Psyence Fiction and Monkey Stories:
- World War Three is a Party!
- Barrelfull of Monkeys
Rak the Changing Man:
WORLD WAR THREE IS A PARTY !
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. Id 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 isnt just a demonstration,"
one of the gorillas said, handing me a leaflet with a black, furry
paw. "Its an international conspiracy to liberate the
media through acts of guerilla information warfare. Have fun - and
dont 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 were practising
here is freestyle liberationist anarchist politics, TAZ style. Or
if thats 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
cmon, I dunno about you, but Im here to dance."
Its 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.
Isnt it always the way? When the New World Orders 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, somethings
got to give. Were 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 yknow, no matter what anyone said later, I still reckon
we couldve got away with tonight, yknow, if the party
hadntve 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 Im 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 Im riding in
sounds that shouldnt even exist, rupturing into a higher phreakquency>
harmonic transmissions downloading. Its the sound of a nu
generation: neo-tek. Music so good it has to be illegal. And up
there on the decks theyre transmitting the party in live streaming
footage to other renegades all across the globe, power to the people
"Weve 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 tanks 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
"I cant help but feel invigorated with love and venom
at the state of the world," Krusty shouted as a blue stormtroopers
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 armours
DOLBY tm sound speakers. His boots were dark with that new polymer
shine and the wickedest monster treads Id ever seen. Theyd
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? Its energized nitrogen
molecules, yknow, hanging down low in the atmosphere and gettin
bombarded with electrons from the geo-magnetic storms. Stretches
its 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. Its why the Trybe went
underground, juz sos we could have moments like these without
a tee-vee screen between us." Blue liked listening to Reds
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 couldnt
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 hed
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 couldnt 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
"Snice, ya. The way it shimmers and moves, like its
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 its facing the right
way then the party will rock. If its 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.
"Its a good omen, but that colds a commin.
Wed 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 thats a load
of bosh its not the point. Were creating a rorsarch
pattern for people to read whatever they want into, ya? The circles
are Art in its purest form, understand? Never define them
or youll blow the vibe, leave that to the group mind when
youre 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 Ill let you in
on a secret or two, ya? The stars are alive, see? And theyre
communicating to us, ya? Light is information and this red shift
is just the Suns way of communicating with the Earth, of telling
a tale to us monkeys. Look - there, thats Sirius, ya, the
dog-star. It was always your mothers favourite. Had lots to
say about Sirius, she did. Where we came from, where were
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 surveyors 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
"Youre going to do fine, Blue, dont be scared,"
Red said, holding her ice cold hand. "Just trust your instincts
out there and youll dance up a storm, just like your mother.
But remember to look up on the hill and see old Reds sigil,
ya? Promise me."
"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, aint nuttin finer than a red night
sky. Less its a Blue dancer," he said to himself, watching
her race through the fields and down to the domez below...
Rak the Changing Man:
Blues 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 solartekd 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 its 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 couldnt
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 suns deadly UV rays, she heard her
mates 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 its been, ya? In the
old dayz it wasnt like this much, yknow. Maybe only
on week-ends. In some places they didnt 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
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
werent 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 Suits 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 were
gonna party hard for Her, ya, give it all weve 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,
(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.
(Cmon, 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
its time, we cant put it off any longer) he pulsed across
their link, breaking their embrace.
(Its 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 didnt partake had no place in the
Trybe. Like her mother, a Blue dancer before her. Shed had
her season, danced her dance and then left the Trybe, why, Blue
never knew. She couldnt 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 Yellos eyes and he into hers, and they both took strength
from what they found there.
(Youre not her, Blue. You wont make the same mistakes.
Just listen with your heart, okay? Dance like no ones watching.)
(Okay) she smiled, and ran her blue hand across his yello face.
(And thank, you, Yello)
(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 its 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
(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
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 NAton
across the planet, all on the same frequency and mixed into the
group mind. The dancers dancing and dancing and dancing...like 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
wasnt hard at all, really. Just shut your eyes and dance like
theres 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
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 Reds 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
BARRELFULL OF MONKEYS
"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.