Electronic dance music of the 1990s was characterized by minimal, futuristic beats, lots of Auto-Tuned vocals and non-stop bass. The music was dark and moody and was mixed with sample packs from hip hop, metal, techno, and other ‘dark music’ genres. It was a break from ‘real music’ and was very ‘new’. This new style of music was actually the brainchild of two DJs from London, who called themselves producers DubTurbo and Dub Psycho. They were looking for a way to combine heavy, distorted techno beats with a sultry voice and a sensuous female vocals that they could call sexy.
The popularity of their first album sold out almost instantaneously. Within three months it had reached number one in the UK chart. It was an immediate success and achieved even more success when its follow-up album ‘On A Clear Day’ reached the top of the US billboard charts. Now it was everywhere! Their follow-up album ‘Digital Drug’ wasn’t as successful but still went double platinum status and is still one of the best selling albums ever in the United Kingdom.
The rave scene in London was a huge attraction to the rest of the world. In fact, rave parties became so popular that the Government banned them in the UK. To mark the ban, clubs had to hire ‘ambulance chasers’ to move around on the dance floors at night. Even now, in places like London and Manchester, rave parties still go on and there is often a lot of police presence, due to the fact that club owners want to discourage teenagers from taking drugs and alcohol. But the government seems to be softening its stance and has even started to back away from the police completely and promote safer, livelier nightlife.
So why has rave music lasted so long? Well, rave music is just a celebration of energy, whether that energy comes from a rave up and down the street or in club after club in New York or Paris. No matter where it comes from, it is infectious. People love to celebrate themselves and their friends and will often head out to a crowded bar, looking for a good time. This is why rave music has lasted so long; people love to have fun with their friends.
There are still rave parties going on around the world, especially in Europe and Asia. There are still ravers at weddings and birthday parties. And it’s not just young people having a good time that into the rave – old people too are still fans of it. So where does it all end?
Unfortunately, rave parties aren’t just for young people anymore. At a recent party I went to, there were about 20 people over the age of 50 present. The main demographic of rave parties is still young and constantly partying. It seems to cater to a whole new generation of partygoer, it’s no longer just for the under eighteens. But it’s still very much a popular party style and most likely to be around for many more years to come.
The future of electronic dance music may lie somewhere in between. Some people love the rave party atmosphere, some hate it with a passion and some love the fact that it’s bringing people together. Whatever the case may be, rave parties have certainly kept alive an important part of our society.
Electronic dance music was always in its birth from the rave scene, it just took a bit of mainstream popularity and helped solidify itself as a separate entity. Now it’s back in full swing and we can only expect positive things for it in the near future. With the help of producers such as Loog down the track, it could soon rival pop music and be recognised as a legitimate form of electronic music.