Pease Love Unity and Respect
Beginning with 1970s Disco in New York nightclubs as the first “American” addition to the modern EDM generation, the electronic music scene in the U.S. has since grown to insane popularity. Disco’s initial introduction of the first electronic styles only gained marginal popularity through the 1980s and 1990s. During this time, influence from Europe integrated into America and assisted in developing the first raves. At the start, raves were given names like “Acid Houses”, representative of dangerous places characterized by irresponsible drug use and a rebellious crowd. Raves were places of mind-altering experimentation where people could partake in selfish acts of rebellion in opposition to mainstream music. However, over time, the electronic music scene has developed entirely different goals and perspectives. In the early 2000s, EDM began to commercialize and move into the popular music sphere; from then on musicians across genres began infusing their own music with electronic sounds. Electronic music began expanding as an influential powerhouse into all genres. EDM has since become a musical force to be reckoned with, developing a unique culture with some of the most dedicated and loving fans of today’s music.
Today, I would consider the rave experience to be unlike any other. When asking a friend about his perspective on EDM he described it as “listening through the door to a party you’ve never been to,” as something magical and mysterious. From when you enter the door of a venue to when you slowly leave in the company of friends, a connection is made between the DJ and their music and to the audience and back. Coming from a more individualistic perspective of the 80s and 90s, raves are now places of great mutual enjoyment among listeners; everyone in the room is involved in a flow of energy that creates a family from a sea of strangers. For myself and many others, going to a show is more than just seeing a concert; the word “rave” means something entirely more than the drug induced haze of the past. Going to see your favorite artists is an experience of emotional release, accompanied by the freedom to be whomever and whatever you with in the company those who have the same purpose. The mutual love the audience shares creates an environment of acceptance without judgment that, personally, I’ve never been able to replicate or find anywhere else.
Transitioning from “Acid Houses” of the past to the modern rave, electronic music in America has overcome many obstacles. Aside from the overall development and modernization of the music itself, ravegoers today have created both a physical and emotional culture all their own. Seen on the outside, still, as places for rebellious youth, insiders know and feel the true connection and purpose that the rave scene holds for many. Togetherness and love have become a central and permanent part of EDM culture that is arguably as important as the music itself.
Written By: Andrea Inscoe