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2. Angus Carlyle- Amortal Kombat/ No UFOs

Round One
In the blue corner Western Bodily Organization: WBO. A male-ordering physiognomic force field that shudders to maximum density in that other WBO, which is its abstract machine, the World Boxing Organization.

Caught in the pull and tug of the WBO's disciplinary tractor beam the male body is dragged through an ultramagnetic origami of serial foldings, bent double in street scuffles, pulled upright again in sweat soaked subterranean gyms, in road running, in amateur bouts until, eventually, buckled under the weights and belts of the prize fights, it emerges: the WBO. Muscles have been dangerously dehydrated then ripped, skin torn and stretched, bones repeatedly broken and reset, organs are lifted and separated. "Bruised, battered and scarred, but hard" a molar organism raises its aching right arm aloft in obedience to the Judgements of God.

    swarm 1
  1. Nick Land-Meltdown
  2. Kodwo Eshun-Motion Capture
  3. R.Mackay/M.Fisher-Pomophobia
  4. Rohit Lekhi-Futureloop/ Black Bedlam
  5. Ccru-Swarmachines
    swarm 2
  1. Steve Metcalf-Killing Time/Strife Kolony/NeoFuturism
  2. Angus Carlyle-Amortal Kombat/No UFOs
  3. Rob Heath & Christina Paouros-Destination 3000 Degrees
  4. David Cole-Post-Cybernetic Judicial War
  5. Iain Hamilton Grant-Burning AutoPoiOedipus
    swarm 3
  1. S.Livingston/L.Parisi/
    A.Greenspan-Amphibious Maidens
  2. Kodwo Eshun-Abducted by Audio (Live)
  3. Steve Goodman-Darkcore
  4. Tom Epps-The Body of Foucault
  5. Switch-Flee Control
    digital hyperstition
  1. Ccru- Barker Speaks
  2. Melanie Newton-Y2Panik
  3. Steve Goodman- Hyper-C: Breaking the Net
  4. Ron Eglash - Recursive Numeric Sequences in Africa
  5. Ron Eglash - Africa in the Origins of the Binary Code
  6. Ccru - Tales from the Cthulhu Club:
    The Vault of Murmurs,
    Leaks from the Miskatonic Bunker-Hotel,
    The Templeton Episode
  7. Ccru - Pandemonium
  8. Ccru - Glossary
A body built around a pulsating command centre- that Joe Louis' called 'heart and mind'- and fortified by metallic musculature of cold-forged character armour. Duel of the Iron Mike and Two-Ton Tony Galento, battling for Golden Gloves. Sporting double-edged adamantium shells that both ruthlessly isolate the male body in its lonely Being- seconds out: you're going "solo like a Tyson bolo"- and rigorously obliterate any stirring Becomings that could engineer a shift onto the plane of intensity that is Deleuze & Guattari's Body Without Organs: the BWO.

For Becoming do occasionally threaten to KO the WBO. But there can be no Boxer Rebellion and any attempt to get on the plane is battered into submission. The heavyweight fighter Lou Nova rearranged his motor systems through chi power-ups, macrobiotic diets and yogic meditation in order to deliver a Cosmic Punch, but he was smashed down to meet Earth's intolerant corpoReality principle by a punishing Joe Louis' right hook. Muhammed Ali's famous shuffle too came close to achieving a drum & bass synchronicity of speed and slowness, to achieving a motion-blurred transversality that would escape the sedimentary carbon plating of the WBO and enter the nomadic silicon planing of the BWO. But the fluid circulation of these effects was cruelly Hoover damned and the incipient flows turned back to Clay. And Ali's attempt at unnatural participation in a becoming-animal were similarly blocked before they could precipitate a take-off of the plane of consistency. Like a butterfly, like a bee. "There is always the danger of finding yourself 'playing the animal'" . Playing Oedipal domesticity. George Foreman: the Mummy; Sonny Liston: the Bear. Playing at imitation and analogy. "Becomings-animal continually run these dangers". You can rope-a-dope as much as you like but the WBO will wear you down, ring you in then ring you out- for the count.

But blocking the plan(e) to the BWO is not the WBO's only danger. Beyond the WBO's disciplinary corpoReality principle, squat a gloating Todestrieb or death drive, obscenely beckoning with promises of neuronal scheering, vascular disruption, the neuropathology of dementia pugilistica and death itself. Boxer Arthur Cravan might have survived a shuddering first-round Jack Johnson southpaw to the jaw, and might have fervently embraced Dada but the Tode still got him, breaking the placid surface of the Caribbean Sea to upend his lonely rowing boat.

Perhaps the primary zone of destruction targeted by WBO offers a clue to its secret. The WBO is a front-organisation for Mind Inc. - a shady outfit run by Rene "Cherry Nose" Descartes operating out of Holland. The WBO butchers its subjects into Cartesian headcases for which the body is just sos much remote-controlled meat to be "bruised, battered and scarred". Max Schmeling, Hitler's "heads up" boxer was exemplary", his body the WBO's pawn trying to check the plane to he BWO.

Round Two

Bruce Lee was also a chess-player but he nearly avoided being checked. For him T'ang-te, Wado-Ryu, Tae Kwon Do, Shaolin Ch'un Fa, Shri-te, Kung Fu, Ju-Jitsu, Karate even Filipino Eskrima and Southern Indian Silambam and Kalaripayit were no different from WBO boxing. All "solidify the fluid", all "arrest the flux" of the BWO, all promote "the blind devotion to the systematic uselessness of routines that lead nowhere". What was required was the "formlessness [to] assume all forms", "no style [to] fit with all styles". What was required was a rhizomatic openness which could turn the sedimentary closures of WBO against itself: "to be like water [to] penetrate and destroy rock". Shimmering in shattered glass, smashing the mirrored cage. Free of traitorous hsing of subjectification and free of treacherous i of signification: "No form, no meaning". No hsing-I, no choking WBO, only the cloaking imperceptibility of formlessness and meaninglessness that announces the BWO. Bruce Lee, like Deleuze's dancer, "already a sleepwalker, who will be taken over by the movement that seems to summon him."(C2: 61)

But Bruce Lee awoke too soon and in resisting the somnambulant intensity of the BWO stumbled back into the WBO and all its dangers. Perhaps it was Hegel bellowing in his ear that awoke him. After hammering out philosophy master papers on The Phenomenology of Spirit and The Science of Logic on his battered type-writer, Lee wiped the sleep of becomings-animal from his eyes. Exit the little dragon and enter instead Lee demanding his students be merely "like a leopard" that they simply "emulate the beauty of a crane of the ferocity of a tiger". "There is always the danger of finding yourself 'playing an animal'". Fully alert now, instead of accelerating the practice of Mushin or "no mind" to escape velocity, he insisted that "the body always follow the mind", that Jeet Kune DO was "an excellent discipline for the mind". The external, dermal discipline of boxing was effortlessly replaced by the internal chi control of JKD. "Disciplinary man produced energy in discrete amounts, while control man undulates, moving among a continuous range of different orbits"(N: 180) The body is your lobster.

The rows of mirrors are now shattered in order to avoid multiplicity, to leave the mindful individual alone with Yip Man at the chessboard, alone with the push ups and the training, alone with a gallery of sepia Oedipuses- the framed fathers, the Sifus, Senseis, Asan: the Masters- alone with his opponent in a game of death. The mortal kombat begins. In a desperate flurry of moves wrenched from the Jeet Kune Do grab bag, Lee attempts to force the WBO back and get on to the plane of the BWO. The special technique of shadow-boxing, nerve-destruction grips drawn from kali, two kicks tot he knees from Southern wing chun, an elbow to the groin from bak hoopai, rabbit punches to the neck, tiger claws raking the face, tossing bombs from tae kwon do to the kidneys. An exhausted kiai and his energy is spent. But JKD now has its own form, its own meaning, its own rigidity.

The fist of fury is intercepted. The mirrors are now broken Pat-Kwa charms. Broken and unable to protect Lee from the forces of the WBO. A taste of blood from his finger tips, the Big Boss WBO beckons. Electric flashes as the physiognomic forcefield fluctuates then focuses its disruptive energy. Lee, like Shang-Chi, the master of kung-fu, tears back the tapestry of tao to reveal death staring back in the mirror of morality and mortality.

Round Three
The year 2002 and the battle's still Wu. But now its amortal kombat, a mindless detrimentalism engineered in the arcade and the dancehall. Intensity achieved not by localising at the origin of an effort that characterises the organism (WBO) but by dissolving into the middle that is the virtual. Virtua fighter materialises on the plane of consistency.

Who dares challenge the mighty Goro? Goro, Prince of Pain and the final guardian of the WBO. Tearing at the joystick, rattling the keys, adrenalised, libidinised, immediating. Becoming-elemental with Sub-Zero's ninja icefield, with Hydro's illogical water, with Thunder God Rayden's crackling lightning, with Wynd and Rayne. Becoming-mineral with demon sorcerer Shang Tsung and kicking like Kano, the Black Dragon's most deadly assassin. Becoming-imperceptible with Reptile and becoming-invulnerable with Scorpion. "Specialise in interstices" and enter the zone, the BWO.

It is not surprising that the plateau of continuous immanence that is drum & bass conjugates with amortal kombat in its dismantling of the organism's strata. Big up your chest, wind up your waist. Limb by limb, the WBO is mashed up; the European corpoReality principle disorganised and detrimentalised. "Here comes the nice and easy tiger style", "Snake Style", "The Crane". Not Ali's shuffle but the hard-step: step, step, step, step, stepper. Keep moving, never stop moving, motionless voyage, designification, desubjectification, detrimentalism: grooveriding. "Breath comes quicker, head nodding with the bass-line that hasn't arrived yet. An imperceptible movement. Neck driven, wind assisted" (J: 100). Body-popping, break-dancing, beyond the Judgements of God and on the BWO.

Choose the sword or choose the ball. Amortal kombat: diagonalise between the WBO's double strata bind of a vertical anti-body that butchers the meat for the mind and a horizontal armouring that folds and forges the body in an origami of disintensification. Amortal kombat: detrimentalist groove-riding.

C2: Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2
N: Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations
J: Two Fingers and James T. Kirk, Junglist
+: Bruce Lee, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do
Michael Jahn, Dragon, various Mortal Kombat Product.



"UFOs are a big part of the dance culture ... UFOs and dance music are connected in a cosmic sense ... To think that we are the only life-form in the universe is ridiculous. I'd say it was encouraging to think there is something out there to guide us through all this shit we're facing." Simon Ghahary, Blue Room Released Records

"All this UFO / abduction stuff is nothing to do with me. I don't go with that. I don't believe that people visit this planet at all. I'm operating on the idea that we are completely on our own. For me that is much darker and more exciting." Nico, No U-Turn Records

Yet aliens are being bought by the mothership load. Frenzied consumption has accelerated the Schwa image to geo-synchronous commodity ubiquity. Here are clothing companies Mishiko Koshino, Pose, Daniel Poole and Liquid Sky competing to turn out the most Grey-related streetwear. The perfect fashionable accompaniment? An Alien Workshop skateboard, complete with appropriate logo. Here, on the newsagent's top-shelf are arranged the relevant reading matter: Encounters, X-Factor, Sightings, UFO and Spirit. Here, too, is mainstream marketing effortlessly exploiting Communion imagery to boost beer, car, mortgage and mobile 'phone sales. And here's Bill Barker - proud owner of the Schwa copyright - accessorising with Alien Invasion Survival Cards, xenon-coated Lost Time Detectors and a neat line in Jungian archetypal analysis. On Schwa's web-site, Barker - his very name semantically redolent with the carny and phonetically resonant with the Überhuckster Colonel Tom - energetically promotes a forthcoming techno compilation.

This last is a shrewd commercial move, for one of the most vibrant markets for aliens has been established among the consumers of techno or, more precisely, of trance. Taking their referential cues from The Orb's prog-house excursion "Blue Room" and Little Green Men's take on the Close Encounters theme, a whole slew of UFOnic sonic product has beamed down. Materialising on Grey-packaged vinyl like the popular three volumes of "Space Techno" and on the output of trance labels Blue Room Released or Organico with its flying saucer logo. Leaving tell-tale carbon burns at venues like Edinburgh's Beam Me Up, Salisbury's UFO Club or London's famous Club Alien. Abducting trance-spotters on dance-floors across Europe, the States and in isolated outposts like Goa. The excellent dance magazine Eternity even has a regular column devoted to UFOlogy. Such is the level of symbolic saturation that Greys are ridiculed in Muzik's 'EBD' cartoon and one Brighton club has adopted a "No lost it trancers ... No Schwa heads" policy.

The appropriation of communion alien imagery is hyped as fast-forward thinking, as an attempt to escape the tractor-beam of present-day Death Star secularism and engage the warped drive of a millennial and extra-planetary future. However, if drum and bass can be conjugated with the anti-gravitational zones of intensity that emerge as Afro-Futurism, then alien trance co-ordinates a dissipative, land-locked territory that must be mapped as Anglo-Retroism. This retroism runs its social software through four primary programmes.

Programme One: the infantilism of loving the alien. This is not a reference to Old Mother Ron Hubbard's nursery rhymes, the bare-cupboard juvenilia of Dianetics and the tales of off-worlders accessible only to Scientology's 'elite' Operating Thetans. "You know about the Logos group?? ... Yes we know the front men and women of this organisation but they are no more that that ... a facade ... the operators are not there" (Burroughs: 23). Nor is the infantilism that is being attributed to parading to Grey a reference to one of America's most successful UFO cults, led as it was by two individuals who took the names Bo and Peep (Balch: 839 et seq.). No, the infantilism refers to a still controversial explanation of close encounters of the third kind (CE-IIIs) in terms of the revivification of peri- and post-natal memories (Lawson 1982, Lawson 1984, Lawson 1994).

The good doctor Alvin H. Lawson empties his pipe noisily against the California State University commemorative ashtray and draws a deep breath, this being a well-rehearsed spiel, one he's used to delivering to hostile audiences. He begins at a rush, the words tumbling over each other as he asserts that while still clinically unsubstantiated, it would seem reasonable to speculate that, from tactile self-exploration, foetuses develop a distinct impression of their body and that, further, this impression, like those during the birth process itself, acquires the status of a memory accessible in later life. Realising that he is proceeding too rapidly, Lawson measures his pace and begins a catalogue of what, with a wink, he describes as "surprising parallels" which, his confidence suggests will leave us in no doubt about the connection between CE-IIIs and infantilism. The dominant creature type reported - familiar to readers of Communion or Betty Andreasson's autobiography or recent trance club flyers - bears remarkable resemblance to the six month old human foetus: diminutive size, frail, disproportionately large head, comparatively large eyes, webbed fingers and toes, pallid skin colour, hairless, arms longer than legs, "und so weiter" curtails the doctor with another of his winks, which are by now beginning to irritate. And then there are the craft themselves, he continues, unfolding a pen and ink drawing from a wallet drawn from his frayed tweed jacket pocket. The traditional UFO is "surprisingly parallel" (again the wink) to the typical arrangement of the umbilical cord dangling from the placenta. As for the tunnels and tubes that recur in abductees' reports of the interior of the alien vessel to such an extent that the hypnotist must distract the subject in order to prevent them devoting all energies to their discussion, well these tunnels are, according to Lawson, simply revivals of memories of the cervix and its dilation. The time-loss which accompanies the experiences of abduction, announces Lawson, with the flamboyant air of a conjurer saving his best trick till last, can be accounted for as a traumatic remembering of the amnesiac effects of the hormone oxytocin which floods the womb as it initiates contractions. Lawson, sensing he has a convert on his hands, turns to the white board in an agitated manner, full of analogies between UFO abductions and Amerindian shamanic trances. As his voice drones on in the background, punctuated by the squeak of his felt-tip, connections begin to coalesce between the nodes of birth memory amnesia; the hypnotic techniques purportedly employed by the Greys on their abductees; the use of relaxed recall sessions by counsellors to unearth repressed memories. Connections between these and the supposedly mesmeric quality of trance music embracing its dancers in its amniotic flows in the wombic embrace of clubs like Return to the Source. "Psychology returns us inevitably to our foetal condition, sleeping gently in the womb" (Toop: 273) But its been one wink too many and we have to turn to the second programmatic retroism installed by alien trance. As we are departing, Lawson manages to squeeze in one final remark: the Birth Memory Hypothesis proposes that revivification is propelled by trauma; not trauma incurred in a CE-III, but the trauma incurred in confronting the spectre of fearful uncertainty. It is this uncertainty which haunts the remaining programmes.

Retro-programme Two - what Marx called "rural idiocy" - is introduced by the evidence that CE-IIIs and UFORs are mostly prevalent in rural areas. Is it accidental that both Bill Barker of Schwa and Whitley Streiber, author of Communion, have made much of their respective deliberate decisions to leave behind the city? "I'm originally from Los Angeles ... I got fed up with living in a huge city and came out to a small town. I like it very much ... lots of desert" (Barker: 2). In parallel, there's more than a whiff of back to nature anti-urbanism in trance's contemporary configuration. Full-moon parties in the desert or on the downs, miles away from the friction assumed to characterise the metropolis. Distant, too, from the neon-lights and sodium glow that, according to an anecdote in Douglas Rushkoff's Cyberia, some trancers believe will disorientate the landing instruments of passing saucers. It is perhaps the Goa of the trance tourist's Orientalist imaginary which most embodies this past-longing pastoralism. The escapist, city shunning return to the country is the logical accompaniment to out-of-it transcendence pursued by a folkist, bass deprived, resolutely 'head' music with its falsetto TB 303 sweeps, designed, according to one of its producers, to "[take] your mind off into a dream" (Rocha: 35). "Evident here is a nostalgia, or a yearning, to float free in a liquid world of non-linear time" (Toop: 272). Such a bucolic nostalgia marks a strong contrast with drum and bass' urbanist futurism. No flight from the city there, but the lines of flight engineered in the anarchitectural remix of the urban shakedown. "At this moment, a guy called Henry Letts bursts into the room, spilling words and ideas. Cyborgs crossing the Westway into Hammersmith ... Council estate kids wired for electronic revolutions ... The need for new fibres ... New networks" (Howe: 46) The city accelerated bio-geographically in the pneumatic precipitation of diagonal intensities that is the seismic shock delivered at high-velocity by in-car stereo systems and cranked up headphones. Not the arid Calfornia desert or some desolate field in Oxfordshire, nor the city as terror incognito of the pastoralist's imagination but the city as concretised jungle infested with potent potentialities.

Rather than being "the ultimate 'Other'" as suggested on Schwa's web-site, it is the determinedly humanoid form attributed to the ETs around which the third programmatic retroism revolves. In the definitional scaling down necessitated by popularisation and commodification of the Greys, some of the pixel sharpness of the original reports may have been blurred, but even in the high-res. versions, the details of leathery skin or the occasional genital ambiguity cannot disguise the rigorously anthromorphous non-perversity in operation. Bubble-headed starchildren as the 'secret' exposed at the end of the galaxy. None of the unsettling inhuman becoming of an acephalous Predator / avatar shimmering in the unceasing motility of a chameleon field, its purposes forever enigmatic; just identification with the human, that dinosaur trapped in the tar-pit of history. And it's not just identity with the human at work in the being-Grey that peaks in trance culture, but identity with its most Jurassic manifestation, the White Male.

"A broad face with white cheeks, a chalk face with eyes cut in for a black hole. Clown head, moon-white mime ... Holy Shroud" (Deleuze and Guattari: 167).The Schwa face, what a horror. "Or take the face: we think faces have to be made, and not all societies have to make faces, but some need to. In what situations does this happen, and why?" (Deleuze: 26) Not only is it Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's contention that attachment to the white wall / black hole system of the face constitutes an additional form of infantilism but, further, that the system itself has operated for two millennia as a racist apparatus of signification and subjection. "If the face is in fact Christ, in other words, your average ordinary White Man, then the first deviances ... are racial ... They must be Christianised, in other words, facialised. European racism" (Deleuze and Guattari: 178). A recent cover of Eternity graphically dramatised this Schwa-Christ holey alliance with Jesus and disciple Greys in robed "communion". As drum and bass's facelessness engineers impersonal and experimental probe-heads, we locate trance's typical visage: face too Grey - the Cali smiley - marked out by ratty beards, UV-sensitive paints and moored down by reterritorialising piercings, arms aloft in cruciform appeal to the heavens. With surreptitious silicon switching threatening to eclipse the carbon-based life-form, and its white male form already occluded in the future's moving shadow, being abducted by the comfortingly humanoid Schwa must appear a path out of the post-human penumbra.

Down this path, scuttling along in the footsteps of the human comes alien trance/infantilism's fourth programmatic retroism, the nostalgia for control, purpose, meaning and destiny. "Oh, is this the way they say the future's meant to feel? Or is it just 20,000 people standing in a field ... And tell me when the spaceship lands, 'cos all this has got to mean something", Cocker wheedles in Sorted for E's and Wiz. Trance's hip gnosis precisely promises "meaning something" in the druidic delivery of transcendence, and the return of meaningful projects and the possibility of control. These eschatological and Acquarian pretensions of trance - currently being prosthetisised as therapeutic technologies by the latest counsellor gurus, joshing their patients with Shamanic dancing's 'primal' healing qualities - sit down easily next to the Schwa mythos and its investment in the bankrupt notion that there can still be plans directed from above. Whether that is the above of the orbiting saucers - piloted by Aliens or Aryans -, or of the 'secret' Area 51, or of deep inside the Cartesian headcase. "Are we ready for global contact with ET's or even ultradimensional beings? Frankly, I can't answer that question. But I can say that there is a process and central to that process is what we choose for ourselves as individuals ... The rest follows naturally" (Coleman: 51). In the nostalgia for control and purpose, another bond in the Schwa-Christ holey alliance is revealed. "The alien messiah serves to resolve these problems, at least imaginatively, to replace despair with hope and purpose, to provide resolution in a world where solution seems impossible ... Meaningless lives find meaning. Old men are granted immortality. A boy gains a friend. A grief-stricken widow is consoled. Nuclear war is avoided ... Underlying the motif of the alien messiah is the mythos of the Christian messiah." (Ruppersberg,: 32 - 34)

Anglo-Retroism programmes regressive trance/infantilism against the sub-bass materialism of Afro-Futurism: rural idiocy against inner city A-Life; the Christianised visage made to Grey against imperceptible facelessness; conspiracies and meaningful plans against the immanent potentialities of dread out of control.

Brand Schwa: you're retro. Trance Europe Express: you've been derailed by snowcrash. No UFOs.

Balch, Robert W. and David Taylor "Seekers and Saucers: The Role of the Cultic Milieu in Joining a UFO Cult" American Behavioural Scientist 20 (6), July / August 1977
Barker, Bill E-mail interview published on the Schwa Abducted news-list Mar 13, 1995 (abducted@
Burroughs, William The Ticket that Exploded (London: Paladin, 1985)
Coleman, Tim "Are 'We' Ready for 'Them'" Eternity 2 (11)
Deleuze, Gilles Negotiations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995)
Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari A Thousand Plateaus (London: Athlone, 1988)
Howe, Rupert "Groovers on Manoeuvres" 22 Muzik March 1997
Lawson, Alvin H. "A Testable Hypothesis for the Origins of Fallacious Abduction Reports: Birth Trauma
Imagery in CE-IIIs" Frontiers of Science May / June 1982
Lawson, Alvin H. "Perinatal Imagery in UFO Abduction Reports" The Journal of Psychiatry 12 (2), Fall 1984
Lawson, Alvin H. "Comment on 'Misidentified Flying Objects? An integrated psychodynamic perspective on near-death experiences and UFO abductions'" Journal of Near Death Studies 12 (4), Summer 1994
Rocha, Camilo "In Order to Trance" 6 Muzik October 1995
Ruppersberg, Hugh "The Alien Messiah" in ed. Annette Kuhn Alien Zone (London: Verso, 1992)
Toop, David Oceans of Sound: Aether Talk, Ambient Sound and Imaginary Worlds (London: Serpent's Tail, 1995)