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Edition #13
Rio de Janeiro, 2010

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“DKANDLE weaves swirling multi-colored vibrant unearthly soundscapes, blending fuzzy and reverberating Shoegaze textures, mesmerizing Dream Pop meditations, sludgy Grungey tones and moody Post-punk strains, heightened with soul-stirring lyricism and pensive emotive vocalizations”

TAGS: culture, drugs, places, music, electronic music, rave, underground, videos

Raves are banned in England, a measure taken by conservative politicians who believe that by prohibiting the parties, drug use will be reduced (either they are very deluded or this is a cheap excuse...). Unfortunately, Brazil, or at least Rio, is also taking the same path, and this makes me angry.

But of course, I wouldn't miss going to a rave during my visit to England just because of the ban...

There, they call these parties squat-parties. Squats are abandoned houses and apartments in England occupied by people not willing to pay rent - or they pay a lot cheaper when they do. Many of these people living in squats are connected to the psychedelic electronic music culture, which is why they have a reputation for throwing the best parties, as they are completely underground.

The setup for these squat-parties is as follows: they obviously don't make flyers or advertise the party in the media. The party's address is only revealed hours before it happens, through a phone number shared by word of mouth. Fortunately, I know a Brazilian, Rodrigo, who goes to all the squat-parties in London, and he gave me the number. But when I called, I couldn't understand a thing the recording was saying! For example, if the rave were at post 9 on Ipanema Beach, the recording would say something like: "The spot is at 9, take the 175 that stops in front." Imagine a foreigner or even a Portuguese or a Brazilian not from Rio hearing that... They wouldn't understand anything, right? The solution was to call Rodrigo and ask him for the address. He told me it would be at the last metro station on the Jubilee Line and that when I got there, I should call him again for more details. Great! I took the last metro, it was almost midnight, and went straight to Stratford. When I got there, I called him again.

- Hey Rodrigo, I'm here in Stratford.

- No, man, it's not in Stratford, it's in STANMORE!!! You went to the other side of the city!

Holy shit!! I couldn't believe it! Damn, it was already late at night, the metro had closed, and Stanmore was really far from where I was.

- Dude, I'll give up, I'll leave it for another time then.

- No, man, come by bus, you can make it!

I was pissed off and frustrated, but you know what? I decided to go anyway! I went to central London (took an hour), and then took another bus to Stanmore (another two hours). Man, what an ordeal! I got to Stanmore (which is in zone 5) more than three hours later! But it was worth it...

Eight more people came with me on the N-98 line bus who were also going to the rave. When we got to the final bus stop, a van came by and a guy told us to get in, saying they would take us to the party. We got in, and it took another 5 minutes to reach the location. It wasn´t a squat, but a remote club. The surrounding

area was full of trees, with no houses or

businesses nearby. It kind of resembled the

site in Vargem Grande in Rio, where Bunker

Rave used to happen. The difference was

that the dance floors were inside the club

(because of the cold November night, and

also to muffle the sound), except for the

lawn where chill-out music and visual

projections were happening with a grassy area and trees around.

I was surprised; I thought the party would be in a dirty, grunge place, but it wasn't! The decoration was top-notch, with lots of fluorescent colors, themed paintings on fabrics, and everything well organized. The entrance fee was only £5, very cheap. I was also shocked by the number of people; there were over 3,000, by my calculations. I went straight to the nearest dance floor on the first floor, which was small and decorated with oriental rugs, and they were playing electro and tech

house. On the second floor, where the largest dance floor was located, they

were playing psy-trance (the sound was great, but the room was so stuffy, it

was hard to breathe!). In another area, in a more distant warehouse, there was

the hard dance floor, with only techno and hard house. And as I mentioned, in

the outdoor lawn area, there was chill-out music, with several people sitting on

the grass, and some were gathered around a bonfire.

There was also a lounge inside the house where some live PAs were playing

ambient/dub techno, and another room with fanzines and pamphlets against everything you can imagine, with some punks and homeless people, but this room was empty...

Needless to say, most of the people were high, right?... Man, let me tell you something: some people really make a fool of themselves when they take too many pills... Of course, I have nothing against it - I even took one there myself, but I saw a lot of people completely out of it, with their eyes rolled back, hallucinating, it was degrading... A very unaesthetic sight! Those pretty girls jumping and laughing like idiots. Those guys dancing completely awkwardly with restless eyes and locked jaws. No comments...

Seeing these people in that state gave me a bit of a bad trip, besides the fact that I was alone since I couldn't locate Rodrigo. But that was just a minor detail. Overall, it was worth going there; in the end, I enjoyed it more than anything else. The best part was when the sun started to rise, and I was lying on the grass listening to some chill-out music... Amazing! ;-)

Have you ever been to a rave
in the United Kingdom?
Comment below

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