Rave Culture and It's Effects on Popular Culture

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  • Topic: Rave, Techno, House music
  • Pages : 6 (2448 words )
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  • Published : December 3, 2001
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Rave Culture and Its Effects on Popular Culture
What is a rave? Raving is a highly subjective experience. One person's best rave is another person's worst. Any attempt to analyze rave culture must recognize the highly personal factor of the experience. Author Daniel Martin defines a rave as "a long period of constant energetic and stylistic dancing exhibited by a large group of people in a hot, crowded facility providing continuous loud House music and an accompanying strobe lit psychedelic light show" (78). But what effect does the rave scene really have on popular culture? Since the beginning of this culture there has been much controversy on the legality of what goes on in the scene. Through the history, music, people, spirituality we are introduced to one of the newest things affecting pop culture today. Rave culture can be traced back to Native American religious ceremonies. It can be traced back to the sixties Be-Ins and Love Ins and Acid Tests. It can be traced back to anarchist revolutions in Italy and France. It pulls energy from many different directions. It had its origins in Chicago and Detroit disco clubs and gay dance clubs, and also in progressive music from England such as Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode. England and America traded musical influences back and forth during the late seventies-early eighties until techno finally started to be formed. The actual rave movement, however, combining this new music with dancing, occurred in England. At almost the exact same time, raves started popping up in Manchester and Ibiza, a noted English vacation spot, in late 1987 and early 1988. At this same time, the rave phenomenon was taking hold in Germany, most notably in Berlin (Jordan 30). The popularity of raves grew in both countries, and soon the intimate all-night dance parties were drawing thousands of kids. They were also drawing DJs from the United States. Author Joel Jordan talks about the beginning of this movement when he states, "In the early nineties, the rave scene began moving across the Atlantic to America, fueled by American DJs eager to take this incredible thing back home, and English DJs eager to expand their horizons" (34). The first U.S. raves were held in San Francisco, long noted for its liberal and psychedelic culture. From here, they moved to Los Angeles and the rave scene was born in California. (Jordan 40). The rave scene that was born in America was one of complete illegality. It began when Frankie Bones, a New York native and one of the U.S. DJs that was spinning in England, saw that the scene was moving into America, and wanted to bring it to his hometown of Brooklyn. He started a series of parties called Stormrave in early 1992. The parties started out small, 50-100 kids, and Frankie resorted to projecting videos of the massive raves in England to show kids what it was all about. It was during this period of Stormraves that many DJs made their debuts. Now household names among ravers, Sven Vath, Doc Martin, Keoki, Josh Wink and many others began their careers at Frankie's Stormraves. It was in December of 1992 that the rave scene started growing. Frankie held a party at an abandoned loading dock in Queens that drew over 5000 kids from New York and neighboring states (Redhead 60). According to rave myth, this was when Frankie made his speech about peace, love, unity, and respect, which were to become PLUR, the foundation of the American rave scene. It was also during this rave that three guys from Milwaukee decided to come check it out. These guys later were to form Drop Bass Network, based in Milwaukee, and now one of the bigger promoter groups in the country. Joel Jordan explains, "They also introduced the scene to the Mid-West. The rave scene grew in America in 1993 and 1994" (56). While the rave scenes in England and Germany were becoming commercial empires, the American rave scene still had its fresh idealism. There were now raves happening across the country, in all of the states....
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