I have made you a poster for the last ORCHID at Zentralcafé.
Being driven out, driven underground, out of the eyes of the casual visitor, has a bitter taste for a queer night that has celebrated loud and fabulous visibility of all kinds of queers in the very heart of this city for 10 years now.
I am heartbroken to have to give up this room that is so much more than just a venue. It is a challenging, living and breathing social safe space for citizen culture. A space in which you can experiment, a place in which people have each other’s backs, help each other out to make ideas become real.
To push a collective that focusses on giving weird and critical, noisy and silly, wild and feminist, hard-rocking and tender-hearted, urban and marginalised pop culture a platform, like Musikverein im K4 does – ORCHID thanks you! -, well: To push this kind of culture out of the heart of K4 / Künstlerhaus two floors down under ground *is* nothing less but a cultural-political decision. It is a decision against our visibility and against low barrier access to our kind of culture.
In this it is an act of marginalization that is not to be excused by technical pragmatism. It is a decision that I find especially hard to forgive in times when the conservative current and the noisy far right scum have grown louder once more and would love to make us disappear from public space, if not from the face of this planet.
Nevertheless: We will party on, we will be seen and heard! Let’s make our goodbye to the Zentralcafé the loud and fabulous night this special place deserves! Glitter on, babes: This is our last dance. ✨ ?✨?✨✊✨?✨?✨?✨
I’d like to thank everyone involved in another splendid fabulous ORCHID night – I could have played another few hours, felt so good. Thanks to Dennis STORIES/OF/A/STONER for djing with me and to the glorious helpers for decoration, bar and door!
Late, as so often, here’s the artwork:
This time I picked a zombie theme but did not do a Romero and depict the zombies as the opressed. It reached its cynical peak in World War Z, which still echoed in a car ad by Audi that showed worker’s of independent car services as zombies in contrast to the safe large corporate-owned services. After that I don’t want to use this imagery this way round anymore. So for ORCHID I thought, what if we turn the perspective around and look at the cis-/heteronormative parts of society as the slow braindead beasts we have to struggle with every day. Even if it often seems sisyphos work and the rise of the far right right now is scary – we won’t be silent, we won’t hide, we won’t conform to appear straight, and: we will dance. You see, I like constructing my club nights as critical pop art. ^^
As I didn’t have the possibility to make little tamagotchi zombie homophobes – which I would have loooved! – I zombified some of my *favourite* german anti-queer propagandists and made collector cards:
The day after ORCHID I was appropriately binge-watching The Walking Dead while recovering. It’s a series I hate-love. The Michonne and Andrea storyline was great but got far too little room. The scene in which Michonne turns up with the two *slave* zombies on chains and saves Andrea is such a powerful image, and I wish they had made a whole season of those ladies’ adventures on the road. Instead of the Governor’s return. A whole episode dedicated to him? Please! Booooring. As if we needed any more stories about violent white psycho men depicted as troubled suffering souls… and not one, not two, no: three women following him and falling for him… zzzzzzzzz… More Michonne plz.
Anyways: That Gov’s return episode turned me off and I switched over to a recorded livestream of a Yanis Varoufakis talk at a Portuguese university I had bookmarked. I love watching his talks. For his ideas, his way with words and for the passion and charisma with which he delivers his message. In (economic) politics he is like what Michonne is in the battle against zombies, ever the outsider. And like what Guy Picciotto and Fugazi were for me as a woman in Hardcore/Punk back in the Nineties – not perfect, because I’d rather have seen more women on stage, but still helping to take so much of what held us down away. And being sexy, passionate and inclusive while doing so. Varoufakis is making politics a sexy threat again, he is trying to make political discussion everyone’s business again, taking down the expert myth that’s so dangerous for democracy, speaking up for solidarity, basically: trying to drag the European left out of its melancholy. We need more politicial non-politicians standing up to the zombie apocalypse. And it could become my favourite hungover late night pastime to transcribe at least parts of his talks, both to savour and to share them.
“I am tired of talk shows being used not to mediate but to put oil into the fire of public disputes and *fears*.”
Last night then, I experienced a real flash of fear turning my stomach when I saw Björn Höcke (AfD) given a platform to display his far right propaganda on Germany’s most-watched talk show, Jauch. The reach! Knowing how many of his followers out at the screens cheering him. Höcke even pulled out a little german flag as nationalist power gesture, bragging about his deep love for his country. Could only have been more dramatic/ridiculous if he had pulled it from his trouser fly. His speeches at rallies are quite something: Rants about protecting blond german women from refugees and about a 1000 year future of the Reich Germany. Some people have understandably compared his propaganda style to Goebbels. It is dangerous to give someone like him space on tv, especially with the political climate we have right now: Refugee homes burning, gallows for Angela Merkel and Sigmar Gabriel at PEGIDA rallies, a refugee-friendly politician in a coma from a knife-attack just this week-end. It is twice as dangerous if you don’t have a fierece zombie fighter – say, a competent host :eyeroll: – rebutting the nazi propaganda strongly. I am tired of talk shows being used not to mediate but to put oil into the fire of public disputes and *fears*. Höcke, especially in the first half of the show last night, definitely was a new peak in far right propaganda given place on public tv.
“Borders are an absurdity looked at from space”
Let me connect this back to Yanis Varoufakis: I loved how on BBC question time a few weeks ago (3:29min into the clip) he put the UKIP fearmonger into place with his rebuttal of anti-refugee propaganda (my transcription below):
Varoufakis: “Let me remind you, ladies that in general we’re all migrants and we’re all economical migrants. If I believe my anthropologist friends we’re all Africans actually who came to these parts of the world. A long time ago. But the notion that at a time when there are tens of thousands of desperate refugees being washed up at the shores of Greece and Italy, when there are 3.1 million refugees from that particular conflict in Jordan, in Turkey, in Libanon, and that these poor countries have opened their doors to these refugees and they welcomed them, they’ve sheltered them, they feed them, they make sure that they have water to drink – to have this discussion in Cambridge today of wether there’ll be ten- or twenty-thousand people were let in, to have this moral panic because a few wretched souls at the other side of the channel in Calais, this is not putting in good stead this country. This country deserves a lot better.”
Asked if he’d be for open door policy, letting everyone in:
“I have a tendency to say that I think that borders are an absurdity looked at from space. But we should have a robust debate on precisely the mechanics of dealing with this humanitarian crisis. To simply conjure up ridiculously pathetically low numbers – for a start we’re running a risk of running Mrs Merkel into the moral maiden.”
On the distinction between “humanitarian” and “economic” refugees:
“I make the distinction but at the same time I recognize that the distinction is rather blurred in many occasions because starving to death due to lack of economic opportunity…
Gets interrupted by Hartley-Brewer: “They’re not starving to death!”
V: “Well, some people are! With migrants from Africa who migrated to Greece under incredible circumstances because their kids were starving to death I can not easily say that these people are undeserving whereas others have deserved because they were shot at. You may make this distinction but I’m not going to follow you.”
“The problem with austerity is that it’s being used as a narrative in order to conduct a class war.”
And while I’m at it, here’s some more:
On austerity (at 20:45min):
“The problem with austerity is that it’s being used as a narrative in order to conduct a class war. And by that I mean … let me give you a very simple example: In Britain today, when you have the lowest percentage of public spending as a proportion of national income for the last 70 years, to be talking about reducing the state welfare when effectively what you’re doing is that you’re reducing taxes like inheritance tax and at the same time you’re cutting benefits: that’s class war. In the state in which Britain finds itself today.”
On cuts of National Health Service and education (at 56:17min):
“Allow me to look at this issue from the outside, being an outsider. This country has produced precious institutions, the NHS is one, the great universities another. Somewhere along the line you folks lost your nerve and you started questioning your own achievements, and this market fetishism entered realms in which it was never meant to be good at, like for instant the NHS or universities and you started to apply market solutions where they would never work. They resemble more like soviet planning with these market indicators, and trying to quantify the unquantifiable, the result of which of course is a loss of quality, both in the universities and in the hospitals. I think you should go back to the great tradition of public service. And public services provided by means of hierarchical institutions in which good people, dedicated to the task, do good stuff without having constantly to tot down and quantify everything they’re doing with the managers in the end taking a large part of the cut away from the doctors and the nurses.”
BTW: His appearance on BBC Question Time seems to have left quite an impression on some UK youth:
(After seeing one tweet like this popping up I did a Twitter search, that’s the result. ^^)
I plan on making monthly mixes this year. Here’s the first one of 2014, including queer tearjerkers and feminist fist-punchers, rather sophisticated synthpop, not srsly overweight bass / beats, a hint of vaporwave, dirty pre-gentrification techno and fluffy cloud house to help you forget about troubles and help you to dance the pain away …
Angel Haze – Same love
Doshy – Cybergrime industries
Future Brown feat. Tink – Wanna party
Witchney Houston – Body touch
Spazzkid – Weird girl
Preditah – New York
Nguzunguzu – What dance
Visionist – Snakes
Beyoncé – Flawless
Mala – Changes (Distance remix)
Iggy Azalea – Work
The Bug feat. Flowdan – Louder
Tokimonsta – Clean slate (Nightizm remix)
Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball (Meth Dad remix)
Wantigga – Like that
M.I.A. – Warriors
Angel Haze – Same love (skit)
Mapei – Don’t wait
Bot’ox feat. Anna Jean – Blue Steel
Planningtorock – Human drama
Warpaint – Disco-Very
Naum Gabo – Galena
Vessel – Not for design
Marie Dior – Once upon a time at Panorama Bar
Bonobo – First Fires (Maya Jane Coles remix)
Jon Hopkins – Open eye signal
Factory Floor – How you say
Hackman – Blacksnake
E.M.M.A. – Shoot the curl
Mixhell – The way
Ssion – Psy-chic
Beats For Beginners – Kill DJs
If you have been there before you know that “We dance the pain away” also is a kind of motto for ORCHID, my little indiedanceriotpopelectrobass queer club night. The next edition of which is this Friday. Here’s my flyer for this:
“i have a love
i have a love for this world,
a kind of love that will break my heart
a kind of love that reconstructs and remodels the past
that adds a dryness to the dry august grass
that adds the sunshine to the magnifying glass
and makes me fight for something that cant last” J.Lekman
Over the last few months I had once more felt a little party recession mood rising in me. Too much booze&co., too many people who can’t handle booze&co., people coming for elbow & ego rave pits and testosterone house only instead of coming for dancing and socializing… all in all sometimes more stress than fun and I had secretly started to wonder why I was doing this at all. It’s one thing if you only turn up as a dj somewhere else and only have to care about your set but when I also am one of the promoters I want everyone on that night to enjoy themselves. And that includes the people at the door, wardrobe, bar. I don’t want me and them to have to constantly worry about possible problems that come with a rowdy crowd.
ORCHID two weeks ago restored my faith in club nights. I really really loved the friendly and sparkling atmosphere of that night. I bet it was because it was the second ORCHID night in a row at which I got a fluffy unicorn as a gift! 🙂
I also think I’ve never heard so many different people saying ‘thank you for the night’ while actually I was the one who felt thankful. I mean, let’s face it: With music and decoration and flyers you still can only give people some kind of ‘vessel’ when you put up a club night. It is always the crowd who fills it and makes it what it is. And it’s always thrilling to wait which people come out for it and what they make of it. You never really know what will happen. And on that night you worked magic. At some point when I walked around it was as if every single one in the room and in the hallway was beamingly happy but not in a hysteric way, more in a relaxed ‘here I can let go’ way. The prototype of ‘friendly atmosphere’.
I was really happy that Martina and Irene made their fabulous ‘Make your own mask‘ stand and it worked a treat. Usually I don’t really like party photographers but this time I really wish I’d had some more pictures to remember. It was wonderful to have Jörg Freitag over, an old friend who also was part of the musikerein when he used to live here. He also was the first person to try setting up electronic club nights at the K4 at all. I think we worked pretty good together musically..?! The crowded dancefloor and the many smiling faces made us think so. 🙂
What got me in a bit of sweat was that the time pitcher of one of our cd players broke that night and I only had cds with me. Somehow I steered my way through the tunes without emptying the dancefloor anyhow. Anyway? Whatever. At the end of this blog entry I’ll post a brainstorming effort of a tracklist of some of the weirdo pop I played out and I hope I find the time to upload a little ORCHID mix within the next couple of days. And thankyouthankyouthankyou again for this wonderful night.
Last weekend then it was time for IT’S THE BEAT meets SUB:CITY for which we had invited RUSTIE from Glasgow, and 8BITCH played as surprise guest (we asked her at dinner and luckily she had her laptop with her and said yes), with Chris (= Selfintoxicated, YesYes of sub:city) and Benni (= Jazz:Pa of Amplified Attitued, Rock:it) as local djs. That night was a blast too. We had a rather diverse crowd that was wild but not aggressive. Some party nights I remember as one constant flow and blur of things but that night I remember for lots of shiny tiny impressions that made me smile. Seli decorating the room with her never ending supply of bass owl variations. Rustie’s shy&short soundcheck. Robert selling white fruit gum mice he had nabbed from the theatre premiere’s buffet next door. Another great snapshot in my memory was when while 8bitch was playing out some infectious R&B flavoured stuff one of the Lonsdale-cliche-hool hunks sat down on the edge of the stage with an inner sigh of resignation so big that you could almost see it while in front of him some girls were dancing wildly. People chanting in the hallway instead of going home in the morning. The poor little video beamer desperately trying to fight the mighty bass waves with ‘keystone correction’ all night. The sub was a mighty one indeed. On the edge of painful in some moments. Loads of people used our free ear plugs on that night. A few parts of RUSTIE‘s set got so loud that it got distorted but. But. BUT! I loved each and every set of that night but Rustie really killed it. It was the best ADS-style set I’ve heard since I don’t know… Kid 606 with his two chaospads when breakcore was still exciting? RUSTIE‘s a genius in not only picking excellent tracks but in actually composing them into a monster of a set. If you take only a short glance the combination of beats might sound too broken for a dancefloor but everyone who really gave it a listen – (and thank you, Nuremberg, lots of people did on that night) – RUSTIE‘s set relentlessly sucked you in. I really don’t dance often these days but that was such fun and had such mighty beats and silly synths and was anarchic and wild and yet so-well combined (some of us wondered if he Rustie had parents that already had brought him up with some musical background because the set showed a really broad musical horizon.) Made me smile, made me dance, made me go “WTF?!”. Perfect.
And he seemed to enjoy himself too as he played muuuuuch longer than he had intended to. Hours. 🙂
It was all so good that the not-so-nice things of the night didn’t bother me much. Of course there were a few: It was annoying sisyphos-work to try keeping the smoking-ban up. Some idiot started a fire alarm but gladly the guys from the K4 stopped it before the firemen turned up. A few times our door people had to close entry cause it got too crowded and some guys misbehaved a bit when they didn’t get in. Guys with rucksacks on the dancefloor. When we started to clean up after the night the floor was a pure mess of flyers, broken glass and things-you-didn’t-want-to-give-a-closer-look.
Ach, in my eyes this all was more than outweighed by the monster of a party we had. I can’t wait for Otto von Schirach in march cause I expect equally mind-whirling controlled-anarchy-madness music from his set in march.
* _ *
Weakmemorybrainstormingeffort of an ORCHID playlist that makes it seem I played less electronic music than I though I had:
DJ John – Rockin down the house with rum & cocacola
Ali Love – Love Harder (Mighty Mouse mix)
N.A.S.A. – Theirs a party
Atomizer – Je suis lesbien
LCD Soundsystem – Tribulations (Tiga mix)
La Roux + The Kooks – In for the Kooks (Reborn Identity mix)
Le Tigre – Hot topic
Kelis – Acapella
Boys Noize – Jeffer (Modeselektor mix)
The Knife – Heartbeats (Rex The Dog mix)
The Cure – Just like heaven
Feathers – Small rooms
Gils – Lust for life
Colder – To the music (Optimo mix)
RAC/Justice + Freeeze – I.O.U. a pragmatic phantom (eve massacre mix)
Peaches – Mommy complex
Matt & Kim – Daylight
The Faint – The geeks were right (Boys Noize + DIM mix)
Bloody Beetroots + Bloc Party – Bloody party (eve massacre mix)
MGMG + Peaches + Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fuck the kids (eve massacre mix)
Gossip – Love long distance (Riva Starr mix)
Fever Ray – Triangle walks (Tiga mix)
Vitamin C – Last nite
Bloc Party + Pussycat Dolls (Dunproofin mix)
Hurts – Wonderful life
The Golden Filter – Thunderbird (Villa dub mix)
Bloody Beetroots – Theolonius (French Fries mix)
O Children – Dead disco dancer (The Golden Filter mix)
Luscious Jackson – Deep Shag
Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry beret
Hudson Mohawke – Joy fantastic
The Very Best – Warm heart of Africa (Kissy Sell Out mix)
Interpol – Mammoth (Erol Alkan mix)
Le Tigre – Deceptacon
The Thermals – How we know
C.Aarmé – Ti ca tu a
Patrick Wolf – A boy like me
Simon Bookish – Michael (Franz Ferdinand cover)
Jens Lekman – Into eternity
The Smiths – Everyday feels like Sunday