Electronic Music

Electronic Music & Rave: On the phone, with flier in hand, you
listen anxiously to the pre-recorded directions on the Mission Control rave
hotline. This valuable information can only be accessed on the day of the event,
but now that this is out of the way, its time to prepare. People of all ages,
but mostly between the ages of 17 and 26, madly attack appropriate stores to
purchase their necessary rave gear.

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Category:
Music & Movies
Paper Title:
Electronic Music & Raves
Text:
ELECTRONIC MUSIC & RAVES
On the phone, with flier in hand, you listen anxiously to the pre-recorded
directions on the Mission Control rave hotline. This valuable information can
only be accessed on the day of the event, but now that this is out of the way,
its time to prepare. People of all ages, but mostly between the ages of 17
and 26, madly attack appropriate stores to purchase their necessary rave
gear. They buy glow-sticks, glitter, dark glasses, sealed water, vicks vapo-rub,
other trinkets and outrageous, often striped clothing. True ravers would drive
for hours or fly to attend these worldwide conventions, and all share the same
drive. You finally arrive at your destination to find a warehouse located on the
outskirts of its respective city, with a large mob of people desperately trying
to get in. Its about 12:00 midnight and all are mentally and physically
prepared to party for the next 9 or 10 hours straight, to finally emerge from
the doors to see daylight and non-ravers half way through their day.

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The Webster dictionary defines rave and techno as
.RAVEu8217ra-v
: To move or advance violently: STORM: to utter in madness or frenzy
: To talk with extreme enthusiasm
: To declaim wildly
: An extravagantly favorable criticism
.TECH*NO-pop
: pop music featuring extensive use of synthesizers
In general practice, a rave usually refers to a party, usually all
night long, open to the public, where loud techno music is played and many
people partake in a number of different chemicals. The number of people at the
event is unimportant; it can range from 50 to 25000 people. The cost varies, but
is often 25 to 30 dollars and is usually held in a remote, and secluded part of
town. The ages of those who attend are concentrated between 17 and 26 but truly
range from 14 to 40 or 50 years old. Its common to have several different
rooms playing different types of techno simultaneously. Techno or
electronic music can be distinguished by its often lack of vocals, creation by
synthesizers or other electronic means and its unusually fast beat; ranging
from 115-170 BPM (Beats Per Minute), while commercial dance music is
usually a maximum of 70 or 80 BPM. The first substantial piece of music composed
electronically was the Illiac Suite (1956) by the avant-garde composer Lejaren
Hiller (192594). Each room is equipped with a Dj, a set of two or more
turntables, walls of speakers located offset from the corners and impressive
visual effects: such as lasers and light shows.

The people that attend are dressed ultra alternatively. This consists of
comfortable yet creative attire. You would often see ravers wearing extremely
baggy pants, glow in the dark body suits, and ultimately any visually entising
clothing with similar accessories. Heads of hair are often dyed with unique
colors and faces are covered strategically with glitter and an assortment of
black make-up for a somewhat gothic look. All of these various forms of
expression, visual effects, the barrage of audio only compliment the few
chemicals used. Most members of the congregation use ecstasy in the form of
tablet or capsule and/or acid. The light display and outrageous costumes are
geared to act as a stimulus for the hallucinogen of the acid, but the music and
overall environment is geared to the mystifying effects of ecstasy.

Ecstasy, the tablet or capsule, is a man made drug derived from a plant which
produces legal, herbal ecstasy in the form of a liquid or over the counter
tablets. Ecstasy is a combination of concentrated herbal ecstasy and speed or
heroin, cocaine, or crystal methane, but never containing a combination of the
last three mentioned. This particular drug is said to have little visual
effects, but more so physical effects. Your body starts to feel fluffy as the
energy produced from the speed kicks in. You almost uncontrollably start to move
to the beat of the music while the grinding of the teeth (from the speed) is
more noticeable. The severity of this grinding on your teeth is lessened by the
use of a baby pacifier. This allows you to grind on a soft rubber-like item
perfectly suited for the mouth rather than the hard enamel of the teeth.

Regardless, your jaw muscles will be sore. The more erotic effects of the drug
come from the concentrated herb. In a sense, it drastically amplifies your sense
of touch. Where a massage when sober feels like heaven, when on the drug a
massage feels more like true ecstasy, as the name would suggest. Once Vicks vapo-rub
is used, it offers a flurry of hot and cold flashes and lubrication to the
massage. Several pairs of ravers can be seen giving massages while, more often
than not, sitting at the base of either the surrounding walls or the walls of
speakers.

Similar to most types of music, techno has an appropriate method of dancing,
but unlike most other forms of dancing, each individual dances alone. This
allows you to perform independently, and being the main activity, this also
allows you to demonstrate the extent of your talent. Dancers commonly use a pair
of glow-sticks like the one enclosed to enhance their abilities. One is placed
between the fingers of each hand. The most secure method would be under the
index and pinky finger and over the ring and middle finger. The fingers are then
curled downward. Normally the glow-stick glows brightly and comes in an
assortment of colors, nevertheless, this method allows the most illumination to
be seen. Now, these glow-sticks are carefully manipulated to create a
deliberate, constant flow of intricate patterns and color, making sure to
utilize all the space available about the body and maintaining rhythm with the
beat of the pulsating music.

The Djs play an important role in the Vibe of the rave. They can
almost be considered a shaman or a high priest of the congregation. They control
the psychic voyages of the dancers through his choice of continuous,
original music and their skill in manipulating it. I think the importance of the
music at a rave is somewhat comparable to that of the music in an American
Indian pow wow. In both cases the music helps one to fall into an alter state.

Music is generally considered as pleasurable, but the music at a rave, and the
ecstasy, help to form a sense of unity by sharing an emotion and a sense of
freedom. Yet, at the same time you are revered for your individuality. For
example, the more original and entising your dancing is congratulated by a
slapping of one of each persons palms together, a pat on the back, verbal
gratification or simply a smile or nod. The people are very friendly, because
you seem to appreciate you for what you are rather than for what you are not.

This differs from the typical club environment.

The friendly, liberal attitudes of the ravers in conjunction with the dress,
dancing and overall layout allow me to conclude that traditional values and
behavior of society is rejected. Individuals can do almost anything in a rave as
long as it does not affect someone else. For example, I could strip down to my
boxer shorts and sit in the middle of the dance floor and even though it isnt
done often, I can garauntee that it will be accepted. If I were to do a similar
thing in Crobar (a popular club in Miami), I would promptly be ridiculed, and
then removed from the premises. In the ritual of clubbing in Miami would not
accept this form of attitude. The ritual of raving seems to promote a more
liberal view. A view based on total freedom of expression. This is apparent by
my previous description. I have met a few ravers outside of the event and am
able to conclude that most of them are somewhat typical citizens. They abide by
the traditional values and behavior imposed by society, but use the rave to let
go and express themselves in a more flamboyant manner.

Ritual is a patterned, repetitive, and symbolic enactment of a cultural
belief or value; its primary purpose is alignment of the belief system of
individuals with that of society. With this in mind, we can now fathom the
idea that raving is a ritual. Raves can therefore be seen from an
anthropological view as a congregation of members of a sub-culture, sharing
similar emotions, beliefs, dress and behavior, all governed by techno music and
the Djs. They experience unity yet individuality, freedom of expression, and a
liberal environment, all simultaneously.


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