Thursday, 23 August 2012

How it really started...

For me, the dream of getting in a truck and driving around the world didn't start with a love of travel. Really it started with a love of jungle music.

At 16 I got my first set of record decks and my love affair with dance music began. I am too ashamed to recall most of the music I played back then, but gradually my tastes changed; and with my choice in music becoming more obscure, it became difficult for me to find clubs which would interest me. Being a youth in London, the natural destination for a lover of jungle and techno were the squat parties which shook the industrial areas of East London each weekend.

Within a few years I was totally hooked, and it wasn’t long before I started buying equipment with some friends and started my own sound system.  

Early Disjunkt sound system, showing PD1850 loaded 1850 horns, Martin Audio phillishaves, and JBL biradial horns
Some of the best times of my life were spent thrashing our sound system in filthy warehouses in Edmonton, but as with all things, it became harder for us to get our fix.  The parties in London started to merge into each other and each weekend seemed like a continuation of the last.  As a result we started travelling further afield with the sound system, to outdoor raves in the UK and to teknivals in Europe.  We travelled in a ‘94 Mercedes 310d van, which was constantly overloaded (by about 1 tonne) and often had four unfortunate passengers on benches in the back of the box body.

Ex-Disjunkt Mercedes 310D box vanv

Ex-Disjunkt Mercedes 310D box van on a tour of European teknivals in 2005

It was on my travels to European teknivals that I began to realise that there was life beyond the old 310.
I began to see traveller homes in busses and trucks, bigger than I had seen before, and more varied than the Dodge 50s and Mercedes 508s which filled rave car parks at home.  Looking at these homes on wheels made sleeping across the front seats of our van seem like a raw deal, and I knew that eventually I would have something similar, no longer having to curl around the gear stick to avoid waking up with back spasms!

MOL 6X6 traveller truck seen at French teknival near Crucey in 2008

Unidentified traveller bus, covered in graffiti at a French teknival near Crucey in 2008

Volvo F88 traveller truck seen at a teknival in Poland in 2007

It's funny looking back at the photos I took back then, knowing that if I'd spotted the truck I now own I'd have been enthusiastically poring over it. 

The 310 eventually moved on to a traveller from Brighton (if I remember right he was involved in a French sound called Tekno Terroristz).  As the sound system grew, so did the vehicles, and after the 310 I brought a 6.5 tonne Leyland truck to give us a bit more comfort when travelling to parties. The truck had already seen many teknivals and was great; if it hadn't been for the introduction of the London low emission zone, I reckon I'd still have it. It had the 6 litre B series cummins engine found in JCB tractors, NATO army trucks, dodge rams, and various other vehicles around the world, and was a pleasure to drive, even fully loaded with a generator on a trailer behind it.

Leyland roadrunner workshop truck,cast by BT, used by PRANK sound, and then by Disjunkt sound

With the introduction of the low emission zone in London, this was sold and after a period of trucklessness, Jim was bought.  

Many years have passed since the idea of buying a truck to carry the sound system around Europe was first formed, and in that time my passions and tastes have changed.  The sound system has now been sold and whilst I still love trucks and travelling, I would rather travel for its own sake, rather than as a means to get to a rave. That’s not to say Jim won’t be going raving, I haven’t changed that much, but the work I am doing to him now is with the intention of travelling full time round continents I haven’t explored, there is no space in the back for a pile of speakers and amplifiers.


  1. Real nice! always had dreams of travelling with a rig. I'm currently converting a van to travel europe and hopefully get to some parties. No room for a rig though:-(

  2. Hi Mike, let me know if you want any advice on the van conversion. Have fun!

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