Youth getting in a right TAZ-zy down under - Robbie Mason on Australian anarchorave Temporary Autonomous Zoneheads aka netlabel ULTRAVIRUS, who mash up breakcore, hard tek, NeuroTrap, memecore, noise, deconstructed club etc and operate on the outskirts of "Sydney’s warehouse and bunker rave scene"
Says ULTRAVIRUS operative Thorsten Hertog: “I was really inspired by early 2000s net labels, which came out of this early utopian idea of the internet being a democratic and commercial-free zone. Obviously we know that that idea of the internet has failed. But people just downloaded and uploaded music in bulk for free. The artworks were super tacky and it was very DIY.”
"Sydney went harder, weirder, faster and grittier in its rave music than perhaps any other Australian city" asserts Mason. (attention Thirdform!)
"In the face of lockout laws (only recently repealed) and severely underfunded creative industries, young Sydneysiders self-mobilised to rescue the city’s nightlife. The punk, rave and experimental art scenes especially have embraced alternative event spaces. Warehouse raves, squat parties and park gigs have sustained Sydney’s culture. The scales and frequency of these illegal events far exceed those in any other Australian city.... These grungy spaces of urban decay — warehouses, abandoned stadiums and empty office blocks — attract a particular type of crowd; one happy to push boundaries on a night out, happy to exchange the comforts of the club for the smoke-clogged claustrophobia of Sydney’s urban ruins and happy to brave mosquito swarms and mud. The extreme nature of these spaces, combined with the logistical nightmare of throwing parties within them, mean that any profit margins are guaranteed to be slim. These parameters lend themselves to left-field bookings and radical music. Unsurprisingly, Sydney DIY rave organisers have consistently platformed faster, harder genres including techno, hard trance, breakcore, drum and bass and gabber within these spaces."....
"Sydney’s hard dance revival is also due to 'our proximity to Newcastle and the Bloody Fist [Records] scene that existed there in the 90s, and the huge breakcore scene that exists in the Blue Mountains. These two cities pioneered these hard dance sounds. That has totally filtered back into Sydney.”
I remember Bloody Fist! In fact unless I'm completely mistaken I interviewed Mr Nasebluten himself by phone. Or was it email? No I think phone - I remember his voice. Bizarrely it would have been for a piece on gabber I did for the British version of Esquire! The unlikely things I have done in my life!They sent me to Arnhem in Holland and to Glasgow for Rezerection. I also trekked down to the most bereft zone of South London I've ever visited - a new-built estate of characterless semidetached houses right next to a Mordor-like chasm of industrial chimneys belching smoke and endless railways sidings and British Rail sheds stretching as far as the eye could see (which wasn't that far given the smoggy grey atmosphere that impended, but still improbably extended. It felt like some kind of rent had been fissured in the landscape). And in that little housing estate is where Loftgroover lived with his family.
But that's an aside - this ULTRAVIRUS is a very long, detailed piece, but well worth a deep dive.
Not what I want to hear myself particularly, these days - Chic and Satie have been the listening this weekend - but I'm heartened somehow that people are doing this kind of thing ie. partying hard for their right to fight, or somesuch formulation.