Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture

Soft Skull Press
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Ecstasy did for house music what LSD did for psychedelic rock. Now, in Energy Flash, journalist Simon Reynolds offers a revved-up and passionate inside chronicle of how MDMA (“ecstasy”) and MIDI (the basis for electronica) together spawned the unique rave culture of the 1990s.

England, Germany, and Holland began tinkering with imported Detroit techno and Chicago house music in the late 1980s, and when ecstasy was added to the mix in British clubs, a new music subculture was born. A longtime writer on the music beat, Reynolds started watching—and partaking in—the rave scene early on, observing firsthand ecstasy’s sense-heightening and serotonin-surging effects on the music and the scene. In telling the story, Reynolds goes way beyond straight music history, mixing social history, interviews with participants and scene-makers, and his own analysis of the sounds with the names of key places, tracks, groups, scenes, and artists. He delves deep into the panoply of rave-worthy drugs and proper rave attitude and etiquette, exposing a nuanced musical phenomenon.

Read on, and learn why is nitrous oxide is called “hippy crack.”
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About the author

Simon Reynolds is a consulting editor at Spin magazine. He is also the author of Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock, The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and Rock 'n' Roll, Totally Wired, and Bring the Noise.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Soft Skull Press
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Published on
Mar 1, 2012
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9781593764777
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Language
English
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Genres
Music / Genres & Styles / Electronic
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. Cultural liberation and musical innovation. Pyrotechnics, bottle service, bass drops, and molly.

Electronic dance music has been a vital force for more than three decades now, and has undergone transformation upon transformation as it has taken over the world. In this searching, lyrical account of dance music culture worldwide, Matthew Collin takes stock of its highest highs and lowest lows across its global trajectory. Through firsthand reportage and interviews with clubbers and DJs, Collin documents the itinerant musical form from its underground beginnings in New York, Chicago, and Detroit in the 1980s, to its explosions in Ibiza and Berlin, to today’s mainstream music scenes in new frontiers like Las Vegas, Shanghai, and Dubai. Collin shows how its dizzying array of genres—from house, techno, and garage to drum and bass, dubstep, and psytrance—have given voice to locally specific struggles. For so many people in so many different places, electronic dance music has been caught up in the search for free cultural space: forming the soundtrack to liberation for South African youth after Apartheid; inspiring a psychedelic party culture in Israel; offering fleeting escape from—and at times into—corporatization in China; and even undergirding a veritable “independent republic” in a politically contested slice of the former Soviet Union.

Full of admiration for the possibilities the music has opened up all over the world, Collin also unflinchingly probes where this utopianism has fallen short, whether the culture maintains its liberating possibilities today, and where it might go in the future.
'The definitive look at dance music and club culture - a must read' - Paul Oakenfold

'Brilliantly woven collection of aural histories ... a damn fine read' - DJ MAG

In 1987, four friends from London, Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling, Nicky Holloway and Johnny Walker, took a week-long holiday to Ibiza. What they saw there, and brought back home, would give rise to a new global music and counterculture movement.

As the eighties drew to their close, with Thatcherism holding the nation tight in its grip, something funny was happening right across the jungle of Britain's nightlife scene. People were dressing down, not up, to go to clubs. And they were dancing right through the night armed seemingly with only bottles of water. Ecstasy and acid house music had arrived on British shores, and a tribal battle between for the moral future of the nation, between the youth and the establishment, had begun.

In The Second Summer of Love, author and dance music promoter Alon Shulman uses exclusive contributions from the world's biggest DJs, including Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim, Moby, Faithless, Mr C, Farley & Heller, Danny Rampling and many others to faithfully recreate the story of the summers of 1988 and 1989, and chart the birth and rise of Acid House, dance music and club culture right through to the modern day where dance music has become a culturally dominant global industry.

Complete with stunning unseen photographs, this is the first authentic account of what really happened in that glorious period - from the politics and the people to the music, the drugs, the fashion and the culture - told by people who were there, as they bring to life the creation of an underground scene which inadvertently altered the course of modern global youth culture forever.


'It's as if house music and rave culture tapped into this ancient predilection of humans to stay up all night dancing and staring into the fire, and just supercharged it with electricity and MDMA' -Moby


'What I was experiencing was right in front of my eyes, it was happening right now and I loved it' -Carl Cox


'It opened my eyes and ears to a different spirit in music' - Fatboy Slim
Critical of technologically determinist assumptions underpinning current educational policy, Victoria Armstrong argues that this growing technicism has grave implications for the music classroom where composition is often synonymous with the music technology suite. The use of computers and associated compositional software in music education is frequently decontextualized from cultural and social relationships, thereby ignoring the fact that new technologies are used and developed within existing social spaces that are always already delineated along gender lines. Armstrong suggests these gender-technology relations have a profound effect on the ways adolescents compose music as well as how gendered identities in the technologized music classroom are constructed. Drawing together perspectives from the sociology of science and technology studies (STS) and the sociology of music, Armstrong examines the gendered processes and practices that contribute to how students learn about technology, the repertoire of teacher and student talk, its effect on student confidence and the issue of male control of technological knowledge. Even though girls and female teachers have technological knowledge and skill, the continuing material and symbolic associations of technology with men and masculinity contribute to the perception of women as less able and less interested in all things technological. In light of the fact that music technology is now central to many music-making practices across all sectors of education from primary, secondary through to higher education, this book provides a timely critical analysis that powerfully demonstrates why the relationship between gender and music technology should remain an important empirical consideration.
When it was originally published in 1999, Techno Rebels became the definitive text on a hard-to-define but vital genre of music. Author Dan Sicko demystified techno’s characteristics, influences, and origins and argued that although techno enjoyed its most widespread popularity in Europe, its birthplace and most important incubator was Detroit. In this revised and updated edition, Sicko expands on Detroit’s role in the birth of techno and takes readers on an insider’s tour of techno’s past, present, and future in an enjoyable account filled with firsthand anecdotes, interviews, and artist profiles.

Techno Rebels begins by examining the underground 1980s party scene in Detroit, where DJs and producers like the Electrifying Mojo, Ken Collier, The Wizard, and Richard Davis were experimenting with music that was a world apart from anything happening in New York or Los Angeles. He details the early days of the "Belleville Three"—Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson—who created the Detroit techno sound and became famous abroad as the sound spread to the UK and Europe. In this revised edition, Sicko delves deeper into the Detroit story, detailing the evolution of the artists and scene into the mid-1990s, and looks to nearby Ann Arbor to consider topics like the Electrifying Mojo’s beginnings, the role of radio station WCBN, and the emergence of record label Ghostly International. Sicko concludes by investigating how Detroit techno functions today after the contrived electronica boom of the late 1990s, through the original artists, new sounds, and Detroit’s annual electronic music festival.

Ultimately, Sicko argues that techno is rooted in the "collective dreaming" of the city of Detroit—as if its originators wanted to preserve what was great about the city—its machines and its deep soul roots. Techno Rebels gives a thorough picture of the music itself and the trailblazing musicians behind it and is a must-read for all fans of techno, popular music, and contemporary culture.

Joining the ranks of Please Kill Me and Can’t Stop Won’t Stop comes this definitive chronicle of one of the hottest trends in popular culture—electronic dance music—from the noted authority covering the scene.

It is the sound of the millennial generation, the music “defining youth culture of the 2010s” (Rolling Stone). Rooted in American techno/house and ’90s rave culture, electronic dance music has evolved into the biggest moneymaker on the concert circuit. Music journalist Michaelangelo Matos has been covering this beat since its genesis, and in The Underground Is Massive, charts for the first time the birth and rise of this last great outlaw musical subculture.

Drawing on a vast array of resources, including hundreds of interviews and a library of rare artifacts, from rave fanzines to online mailing-list archives, Matos reveals how EDM blossomed in tandem with the nascent Internet—message boards and chat lines connected partiers from town to town. In turn, these ravers, many early technology adopters, helped spearhead the information revolution. As tech was the tool, Ecstasy—(Molly, as it’s know today) an empathic drug that heightens sensory pleasure—was the narcotic fueling this alternative movement.

Full of unique insights, lively details, entertaining stories, dozens of photos, and unforgettable misfits and stars—from early break-in parties to Skrillex and Daft Punk—The Underground Is Massive captures this fascinating trend in American pop culture history, a grassroots movement that would help define the future of music and the modern tech world we live in.

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