Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture (Anglais) Relié – 1 avril 2001
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Unfortunately, that is the end of what he has done well. Simon will take one paragraph to state that in years past the focus was simply the event, and no one bothered to learn the names of DJ's, let alone the name of individual tracks. After which he will begin a 10-page meandering description about specific track titles released in a 6-month period.
That example highlights Simon's shortcomings: no one involved in the scene at that time can recall every DJ or specific song names. Worse yet, those names are going to be meaningless to everyone reading the book in an attempt to learn about the scene.
Scenesters of the day aren't seeking a book that provides a blow-by-blow account of Simon's search for an illegal party on a particular night, they're looking to be reminded of a bygone time, feeling, and vibe they recall from those days. And people reading the book to learn about the history of "rave" are seeking to understand the human experience of the time, and not the name of a producer living in Germany who released a top-40 track at the end of the 80's.
In truth, Simon does cover enough information from front cover to back cover that the reader will indubitably have gained a clear understanding of the history of raves. Unfortunately, the reader will have to winnow through 90% fluff to reach that goal.
It sheds an important light on a rarely-reported but highly relevant side of music history; a must-have for any true fan of the art.
AT the time of this writing it has already been at least 8 years since this book was published and I think we can see how the author's takes on the phenomenon has held up.
The author has a great understanding of the esthetic strengths of the genre,i.e. what makes these songs and their various presentations work.
He has a good knowledge of the artists, events and venues that helped to shape it (leaning mostly from a UK perspective, while very relevant, isn't the whole story).
He has a great understanding of the techincial aspects of the music and how cheap and malfunctioning gear is sometimes used and how these songs really often take a good degree of skill and effort to produce despite popular public misconceptions to the contrary.
I particulary loved his observation that a tepid corporate pop production like Celine Dion uses much much more expensive state of the art equipment than your techno record.
The author also has a great understanding of the, in my opinion, wonderous and vibrant philosophical concepts that went into this music and scene, and emerged through and because of this music and scene both expected, intended and unexpected and unintended. I would love to go on about them but I will spare Amazon this forum.
I am sad that this author thinks that ecstacy and many other drugs were so important to this movement. I found this element to make for more boring music and conversation. It was also a cause for tragedy.
I am disappointed that this author dismisses so much of the more "avant garde" elements that came out of this scene. He even, very wrongly, suggests that this side was not somehow as legitimatly rooted in the scene as a whole. This is complete nonsense.
In fact, 8 years after this book was published..when I bump into people I remember from this scene I get the following:
The big druggies are dead or crippled.
The main scene is declared "dead".
And..the avant garde is alive and blissfully unaware of their own reinvention in progress.