This is a personal blog entry from Pixie and Sonny aka Memory Splice. It reflects no one else’s views or politics.
We felt a need to speak out on current social and political issues. We’re the PLUR generation. Not that acronym alone, but the ideals it represents. Our parents were at Woodstock and somehow kept their idealism into adulthood and passed that bright and garish torch down to us. Peace, Love, Unity, Respect- we live them every day. We live and act and breathe them no matter what the current political and social climate is- and we fucking need to. WHY? Just stick with me for a bit please.
I’m opening this with a quote from Diane Tamulavage’s article on “YOUREDM” “Should We Let PLUR Die?
“The Peace is gone. Now you have people trampling others just to get to the front of a stage.
The Love is no more. Hugs amongst strangers have become an oddity as opposed to the norm.
Instead of Unity, we are completely divided and cliquey; EDM Elitists & rave veterans act entitled rather than showing the newcomers the ways of the scene.
Respect is lost. Rather than encouraging a judgment free culture, we fight over and make fun of varying music tastes.
Responsibility is not practiced. People throw around the term PLUR as a pathetic excuse to not be judged for acting irresponsibly.
So yeah, there are a lot of things wrong. But let’s start to shift the focus on how to make things right again. It is not too late to bring the ideologies behind the silly acronym PLUR back.
I no longer want to be embarrassed for using that term. I no longer want to see people judging others for liking a “mainstream” song different from their own taste. I no longer want to see people watch others collapse around them at a show and do nothing about it. I no longer want to be a part of a culture that is allowing hate and judgement to take over.
With artists and spokesmen like Kaskade and Tommie Sunshine supporting all this scene was and all this scene can be, we have no reason to bail out now.
It’s about the music first and foremost, yes. But the rave culture is about so much more than that. Even if you don’t consider yourself “PLUR,” any remotely decent human being is sure to want peace, love, unity, and respect. The term PLUR is not something you need to throw around in faces, but it is a lifestyle to strive for, and perhaps more importantly, something to believe can actually be attained, on and off the dance floor.
This is a place for all, for old, young, gay, straight, black, white, “bros”, “sluts”, “mainstreamers”, “bandwagoners”, nerds, jocks, elitists, rich, poor, Christian, (Muslim- added by us), Jew, Atheist … everyone. We should not discriminate just because a guy is wearing a basketball jersey and fist pumping to Tiesto. We should not make fun of someone for pointing at your arm and asking for “a bracelet.” And for the love of the bass gods, can we please stop arguing about the semantics of the word “rave?”
It’s about acceptance. It’s about love. It’s about coming together to enjoy a shared interest in music. It’s about respecting the differences as opposed to bashing them. As much as you may hate the acronym, it IS about the peace, the love, the unity, the respect, the responsibility, and, of course, the music.”
ON MY SOAPBOX NOW! I shall now sing you the song of my people-
We should not have these divisions. Music is the one international language we all can speak. Rhythm is present in every culture and language on the planet. It has always been used socially and culturally to unite and to inspire and to communicate. We are all humans having very isolated, at times, human experience but music serves to connect and unite us and we are reaching a crisis point in culture where it has divided us.
Music should not be about hate, it should not point fingers at the “other”, it should include, it should not be about division, it should not divide, it should not be about walls and boxes and extolling the ugliness humans must strive to overcome.
Music is our thing, it’s literally how we met, fell in love and have married over 5 years ago and started DJ’ing and producing side by side. Trance is neo-classical influenced and has always been humanist and vocal trance focuses on the human experience. We’re seeing it go to shit fast when psytrance, a music based on psychedelic forms of Trance coming from the progenitor Acid House with Goa influences, literally promote and use soundbites that promote war, violence and actually name an enemy based on one of those boxes humanity loves to wrongly sort itself into. Trance has always been a positive genre, even when the lyrics are about heartbreak, we can identify and feel a shared common experience all people can or have shared at some point in their lives. Trance is about our shared human experience and has always been one of the emotional and intimately personal ones.
Psytrance was originally intended to EXPAND CONSCIOUSNESS. The psychoacoustics, the samples chosen, all were carefully chosen to provoke an experience, a shared thought, something to hold onto when the rush came. We produce Trance, we spend days finding the perfect sample to inspire, encourage and to get our message across. When I listening to psytrance tracks today preparing for our Berlin broadcast, a message I’ve heard recently is “Kill a certain religious group that has a minority element opposed to the West”. I’m going to call them Jihadists as they are not Islamic.
Muslims are not terrorists, some monsters who happen to be Muslim are monsters and are doing horrible things to destroy Peace, to crush Love, end Unity and act without any Respect or Responsibility towards humanity. Terrorist acts against civilians literally forces humanity into the ultimate “us vs them” dichotomy. Music should not praise this. Psytrance should not promote murder and acts of war and now it does. Murder kills human consciousness, hate prevents it from growing and expanding and keeps people from becoming self-actualized free human beings. Currently, many Syrians of all religions are fleeing to survive, and are being treated horribly by our own country and are being considered JIhadists simply from nationality. We are basically in an unspoken war, and some countries are already formally declaring war and the bombing has begun.
Psytrance now has created a war anthem, a war anthem equal to any American ethnocentric trashy “Bomb them all and let the God of your choice sort them out” Nashville country-pop songmill could turn out. Take fear, take Western ethnocentrism and exceptionalism, Islam as “other”, and news samples and add an acid bassline and good production value and let’s create the “us vs. them” psytrance call to war. Psytrance can and should be something that leads to exploration, introspective, personal growth, and positive things, even if one of the more aggressive forms of Trance. Aggression comes in flavors. A 140 banger can be and is beautiful, even if it peels the wallpaper as it makes the room throb from the subwoofer. Aggression in music is not bad. That aggressive edge makes us dance harder. Aggression in humanity, especially groups, and nations, is bad. History exists to learn from. Propaganda has always used music as well. Music is political. It always has been.
We are losing our way and our basic humanity as electronic music lovers if we embrace and promote music that divides humanity and promotes negativity and violence. This is not humanism. Here’s the definition – hu·man·ism noun – an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.
Music has always served as an asylum and refuge for those that love it. Trance has always been humanist. It is a life-affirming genre. Syrians refugees, as a whole, are seeking peace, seeking basic human rights, seeking compassion, leaving behind their homes, now ruins, and homeland they’ve lived in for centuries and seeking survival. They are seeking asylum and refuge. They deserve compassion. They require respect and dignity. These people need and are fleeing their homeland seeking PLUR for the greater part. We are not giving it, but we have responsibility as ethical humans to do so. We have to oppose our music and culture being used to direct and focus hate and violence towards any one category or label that a person can have placed upon them. Dance music should not ever be discriminatory. We must be mindful about the message and DJ/Producers are the messengers.
Trance, I love you, but I am disappointed in you, psytrance. There have always been politics in dancing and the politics should not be those of hatred, walls and separation. We need PLUR, not bombing and talking heads and party politics in our music. We once affirmed life. Once we cross that Rubicon, and we already have, we have no right to say we’re decent good people. We will have become what we hated and lost our way as a subculture and community.
If we allow judgement and hatred in our music, we are bigots and assholes. We deserve the shitstorm the media gives us and all the negative press the scene gets. We deserve to be kicked if we’re not lifting up others. We’ve all gotten older but we certainly don’t seem to be getting any wiser as a subculture from listening to our promos today. We’re seeming more like privileged scared racist xenophobes than ever.
In fact, we ought to be ashamed of what we’ll stand for if we allow our music to be judgmental and filled with the politics of dancing that discourage community, human rights and equality. We have a duty to stand up for Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. The world desperately needs it and understanding.
Even if this piece below at the end of this post can be construed as antiwar- it could just as easily be an anthem for war, there is too much ambiguity here and no condemnation of man’s inhumanity toward their fellow man and no intelligent meaningful discourse or commentary on this political and social issue.
We as a culture must be the change we want to see in the world, as trite and empty as that statement has become lately, we have to change and give it meaning again- the change we want- a world where all are free to dance, are welcomed, safe, respected, and are equal.
We are all humans, hate is not a human value we can allow in our societies nor can we remain silent and passive when people are discriminated against even if we are not of that group facing abuse. Silence is tacit approval. Silence is looking other way. Humanity cannot afford another generation’s silence and excuse the willful choice of blissful ignorance.