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Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In an effort to disavow his own bourgeois status as music critic and conoisseur, Reynolds routinely sides with the more "populist" sub-genres out there. Jungle and gabba are good. Trip-hop and IDM are snobby. Hardcore and house get the thumbs up, 'intelligent drum and bass' and illbient get the thumbs down. While he often has a point, this siding with what 'moves the masses' turns too easily into apologetics for the culture industry (the mass manufacture and consumption of musical cliché). Under the misguided notion that if a certain class or ethnic group consumes a certain type of music it must be good stuff, Reynolds gets pulled into the knee-jerk dismissal of more "marginal" creativity. At certain points in his book I get weird echoes of Edmund Burke attacking the French Revolution and insisting on the necessity for incremental change within the hallowed lines of tradition. Whatever happened to radical criticism? Reynolds should know that "what sells" is not necessarily the destiny of a genre. The future of music is often (but admittedly not always) heard in its avant-garde. I think Reynolds' pseudo-populism goes hand in hand with his annoying habit of tracing electronic music back onto the grids of music he already understands.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book for those interested in the origins of electronic dance music. Simon Reynolds, unlike many scholarly authors, writes in an engaging and personal way. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M
I am from the punk/New Wave generation so I don't truly get the techno/house rave scene bar the Madchester one (Stone Roses, Happy Mondays et al). Read morePublished on July 14, 2014 by Brian Maitland
This is a readable book, by non-academic standards, so anyone should be able to tear into it.
The entire book is cast within Reynolds' personal opinions. Read more
This is so far the best book I've read on Electronic Dance Music, due to it's multiple perspectives (technological, historical, sociological, musical, cultural, chemical) on the... Read morePublished on October 28, 2009 by Miguel Arturo Rivero Lopez
This is still by far the most comprehensive and wide-ranging history of EDM, which is in some ways an indictment of more recent works on EDM (although some recent and more focused... Read morePublished on April 5, 2006 by Luis-manuel Garcia
It can be a little in-depth sometimes, almost to the point of being inane, but the author carries the story so well, you find yourself being swept up in the madness, almost as if... Read morePublished on September 29, 2005 by Michelle S
Some of the reviews here are quite articulate so I won't repeat what others have said; but I will add that the original title for this book in the U.K. Read morePublished on August 7, 2005
Despite its limitations, this is still the best empirical book about the history of rave culture to date. Read morePublished on January 1, 2005 by Zen Nataraj
Most depictions of the Rave scene tend to preach from an extreme. They either present a picture of modern-day-Sodom, or will extol the discovery of Nirvana-on-Earth. Read morePublished on July 8, 2004 by S. Adams