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Thread: Rave revival?

  1. #1
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    Default Rave revival?

    I've been reading about bands like the Klaxons and saw a piece in the Guardian today about the revival of illegal outdoor parties. I was wondering if anyone's up to speed on this alleged UK rave revival. Is this for real or is it just lazy journalists doing "revival cycle" equations. If it is for real can an ambient revival be far behind?

  2. #2
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    http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/...819479,00.html is this what yr talking about?

    Sounds a bit pathetic, desperate scene-building perhaps? In effect indie dance part 3,453. Its not just the press doing the re-cycle calculations, but the artists themselves here. And it sounds like they have utterly missed the point...

    Please let something new happen soon...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gek-opel
    http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/...819479,00.html is this what yr talking about?

    Sounds a bit pathetic, desperate scene-building perhaps? In effect indie dance part 3,453. Its not just the press doing the re-cycle calculations, but the artists themselves here. And it sounds like they have utterly missed the point...

    Please let something new happen soon...
    Amen!

  4. #4

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    Not sure about the Klaxons but there is definitely an increase in free parties happening. Norfolk seems to get mentioned quite a bit but its happening in other places also. A few good videos on youtube:




  5. #5
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    Anyone been to any of these... are they a purely retro-fetishistic experience aethetically? Or more a down-an dirty drug-feast in mud? I remember attending one such outdoor do about 5 or so years ago, it was very much in the latter category...

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    I had high hopes for the Klaxons based on the hook of Atlantis to Interzone - the faux-acid horns and the clipped vocal sample, but the rest of it is a bit of a letdown. The formula seems to be distinctly average postpunk + vague stylistic conceits to a comedy notion of rave culture: see half-arsed SUAD cover, interview comments on rave as an apolitical reaction to lyrics about "existential crises and the collapse of the steel industry". I'm trying to avoid going down the class-war road, but from their comments and display of what seems like a superficial attachment to the commercial, novelty side of rave, it's not a huge leap to interpret it all as a particularly patronising upper-middle class take on what was once a genuinely vital form of music.

    Although, to take class out of it, it might be better to say 'NME-hyped band in style over substance shocka'. At which point this post becomes a bit of stating the obious. Arse.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gek-opel
    Anyone been to any of these... are they a purely retro-fetishistic experience aethetically? Or more a down-an dirty drug-feast in mud? I remember attending one such outdoor do about 5 or so years ago, it was very much in the latter category...
    Does Bangface count as "retro-fetishistic"?

  8. #8
    simon silverdollar Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by gek-opel
    Anyone been to any of these... are they a purely retro-fetishistic experience aethetically? Or more a down-an dirty drug-feast in mud? I remember attending one such outdoor do about 5 or so years ago, it was very much in the latter category...
    i've been to one and only one. psy trance rave off the m25. i think many of these free parties focus on psy trance.

    it was a two dayer and we stupidly went on the second day so people were wandering around like zombies, crushed by comedowns so severe that tears were running down their faces.

    this was also (unsurpisingly) the scene of my most nightmarish drug experience ever.


    so yeah, 'dirty drug fest in the mud' sums it up...

  9. #9
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    from what i've heard of the klaxons they just sound like that band snuff that used to do punky covers of old adverts etc, but they do it with old rave songs, apart from that they're just a really average group.

    there has been a bit in the nme about a neo rave thing, nodding to a few bands that have a bit of a 4/4 some synths etc, you know shit robot, hot chip etc, justice etc, but it was from a really squewerd perspective, like 'see not all dance music has to be trance or total german eggheads with no social skills' dance music can incorporate guitars, lot of these people don't even like dance music etc'.
    just another boring arm of rock and an attempt to discredit anthing thats nor guitar rock then.

    it did mention bang face but bang face is bizarrely old music with a new, surreal perspective, its a revival with a new perspective, it's not like those old school raves you get down in enfield and that.
    Last edited by mms; 24-07-2006 at 10:00 PM.

  10. #10
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    'Shit Disco, Silverlink and New Young Pony Club' really aren't very rave at all.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gek-opel
    Anyone been to any of these... are they a purely retro-fetishistic experience aethetically? Or more a down-an dirty drug-feast in mud? I remember attending one such outdoor do about 5 or so years ago, it was very much in the latter category...
    Well, the idea of doing them in summer is that hopefully it doesnt rain, so mud is kept to a minimum. But, yeah, drugfest pretty much sums it up.

    There are really two types of free party. First up are ones where the organisers are in the building legally but dont have an ents licence or the other legal gubbins you need to run a proper club - they're often in rehearsal spaces, arts centres & so on and kind of semi-legal. The powers that be might apply pressure to shut them down over the long term but it's highly unlikely they will get raided on any given night unless things get really out of hand. A lot of 'hipster' scenes (for want of a better term, you know what I mean) put on parties like this, eg. the haywire nights that used to go off at the fortress. Crucially entry is usually ticket only & the promoters have proper security to stop undesirable elements gaining access.

    A real free party on the other hand is where the promoters are trespassing in someone else's land and/or building. The old bill are therefore fully justified in steaming in mob-handed & occasionally do - but if the organisers have had the sense to site the party away from a residential area, keep it fairly low profile and make some attempt to control access plod will usually choose to let the party run it's course rather than aggrevate the situation. Basically though, anyone can turn up & get in, particularly if it's outdoors.

    Proper free parties are primarily about getting ripped to the gills on whatever substances happen to be to hand, and as such the music is very much secondary to the drug experience. I am not a trance fan so I tend to avoid those types of parties - the ones I go to play mostly acid techno, London Techno (which is the free party scene's term for sub-Jeff Mills loopy percussive techno), drum & bass, gabba/breakcore & reggae. Some organisers have live bands too, which tend to be of a crusty/punk nature. It's very rare to hear music with any kind of hipster bent at a free party - although I have seen white garage girls emcee over grime beats at a party in hackney, and dubstep is making some inroads. Music with glamour associations (house, garage, hip hop) is similary off the menu.

    So I dont really go looking for musical innovation. That said, it can be a real thrill to see music used in such a functional way, and the auteur side of music production given such short shrift. At free parties, no-one cares who made the track, how old it is, who's playing it, what label released it or any of the other ephemeria we associate with hipster scenes - tunes stand or fall on whether they rock the crowd. I used to produce IDM and abstract electronica, and backed myself into a corner of trying to re-invent the wheel every time I made music. Going to free parties & seeing music used in this way was a vital part of my rehabilitation! I also get off on the edge and the pure vibes at a good party, the sense of vision quest that abides among the organisers and hardcore followers, and the mingling of social types & classes (so basically everything that people originally went to raves for BITD).

    The free party scene has always bubbled under but it may well have seen something of an upsurge in recent years - it's hard to say because although I go to a fair number of parties there are lots more I dont attend. The word out there is that this year has actually been a little quieter than last, but a few high profile events such as the recent rave in cornwall have attracted mainstream media coverage like this guardian piece. If anything it will probably contribute to a dearth of parties over the rest of the year as the OB have egg on their faces and have to be Seen to be Doing Something. A few forces (hampshire being the prime example) have always been quite pro-active about breaking up parties & ASBO-ing the organisers, & I expect other forces will now start following their lead.

    I would not be at all suprised if there was a resurgence in raving & electronic dance music in the next few years. Blissblogger very perceptably noted that the kids who have driven the rock & roll resurgence of the noughties thus far were rebelling against a dance music othodoxy that had lost all traces of it's outlaw past - well, maybe the wheel has now turned full circle, and the successive generation is tired of the indie band saturation & looking for fresh kicks of thier own. In any case, doing drugs & dancing with strangers under an open sky while thumbing you nose at The Man is a hell of a lot of fun however unfashionable it is.

    The musical forms on offer at free parties haven't really evolved much since the mid 90s but a fresh influx of wide-eyed youth could definitely shake things up a bit, so watch this space...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon silverdollar
    it was a two dayer and we stupidly went on the second day so people were wandering around like zombies, crushed by comedowns so severe that tears were running down their faces.

    this was also (unsurpisingly) the scene of my most nightmarish drug experience ever.
    Sounds like a story that could bear telling.

  13. #13

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    I haven't been to a free party for a couple of years - the moshing or 'stacking' (as it is also referred to) that appears on the videos on my previous post is definitely new.

    Not new, but a noticable difference from current mainstream dance, is how the attention of the crowd is directed at the sound system and each other rather than the dj who is often hidden away or to one side.

    Free parties are known for being drug-fests but then so is every other night in the UK if you remember alcohol is a drug.

  14. #14
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    How can you have a revival of something that never really went away?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by swears
    How can you have a revival of something that never really went away?
    Because the media generally can't get their heads around any idea of an underground. They think that if it's happening they must be covering it, so it follows that if they aren't covering it, it's not happening. In reality, the media tend to need an angle on every story they do and there are only so many that can be had from any given phenomenon - once they've all been done, the media will judge the story to be stale and stop covering it. We touched on this in the funky house thread a while back.

    And papers are desperate to find news over the summer when parliament is in recess - the so-called silly season. I mean it is quiet out there at the moment, not like there's a massive war kicking off in the middle east or anything...

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