How to be a Raver: The Powers of the Hands
JUngLEkalenderen loves the hands of skillful dj’s and anything made by hand, really. We like vinyls picked by hand at the record shop and mixed by hands on the decks.
Tim Driver looks at the power of his hands at the Distortion Final Party 2007.
I have written hundreds of articles on electronic music, but the ONE article that I keep jumping back to is the article on Son Kite, describing the dark side of digitalization: The loss of our physical connection to the vinyls (and the stressful implications of the endless abundance in the digital realm – you can read it here):
The illusions of the big machinery.
I have also written hundreds of articles on computer games, but I have returned to one indie game in particular several times, writing articles on it in both Berlingske and Weekendavisen: The computer game ‘The Dream Machine’ (a masterpiece), built entirely by hand by two dedicated Swedes. (I will post the article at the end of this, after all the pictures).
More hand power, expressing the soul: I like the powers of the hand so much that I have decided, again and again and again, to paint fractal-like complexities by hand. To show the computers who is boss. This is me and The WipeOut painting after about 20 hours of work.
And then there’s all the hand signsAnyone who has followed JUngLEkalenderen through the seasons (this is the fifth season) will know about its big interest in body language and hand signs.
The first collection about the secret world of hand signs is from the first year of JUngLEkalenderen, 2014:
How to be a Junglist: The Hand Signs Special
This pic is from that collection. Dr. Disk throws a very complicated origami style hand sign at Collins’ and Colston’s birthday bash in Vega, Copenhagen 2007.
The year after, the
How to be a Junglist: The Hand Signs Special part II followed.
This is a pic rom THAT collection: Super sharp shooting at Tim Driver’s birthday party at Basement 2009.
How to be a Junglist: The Hand Signs Special Part III.
Probably my best hand sign pic from that entire year: Magical hand signs by three grown-up wizards at the Dyssen party 2007.
With all this in mind, let’s go deeper, again:
Earlier this year, I met the writer Tine Frellesen at at social event at my yoga studio. We started talking, and it turned out she had just published a book called “Håndkraft”. Obviously a title that I was immediately very excited about.
It’s an entire book about the intelligence of the hands, their creative and healing powers, hand gestures and speaking with your hands, the electromagnetic hands, the hasta mudras of yoga (hand positions to control the flow of energy in the body), what happens in our hands and fingers when we touch things, etc. etc. etc. A great idea for a junglistic Christmas present: https://muusmann-forlag.dk/haandkraft/
So let’s dive back into our beloved world of hand signs, looking at it through this new lens:
This is the author of Håndkraft, Tine Frellesen, in London 1996. A very junglistic year in a junglistic city.
Obviously, because this is JUngLEkalenderen and nothing is random and everything is connected, Tine Frellesen’s brother is Peter Candy from Koxbox (a Danish psychedelic trance duo formed in 1990). Peter left Koxbox in the end of the 90s but toured the world with Frank E before that, playing everywhere from Burning Man to Roskilde Festival (1995).
This is what Koxbox sounded like in 1995. (Koxbox still exists, now with Frank E as the only member).
One of the many things you can read about in Håndkraft is the fact that we have 2000 receptors in EACH fingertip, providing us with tons of sensuous information. So much stuff happens when we touch things. A study from Yale University found out that people holding a warm beverage in their hands felt greater sympathy towards other people in their surroundings than the people holding a cold beverage. Ohoi! has the right idea serving hot glögg at their Julebass parties, then. Here’s Ida, experimenting with her feelings towards other people at a secret outdoor party, 2022.
Another chapter in the Håndkraft book is about speaking with your hands. An expertise area for JUngLEkalenderen.
The book explains that if what we say with our words and what we say with our hands contradict each other, our audience, the people listening to us and looking at us, will believe what our hands say. Because our hand movements are instinctive and comes directly from our ‘unfiltered inner selves’. Here’s Dalge and Thomas, expressing their complex inner selves at Turmbühne, Fusion 2014.
Here’s a very common sign in JUngLEkalenderen, done by Paulina. It’s the sign of victory and the sign of peace. It is ALSO the sign of the smile – in Japan.
The V sign with the back of the hand turned outwards is more of an insult, meaning ‘I will defeat you’, originating from archery in the 1400s. It’s a theory, anyways. Here’s Disguised Chriszka showing both versions of the V sign at once, one in black, one in white.
I have my own theory that in rave culture, this sign means ‘things are going really well’. This is So Verbot, 2022, a party where everything went really really well for many many hours.
Here’s a double peace sign thrown by Atle while Wilcks adds to the positive vibes with a friendly jazz hand gesture. Sulu’s Birthday Bash 2022.
The positive thumbs up sign originates from the gladiator fights at Colosseum, meaning that the audience decide that the gladiator lives. Here’s Fred Alert gaining extra life from the ice bath.
Here’s the positive thumbs up combined with the also very common hand sign in the rave-o-sphere, the sign of the horns. The sign of fierceness and nonconformity.
And here it is again, used by Svingsen at Roskilde Festival 2010.
And here it is again, used by Peter at Byhaven, 2021.
…and here they are again, in a complicated double version at Orientkaj Din Ven I Solen 2022. The hand horn signs are used so often by ravers that I made an entire How to be a Junglist: The Hand Horn SpeciaI collection. But after reading Håndkraft I feel inspired and have decided that I will try to introduce the Hawaiian Shaka sign just for the sake of variation – extending the thumb and the little finger instead. Yes, it’s the ‘I will call you’ sign, but also the Hawaiian sign of friendship, love and a relaxed lifestyle.
For the sake of illustration, here’s a super friendly hand horn from Loke at Elektronisk Karneval 2010.
The sign of the open, weapon-less hand is a universal sign of good intentions and friendliness. Here’s Dalge, showing his friendly intentions on the dance floor at So Verbot.
And here’s another hand of friendliness extended from the crowd at Elektronisk Karneval 2010.
Yes, the rave-o-sphere is filled to the brim with mystical sign language. Here’s a Powerful Team Hand Sign from Phono and Kemi at Elektronisk Karneval.
And here’s a playful provocative little something from Advokatorex at Stella Polaris 2007.
And the rockstar one by Fabio Fusco at Turmbühne at Fusion.
And a secretive one by Elisabeth at the Vibskov show in Den Grå Hal 2008.
Lulu and Jonas signal that they belong to a secret cult – at Elektronisk Karneval 2010.
And this is Svingsen creating an ‘I am very hungry’ sign after the Jeff Mills party in 2006.
Let’s move on to another part of the book. The Mystical Hand! Exploring the healing powers of the hand, the hand as protector and the hasta mudras. Many traditions focus on the energies of the hand and its supernatural and magical aspects. A deeper knowledge of this throws a new light on many pics from all the seasons of JUngLEkalenderen. But here’s a classic that has always been about magic: The spell casting thrown by Mike Sheridan at a pre-party before we all head to the Distortion Final Party 2007.
Here’s Mrtn Rasmsn healing his own heart region with a super powerful Mystical Hand sign at Fusion, 2010.
Here’s Lewis healing Svingsen at the Raw After After Party, August 2007.
And here’s Mariii, simply deciding to pray (the ultimate hand power move!).
Here’s Chriszka and Nufound traveling back in time in front of Chriszka’s piano, creating a hand-played piano sample moment while listening to jungle, thus combining one of their favourite tunes from the 90s with the tradition of the 1800s where the piano became the gathering point for family and friends in private homes.
And just look at the deep happiness of Katja when we gave her an instrument to play by hand for her birthday in 2014.
Creating things by hand and from scratch grant us a deep partnership with the objects in our surroundings. And being active and creative with our hands prevents depression. Yes, these are quotes from Håndkraft.
Just look at these two happy ravers creating a moment with their own hands at Hangaren.
Phew, this collection was hard work and my hands need to fold themselves around a warm cup of something to spoil my 20.000 finger tip receptors. The miracle of the Merkel cells, the Meissner’s corpuscles, the Ruffini endings! (Yes, it’s all in the book. Read, and re-read JUngLEkalenderen with new eyes).
See you tomorrow where things take a very surprising turn, of course.
(Here’s the short extract from my article on The Dream Machine, the hand-built (and also quite psychedelic) indie game (highly recommended)):
“Obviously you can create some really beautiful things with all our digital tools, but they are often completely soul-less with their smooth commercialized vibe. Physical objects, like a wooden spoon made carefully by hand, seems to give you so much more, because someone has spent time and put some love into making it. A commercial doesn’t give you anything, it just wants to squeeze itself into your head and take up space”.
Here’s a link to
The Dream Machine on Steam (the two first chapters).
And here’s a link to
the book Håndkraft.
If you want more psytrance, go to
Trance Tales: The Ozora Adventures (also known as: 10 ways to recognize a psytrancer).
DID YOU MISS A DAY OF JUngLEkalenderen? Go here:
Ravers are the Experts: Slowing Down in Fast Lives December 2nd: How to be a Raver: The Sunglasses Special December 3rd: Blasts from the Past: Birthday Bash Edition December 4th: The 7 best things about being a raver December 5th: How to be a Raver: Flags and Balloons December 6th: Jungle Feelings: Stuff that Glows in the Dark (remix) December 7th: Ravers Are the Experts: Dancefloors Everywhere December 8th: How to be a Raver: The Mad Hatters December 9th: Ravers are the Experts: Party Animals December 10th: How to be a Raver: Food of the Gods December 11th: Jungle Feelings: The Weird Faces Special – Extended Mix December 12th: The Jungle Diaries: the Meaning of Life December 13th: Blasts from the Past: The Babyface Special – Extended Mix December 14th: How to be a Junglist: The T-shirt Special – Extended Remix December 15th: How to be a Raver: Hands in the Air December 16th: Ravers are the Experts: Our Natural Habitats December 17th: How to be a Raver: Nectar of the Gods
Find all seasons of the calendar here: