Sunday, 19 April 2009

Stormy Weather

I have recently being listening to the podcasts of aeolus kephas which inspired to me write up this blog. I have been meaning to chronicle these ideas for while.My love of rain storms and lightening developed as a child , when my parents used to take my brothers and I caravaning on a regular basis.
Years later I paid little attention when some of the first commercial raves I attended were Perception and Raindance , prior to that I been attending the free raves of Spiral Tribe ,Tribal Energy ,Circus Warp ...and its only now I remember that wonderful track by the little known Bristol based psychedelic rock band "The Seers" entitled "Lightning Strikes" or the Lightning seeds classic album
I first began to consider weather condition more seriously when i was going through a period of interest in Techno Shamanism and I had read "Thee Grey Book" by "Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth" and it prompted me to observe weather conditions, along with my dreams, what I want to eat, how to keep fit , who and how I wanted to love... around this time I was also very into DJ'ing and two key records in my collection were white labels by an outfit know as "Satin Storm." In these days of Media spin doctors the expression "whipping up a storm" is well understood ,but on a number of occasions for me it took on an alternative meaning. Perhaps the first was when my flat mate Krissy G invited invited the Pirate radio station "Rush FM" to broadcast from a studio in his bedroom, at first my other flatmate Johnny Jedi and I found this pretty Kool but ,the novelty soon began to wear off as a succession of dj's entered the house at all hours of the day and night leaving their rubbish in the hall and stairs and failing to close the door properly .Polite requests and notices to be considerate falling on deaf ears . While "Rush FM" were were churning out the drum and bass/jungle to the airwaves, J.J. and I retreated to the more underground tekno sounds of plink plonk records downstairs. While J.J. considered the occult significance of the lightning bolts on the plink plonk logo, I had recently received some plink plonk stickers so put one on the front door (which the pirates kept failing to close), imagine our surprise when shortly after i'd done this the radio station antennae was taken out by lightning solving the issue.
Johnny Jedi and myself Steve Skywalker began to go with the flow. i purchased a series of drum and bass records on Moving Shadow entitled "Storms from the East" our DJ names incidentally were inspired in part by another dynamic duo of Storm trooping Dj's "The Jedi Knights" producing tunes on clear records at the time and later on global communications . I had been fortunate enough to hear "the Jedi's DJ's down at "monk on fire" and began to ponder a new meaning to Whipping up a Storm as once again i was caught without a brolly in a downpour as i left.
Not long after, Johnny Jedi and I threw a moving house party which despite carefully planning took an unexpected turn when at the last minute I decided to make a slight change to the dj line up, shifting a certain female dj friend "peelee" to an earlier slot and my friend Horton Jupiter to later slot,Horton didn't take this well and decided to abandon the melodic tekno set he been planning and instead play a hard industrial set (to annoy me ?), but what even he hadn't foreseen , was the violent thunder storm that erupted as he took to the decks which shook clays lane to its very foundations .
I moved on from Clays Lane to Old Steet put dj'ing on the back burner as I studied Kung Fu and TAi Chi while living for a year at the Buddhist Temple of Supreme Hidden Thunder. My Kung Fu teacher was mixing eastern mantras with electronic sounds and got Friends Lovers and Family producer Phil Earl from Law & Auder to help produce the tracks ,we threw some launch parties for the records including a memorable one where my friend Alex Shaolin (deep played a mellow hip hop set on what was a warm summers evening in faringdon, Phil who was next on the roster brought a box of jungle tekno and as he stepped up to the wheels of steel the clouds gathered and within minutes the heaven s opened as thunder and lightening rained down to sound of a master at work. As the last of the razor sharp beats played out and Phil moved on ,as quickly as it had begun the skies cleared and and sun shone.
I love a little synchronicity ,to me its the essence of taoism and as I moved from Kung fu to Capoeira , I began listening and playing more and more live music , i even began to learn a little berimbau "the original single string instrument" and ( lightening conductor ) I will never forget the first public roda I attended in covent garden led by Master Ousado the roda went on for hours with many different London schools present the Capoeira was played in a variety of different styles but built to an acrobatic and competitive climax and the music led /followed the game ,as the light failed and the bodies tired the rhythms reached a final peak and as all good rodas do it ended in unison and the call of the berimbau. the crowd felt silent for and for a split second everyone held their breath ,then their was almighty clap of thunder and the crowds were scattered to the four corners as the lightning struck rain lashed down.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Oranges and Lemons says the bells of St Clemence and the Cult of Tango

At some point in the late eighties early nineties , The makers of Tango advertised Orange Tango with its "you know when you’ve been tango'd" catchphrase this had multiple meanings. One for the kids in the playground who mimic'd its head slapping antics with a craze that according to national newspaper had to be banned.
and another for me and perhaps other members of the exploding "rave scene" For us the "You know when you've been tango’d" catchphrase of Orange Tango had quite a different meaning! For me this alternative meaning was reinforced because my brother and I had been travelling up to London at the weekends for our dose of hardcore rave at the "Orange club"

I remember The Orange and Lemon Tango brands were popular at the raves of the time and the mental connection was strengthened in my mind by the words of the popular the rave anthem by "Liquid" entitled "sweet harmony" with its refrain "bitter sweet bitter sweet harmony" .

I've always resonated Oranges and Lemons due to my mothers maiden name "Clemence" which is my middle name, so the popular nursery rhyme "Oranges and Lemons says the bells of St Clemence." has always held a personal significance for me and even more so since I moved to live within the sound of bow bells.

As time past I had put my "raving days behind me " I had taken up martial arts and was being exposed to the Buddhist /Taoist teachings of my Master

It was around this time my mother who was devout Catholic Christian and involved in the Charismatic renewal movement told me all about the concept of an Easter advertising campaign around the concept of "J.I.M" (Jesus in me) , which might or might not have had some connection to the evangelical Christian movement and the "Holy trinity church" Brompton that was doing the Alpha course in the early days,

The "Jesus in Me" concept seemed harmonious to the Christian Buddhist movement, those Buddhist ‘s/ Christians that see Christ Conciousness as a state of conciousness comparable with the Buddha’s enlightenment or achieving union with the TAO

So when the following Easter in contrast to the "Jesus in Me" commercials the makers of Tango ran the "Cult of yellow tango commercial" my curiosity was peaked again , but I felt like it had special significance .In the commercials everyone in the yellow tango cult wore yellow robes and enjoyed peace and love and were followers of JIM.

This personal relevance was strengthened when i temporarily moved into the Buddhist temple of my Master sleeping on the floor of the "Yellow Dragon Centre" and attending Buddhist ceremonies where we regularly wore yellow robes.

The personal connection seem closer still because around the time the Yellow Tango commercials were aired I had been given a temporary job in a marketing agency that was doing some work for the "Blue Dragon" Chinese food brand and heard a great story (which involved black and white playboy bunnies and the two the guys that were responsible for the Tango campaign ( apparently one was black the other one white) this further resonated the Taoist nature of the philosophy) and seemed to mimic the Black and White Steve dynamic that was playing out at the Yellow Dragon centre.

To this day I seem to be the only person that obsesses about the meaning behind the commercials , years later they flirted with "green" campaign for Apple Tango and a purple campaign for blackcurrant tango and I noticed the other day, some new advertising for Orange Tango with added kick (ginger)

I not sure how much of the above is true and how much imagined but the cult will forever be alive in my dreams.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Black Dogs ,Elephants, Horton, the Moon and the Stars

I have just read The Black Dog Star's blog post entitled "RAW eggs " and was pondering my own resonances with the Black Dogs, Elephants, Horton Jupiter , The moon and the Stars
When I first discovered The Black Dog Star's blog I was reminded of the time I was hypnotised by a stage hypnotist and his "Black Hypno Dog" this coincided with some research on hypnosois as part of my Psychology degree around the same time I was listening to alot of tekno and the group "The Black Dog" were openly discussing occult themes I remember seeing them play live at "Vapoursapce" and was blown away by the Egyptian Black Dog statues on stage. but this wasn't half as freaky as the time a few years later I was given a lift home by my employer at The Brook Street employment agency in Holborn when I was forced to sit in the back of her convertible sports car with two Black Dobermans!
I started resonating the elephant when I went to a private secondary school in Bristol entitled Queen Elizabeths Hospital (QEH) it was commonly referred to as Queer Elephant's House by kids from other schools , prior to this my only resonance with the elephant was the Tarzan TV series and the classic Disney movie Dumbo which was the favourite of my younger brother for a while.
At the age of about twenty three ( a mere psychik youth ) while living at the infamous Clays Lane Housing Coop ,a neighbour and I threw a classic party we co designed the flyer which was a "Sacred Chao" with a Smurf sumperimposed (i was undergoing a Smurf obssesion at the time) and my neighbours input to the flyer design was to suggest we add an elephant to the design which seem to fit with the smurf/earth conscious vibe we wanted to promote. One of the guest dj's at the party was my friend "Horton Jupiter" one of the founding members of the Clays Lane Jedi Chapter (Click here for the full story). Horton now fronts "They came from the stars ...I saw them" those of you fammiliar with "The Stars" tongue in cheek channelling will get the connection with QEH . I had never heard of "Horton the Elephant" until reading Black Dog Star's post, a few years later I left Clays Lane and moved to old street where my Kung Fu teacher had opened a Buddhist Temple it here I was first introduced to Ganesh.
From Kung fu I moved to Capoeira and my Capoeira school "Capoeira Angola Palmares" has the moon and star as its emblem I have always wondered about the symbolism.