And out. To Hungary, on Wizz, through endless fields of sunflowers, heads bowed, waiting for the storm, to Debrechen, Campus Festival, past the vanishing point, into the clouds, metal on the main stage, rain in shards, and us, in the Dub Headquarters.
Legowelt, from Holland, my compatriot on this journey, is spinning, or tweaking, or whatever verb you use when someone uses Ableton through Mac and MOTU.
Anyhow, it’s brilliant deep acid house into acid techno, and I’m out the back thinking – how can I follow this? Have another beer and how can I follow this? Have a social vodka shot with the assembled crew and how can I follow this?
So, because the tent is called Dub Headquarters, the only way to begin is with some Lee Perry, which leads into a few reggae classics which leads into a little deep dubstep which somehow gets me to Suicide’s Dream Baby Dream, which seems to fit. And I’m surprising myself now, flying freestyle, C.M.Y.K., Skream, Joy, Synkro, then somehow the Beach Boys CD is in my hand, is in the player, is on the system. God Only Knows how that happened, but it feels good and I’m just going, London style, unselfconscious for once, Christopher, the music lover, the curator, the DJ, having fun in a tent in a field in the rain in Debrechen. Loving it, dancing, and it’s The Harder They Come and Under Mi Sleng Teng, and before I know it, without even blinking, two hours is gone and the set is done, and i loved it like I used to love it, like I do love it, when it’s pure and good and natural, like everything when it’s music and bass and love and happiness, past the vanishing point, into the future.
When I was a child I used to collect stamps. I don’t know why. I was always fascinated by the different pictures and languages. i had dreams about the Hungarian ones. Magyar Posta they said, Hungarian Post. At the time it was something so distant and exotic, so very foreign.
Of course then i could never have dreamed that one day I would be an old bloke with wonky teeth going to Magyar on a jet airline called Wizz of all things, to play music in a tent in the rain at a festival.
Today, walking round Debrechen, killing time, looking for signs, I found this on a wall.
And that of course means something to me, so I kept walking, to see what other signs I could find. This one made me smile.
The past meets the future. I presume it was a man called Hobby who dealt in electronic goods. Now it’s turned into a useful phrase to describe a certain style of electronic music, made on a laptop, by people with real jobs, who don’t have to worry about making money from their creative endeavours. I’m not against it, it’s a fact of life and sometimes it’s very good, it’s just another thing that technology has made possible, like flying here for a day, like playing music on CD on a system in a tent in the rain. Another thing that I do for a living that is now easy to do for free.
Now, of course, the trip to stampland is over. I don’t know what happened to the stamp collection any more than I know what happened to the years between then and now.
So, here I sit, full of Goulash, staring at the rain, waiting for the Wizz. Some things never change.