Despite all the warnings - it makes you shit your stomach up through your mouth; turns your bladder into a bathing pool of luminous urine; ends lives - people are still rather fond of shovelling a little horse tranquilizer, or ketamine, up their nostrils in the year of our Lord, 2015. And that’s not necessarily a problem. If extensive numbness, crazy leg syndrome, dissociation, and getting cemented in Fabric’s toilets makes you, as 70s K-Hole voyager John C Lilly put it, “the peeping toms at the keyhole of eternity”, then soldier on. What you stuff into your body is totally your choice. Grab the reins and ride away.
And, just like literally every other drug known to man - weed, cocaine, love, tumbling down a well of your own disparity - there’s a bunch of songs dedicated to the delights and grievances of diving into a cosmic punchbowl of "regretamine". The only difference is that, unlike the discography of ecstacy’s love-in with electronic music or the vast spectrum of psychedelia, ketamine themed songs have never really been categorised into their own audio pigeonhole; a nice little comedown/warm-up playlist.
So with that in mind, I decided to take on the very vital, relevant and historically priceless task of tracking down a bunch of songs specifically written about the affect of pony party powder on us people. If this list doesn’t make it onto the Voyager Spacecraft’s Golden Record for future civilisations to reflect on the many facets of humanity, then I’ll be understandably disappointed.
The Chemical Brothers- "Lost in the K-Hole"
Let’s ease into this with a classic, courtesy of two titans of British electronica and sweating through your T-shirt. In 1997, I was barely old enough to be aware of blocks, let alone their rockin’ beats, but Dig Your Own Hole is a legacy album and features the above twinkling funk jam. Of course, if “Lost in the K-Hole” really wanted to represent the feeling that you have definitely, 100% died and are currently trapped in endless limbo loop of the last sixty seconds of your life, then it would sound more like this, but poetic licence is a thing, so whatever.
Blur - "Brothers & Sisters"
Technically, this song is about all the drugs, but ketamine gets a primetime shout out and, to Blur’s credit, this was in 2003 before everyone started going mad for it and the average house party turned into the hard-to-reach cupboard at the local stables. Which kind of makes Blur trailblazers for permeation of tranqs into pop culture. Say what you want about the posh Oasis, but they were very au fait with their narcotics. Probably because it’s highly likely that Alex James is the only person in the world who’s less of a prat on drugs.
Special attention should be paid to the wonky lyrical waxings of “my sickened pony/fucked up shoes” and “I dreamt one thousand basketball courts”. On the plus side, they’ve pretty much nailed the entire disassociated tripping experience and the instrumentation is also kinda, sorta, just like doing three keys of the white stuff and then being unable to move. Top marks for realism.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - "Ketamine & Ecstasy"
Wow, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are really sticking it to the neeks. Two substances in one song AND a missing comma? Hello? Is that the police? Yes, I want to report some fellows rebelling without due cause!
NOFX- Kids Of The K-Hole
Independently signed and rich as hell off it, this is punk outfit NOFX’s take on the powder pit of doom: an 18 hour holiday. Only issue? The destination is “somewhere between some eden and north utopia” and there’s no seasons, only a yawning existence of nothingness. “Mrs Kitty Ketamine” is a cute pet name though. Sounds like Pussy Galore’s hell-raising younger sister after she stretched her ears and joined Suicide Girls.
The Polish Ambassador- Space Kitten
Props if you knew that “space kitten” was one of ket’s many pseudonyms. Minus all those props if you ever use it in conversation.
Placebo- Special K
Contrary to my secondary school beliefs, this song is definitely not about the benefits of low fat cereal as a quirky simile for love ("You come on just like Speical K!"). The video is so amazingly 00s: Matrix inspired costumes, sci-fi plot that bears no relation to song content, reassuringly rubbish CGI - it’s almost akin to the visual masterpiece that is A1’s "Take On Me". Too bad A1 weren’t singing an ode to equine anaesthetics or their musical journey may not have had to culminate with an appearance on The Big Reunion.
Kissy Sell Out- Get Ready For The K Hole!
Not only has DJ, astrophysicist, graphic designer and all round confirmed nutter butter Kissy Sell Out remixed one of the most famous dance tracks to ever be spun on a pair of decks, he also gives a shout out to VICE’s very own drinking establishment The Old Blue Last. Apparently he was having a quiet one in our pub when a punk kindly gave him what he presumed was a bump of Charlie. Unfortunately for Kissy, it turned out to be ketamine and shit quickly went south - literally as he books it to a rave in the Docklands. It only gets madder from thereon in.
Bloc Party- The Prayer
Oh Lord, give me grace and a new Bloc Party track and I promise I’ll start properly believing. “The Prayer” deals with the misplaced confidence instilled by both ket and MD, but just watch those guys slumped on the sofa in the video as peope dance and snog around them, then try to tell me they're not glued there involuntarily because they think their legs are on fire.
The Chemical Brothers - Found In A K-Hole (Remix)
Only a true K-head would think of reversing this song. Shine on you crazy diamonds. #KETforALL