Growing up in Santa Barbara California, I was exposed to a bunch of counter culture lifestyles. My high school Dos Pueblos, was referred to as the "hippy high" and although many teens try pot, or smoke it occasionally, we had some real stoners at our school, I happened to be one of them, and I also happened to be one of the few "raver" kids at my school. Those days you there were only a handful of kids who identified with the counterculture (skaters, taggers, gangsters, goths, punks) and while the rest of the kids also smoked weed, we were the ones who tried to look beyond the beaches and palm trees, and surfing and high school parties at rich kids houses.
Back then you actually had to research your music/lifestyle through magazines, shows, record stores, word of mouth, and flyers. The internet was still in its infantile stages, and if you wanted to get involved in any scene, you had to actually leave your house.
I got into tagging, skating, hip hop and breakdancing really early, and for me, I guess I was always interested in the breaks and synths in early hip hop. Then in about 96-97 I was introduced to techno,gabber house, and jungle. That pretty much changed my life.
From then on, I was that "raver kid" candy gear, binky and all. Kickwear jeans, GAT, JNCO, if you know those days, you KNOW what im talking about... Plur was a concept older ravers taught younger ravers, people in the scene looked after each other, and the earth. If you and 100 of your friends went to the local mountains with turntables, a generator and records (remember those?) everyone would stay to help clean up, and there were no fights or overdoses. If someone was passing out, or having a bad trip, or too fucked up, it was on you to help out. The idea of everyone working together and helping out, was an idea I have always grown up with. Communal living was imprinted in my dna, I come from hippy stock.
Flash forward 13 or 14 years to present days. The word RAVE has become a bad and ugly word to many. I pretty much swore of massives and large LA raves, after seeing an altercation at Together As One 2001, that lead to a kid getting stabbed over an E pill (he lived). I have always remained a fan of the music, and still went to clubs like RESPECT and other venues hosting djs that I had to see, but I had never really wanted to go to another "massive"
Then in 2008 I had the chance to check out Lightning in a Bottle, in the Santa Barbara hills. I have to say, kinda changed my life again. Plur didnt die, it just grew up, and decided to return to mother nature. Thats where these renagade "tribes" come in, like locally: the do lab, and moontribe, alma, green sector, terrachroma etc. People are still getting together to dance outdoors, share stories, food, and some greens. This summer I had the opportunity to go to LIB, Raindance in Santa Cruz (big ups) Electric Daisy Carnival (never again), and then Burning Man. It was amazing to see where electronic music has gone, and how much love is still in the scene. It was also pretty sad to see, (@ EDC) a kid passing out, eyes rolling back in his head, falling over into a muddy puddle, and nobody helping out. Other kids just looked on and exclaimed "dudeeesss fuckedd up" and kept on walking. Obviously nobody taught these kids about helping your brother up, giving him some water, and finding his friends.
Call me a hippy if you like, but I still fucking hate patulli. I got back to my hippy roots and played around on ancient boulders, with good bass and great people. Sometimes its the simple things that make you give thanks for being alive.
Now on to some pictures:
and some awesome pictures from Swami