Machinelf

Updated 2 months ago

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Introduction

Machinelf is me. I created this site.

Articles

Here are a few autobiographical articles:
I Was the One Who Knocked
The Two Vikings
The Things We Do for Love
The Blue-Eyed Devil
Why I Don’t Own a Gun
Music

Biography

1968-1991

Machinelf grew up in Texas. While at the University of Texas in the late 80s he took acid for the first time joined the acid house movement, started the Young Anarchist Front, lived in a clothing-optional cooperative housing, and threw psychedelic music festivals on the campus. After several scrapes with the law, he graduated and moved to New York to work in advertising in 1991, where he worked in advertising for many years.

1990s

In 1995 while rising the corporate ladder selling advertising he became disenchanted with yuppiedom so he began to wear weird clothe s and go to clubs and hang out with club kids. He went to in 1996 and first encountered brain machines and brought 20 glasses back for the first commercial psytrance event in North America, Return to the Source at Liberty Science Center.

0Myth Quote

“A few Burners never return to the mainstream. In New York, I met J., formerly the advertising director of a major business magazine. After he went to Burning Man, he aborted his career and morphed into a mad-eyed avatar of outdoor parties and trance music, living on the bohemian margin of New York — a thin margin these days. He christened himself “Machine Elf,” dressing as a sci-fi warlock with horns and cape at all-night outlaw parties he orchestrated under the city’s bridges.”
Daniel Pinchbeck, “Breaking Open the Head”

Machinelf became obsessed with smart drugs, alternative therapies, psychedelics, and neuroscience. He launched brainmachines.com in ’97, set up brainmachine installations anywhere someone may be tripping in New York – and, for a weekend, London. He attended Burning Man in ’98, which shattered his world. In his rapid acquisition of party gear, he threw the seminal Neurotrancemitter and Serotonin Selector parties in ’99. Serotonin Selector landed him in hot water with Sasha & Digweed d, whose main UK manager was angry that S&D’s NY manager was billed as a D J, so the brainmachines were effectively shut out of Twilo. So whereas before Machinelf saw the psytrancers as somewhat inbred, stale, and unshowered – a sometimes alternative to the monging masses at Twilo – now they seemed the logical family for him.

So Machinelf began a long period of proselytization in favor of psytrance and l and against progressive trance and E. He also began to dabble in K, which he began to inject intramuscularly in 1999. He began to don bizarre outfits built on intricate themes. He appeared on American Journal, MTV, Dutch public TV, BBC, and the Discovery Channel, always as an anonymous talking head discussing psychedelics. A 48 Hours episode was filmed in his apartment. In 1999 he first smoked DMT, which changed his life, affirming his decision to spend his life spreading the psychedelic virus throughout the U.S. He renamed himself Machinelf, after the hyperdimensional self-transforming machine elves described by Terence McKenna regarding his visions while smoking DMT.

Here I am saying “Ruthless dance music upon an unsuspecting world,” sampled on British psytrance artist Eskimo’s “Can You Pick Me Up”

2000s

MTV’s True Life: I’m on Ecstasy, 2000

In 2000 Machinelf co-funded the Devotional Ministry of Trance, a religion devoted to the core belief that spiritual enlightenment can come from dancing to trance music. With the new alchemy of cutting edge sound technology and ultrapotent psychedelics, Machinelf and the DMT organized about 20 outdoor events over the next two years. He also did many events in and around strange places in New York; for example, he threw the last party at the legendary Psychedelic Circus in the east village, right before it was to be turned into condos. In 2001 fresh from being laid off at the Economist newspaper and living with Deeper in Zen, Machinelf continued his experiment in Fight Club style living (before the movie came out) squatted in Tribeca and threw a lot of parties, but the police raided on June 13 and confiscated $15,0 00 in electronics, nootropics, and lots more. The DMT sound system was also confiscated. Machinelf evaded conviction because all the evidence was in his Spacetribe wallet, which also had $1500 and was swiped by one of the cops. The judge, when determining bail, called the DA a “butthead” and released Machinelf on his own recognizance. This coupled with the fact that nothing seized was tested to be illegal, set the stage for Machinelf staying out of jail. Plus he and his friend Wylie re-invaded the squat building and had several in the abandoned top floor penthouse. Although out of jail, Machinelf was also penniless, 401K’d out, and living in a depressed jobless dotcom economy. He poured himself into keeping the trance culture together, kept doing events, and refined his music. His largest email discussion group grew to over 1300 New York trance heads. He began conducting workshops and retreats on sacred South American plants and ceremonies, for which he sought a spiritual cure for his drug predilection. His no-cost approach to events forced him to collaborate; he was the only organizer in New York who did not lose money on a consistent basis; he excelled in aligning causes with artists willing to work for free. Machinelf continued to sporadically inject K until late 2002; in early 2003 he had a relapse and was found yelling “I am the Machine” on the subway tracks.

On certain fronts, he completely lost everything to drugs and a culture built around them. On other fronts, his experiences were priceless. In his wake is a community that has evolved and mutated beyond his wildest dreams – and proved, probably due to the Internet and wi-fi stolen from neigbors in Bushwick, remarkably resilient.

A couple of clips from my home and office in 2007 from Angelica Torn‘s “Lucky Days

2010s

Lost decade. Burning candles on all ends took its toll. The forest needed to be burned down so I could survive and regrow.

Today

What is a Machine Elf?

TL;DR I’m an OCD/ADHD tech-savvy straightedge rationalist hippie nerd.

It’s often noted that fringe groups, such as the mafia and swingers, are often politically or stylistically conservative. Their one glaring, wild part of them encourages the rest of their identities to be overtly strait-laced. A vessel containing a fire cannot be flammable.
I am not in the mafia or a swinger, but I am a swinger of esoterica, a seer, a soothsayer of exotic experiences. A metaphorical shaman, though obviously not a literal one.
So it works better for me that the vessel that contains all these arcane insights – me – must be solid, sober, cohesive… and frankly pretty middle of the road.
So I am basically a pretty normal guy who has had some interesting life experiences.
I’m Jeff, a science-oriented, Episcopalian, libertarian-leaning moderate Democrat, a Gen X white man who grew up in Texas and made a career in advertising at TMP Worldwide, (owner of Monster.com), Adweek, Bloomberg, and The Economist, and journalism, living between New York and Texas.
Ever since the World Wide Web launched in late 1995, even as I was working at those companies, I felt like an interchangeable cog.
I was missing a perfect storm of the Internet’s birth, trance music’s birth, and being in the best decade ever to be living in New York City.
Even as I was eating at the best steakhouses in midtown Manhattan, even as I golfed with the heads of the Wall Street Journal, even as I was meeting Mike Bloomberg, I fantasized about making a website just like this, and I felt my intelligence and creativity was better served by following my heart. And it was hard to reconcile both worlds, so I chose my own path through the forest. It is truly glorious to be so happy that I don’t care if I’m not rich. My worth isn’t measured in a balance sheet. So I create this site for myself. You reading this is just a bonus.
If you would like to read about some of my youthful adventures check out my stories and photo page, and Old School.


I am a libertarian-leaning moderate who became a Gotterdammercrat because I hated Trump so much.

Pictures

Click images to view captions – Chronological EventsAbout Me

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