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Claus Sterneck / Claus in Iceland
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Wolfgang Sterneck
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Psyence Fiction and Monkey Stories:
- World War Three is a Party!
- Red
- Yello
- Blue
- Barrelfull of Monkeys

Rak the Changing Man:


At the midnight beat the Renegade Poundwave soundsystem started layering the tekno vibe. A crew of psyberdadists were swarming over the urban TAZ like spiders running from a fire, dressed in the finest black gorilla skins overlaid with Safari suits, wide lapels and flares, grey, oversized paws and feet - all the better to dance in, I suppose. I’d heard of them before - the ACID RADICALS. Guerilla Ontologists whose dancefloor mantra was "The Love of Art Shall Save the Earth". If those kulture jammers were in on this Reclaim the Streets gig then things were really going to get interesting. "This isn’t just a demonstration," one of the gorillas said, handing me a leaflet with a black, furry paw. "It’s an international conspiracy to liberate the media through acts of guerilla information warfare. Have fun - and don’t forget to smile for the cameras." And with that he was off, cartwheeling across the street and camping it up with the other pleazure terrorists.

"Okay. Run this by me again. Just what the fuck are we doing here about to get our heads busted?"

Krusty smiled and passed the joint. "What we’re practising here is freestyle liberationist anarchist politics, TAZ style. Or if that’s too much for you, think of it this way, mate: World War Three is a party. Elongating bass and heavy combat tekno sounds, Apocalypse Now sampled in on a dark psy-trance warscape," he said, exhaling a thin stream of smoke in the cold night air. "Now c’mon, I dunno about you, but I’m here to dance."

It’s just after midnight , May 1st. M1 Day. The real old skool crowd have bought their kids and even a few wrinklies to the Doof-In, reclaiming the street for the people and their right to party. Says, the nation-states are fighting a hostile takeover from the corporate barons, and the people of the global ghetto are caught in the crossfire. Isn’t it always the way? When the New World Order’s top nations band together as trading partners to push globalization as a means of economic rationalization, putting corporate concerns above those of the people and the planet, well, fuck it, something’s got to give. We’re going to fight for our right to party. Except that these urban blitzkrieg doofs have been building every month and drawing heavy fire from the NATO POLs, ever since Paris. S21. Fuck, I lost some good friends at that one.

And y’know, no matter what anyone said later, I still reckon we could’ve got away with tonight, y’know, if the party hadn’t’ve been next to the McDonalds. The Repetitive Beats Squad are real friendly with the CORPS, yeh, that was our one mistake. Dozens of gherkins stuck to the giant golden arches like birdshit as the crowd cut loose on the concrete dancefloor, a wild energy rippling through. And then I’m lost in the dance, a whirling dervish caught in the MIX as sonic big top sounds break the night and ripping tekno wails drill into my head and I’m riding in sounds that shouldn’t even exist, rupturing into a higher phreakquency> harmonic transmissions downloading. It’s the sound of a nu generation: neo-tek. Music so good it has to be illegal. And up there on the decks they’re transmitting the party in live streaming footage to other renegades all across the globe, power to the people right on:

"We’ve got One Tribe on line in Ottawa." - "Dream Collective in SF." - "Vibe Tribe is still alive in Sydney." - "Equinox is in the House, Tokyo." - "Ja. Spirit Zone, Germany." - "Confirm. Xperiment from Belgrade: We have joined forces for a co-production tekno peace party in simultaneous net-linkage against the war on the people. While our leaderships are engaged in violent reactions, we will be undermining their war by dancing together in peace. We aim to raise global awareness that all tribes can dance together as one."

Which is when the cops came and told us to turn down the music, their style. The NATO POLs were bunched together like insects in their new blueblack riot gear, cybernetic facemasks and aerogel padded armour, thick enough to stop a bazooka at close range and easily able to withstand a few hundred BPMs of pure unadulterated neo-tek. Suddenly they broke ranks and scattered across the concrete terrain in perfect motion to the beat, making way for the real hi-tek crowd control: the RCCVs. You could hear that tank’s droning bass hummmmmmm before it even turned the corner. It was about the size of a mid-range automobile with a matt black polymer coating that absorbed all light. Any kinetic force directed against it slid off like butter in a teflon frypan. And man, could it sing - ultra high vibrational waves rang out and hit us in our tracks. We were caught in a sonic web that rattled down into the bones and emptied your bowels at the same time, guaranteed. The shit was hitting the fan, man, and blood, feces, paradigms and chunks of the ceiling were all going into hyperdrive as it fell. Around us the musik was building to a climax, cutting through the mayhem like flashing dreamlit memories of a night drowned in sound, all the dancers down on the ground, busted...

"I can’t help but feel invigorated with love and venom at the state of the world," Krusty shouted as a blue stormtrooper’s baton appeared out of nowhere and crashed down hard on his head. Blood and shit and shit and blood: the POLs played for keeps. Me? I remember the good old days when all the cops did was steal the keys from your generator. Then a silent NATO POL ground a padded knee into my back and cuffed me, automatic speech software broadcasting my revised MIRANDA-CORP rights in coded pulses over his armour’s DOLBY tm sound speakers. His boots were dark with that new polymer shine and the wickedest monster treads I’d ever seen. They’d be perfect to dance in, I thought.

And then a guy in a gorilla safari suit, covered in shit and piss and blood, looked over at me and smiled. "Great party, or what?" he laughed.


Rak the Changing Man:


"Shee-oot, juz look at that aurora going off, my God, have you ever seen anything so beautiful? It’s energized nitrogen molecules, y’know, hanging down low in the atmosphere and gettin’ bombarded with electrons from the geo-magnetic storms. Stretches it’s red spectral lights away from the poles and right across the whole damn continent, ‘aint seen nuttin' as beautiful as red skies at night, no wonder they thought it was the End of Times." "Is that what happened last time, Red, back when they had History?" "You better believe it, girlie. It’s why the Trybe went underground, juz so’s we could have moments like these without a tee-vee screen between us." Blue liked listening to Red’s stories, the way his voice would lilt and pause and stretch out each letter for extra emphasis. She especially liked the way the lines on his weathered face crinkled out around his eyes and mouth like a spiderweb as he talked, mixing with the tattoos nestled amongst the wiry red hair of his beard and by the hairline of his dredds. Red, the circle-maker of the Trybe, the magick man. As he stood there in the cornfield in his red environmental suit, stripped back at the arms and legs and braving the cold night air, she couldn’t help but stare at the bold tribal markings twisting and twining around his tight, sinewy body. Each tattoo was a magickal sigil shaped from the letters in the name of the outdoor parties he’d helped put on, like a roadmap of his long seasons of doof. Each tattoo mirrored by a crop circle imprinted on fields across Europe, ghost-echoes of free festivals and travelling sound systems blowing in the wind. The Trybe had long ago developed a visual language to advertise their parties and music to those in the know, a sigil-language the old skool corporate fashion makers couldn’t understand, much less appropriate. They never saw or heard them at work, yet in the light of day these strange symbols would spring up in fields like zen mushrooms after a fresh rainfall, marking an undergound party’s passing.

"S’nice, ya. The way it shimmers and moves, like it’s dancing," Blue said, staring up at the sky. She stood there shivering on the perimeter of the cornfield and looked out at the dark forest and fields of wild flowers, mint and hemp all bathed in a blood red light as the wind cut through. The field rose up on the hill from the road and was perfectly placed for viewing from the dancefloor below. Red had dowsed the spot earlier in the day with his old wire coat hangers and confirmed a high bandwith ley line pulsing with good juju running right through. It was important to flatten the circle from the inside out to produce a radial lay and follow the natural energy flow. If it’s facing the right way then the party will rock. If it’s formed against the flow of energy, you can get headaches, naseua, demonic visions, paranoia, bad-trip shit to the max, Red taught her that, along with all the other stuff a young trance gypsy coming of age needed to know.”

"It’s a good omen, but that cold’s a commin’. We’d better get to work, ya," Red said, moving in an angled, loping stride so as not to leave an obvious path to the centre of the field. "Now, lots of people say that crop circles are caused by sunspot activity, or UFOs, and even though that’s a load of bosh it’s not the point. We’re creating a rorsarch pattern for people to read whatever they want into, ya? The circles are Art in it’s purest form, understand? Never define them or you’ll blow the vibe, leave that to the group mind when you’re dancing down there..." Shee-oot. Suddenly Red felt a sadness upon him as he looked at Blue. Her eyes had taken on an indigo glow from the aurora and as she stood there in the cold night air, trying to blow smoke rings with her breath, she looked so much like her mother at that age it hurt..

"This is a special night for you, so I’ll let you in on a secret or two, ya? The stars are alive, see? And they’re communicating to us, ya? Light is information and this red shift is just the Sun’s way of communicating with the Earth, of telling a tale to us monkeys. Look - there, that’s Sirius, ya, the dog-star. It was always your mother’s favourite. Had lots to say about Sirius, she did. Where we came from, where we’re travelling to, she used to say."
"What was she like, at the parties back then?"

His eyes sparkled as he chuckled. "Oh, she was like a fire. A bushfire that knew no bounds, feared no man and lived to burn. She was a Blue, like you, but she was the brightest dancer of her season and men fell in love with her as easy as breathing." He grabbed the stalk-stomper, a two metre plank with a rope attached at each end, forming a loop, staked out a barbeque stick and attatched a length of metallic surveyor’s tape through the loop. It rattled and whooped in the high winds like a banshee in the silence that fell upon them. They began walking around in a radial pattern, forming first the inner circle, then the outer perimeter followed by some connecting lines, silent all the while. When they had finished Blue looked back at what they had created. Inside each circumference the corn lay bent but not broken, its still-growing stalks swept into a matted alien pattern, like a vinyl record with a pendulum hanging from the bottom, or some type of strange organic key on it’s side...

"You’re going to do fine, Blue, don’t be scared," Red said, holding her ice cold hand. "Just trust your instincts out there and you’ll dance up a storm, just like your mother. But remember to look up on the hill and see old Red’s sigil, ya? Promise me."
"I promise."
"Alright then. Better get that Dome set up right quick. Go find yer Yello friend. Go now." She gave him a quick peck on his grizzled cheek and ran off through the fields, leaving him standing on one foot and dragging the other in a 360 degree arc off to the side of the main sigil, forming the ‘grapeshot’ tag, same vanity as graffiti artists in signing their work. Red held a long, curved blade in his left hand and cut seven single stalks for each of the three circles of the formation, carefully rolling them between his worn and blistered thumb and forefinger and stroking them until the stems started to bend at a right angle. Like an origami master he twisted them into crude monkey shapes after the totem of their Trybe then placed them in the ‘grapeshot’ .
"Yep, ‘ain’t nuttin’ finer than a red night sky. Less it’s a Blue dancer," he said to himself, watching her race through the fields and down to the domez below...


Rak the Changing Man:


Blue’s heart pounded in time to the 4/4 beat of the drummers, the power strips on her piezio-electrical Monster Bootz smearing like a streak of sheet lightning along the potholed surface of the hill. The Monster Bootz rechannelled the kinetic NRG of the walker to power the hardware of their environmental suits, adjusting temperature and running water pumps that sent moisture and urine back through micro-filters, making it safe to drink. Up above the night sky was lit up in a fiery red blanket by the aurora borealis lightshow, silhouettes of old style satellite dishes, micro-windmills and antennas hanging off the back of yellow frosted solartek’d cars, buses and vans arranged in a tight circle down by Lake Ozora, deep in the Hungarian ravebelt. Rows of golden teepees and dome tents dotted the landscape, cooking smoke rising up in little tufts from the makeshift village below. To the left a dozen Doozers were busy inflating the giant party Dome, swarming around like a hive of phosphorescent bees as the shelter slowly inflated and mushroomed to life, interlocking plates of aerogel honeycombed across it’s golden geodesic surface. Red had told her that clear aerogel was made on the orbiting space stations in zero gravity; the cheaper stuff was made planetside and took on a coloured tint due to impurities in the casting process . Both kinds were only five times as heavy as air, tuffer than kevlar and as malleable as a gel. Protected in the Domez micro-climate, the Trybe was able to party in any weather conditions, and Gaia knows you needed that kinda protection these dayz, what with global warming and the superstorms and all.

Blue squinted her eyes against the red night but couldn’t see her rave-mate amongst the Doozers lassoing the Dome, muscles rippling across the backs of their latex environmental suits as they hammered in the ground pegs. “Static and crackle,” she cursed, turning towards the fire-circle surrounded by the twisted carcasses of cars lined up like giant metal dominoes, a relic of the Old World industrial complex. The “Carhenge” sculpture was created by another Trybe for a party long ago, then dragged piece by piece from the walled off city-enclaves of Europe to the lake, where the first sun-festival, Solipse, went down. Kids were busy quicksilvering around, dogs barking and darting between their legs, drummers beating out a pulsing coda to the red night sky. As she threaded her way through her brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles in the Trybe, their red, yello and blue skin pigmented to protect them from the sun’s deadly UV rays, she heard her mate’s voice across the circle, addressing the crowd. A group of Reds were sitting in lotus position down on the dusty earth by the bonfire, passing the peace pipe around and watching her Yello intensely, nodding at his words.

“Brothers and sisters of the Sun, every eleven years when the Red Skies come, we return to our birthing place, where the Trybe roosts. And what a long, strange tryp it’s been, ya? In the old dayz it wasn’t like this much, y’know. Maybe only on week-ends. In some places they didn’t even have outdoor parties. I mean, can you believe it, sayz? I was conceived by doof!” he joked, running a hand across his shaved yello head and grinning broadly.

MIX it up, Yello!” she sang out, and everyone laughed, even the Reds. He looked at her and winked, and standing there all strong and handsome like, in that moment she knew he was the one.

“Okay. Listen hard, trybe-mates, to the tale of the Barrelfull of Monkeys. It begins in the primordial times, with Bedlam, with madness and with form. The clan was a large family of musicians and artists, tekmagicians and phreaks who grokked the music and the free party vibe. Then the POLS passed the Criminal Justice Act, this was way back, ya, when they put little laws on things that weren’t theirs to rule. Like putting a law on the sun, or the rain, or the dance. The Criminal Justice Act gave an excuse for the bully-boyz in blue to attack us Gypsies and travellers, our gatherings, even outlawing "musik wholly or predominantly characterised by a succession of repetitive beats". He frowned as he concentrated on the lines the Reds had taught him for the commencement ceremony, thrown off by his beautiful Blue rave-mate flirting at him from across the circle, fire light falling across her face. He smiled and continued: “Which is when the Exodus to the Promised Land began. The Bedlam rig mobilized and left England and began to throw open-air teknivals in Europe, spreading the party vibe. And Bedlam begat Okupe in France, who begat Psychiatrik, who begat Lego in Austria, who begat Pong. And Pong, in Germany, begat Kamikazi, in Holland, and Mononom, and back in old England the Spiral Trybe formed. Some of these crews ventured into the Eastern Blok, until the parties crossed the land, strengthening the Trybal bonds.” Around him the drumming was building into a tattoo, melting into a low bass drone to underscore his speech. “Back then, when they had History, I heard tell of this crew called the Assassins, ya? They founded a network separated by thousands of miles, strategically invulnerable to invasion, connected by the inphomation flow of secret agents, at war with all governments and devoted only to know-ledge. Now we travel Europe like these assassins of old, trading inphomation, putting on parties, living the good life, till the POLS chase us out or we fight ‘em off.

"Last time the Sun flared up in Her cycle She burned out a lot of the Suit’s satellites and power grids, seriously fucked shit up, ya. But She also powers our Yello tek, which has brought us together to party, to give thanks and to dance. So we’re gonna party hard for Her, ya, give it all we’ve got. This is your season. Mix it up!” he shouted, and a cheer went out from the crowd as they rose to their feet and raced towards the party-Dome.

Blue jumped at Yello and wrapped her long legs around his waist, nipped in and brushed her blue lips against his yello skin. “Good Telling, Yello,” she said, raising a finger to the data-bindi on her forehead, indicating she wanted to ‘talk’ to him on their private bandwith. Their ears popped as their i-mode implants phased on with a silent hsss and she kissed him long and hard, minds racing together, melting into the staccoto space between beatz.

(Why do green things reach for the Sun?) she pulsed at him, drowning in the kiss, in the drumming and the red
skies and the smell of his sweat and the colour of his eyes, yello, her Yello.
(Because She nurtures and destroys) Yello pulsed back.
And the Silent Dancing began...


Rak the Changing Man:

It was a kiss that could have gone on forever, if not for the voices in their heads calling them to dance. Blue took a deep breath of cold air, tiny white flecks of snow falling like aerie lights against the red aurora night. She raised her face and opened her mouth, tried to catch the flakes on her tongue before remembering it was acid snow, fallout from the old dayz, back at the end of History. (C’mon, Blue) Yello pulsed on their mental intranet, his thoughts transmitted by the data- bindis on their foreheads. His breath was warm on her skin and the smell of him was so close she wanted to take him there, in the fire-circle, bump ‘n’ grind and beast with two backs, and he knew it. (I want you too, Blue, but it’s time, we can’t put it off any longer) he pulsed across their link, breaking their embrace.

(It’s our party-season Yello and we can do whatever we want) she snapped back, hugging herself against the cold.

(No. Now we have to dance) Yello pulsed.

They all did. Those who didn’t partake had no place in the Trybe. Like her mother, a Blue dancer before her. She’d had her season, danced her dance and then left the Trybe, why, Blue never knew. She couldn’t imagine life outside the Trybe, back in what was left of the world - it scared her, that big unknown. They had all they needed here, the land beneath them and the sky above, and the stars... What if she danced and had her season, then wanted to leave as well? What then? she panicked. Blue looked deep into Yello’s eyes and he into hers, and they both took strength from what they found there.

(You’re not her, Blue. You won’t make the same mistakes. Just listen with your heart, okay? Dance like no one’s watching.)

(Okay) she smiled, and ran her blue hand across his yello face. (And thank, you, Yello)

(For what?)

(Just for being you, ya? For letting me be me)

Switching to HIVE mode they could ‘hear’ the others in their heads, louder now, the Vibe coming together like a digital spiderweb through their network. They lowered their TRYPR Full Spectrum filtered goggles and could see x-rays and gamma ray bursts flashing across the inverted sky, penetrating their bodies in a cosmic wave passing through the earth. Yello took her hand and lead her to the Dome, entering through the side flap. A wave of heat and sweat and tingling expectation coursed over them as they watched their Trybe-mates settling into the groove, infra-red heat patterns radiating from their bodies in coloured blobs. They were Silent Dancing under the Dome, red sky and stars and snow visible through it’s yellow transparent skin. Under their feet, piezio-electric sensors threaded through the pancake thin aerogel floor. They looked like giant, electronic lily pads, lighting up red and yellow and blue and green as they absorbed the stomping, kinetic energy of the dancers and pumped it out to the GNR8Rs for storage on cloudy days, when the solar output was low. Feedback loops, juz like in nature, conserved all energy. A good dance and they could sell some juice back into the GRID, trade it for some new tek or power the Trybe for another month, if the storms kept up.

(Welcome Blue, welcome Yello) the voices pulsed as one, and Blue was sure she could ‘hear’ old Red amongst them, his presence an anchor in the Mix. She scanned the Dome and spotted him grooving near the centre of the dancefloor, shaking his butt, tribal tattoos snaking across his red body, dredds whipping around with a life of their own. (Synaesthesia Neural MyxR loading now...) the voices said, a feather light tickle from their i-mode implants as the partyware kicked in. The Neural MyxR converted light into sound, rewired the sensory input and spliced it together into something danceable. Filtered through their TRYPR goggles, the Trybe hooked up to the x-ray flux oscillation of the stars and converted it into low hertz sound waves. Light became sound became light, from their tops to their toes, a celestial throb channelled through them to the earth and back.

(Blue, can you hear it?)

(Stomach punching bass, blue light rhythm...)

A low, rumbling hum rang out as the stars pumped out sound, mixing with data strands from other parts of the solar spectrum, gamma jazz riffs over a low and funky neutrino bass. Blue could feel it echoing in the hollow of her chest and filling the empty spaces within her, linking her to the rest of the Trybe and to the stars above.

She began to dance.

The leyline Red had dowsed felt like an electric pulse under her feet, connecting them to the other Trybes in the Gaia N’Aton across the planet, all on the same frequency and mixed into the group mind. The dancers dancing and dancing and a hundred monkeys stringing their way across a barrel. Like geese in a flock, all keeping the formation, led by something greater than the parts. She had to remember how to move it, to shake it, to feel the energy snaking up her spine and turn herself on. It wasn’t hard at all, really. Just shut your eyes and dance like there’s no one watching, Red always said. She meditated on her base chakra, then her navel chakra, then brought her focus and energy up to her solar plexus chakra, picturing golden light spilling from her energy centre, hearing it as tinkling notes, a musical fire that pushed out towards the Sun. It formed a solar umbilical cord connecting her with the Sun and through it, the galactic kore, that dark rift at the centre of the Milky Way the Trybe revered as the 'Womb of the Great Mother'. It was pulsing like a whale song, long and low and beautiful as the Trybe tuned in their chakra points and the air resonanted with kundalini sparks. And the universe stopped becoming matter and became light, which became sound, which became dance.

And all was love.

Outside the Dome the snow was coming down hard now, electricity crackling and high winds scouring the ground. From the corner of her eye Blue caught sight of Red’s key-like sigil on the hill. It jolted her and imprinted on the group mind in the dance and relayed out across the stars. And then she was lost in musik, drowning in it, dancing across the floor and wrapped in light and sound, shaking it for Shiva and for Shakti as the Trybe melted together, smearing like an x-ray through the storm. And she knew.

(Music is the key)

Rak the Changing Man



"When a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, the Hundreth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people. But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!" - Ken Keyes Jnr, The Hundreth Monkey

The BARRELFULL of MONKEYS are a global network of ravers and mischief makers, dancers, lovers, activists, artists, DJs, tech fetishists and idealistic dreamers, pleazure Terra-ists and media savvy memetic sculptors surfing the inphomation tsunami filtering through the last wave of kulture before the End of The World As We Know It in 2012, by which time everyone will have got their sh*t together and linked up in HIVE minds for the pure creation and transmission of ART, and we'll have a party to end all parties on Monkey Island, kundalini rainbow beacons shining from the dancefloor.

Barrelfull of Monkeys

Barrelfull of Monkeys - Interview

Thanks to Rak.

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