Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture

Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture

Language: English

Pages: 512

ISBN: 1593764073

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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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level. ‘It was about how you could take care of people and impress them with something very psychedelic,’ says Wade Hampton. ‘In San Francisco, it tended to be much more natural and human-driven – hang-gliders, unicyles, anything you could possibly imagine was hauled off to the parties.’ Ravers competed too – to intensify the vibe by wearing wacky clothes or by freaky dancing. ‘It might be something like bringing an antique bicycle with a really big front wheel and riding it around on the beach

tapestries of visual hallucination that are particularly susceptible to being “driven” and directed by sound’ (Terence McKenna). With all these psychoactive substances circulating in the Full Moon milieu, it’s hardly surprising that there were incidents of mass hallucination. At one party in late 1992, several hundred people ‘saw the same spaceship come down and land,’ claims Wade Hampton. ‘There was this acid floating around called Purple Shield. That party is legendary in San Francisco. After

a fertile environment for genre-blending musical activity. All these factors fostered a distinctive Bristol sound, a languid, lugubrious hybrid of soul, reggae, jazz-fusion and hip hop. The story begins with The Wild Bunch, a mid-eighties sound-system /DJ collective renowned for its eclecticism. Members included Nellee Hooper (who later brought a Bristol-ian jazzy fluency to his production work for Soul II Soul, Neneh Cherry and Bjork) and Daddy G and Mushroom, who went on to form Massive Attack

slightly outside them. It’s a tricky place to write from, and the result, in Energy Flash, is a constant shifting back and forth between calm ‘omniscience’ and enflamed monomania. But I wouldn’t want to have one without the other. Neither an academic study nor a ‘Generation E’ memoir but some impossible mishmash of the two is the goal. This updated and expanded incarnation of Energy Flash doesn’t alter the main body of the book as published in 1998 (except for correcting a few errors) but adds

see why he has such a hold over his disciples – and that’s what they are, for all the party line of no hierarchy. At one point, a Tribesman describes Mark as the Second Coming, only to be swiftly silenced by a reproving glance from the guru himself. Yet despite the cultic, almost Manson-like aura, a surprising amount of what Mark and his acolytes say makes sense. ‘We keep everything illegal because it’s only outside the law that there’s any real life to be had. The real energy in rave culture

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