly believe there was no scene to parallel the UK’s hardcore rave scene of 91-92.
I recall one night as clear as though it were yesterday. Myself and a faithful horde pulled up in Peckham, London to attend the famous Lazerdrome for my eighteenth birthday. That night was never ordained with going to plan and the arrival of plain-clothed police at the car window when I sat holding eight grams of potent amphetamines attested to that. I was caught with the reddest of hands, whisked away along with one fellow drug mule to the local constabulary where I spent three hours being cross-examined, poked, prodded and threatened with the dreaded throwing of the book in my direction. Like any eighteen year old commencing further education I was distraught at the potential repercussions.
Thankfully I was over the age of consent so my parents needed never know of my indiscretion. However, as I entered the interrogation chamber, I discovered the bottom of my mire. “I want you to drop your jockeys, lift up each testicle in turn and then turn around to touch your toes.” Surely the constable was spinning me a yarn, pulling one last prank to scare the last remaining wits out of me? No, he was deadly serious and, considering I had already necked two grams of speed before my incarceration, my once proud sea monster resembled more of a withered urchin. I was mortified, search lights probed and not a stone was left unturned as he checked all available exits with his pocket torch. After that I was cast back to my cell to lick my wounds further.
Back then clubs remained open until at least 7am and I was released with a caution by about 4am. I had no keys to the automobiles littering the car park, the only choice left was to rejoin the flock back in the hub and sweat away those last three hours. On my arrival I discovered that my friends had all chipped in and purchased me a little taster to see me through. Those three hours were amongst the most exhilarating of my transience, I raved a little harder, pulled shapes even more elaborate than was customary and soaked up the vibe like a Technicolor tampon all in the honor of that big bass drum.
I would never condone drug use but neither would I vilify it either. That’s not my decision to make and each of our journeys in life is our own to forge. It is in the past now, tucked away in a small corner of my mind, but every time I fire up the music I am back there in a picosecond, lasers pouring through my fingers as I reach for utopia. It has become the forgotten scene of the 90s, crossover success was minimal and folk conveniently filed their memories away in the deepest archives of their imagination. For this child of the revolution however, access is more ready, and it’s only ever one breakbeat away.
One more for the Hardcore Massive:
The Brothers Grimm “Exodus (The Lion Awakes)”