Blood into Gold: A Birmingham Techno Ghost Story

Blood into Gold

“The invitation arrived six weeks ago, an old fashioned club flyer with an impossible lineup at a venue which had closed down years ago. There were door prices in single figures, the names of ticket outlets that hadn’t been seen for decades, and a phone number with not enough digits. It looked like a relic, older than her, of a party that had been and gone thirty years ago. But what made it possible, in fact what made it the invitation of a lifetime, was the note clipped to the flyer which simply read: YOU ARE INVITED. JACK.”

After Dark Magnetic Sands I really wanted to write something about the character Lauren Moss. Lauren is a pioneer of “notechno” from Birmgham who inspires the main character of Dark Magnetic Sands to try out for a show on the same radio station as her. As soon as I started wondering what kind of story I wanted Lauren to be in the phrase “Birmingham Techno Ghost Story” threw itself at me, and stuck. No, I don’t care if it sounds corny. The music that came out on the Downwards record label in the nineties and noughties has always had a mythic appeal to me. It’s heavy, rich, and penetrating, and not at all difficult to imagine crossing dimensions, or insaning the sane. The story is set in Birmingham around the year 2027, so if you’re not happy with the whole ghost story tag just think of it as science fiction instead. It’s also centred around a party at the House of God, a Birmingham club night I used to go to a lot in the late nineties. The party mentioned in the story really happened, I was there, but I can’t tell you if everything the story says about it really happened or not. I can tell you it was a fucking great night though, and I heard Neil Landstrumm’s “Squeeze” for the first time.

Now, the catch is that I haven’t finished writing the whole thing. I know what happens, all the way to the end, I just haven’t written it yet. I want to write it, but I have no idea when I’ll ever get around to it. I’ve sat on this opening chapter for so long it’s all squashed and warm now, but I think there’s enough there for people to enjoy so I’ve decided to let rip with it…

Blood into Gold: A Birmingham Techno Ghost Story
(The Opening Chapter)

by Olaf Quintessa

Download the full pdf (202 KB)

I got lots of ideas for the story from a day I spent wandering around Birmingham in September 2012.

Brick arch over Water Street
Brick arch over Water Street
Water Street, next to Subway City
Water Street, next to Subway City
Subway City
Subway City
Livery Subway
Livery Subway
Building corner covered in weeds
Building corner covered in weeds
Red brick tower
Red brick tower
Livery Street
Livery Street
Streets of red brick
Street near Subway City
Door to the Que Club at the Methodist Central Hall
Door to the Que Club at the Methodist Central Hall
Methodist Central Hall aka Que Club
Methodist Central Hall aka Que Club
Canals off Livery Street
Canals off Livery Street
Near Subway City
Near Subway City
Subway under the main road leading to Livery Street
Subway under the main road leading to Livery Street
Livery Street from the other side of the main road
Livery Street from the other side of the main road
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