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Have any of you ever tasted camel milk? Well, I have, while staying in Morocco a long time ago. 

Not aware of what it does to those unaccustomed to drinking it, I had a hefty dose of this beverage while shopping for a Persian rug in Casablanca. Some Swedish girls who were staying at the same hotel as I was recommended it to me, saying it gave you a bit of a buzz. The way they were describing the effects of this exotic drink, it sounded like camel milk was the eighth wonder of the world. Being young and inexperienced in the ways of women, I believed them. What a mistake! Of course, what they failed to mention was that the buzz it gave you ended up with you blowing a load in your pants. As it turned out, to the untrained stomach, camel milk was an extremely powerful laxative. At least in my case, it worked quickly and without warning.

I remember running hysterically down the bazaar: One hand on my buttocks; the other one pushing people away, so I could get back to the small store I had been in a quarter of an hour before – I knew it had a bathroom. Once I reached my destination, I still had to climb two flights of stairs to get to the toilet. I barely made it and was in such a state of panic that I forgot to close the door upon entering. Little did I know that across the hall from the bathroom, the store owner’s family was getting ready to have lunch – easily the most embarrassing moment of my life! Needless to say, to make amends, I bought a rug from that store and paid a full price for it. And I had thought the experience I carry with me from that trip would be me visiting exotic places like Marrakesh and Fes! Having said that there is one memory from my extended stay in those parts that I had all but forgotten until I heard our track of the week, “Hel!instpetersburg,” by DJ Hollowbase a few days ago and that memory includes me taking part in a rather wild rave in Casablanca’s historic district. We’ll return to that experience a bit later.

If you visit DJ Hollowbase’s Spotify profile or any other webpage that includes a short bio of him, you’ll see a description of him as an “old-school DJ” and of course, this is true. It doesn’t take a genius to recognize “Hel!instpetersburg” as an old-school rave, although some could easily label it as EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and that, in my opinion, is only a good thing. As is the case with DJ Hollowbase’s previous releases, this one’s also an instrumental. However, the thing that sets this single apart from quite a few other techno tracks I’ve heard lately is the song’s short but irresistible and gorgeous, classically-inspired instrumental middle section that kicks in roughly two minutes into the tune and folks, the synth hooks that follow aren’t bad either. They work so well in fact that you notice yourself being pulled into the song again and again, unable to turn the bloody thing off and ultimately unable to turn your mind back on as you drift into your own personal rave sans hallucinogens, guided only by DJ Hollowbase’s talent and composition.

Another thing I like about the track is its ending. It sort of fades away as opposed to featuring a fadeout or a big crescendo. Since “Hel!instpetersburg” has a certain apocalyptic charm, it reminds me of how one of my favorite poems, “Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot, ends:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper


And obviously, that’s the way our track of the week ends as well: It withers away. I love it because this type of ending signifies life rather well. Everything that comes to an end, whether it’s a relationship or indeed our bodies and physique, usually comes to an end piecemeal. Very seldom is there a loud bang that alters everything: Mostly, we drift towards and into decisions and changes. Think of divorces and breakups, for example. These are decisions that people come to over time. Before anything is said or done, you know what’s coming, just as you know what’s going to happen when “Hel!instpetersburg” returns to the same theme that begins the track and starts winding down.

And the rave I mentioned? Well, it’s hard to explain and not just because what went down in raves in the late eighties and early nineties is definitely rated R. However, let me try. It was an incredible experience. I was taken into this large cellar of an age-old building downtown Casablanca. Outwardly, the building looked like it was about to collapse but the area that all of us (close to fifty people) were being led to was brand new. It had a bar (where you could get just about anything – liquids and beyond) and the largest dancefloor I had ever seen. I can still remember the smell of sweat fused with a distinctly illegal aroma. People were dancing like crazy, some were grinning from ear-to-ear, some had the whites of their eyes showing, some were pouring drinks on each other, some had clothes on and some didn’t. There was a bold tattooed guy who set the wig he was wearing on fire and spun around the dancefloor like a spinning top, hitting people on the way, throwing the blazing hairpiece into a rusted metal can just before it burned the skin on his head. All in all, it was like a scene from one of the more racy Fellini movies – very exciting for a twenty-year old guy anyway. It was definitely something you don’t see every day.

And me? Well…when I woke up in the morning, draped in the Persian rug I had bought the previous day, wearing a decorative kaftan I had never seen before and one very expensive looking leather shoe that was at least two sizes too small for me, I decided to get allergy tested as soon as I got back to the hotel. Why? Well, the headache, nausea and other discomforting symptoms I was experiencing could only mean one thing: I was allergic to leather.


Track Sponsor Of The Month: Effigy by The Impersonators

“Effigy” describes that moment in all our lives, when we realize that we‘ve grown tired of protecting our ego, that moment when we are done worrying about how we appear to others. Rather than wanting to be cool or important, we want to be happy and discover our true identity. And the best way to achieve this is to kill our ego.


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About the curator - Tommi Tikka

Tommi Tikka - Music to Curator

Tom Tikka is a linguist, poet, professional songwriter, recording artist and a music aficionado. He started playing guitar when he was four and writing songs when he was six. Consequently, he doesn't remember a time when he wasn't playing or writing. It's fair to say, music and lyrics are not just something he loves to engage himself in; to him, they are a way of life.

 

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