Generation Ecstasy offers a revved-up, detailed and passionate history and analysis of the throbbing transcontinental set of musics and cultures known as rave, covering its brightly morphing family tree from Detroit techno and Chicago house to Britain’s 1988 summer of love, on through London jungle and the German avant-garde to the current warehouse parties and turntables of Europe and America.
One chapter explains the pleasures and effects of the drug Ecstasy (MDMA, or “E”), without which rave would never have evolved; others describe the roles of the DJ, the remix and pirate radio, the “trance” and “ambient” trends of the early 1990s, the rise and fall of would-be stars, the impact of other drugs and the proliferation of current club “subsubgenres.” Assuming no prior knowledge in his readers, Reynolds mixes social history, interviews with participants and scene-makers and his own analyses of the sounds, saturating his prose with the names of key places, tracks, groups, scenes and artists. Reynolds prefers and champions the less intellectual, more anonymous and dance-crazed parts of the rave galaxy.
In Generation Ecstasy: Into The World Of Techno And Rave Culture, Simon Reynolds takes the reader on a guided tour of this highly groundbreaking and influential cultural phenomenon, telling the story of rave culture and techno music as an insider who has dosed up and blissed out. A celebration of rave’s quest for the perfect beat definitive chronicle of rave culture and electronic dance music.