The Null Device

The decline and fall of rave culture

As the Brit Awards drop the "Best Dance Act" category (recently won by bubblegum girl group Sugababes), replacing it with "Best Live Act" (it looks like rock stars are the new superstar DJs), the Graun's Alexis Petridis reports the decline of dance music as a genre:
Part of the problem, whatever anybody claims, was that the dance scene was entirely bound up with drugs. That meant that it had a short shelf-life for most participants: you simply can't keep taking ecstasy every weekend for more than a few years, and when the shine comes off the ecstasy experience, then the shine invariably comes off dance music as well. That wasn't a problem, as long as there was a high turnover of new initiates, all figuratively staggering out of Margate pier at six in the morning, convinced they had just discovered the future of music. But at some point around the millennium, that simply stopped happening.

In other words, rave culture had the dynamics of a pyramid scheme.

The longest lingering big fashion movement in club culture was the cyber-kids, who congregated around Sheffield club Gatecrasher. Their look seemed to involve adopting every daft passing fad that had ever taken hold on a dancefloor at once: they wore fluorescent clothes and face paint, sprayed their hair with garish crazy colour, sucked children's dummies, carried cuddly toys. Gatecrasher's management eventually attempted to stop them coming to the club, but the damage was done. For your average 16-year-old, the choice was fairly stark: you could either dress like a rapper or one of the Strokes and be in with a chance with the opposite sex, or you could dress like an imbecile and go clubbing.

There are 1 comments on "The decline and fall of rave culture":

Posted by: Ben-Baba Ali Gazebo http:// Thu Nov 4 15:31:23 2004

The end of dance music - about time.