I want to share an old mix tape that I and two friends (Pontus and Mats) made 20 years ago. The year was 1994 and we had just discovered techno music. So this is my first ever techno mix tape. We called our dj-team for Toxomniac. I don't really remember where we got the name from but we thought it sounded good :-)
Since I'm already digging deep in my past I also would like to share my first techno party experience with you.
I went to my first techno part together with my friend Pontus in the summer of 1993. It was in an old warehouse called "Den Grå Hallen" in Copenhagen. But before I tell you more about it I just want to explain my background and where I come from. I grew up on a farm in the countryside of south Sweden. My father being a farmer and my mother a housewife and a horse race trainer. It was a big farm with lot's of pigs and horses. The closest village was populated with 300 people. It was a very safe and quiet environment with the nature as my playground. I was a very shy and quiet person. I think I had some kind of fear of people and I normally preferred to stay at home where I felt safe. So it was a big thing for me to go to a rave party in a city like Copenhagen… far away from my home on the farm :-) I was of course very curious and wanted see what this techno / rave party was all about.
To get to Copenhagen, Denmark you first had to take the train to Malmö and then cross Öresund sea by ferry. That in itself was quite a journey and took a couple of hours. We took the last ferry at midnight. Finally in Copenhagen we had to walk to the venue because we couldn't afford a taxi. Back then there where no phones with GPS navigation so we where using the map on the back of the flyer.
I remember that I could hear the music long before we reach the venue… we just had to follow the sound to find our way.
Standing there in line outside this big warehouse building with pumping loud techno music coming out of the old windows was a very strong experience for me. It felt like some kind of loud monster inside the building :-)
I was listening to body music and synth music like Front 242 and Skinny Puppy back then, so the pumping techno music reminded me a little bit of that kind of music.
Coming through the entrance I was hit by a very big and loud sound system :-) High sealing and concrete floor. There where already a lot of people dancing. The smoke mashine was working hard and so was the stroboscope lights. I didn't know how to dance to the music and since I was shy I thought the safest thing was to go stand in a corner and observe. The first thing I noticed was that people were not dancing towards each other but they where facing the dj. This was new to me. I really enjoyed the loud sound system… I could feel the bass vibrating in my body.
After some time I took the courage and started dancing. In the beginning it felt kind of weird just standing there by my self dancing/jumping to this hypnotic music. But after a while it felt good and I could relax a bit. I think my biggest fear was that people would laugh at my way of dancing… but no one laughed and it actually felt nice to face the dj instead of some other person.
I couldn't really hear any difference in the music… it all sounded more or less the same.
There where many names on the line-up… and I had no idea how to know who was playing. I remember that one of the names on the list was Dj Hell.
Around 04.00, after a few hours of dancing I was starting to get tired… both mentally and physically… and also kind of bored of the music. I tried to find some place to sit down but there where no chairs or anything. I wanted to go home and sleep. But I couldn't because there where no ferries to take me back to Sweden at this hour.. not until 07.00. What was I going to do? I was exhausted and soo tired and the only thing I could think about was sleeping! I had no other choice than to dance… everybody else was and they didn't look tired!? I pushed myself and started dancing again… it was tough at the beginning but then… suddenly my tiredness disappeared! And the more I dance the more energy I got… I was starting to enjoy this techno music :-) It was almost as if the body was dancing by itself!
As I told you… I was a very shy person back then and I was also very afraid of eye contact.
I had been dancing next to a beautiful girl for some hours… she was totally into the music… and so was I. We where in some sort of trance I guess. We got eye contact… looked at each other and she smiled… Wow… I felt so much joy and happiness by this short contact… and it had nothing to do with flirting or trying to find a partner for the night. It was something else… something magical! And all around me there was these beautiful and happy people dancing… and they where all smiling and enjoying themselves! Wow… all my fear and shyness where melting away and was replaced by a wonderful feeling of joy and happiness :-)
It felt like I was taking part of some sacred and holy ritual… and I believe I was :-)
I had not been drinking any alcohol and I had not taken any substance. It was all coming from myself!
I had never experienced anything like this before… and I was in a trance! Totally hypnotized by the music and the dancing.
So now I was standing here in this old warehouse building and I was definitely on a journey. A journey into myself… and beyond my fears!
I looked up towards the dj and in that moment I knew what I wanted to do in my life… I want to be the one who played the music and created the journey for the dancers.
It was in this moment I decide to become a dj… and it was here Nobody Home was born :-)
I am very thankful for this experience… it really helped me to let go of some of my fears and to connect to other people in a way that I had never done before!
When I was around 10 year of age I bought a record called Max Mix 5. It was a record with a megamix from two italians who was mixing disco and pop music (José Maria Castells & Toni Peret… thank you :-)). I was inspired by them and tried to do the same… I took what I could find and made my own megamix. I used my mothers old ABBA records and mixed it with Skinny Puppy!!! So I guess that this was actually my first ever mix tape :-)
I wanted to create a journey for the listener… a journey that would make the listener go into themselves and get in contact with their fantasy. Where they could travel to places beyond the ordinary life… and mixing ABBA with Skinny Puppy will definitely take you on a journey ;-)
These experiences is still very much alive inside of "me". So today when Nobody Home play as a dj there is this urge inside. An urge that wants to create a ritual and take the listener on a journey. By using the music and the party as a carrier to help go beyond our fears and limitations. Nobody Home believes we can connect to something greater that lies beyond our "ordinary" life and perception… and if we REALLY let go of everything… even letting go of the sense of "I" we might connect to our true self ;-)
I believe that this is the modern society's way of expressing the ritual. The ritual that we human beings have been doing since the beginning of time. Using the ritual to connect to something greater and to heal ourselves. I also believe that the ritual is an important part of humanity.
So don't just see a club night or a festival as just another party.. see it as something sacred and holy… something special that you give to yourself. Something that will bring joy and happiness to you and your friends.
I wish you all an amazing journey… and may all you wishes come true :-)
Love and light,