Synopses & Reviews
Ecstasy did for house music what LSD did for psychedelic rock. Now, in Energy Flash
, journalist Simon Reynolds offers a revved-up and passionate inside chronicle of how MDMA (ecstasy”) and MIDI (the basis for electronica) together spawned the unique rave culture of the 1990s.
England, Germany, and Holland began tinkering with imported Detroit techno and Chicago house music in the late 1980s, and when ecstasy was added to the mix in British clubs, a new music subculture was born. A longtime writer on the music beat, Reynolds started watchingand partaking inthe rave scene early on, observing firsthand ecstasys sense-heightening and serotonin-surging effects on the music and the scene. In telling the story, Reynolds goes way beyond straight music history, mixing social history, interviews with participants and scene-makers, and his own analysis of the sounds with the names of key places, tracks, groups, scenes, and artists. He delves deep into the panoply of rave-worthy drugs and proper rave attitude and etiquette, exposing a nuanced musical phenomenon.
Read on, and learn why is nitrous oxide is called hippy crack.”
"Reynolds (Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84) shakes up his landmark 1998 volume on rave culture (Generation Ecstasy) with an expanded and updated edition that promises much and does not disappoint. This pop culture narrative is hip, perfect for the newcomer and old guard raver, and appropriately addictive. While Reynolds's approach is definitely biased the author candidly acknowledges his anthropologically problematic role as 'participant observer ', the result is 'a constant shifting...between calm Ã¢Â€Â˜omniscience' and enflamed monomania,' and it makes for great reading. Reynolds guides readers through the early days of techno in late 1970s and early 80s New York, Chicago, and Detroit, to the 'pure Balearic' sounds of Ibiza, and onward to the Madchester movement in northern England and 24-hour party people. While the occasional glorification of drugs may polarize some readers, (Ecstasy, or MDMA, is posited as 'the remedy for the alienation caused by an atomized society'), Reynolds dutifully chronicles the negative buzz surrounding substance abuse and the inevitable retreat of dance culture back to the underground. Cue mid-90s pirate radio, Euro-Trance, and a tamer but no less soulful post-millennial U.K. garage scene and its compliment across the Atlantic in U.S. nu-wave revivalist movements. Innovatively cyclical in its sampling of the past with eyes on the future, rave music and dance culture continue to morph into new subversive musical forms. For the moment though, Reynolds's guide is the one to beat. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Energy Flash
Reynolds provides an expanded and updated version of his now-classic Generation Ectasy...Reynolds approaches his subject as both fan and critic, finding the perfect balance between autobiography and eyewitness. He also happens to be a terrific writer... Authoritative.” Booklist
About the Author
Simon Reynolds is a consulting editor at Spin magazine. He is also the author of Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock, The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and Rock 'n' Roll, Totally Wired, and Bring the Noise.