The Shaman’s Trance

Ken's Nightmare IPart II: The Shaman’s Trance


After making preliminary plans to re-write the internet, a few of us from the Amazing Amazee Booster Party headed into the heart of Zurich to find the Digital Shaman at Kanzlei. We paid the cover charge and moved through the place pack with bodies. The DJ was spinning and we made out way to the front of the dance floor.

Culled into the Shaman’s Trance, secure in his embrace the dance waves encircle the mind. This was the final cap to the night, a long set of music and body movement. The mind moving in and out of step with hard reality, and every part of the brain and body gets tuned in to the music. These places are best to leave at the apex, before the DJ starts the chill-out music and the lights come on. But we had no intention of leaving before the music stopped, and danced until the end. At 04:01 “Give Me Love” started playing, and I knew the night was closing. It’s a sad way to end the shadow games and await the morning sun, the DJ had no initiative and played something easy to end on – A downer. I like to dance out of a place, my emotions intimately connected with the rhythms. The lights turned on and we headed outside.

“Das Music spielt in Mein Kopf!” I yelled back at the bastard who had killed the beats. My fists raised in mock protest. Indeed, the music is always drumming in my head. The Doors gets mixed into Beethoven, and I don’t need an iPod. I just listen to some stuff in the morning, and remix the rest of the day in my head. Then I head out to clubs once in a while get fully engulfed by the energy. The night ended and the morning began on a train back to Winterthur around 5am.

This end wasn’t too different to the next Thursday when I headed out to Zurich to celebrate a birthday. We started at PurPur, a restaurant and nightclub near Stadelhofen. That night started out in a similar fashion. The mind confused, I decided to walk confidently into the night, wait for the beast to take on a fantastic form and then embrace the monsters and creatures which you meet along the way. Strangers are friendly faces in the shadows, and nothing is quite so comfortable as when you face the situation with the right eyes and attitude. The problem is that Zurich was dead that Thursday night. This isn’t Berlin where you can easily stay out all night, every night and walk out of a club into the sunshine. We left PurPur at midnight, and the place was nearly as empty as my apartment, just cleaner, fewer clothes on the floor. But if you try hard enough, even on a dead Thursday in Zurich you’ll find what you were looking for.

We stepped into Amber, right across from the Zurich Hauptbanhof. Amber is an over-priced place, but there was no cover-charge and a DJ was spinning – so the costs all balanced out, plus there was no other option without paying to get inside Hive or Kaufleuten. Amber was loosely filled up with bankers and foreigners (like us). The scene was basically a bunch of highly successful business guys standing around a few women that couldn’t be bought, but pretended like a price was listed next them on the bar. To characterize the ambiance in a single scene, one banker chick with a low-cut breast-popping, almost fully unbuttoned shirt was getting eye fucked by five guys at a time. A few other bank managers half-danced near the bar – trying to look hip and trendy. They stopped moving every five seconds to see if they could catch the eyes of one of the few women in the place – to see if anyone was looking at them. It was a sad and irrelevant scene. Irrelevant because we had come for the beats, and headed directly to the dance floor by the DJ.

For this Amber was perfect. Cool music, slightly deserted, little smoke in the air and room to dance. I easily lost myself in the music and started my interpretive dance moves. The floor was comfortably covered in broken glass, and large chunks got embedded in my Doc Martens, which made sliding around the dance stage effortless. There was a small group of Vikings on the floor as well, two tall guys with blonde hair wear white T-shirts and jeans, and one short female in a black skirt. They were the only other people interested in just enjoying the night and being touched by the music. I channeled Jim Morrison and started doing an Eagle Sun Dance. Arms outstretched in the sky, slowly circling the Earth below, you fall into that sacred trance and feel only the music. The body becomes the receptacle for the soul – and as the DJ turns it to a high-frequency sea of waves, which tunes in perfectly to those of the brain and showers down around your being – the mind-body connection becomes totally complete.

Carpe Noct mon ami…

The Amazing Amazee Booster Party

Amazee_Climber.jpgPart I: The Amazing Amazee Booster Party


We always tend to start with a beginning, and find our way towards an end. Photography is simply a lazy Artistic form of communication. Sit in front of a computer doing Photoshop every night, and you run the risk of living a predictable plotline.

When your mind is locked in a tired day-dream-suspension of animation, where it’s impossible to focus and you imagine that a bed would be your best friend, then it’s time to say “yes.” Time to take an iced bottle of Vodka from the freezer, step into your Docs, and stroll confidently into the night. No other reasonably sane option you see, just have faith and propel yourself “forward”. My destination of the night was the Amazee Booster party at the Technopark in Zurich.

Amazee is a grassroots social networking and project management website. It’s a Swiss Startup and was having a booster party to energize funding and interest into different projects. Since it was a good time to say yes, I decided to attend. I like stepping into a comfortable set of street clothes and heading out when I feel drained by life. Sometimes you recharge the batteries of the body by pushing it further – see what’s in the shadows and alleyways of the night. Try hard enough and you’re sure to find what you were looking for – Cape Noct mon ami. The day is a time to hide and play out the pleasantries of society, the night is the time to take place on the Greek stage and act out all the monologues which embarrass us in the sunshine.

I got to the Amazee party sometime after 8pm. I didn’t actually know anyone, which was one reason I said “Yes” and decided to attend. The only requirement was a bottle of vodka/run/champagne and some booster money. I figured it was a good time to step out of my comfort zone and see how my social skills really are when fumbling with my not-exactly-fluent German. I figured I would go there and push my German language abilities are far as they would go. Parties are the best place to test these things, between the alcohol and noise you really see if you have any actual conversation abilities, or if your German is just a bit better than gibberish, fit only for asking for directions in Berlin or ordering drinks at a bar. Naturally, the Amazee people were as you would expect at an internet startup party, cool and easy to talk with.

Of course, one has to be careful when discussing things like, “internet parties.” When you say, “I attended an internet party in Zurich” everyone thinks something like, “What, you went to a Craig’s List sex party last night?” So you say instead, “I was hanging out with hip Swiss StartUp people at a company party.”

Amazee had recently been contacted by lawyers for, who asserts that the name Amazee is too close to Amazon, and therefore Amazee must change its or face litigation. This is like McDonald’s getting pissed at Burger King for selling french fries. It’s like Apple computer suing iRiver just for making an awesome music player. It makes no sense. Those who ask those in the know, know that Amazee derives it’s name from the word Amazing, which accurately describes the Amazee grassroots web platform. At least Amazee an original idea. Where does come from? The name is taken from a fucking rain forest in South America. is one of the least original names of the DOT.COM boom era, slightly more original than and far less clever than Yahoo. The actions by is nothing but imperialist bullshit and internet strong-arming. However, this internet stand-down is slightly relevant to the night, as there was a white board at the party and people were putting up possible alternative to Amazee. I was slightly intoxicated and a moment of false clarity manifested in my mind. There was a pen, so I went slightly mad coming up with new names:

Zaema, Kadamos, Gadakis, Zukama, Kamkan, Zakahann, SAMO (apologies to Jean-Michel), Freudzeud, Zukama, Adazoo, Edokann, Eomasan, Uberkann, Zanasan.

It’s such a shame I took up engineering instead of marketing and brand management as a career, but that’s why I publish a blog. The party was breaking up around 2am, and a few of us decided it was too early to go home. We headed towards Hive, the logical location if you’re coming from the Technopark and looking for a place to groove, but the beats were uninspiring and we took a cab to Helvetiaplatz and walked into Kanzlei, to seach out the Digital Shaman.

Part II: The Shaman’s Trance