Entangled in a web of bass frequencies, I have isolated my world within an army of techno lovers. All dancing. Everything is blurry, and I am unable to see who is near. The stroboscope starts sending rapid flashes of white light, changing my blurred vision to a black and white filter. All I see are the silhouettes of the dancing people. Between every flash, their posture changes. The stroboscopes took the fluidity of my vision away. The temporal lobe, a part of my brain that oversees my eyes can’t keep up with all the input.
The tempo of the music sets my heart rate, and the DJ is playing all out. My limbs are making repetitive movements, and everyone else seems to dance with me. The music commands us— we’re all subjugated to the same beat and forming a synchronized movement. That’s probably why we feel so connected as we march through the night. An army of lost souls. Drunk or drugged and dancing on delusional melodies, we all march forth purposely.
I close my eyes as the strobes become too intense. With my eyes closed, my brain relaxes momentarily, but my body is unable to withstand the pounding waves. Then, the leading synths evaporate, giving space and time for our bodies to recuperate. The bass slowly fades out.
Collectively, we slow down, except for a couple of people, with beats that still echo in their minds. While the dark sounds are hypnotizing our brains, our bodies keep anticipating the next beat. We feel — but we cannot explain. I open my eyes again. The lights have dimmed along with the music. Both humans and machines seem to take a rest in harmony. I look around and see mostly young people. Some of them laughing, others chatting.
I see a couple kissing next to me. Others are in pure ecstasy with their eyes closed and hands raised in the air. As if they vow themselves to an unknown greater force. The music is slowly gaining momentum and building up.
A moment of silence before the endless kicks start pounding again. This tiny moment makes me realize I’m alone. I can’t see any of my friends and the sense of being surrounded by strangers strikes a spike of anxiety within me. Then, the bass drum starts kicking and the sum of everyone's experience squashes down my momentary feeling of despair. I am dancing with the crowd, laughing together, taking drugs together. With these existential beings, I feel sane, in a hidden basement in the slums of Pyongyang, North Korea.