Monthly Archives: January 2013

Frankenräver Takes Off

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After being in the blogosphere for just over a year, Frankenräver will be going on hiatus, which is a fancy way of saying I’m done blogging for a while. I haven’t been doing much raving to be honest, so I’m not exactly living up to that vainglorious title. Admittedly, it’s difficult to do that in Toronto, whose party scene has pretty much gone to the dogs. Relocation is in order! Besides, anyone who’s been a part of that world knows that it’s next to impossible to get anything constructive done long-term. Currently I’m working on a number of creative projects which require my full attention to bring them to fruition. 

That being said, I’ve had a blast blogging about underground culture, and hope to resume at some point in the not too distant future.  From time to time, I will post anything I find of interest, and update you on how my other projects are coming along. I hope that you’ve found the articles interesting, informative and entertaining.  It is my sincerest hope that more folks across the globe will continue to enjoy them. Frankenräver generated traffic from 109 countries last year, and I’m happy to know how global this scene has become.  Thanks to all my fellow bloggers, readers and followers for your support. Special shout-outs to Brian, drugsandotherthings.wordpress.com,  Rosie and thecommunic8r.com for your positive vibes and awesome contributions to keeping dance culture alive.

There comes a time in every raver’s life when you have to prioritize your goals and let go of that lifestyle, so something fuller and richer can blossom in its place.  In my heart, I’ve never stopped raving, and as long as I have life in my body, I will always be engaged with The Movement one way or another. A seed was planted many years ago, and now I’m happy to say that rambunctious tree is bearing fruit!

The 90’s was a very special time for those of us who were there. I’m not discounting the validity of the post 90’s rave experience; however, the energy at that time was completely different. It was truly out of this world. If it’s one thing I wish they’d bring back, it would be those massive sound systems! To this day, many of us carry that Light, that youthful Vibration  forward into every aspect of our lives.  I see it everytime I run into fellow tribe members still resisting the status quo in their own way.  Indeed, there is more to Raving than meets the eye. The Movement has had its ups and downs, but thankfully it’s still here, still evolving. I can’t wait to see what will come exploding out of the Underground next. I hope it will be every bit as dynamic as raving was at its peak – even more so. The world needs more Light, now more than ever.

PLUR,

Frankenräver

😉

Copyright © 2013 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

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BREAKING NEWS

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Dance is an integral part of rave culture. There is no limit to the way people can express themselves, especially when under the influence of Ecstasy. From spasmodic limb floppery to pristine choreography, everyone has something to offer. To that end, breaking has had a major influence on how dance developed within the scene. The first time I went to a rave, I was amazed to see kids popping and locking. And of course, there were a few B-boy brothas keeping it real. Granted, there are differences between breaking and the aforementioned styles. I’m not here to get into semantics or to give anyone a history lesson on technicalities. You can find plenty of sites catering to this. I’m simply here to reflect on how far breaking has come, contrary to popular belief that it would become extinct in its heyday.

Flashback to 1983. Michael Jackson electrifies the world when he moonwalks across the stage at Motown’s 25th Anniversary. I will never forget that moment. I was sitting in front of the TV, mouth open wide thinking, “Wow…what was that?” Jackson had people talking for weeks, wondering how did he manage to glide backwards effortlessly. Hilarious episodes of peeps trying to moonwalk on the sidewalk quickly followed. “Flashdance” (1983) was a massive hit, but not without Crazy Legs executing Alex’s infamous spin at her dance academy audition. “Breakdance fever” (as mainstream media coined it then) had officially swept the nation. Some newscaster actually devoted a segment advising people that breakdancing was not a substitute for eating. Competitions on talent shows were broadcast live, with tutorials on how to do The Windmill and The Worm. Such a tutorial could have helped my cousin avoid banging his balls on the ground. But anyways, “fever” was no exaggeration. Guys with ghettoblasters on one shoulder could be seen strutting around my block. Hell, I even had a scarlet beauty with chrome accents sitting on my dresser.  If you didn’t have a boombox back then, you were square. B-boys would break anytime, anywhere, much to the delight of onlookers.

At that time, breaking was a “guy thing.” I never saw girls participate (except to cheer on from the sidelines) and the general consensus was it was “not proper.” Personally, I was happy to let the boys do all the work. They would get all sweaty and stinky afterwards. Baggy tracksuits, furry Kangols, and Adidas with big laces were all the rage, courtesy of Run DMC. It was such an exciting time. Already, there was talk in mainstream media about “breakdancing” being a fad that would die out soon. I didn’t believe them. Hearing rap and electro going off on somebody’s boombox outside my window everyday as the breakers practiced was something I’d grown accustomed to. There seemed to be no end in sight for this phenomenon.

Screw i.d. It's all-ages up in here. Now where's my gin & tonic?

Screw the frickin i.d. It’s all-ages up in here! Now where’s my gin & tonic?

Flashforward to 1985, Brooklyn, New York. Here I was, visiting the place where it all began. By this time, breaking had begun to die out, but the atmosphere was still electric. It was something you could actually feel in the air. Much like contagion, you could “catch it” just by walking around and watching all the action unfold on street corners and inner city parks. Watching graffiti emblazoned trains with messy tags and bodacious burners rumble by my uncle’s apartment daily was quite an experience. Sometimes I even saw punks riding between cars, their spiked hair and chains visible even from a distance. Black and Puerto Rican kids could be seen breaking and double-dutching.  Although I was too young to hit the  clubs, I soaked up some illicit glee from hanging with older kids. The kind that had boyfriends and whispered about taking “the Pill.” The fashions were mindblowing. The music was evolving too. Rap was beginning to sound more like pop with an RnB flavour. Garage was going mainstream, with Gwen Guthrie’s “Padlock” lighting up the airwaves. Being exposed to all this excitement as a little kid in The Big Apple was a gamechanger. New York was the city of dreams, a place where anything was possible. I returned from my vacation, head turned inside-out. And then, the bubble burst. Just like that, breaking died. The B-boys vanished and ghettoblasters were banished to closet space. No-one even talked about breaking anymore. It was as if it had never existed. I forgot about it and moved on to bigger things, like popping pimples and rocking acid wash jeans. Life was starting to get pretty complicated. Those fun times were like half-forgotten dreams, lost in a dusty corner of yesteryear, never to return.

Flashforward  to Toronto, Canada, 1990’s. Raving rears its noisy, colourful head. Once again, I am caught up in something electric, fresh and exciting. I witness ravers executing classic moves I saw on the streets during my childhood. Girls are breaking and it’s no big deal. The naysayers from yesteryear were wrong. Breaking is NOT a craze, it is an artform, born out of inner city resistance and struggle. It speaks volumes to millions of youth around the world, and will continue to do so for generations. Like everything else, it is cyclical. After all, didn’t acidwash make a comeback like two years ago? Within less than a year, I was ashamed to even wear my jacket, that’s how fierce trends were back in the 80’s. Although some diehards will say capoeira did not influence breaking, there is a definite correlation between the two. Brazilian martial arts evolved from African slaves’ resistance to oppression. African Americans invented breaking. How could there be no relation? It’s in the blood. Give it up to The Motherland for enriching the lives of millions across the globe. Breaking will never die.

R.I.P. FROSTY FREEZE. YOU WERE ONE OF THE GREATEST!

frostyfreeze

Special shoutouts to The Rocksteady Crew whose pioneering efforts helped bring breaking into public awareness.  If you look closely, you will spot Crazy Legs and Frosty Freeze in the video. Enjoy 😉

Copyright © 2013 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

Danny Byrd & Roni Size New Single, Love You Like This

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This just in…today, Danny Byrd of Hospital Records dropped his latest album Grit, featuring a collaboration with beatmeister Roni Size.  Size tweeted the video link for “Love You Like This” and I have to confess I’m loving it! Muppets take over a studio in Bath as Danny and Roni look on in amazement. Yoda quips, “Mmm Danny Byrd, Roni Size, drum and bass masters…I’ve forseen your arrival ahead.” I guarantee Jim Henson would be amused. He’s probably stepping to this track somewhere in the Afterworld. Thanks for making me smile on a Monday guys! 🙂

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

Whatever happened to Tuned In, Mashed Out?

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FRANKIE Ebook Cover front jpg

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that there are people wanting to buy a copy of my e-book, “Tuned In, Mashed Out: Confessions of a Rave Junkie.” I regret to inform you that it is no longer available on Amazon, though if you search diligently, I’m sure you’ll find a pirated copy floating around somewhere out there. Currently I’m in the process of getting it published on paperback, like it deserves to be. I’m pretty excited about that – you should be too! Next time around, “Tuned In, Mashed Out” will be a slicker, juicier beast, a formidable freak machine of ginormous proportions. Finally I’ll be able to afford two heated indoor swimming pools on a tropical island, a menagerie of exotic animals and a full-time handler to feed them. As the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait.” Lord knows I can hardly wait to touch, smell and cradle the bastard baby born from the womb of my fertile imagination and semi-checkered past. Just thought I’d give y’all a heads up where that’s concerned – aight!

Amsterdam Coffee Shop Ban Lifted

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Coffee shop weed menu Source: greenomixblogspot.com

Coffee shop weed menu
Source: greenomix.blogspot.com

I know this is old news to some of you, but trust me, I’ve been eager to post this one for a while. Apparently, good sense has prevailed over bad taste regarding the coffee shop tourist ban. Last year, Amsterdam’s former right-wing government implemented changes effectively restricting non-Dutch nationals from entering coffee shops. Under the new policy, each shop was limited to 2,000 members who would have been required to have a Weed Pass. Having visited Amsterdam and thoroughly enjoyed the coffee shop culture there, naturally I was concerned. To that end, I wrote an article about this last April. These changes were expected to take effect in the rest of the Netherlands come January 1st 2013. Thankfully, the new Dutch government has realized just how devastating these draconian laws would be not only to Amsterdam’s economy, but to the rights and freedoms of its citizens. According to the December 12th 2012 edition of Amsterdam Coffee Shop News:

The mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan confirmed in his letter that a certificate of residence issued by city municipality will not be required to enter the coffee shops in Amsterdam.
The mayor underlined that while one third of six to eight million tourists arriving to Amsterdam each year visits the coffee shops, these visitors do not create any disturbance in the life of the city, while limitations on sale of the cannabis to foreigners might create illegal street trade and be a cause for growth of criminality. At the same time, a strict ban on smoking marijuana in schools and schoolyards has been reaffirmed by the Mayor set to take effect on January 1, 2013.

So refreshing to know there are peeps in power who can see past the ridiculous fear-mongering propaganda the previous government was trying to pass off as legitimate “cause for concern. ”

As for the much reviled Weed Pass:

Coffee shops club ID card abolished
The new Dutch center-left coalition government is clearly more lenient in its policy on coffee shops than the previous center-right coalition. Coffee shops club ID card (Dutch: wietpas) introduced in 2012 in the border provinces of the Netherlands, has been as of November 19, 2012 abolished. There were serious civil rights objections on collecting data who and where is smoking marijuana. The existing cofee shop club members data was destroyed. Now a standard residence certificate issued by the municipality, which is in common use in many bureaucratic situations together with personal ID are enough to purchase the cannabis in the coffee shops in border areas of the country.

As for Amsterdam, we do not expect any restriction imposed coming months on access for tourists visiting the city to its 214 coffee shops.

Let’s just say I’m due for another visit.  Amen to that!

Source: http://www.amsterdam.info/coffee-shop-news/

Copyright © 2013 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

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drugsandotherthings

So for many years- I have been a supporter of MAPS- the multidisciplinary association of psychedelic science.  (http://www.maps.org ) And for many years- it seemed rather pointless- the government simply did not allow research with psychedelics unless your intent was to try and show them as harmful. And for many years I donated anonymously- forgoing my tax break, out of a not so paranoid fear that I would be branded as different, and potentially a criminal or subversive.

But for about a decade now we have seen these tudies moving forward. MAPS had their first big conference a little under two years ago- PSychedelic Science in the 21st century. Dozens and dozens of world class scientists, doctors, and resarchers presenting on their work.

One of the most impressive for me was research out of John Hopkins using Psilocybin to treat end of life anxiety in terminal patients. The stories from…

View original post 424 more words

Ecstasy: Spirituality or Just Getting Bolloxed?

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By the way, Happy 2013 all and sundry! (you know it don’t mean jack).

As G-Fly from “Tuned In, Mashed Out” put it: “Brand New Year, Same Ol’ Bull. Gotta charge ahead anyway, right?”

Perhaps 2013 would bring the Ascension millions of new agers were desperately pining for. Perhaps I’ll be abducted by aliens and subsequently hired to translate intergalactic warnings for numbnut politicians. But anyways, back to the subject. I stumbled across this fab article I’d love to share with you. It’s an e-mail written by Peter Douglas from 1996 titled, “Ecstasy; Spirituality or Just Getting Bolloxed?” Especially brilliant is his “Prayer To The Pill” near the end. Enjoy!

From: Peter_Douglas@intermedia.co.uk (Peter Douglas)
Subject: Ecstasy; Spirituality or Just Getting Bolloxed?
Date: 01 Jun 1996 01:48:56 GMT

Like every other controversial issue, the e debate isn’t black and white. It’s not either “I discovered a new way of being because of MDMA and it made me a beautiful person” or “I got so fuckin trollied I couldn’t talk and then dabbed a gram of whizz and talked everyone’s arse off then drank 5 pints of Guiness so I could get to sleep”. E is used for both purposes, sometimes by the same person at different times. Personally I was appalled when I arrived in the UK to discover that MDMA was used as a dance drug. To me it was anathema to have loud music blasting away while under the influence of a drug that facilitates such straight-up communication, free from the bullshit games that people play in normal conversation. How on earth can you have a real connection with another human being if you have to bellow in someone’s ear to make yourself heard?

Then I discovered that the MDMA induced freedom from ego allows people to dance without self-consciousness, to achieve a Zen state of “ecstasy” where only the moment is experienced and all the baggage that comes with living in this twisted society is left behind. I understood (I think) why it had become the intoxicant of choice for the current dance scene.

I’d love to see some statistics on “crimes against the person” perpetrated by a given population before and after that population starts using MDMA on a fairly widespread basis. Nicholas Saunders has provided some anecdotal evidence for suggesting Ecstasy use has attenuated violence in football fans, and in the Irish Catholic/Protestant conflict. I’ve seen a marked difference in “attitude” between clubs where the dominant drug is alcohol and where Ecstasy is the pervading influence, and in the short-term range it looks to me like MDMA has a far more preferable effect on personal interactions. What I’d be interested to know is whether the empathy and all-round “niceness” people display while e’d up carries over to everyday life, with fewer assaults and general nastiness showing up in the crime stats.

I believe MDMA has a valuable potential to show users a new way of being. Once the brain has discovered that it is possible to be a little more tolerant and, dare I say it, loving without losing face, maybe it’s just a little bit easier to act the same way without being chemically predisposed because those neural pathways have been tracked at least once.

If I was Supreme and Divine Emperor of This Green and Pleasant Land, I’d probably impose some quasi-religious ceremony as a co-requisite of MDMA use, with no apologies to you heathens who deplore the “new age weirdy beardy spiritual crap” that some of us rather like thank you. At certain times in the E-cumenical calendar there would be a Critical Mass, where participants would intone the Prayer of the Pill before necking a known dose of pharmaceutical quality MDMA and losing it bigtime to some wicked stompin repetitive beats.

* Prayer of the Pill * or * The Spirit of Ecstasy * (nothing to do with Rolls Royce 😉

O Spirit of Ecstasy
Make still my troubled mind in the Peace of the Eternal Now
and let the commonly accepted crap fall away.

Release in me the unconditional Love for my fellows
so that I may care for them and see that no harm befalls them,
and share with them the water of life.

Expand my soul as well as my grin,
radiating out to join with those around me
that we might dance as one,
United by our concurrent existence in this spacetime.

Help me to see the beauty and humanity that we all share
That I might Respect all others
Even the bouncers and beer monsters
O miraculous molecular mind morpher.

And when this bright vision of Perfection
  begins to fade
Help me to carry the vibe as I go out into the world, 
surprised and blinking in the light of dawn.

And please, Thou Essence of Plur -
Don't let the bastards grind me down.

Amen, Bom Shankar, Whatever.

plur
pd
– waxing lyrical, or just ear wax – sometimes it’s hard to tell.

Source: http://hyperreal.org/raves/spirit/caring/Spiritual_Ecstasy.html