Kat Smith
I also wanted to send this thru since there were many of you who couldn't make it to the memorial... Favorite reflections of Jason Lamport aka DANCERBOY I learned a valuable DJing lesson that day: play what you love. Forget about whether it's new enough or different enough. If you just play the latest releases, you're going to sound just like every other DJ. If you play the best of the best from your own collection, you'll be spinning better tunes, and they'll be *yours* -- an expression of your own personal taste and style -- in a way that just spinning the latest releases wouldn't be. -jason hey, we can doof all year 'round here in the nw! you must not have been at eskimo summer: there was much doofness. in fact, i don't think you've *really* doofed until you've doofed in the snow. mmmm... doofing in the snow... -jason Yes! I've been refraining from even mentioning the actual dancing, because I knew once I got started, I'd want to keep writing for pages and pages... but oh well! Dancing in the snow is the greatest! I especially loved dancing on the icy patches: it's like dancing and ice-skating at the same time. I love the way the unevenness and slipperiness of the snow throws your body in all sorts of unexpected directions. It's like a game you're playing with the snow. Or more like dancing with a partner. Really, whenever you're dancing, the ground is your dance partner. But usually, when you're dancing on a level floor, you're the one leading and she's following. Out on the snow, it's totally different. The ground is still your dance partner, but she's leading, and you'd better learn to follow, otherwise she's gonna knock you flat on your ass. I loved it! It was wonderful just giving up control and letting the playful, mischievous Earth take over and lead my feet wherever she wanted them to go. It's scary at first, because she likes to play rough. She rolled me on the ground quite a few times. But she never *dropped* me. (She never does.) I loved how on that uneven, slippery ground, every time I put my foot down, I had no idea which way that step was going to throw me. You can't plan where you want to go. You can't decide ahead of time where your feet are going next. You can only let go and trust that whichever way the snowy ground chooses to throw you, she's going to be there, right underneath you, to catch you again. At one point someone asked me what my "secret" was, how I was able to dance full-out on slippery icy snow. I muttered something about 8 years of modern dance classes -- which was true enough -- but that answer didn't seem satisfying somehow, and later in the night I kept thinking about it: how did my body learn to move the way that it does? I thought about my dance teachers, and my small amount of martial-arts training, and about my years of skiing (which I think gave me a more intuitive understanding of the snow, of that weird mixture of slipperiness and stickiness that snow has, that's not like anything else in the world). But in all that thinking what I kept coming back to was how, when dancing, I'm somehow able just to let go and trust. Later, after the Goddess had been particularly fiesty and rolled me around in the snow for a bit, that same person asked me if my rolling around on the ground were "dance moves" or if I "just fell". I only shrugged, because I had no idea what the hell he was talking about: "You mean there's a difference?" Dancing *is* falling. Every step you take, you're falling and the ground catches you, falling and the ground catches you, over and over and over. How do I keep my balance? By throwing it away! You can't lose your balance if you never have it to begin with. You can't fall down if you're always already falling.(Now if only I could live my life that way, then I'd say I'd discovered the secret to everything. Maybe someday... I learned so much from the snow! I think I learned more in 5 hours of dancing in the snow than I could have learned from a year of dance classes. That's another reason I want this to happen again next year: next time I want to bring my dancer friends up with me -- I mean my technically-trained, modern-dancer friends, the ones I take class with and perform with. Dancing in the snow is way too good to keep just to ourselves and our little group of goa-heads... -jason The best way to describe psy-trance to someone... other than simply *playing* some... depends on whom you're trying to describe it to. To someone familiar with classical music, I might try describing it something like this: "If you took Igor Stravinsky, gave him a drum machine and a whole bunch of vintage analog synths to play with, then fed him huge quantities of psychedelic mushrooms, the resulting mutation would probably bear a striking resemblance to Simon Posford (Hallucinogen, Shpongle, etc.)" Not sure how you'd describe it to aficionados of other non-electronic genres. Suggestions? -jason Finally, I have time to sit down and attempt to describe the indescribable. Revelations of Sound. Now, I have had musical ass-kickings before. I've heard goa that kicked me all over the dance floor and jerked my limbs around like a puppet being controlled by an epileptic tweaker. But I have never, ever before in my life had my ass kicked the way I did at Revelations of Sound. That music grabbed me and would not let go. It got inside me, into my muscles and sinews and bones. I swear I was possessed. The goa demons got inside of me and took over. I wasn't dancing to the music, the music was dancing me. I was literally out of control. Lara and Sean damn-near killed me. I seriously thought that I was going to get carried away from that party on a stretcher. I wondered how I was going to explain to the paramedics that it wasn't a drug overdose, it was a music overdose. I was OD'ing on goa… ...And then the music just laughed at me and said: "Go ahead and *try* to stop dancing. Go ahead. I dare you. You know as well as I do that you *can't* stop. You're going to keep dancing for as long as I tell you to keep dancing -- and that's going to be a LONG time..." and there was evil laughter in my head, and my body just kept on dancing no matter how much I begged it to stop. And by the end of Sean's set -- hell, by the *middle* of Lara's set -- I was begging, believe me. "Make it stop! Oh please, just make it stop!" I was battered and bruised and in pain. My body had been screaming at me for hours that it needed a rest -- food, water, cool air, sleep. I was way past exhaustion. And still the music just kept dancing me mercilessly. I felt like the sacrificial virgin in Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" (who, as part of a barbaric pagan ritual, was forced by the shamans of her tribe to dance herself to death). My ordeal started with Lara. (I missed Shepherd's set, which is probably a good thing: by all accounts, Shepherd's set kicked some serious ass as well, and I barely survived the evening as it was.) Holy fucking shit that woman can spin. I knew the second I got out on the dance floor that I was in for at least a minor ass-kicking. Aminute later and I suspected I was in for a *major* ass-kicking. (Though if I had known ahead of time just how *much* of an ass-kicking, I probably would have run away and hid while I still had the chance.) At one point, about half-way through her set, she let the energy drop for about 10 or 15 seconds. I swear I *ran* out of the room as fast as I could, because I knew that it was probably the last chance I would have to escape for a long, long time. So I escaped to the other room, had some water, peed... but then I wandered too close to the door, and the beats sucked me back out onto the main room, and Lara proceeded to bitch-slap my poor dancerboy ass all over the dance floor some more. One thing that I love, and that still amazes me, is the way that a really good DJ can use other people's music as a vehicle for *self*-expression. I felt that especially in Lara's set. As some of you may know, one of Lara's many other talents is as a ballet dancer. I'm sure that's why, at one point, the goa demons who were controlling my body suddenly decided to put me through a vicious petit allegro. Lara put on this track that was *almost* prog trance -- except with that psychedelic edge that made the fluffiness yummy instead of saccharine -- and suddenly my feet were doing these glissades and jete's and emboite' turns. I was not happy. I wasalready exhausted, and did *not* have the energy for that shit. "Not a petit allegro!" I screamed in my head. "Jesus H. Fucking Christ, I do NOT want to dance a petit allegro right now!" And the music said: "too bad". Finally, her set ended. "Good," I thought. "Maybe now I can take a break, rest, chill out for a bit." Yeah, right. The next DJ was Sean. I remember the first time I heard Sean spin. It was at a great little psytrance event in the back room of a juice bar. I remember my review of his set: "trance like that is better than sex." He's improved since then. At one point, dancing under the parachute, I thought of that review I wrote way back when. "Yes," I thought to myself. "This is better than sex. This is a *lot* better than sex! OH MY GOD this is SO much better than sex!!!" Orgasmic is the only way I can describe his set. I think I literally had a hard-on the entire time. (It was kind of embarrassing, really, given what I was wearing.) I know Lara's a ballet dancer. I think Sean must be a whirling dervish, because during his set the goa demons just kept spinning me round and round and round and round. I got so dizzy I literally fell over a few times. And then the goa demons would roll me around on the floor for a while before flinging me back up onto my feet to go spinning around some more. The goa demons rolled me around on the floor a lot, in fact. I didn't really want to be there -- that floor was *dirty* -- but like I said, I wasn't in control. When the music said: "Get down on your knees, bitch!" I couldn't argue. I just did it... -jason