Desert Storm Sound System

Desert Storm, Total Resistance, Hekate and Sound Conspiracy were travelling sound systems who took their style and sound all over the world during the 1990s. Absolutely nowhere was off limits. In 1994, Desert Storm travelled through war-torn Bosnia and Sarajevo, taking aid and organising parties along the way. The trip culminated in a street rave on the front line in Tuzla, Sarajevo on New Years’ Eve.

Desert Storm took aid and put on parties in various parts of the former Yugoslavia four years in a row while the war raged on, trying to bring some relief to the people. (...)

"I have been involved with Desert Storm since 1994 when we made our way with a food aid convoy to the almost besieged town of Tuzla in war torn Bosnia. We were meant to make a new year eve party, but after a 9 day trip skirting around the frontline and driving down valley roads at 2am with all our lights off to avoid sniper-fire, we arrived to find our venue had been mortered the day before. It was New Years eve and we had to do something, so we piled all the speakers onto the back of a lorry and set off around the town Pied Piper style.

At one point the cops came up, we started to turn the music down expecting to be arrested, But in probably the only time in the history of Music, the cops said: "Turn the music up...but please turn off the lights....You will get pinpointed and mortered"... so i did as he said... drank some of his Slivovich and watched him as he started dancing alongside the soldiers. They were shooting their AK47's in the air and drinking right next to the 3 old grannys doing their knitting with their heads in a bass bin....Unbelievable but true...and the single most crazy night of my life.

Since that trip we did another 3 excursions into the violent and vicious war zone.. and we entered Sarajevo just one week after the final cease-fire, the 1st artists [with Laibach] to enter the city from outside in 5 years. We quickly found the musical sub culture that had been one of the most important and also dangerous aspect of living under a siege. We set up a gig at "The Obola", a club made infamous for the 300 yard sprint you had to make to get in the door and not get shot by the snipers. Many young people would make their way here during the conflict and stay for days due to the danger outside.

The same could be said for Radio Zid, an underground pirate station that we played on. It was run by a couple of scared lookin 20 something... although they looked about 40. They let us play for about 5 hours and all the time advertised the upcoming gig at Obola. We then took our tekno out into the streets, in the same manner as Tuzla a year previously except there were sniper signs on nearly every corner. I still got a picture somewhere of me Dj'in in the back of the opensided truck cruising up and down Sarajevo main strip with a phat rig and a kevlar helmet. When we actually did the party in Obola, well i dont believe it is possible to witness people dancing any harder! They were frantic, to dance, drink, laugh, cry, hug, each other, but most of all to be free.

It was 1 week after the Dayton Peace accord [December 1995] and after 5 years of siege and inhumane suffering, finally they got the 1st glimpse of a future....and fuck me were they happy about it!

We returned 1 more time to Sarajevo with Spiral Tribe 6 months later. What a journey. I really got to touch the Tekno travelling community and had some of the most enlightening few years, partly to do with what i had seen whilst in Bosnia, but also the combination of music within a nomadic lifestyle."

Bassline Circus

By the end of the 90s, tired of the way the rave scene moved away from the original ethos, members of those sound systems reconverted into the Bassline Circus, a fully legitimate circus organisation.

Vinca Peterson, one of Bassline’s co-founders explains: “we wanted to step out of the rave scene, but not lose the positive side of all those years of partying as a family. We had often talked about circus and how that was a great environment to take our skills further, whilst keeping the family vibe and living on the road as we all loved.”
In the end, it was a chance recollection which set the wheels in motion for the formation of Bassline Circus.

“I had remembered seeing an old circus tent stashed at a big squat in Milan and phoned around to see who owned it,” says Peterson. “It had actually been passed on to someone as part payment for a dept, but they agreed that we could use it if we could resurrect it.”
Peterson had remembered about the tent just in time, since its owner had been about to weigh it in for scrap.

“I have photos of the sad pile of filthy canvas and rusty poles we first loaded onto a truck to take back to our base in Anzio, Italy to work on it,” smiles Peterson.

By this stage, all the members were hooked on the idea of becoming a fully legitimate circus, but they realised that they had to get organised ”“ no easy task after all their years of partying in chaos.
They relocated to the UK and registered as a not-for-profit company in Ocotber 2004.

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Page last modified on Sunday 23 of December, 2007 17:15:21 CET by 1.0.