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Rave Clothing & Culture

Oct 24

A rave (from the verb to rave) is a dance party held in a warehouse, public or private property, that often has DJs playing electronic dance music. The style is most closely connected with the early 1990s dance music scene when DJs performed at illegal gatherings in musical styles dominated by electronic dance music from a variety of subgenres such as techno, hardcore, house, and alternative dance.

Live musicians, as well as other forms of performance artists such as go-go dancers and fire dancers, have been known to play during raves on occasion. The music is amplified by a big, powerful sound reinforcement system, which often includes large subwoofers to provide a deep bass sound. Laser light shows, projected colored graphics, visual effects, and fog generators are frequently used to accompany the music.

Rave Clothing featuring slogans like "Peace, Love, Unity" and smiley-face T-shirts originally debuted in the 1980s with the acid house trend. Plastic aesthetics, various fetish styles, DIY, the 1970s, second-hand optics, retro sportswear (such as Adidas tracksuits), sex (showing much skin and nudity, e.g. wearing transparent or crop tops), war (e.g. in the form of combat boots or camouflage trousers), and science fiction were also popular themes of the early rave scene.

Rave culture is viewed negatively by many as a terrible method of having fun since it is associated with drugs, bad behavior, and criminal conduct. Because of the stigma that the media has built about raving, many people have prejudged and formed prejudiced ideas about it.

While some raves are tiny parties conducted in nightclubs or private houses, others have grown to enormous proportions, such as major festivals and gatherings with several DJs and dance zones (e.g., the Castlemorton Common Festival in 1992). Some electronic dance music events are similar to raves, but on a bigger, more commercial scale. Raves may endure for a long period, with some events lasting up to twenty-four hours and all night. In many nations, law enforcement raids and anti-rave legislation have posed a threat to the rave scene. This is because rave culture is associated with illegal substances such as MDMA (commonly referred to as a "club drug" or "party drug" with MDA), amphetamine, LSD, GHB, ketamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, and cannabis. In addition to drugs, raves frequently employ unlicensed, hidden locations, such as squat parties in vacant homes, disused warehouses, or aircraft hangars. These fears are frequently ascribed to a kind of moral panic around rave culture.

The emergence of 'rave' (the 1950sā€“1970s)

The term "rave" was used in the late 1950s to characterize the "wild bohemian gatherings" of the Soho beatnik culture in London, England. Mick Mulligan, a jazz musician known for indulging in such excesses, earned the moniker "king of the ravers." Buddy Holly recorded the hit "Rave On" in 1958, citing the craziness and frenzy of a feeling and the desire for it to never end. The term "rave" was later used to describe any wild party in general in the burgeoning mod youth culture of the early 1960s. "Ravers" were people who were gregarious party animals. Self-described "ravers" included Small Faces' Steve Marriott and The Who's Keith Moon.

The term "rave" was a frequent phrase used to describe the music of mid-1960s garage rock and psychedelic bands, foreshadowing the word's eventual 1980s relationship with electronic music (most notably The Yardbirds, who released an album in the United States called Having a Rave Up).

The "rave-up" refers to a specific crescendo moment at the climax of a song where the music was played faster, more heavily, and with intense soloing or aspects of controlled feedback, in addition to being an alternative name for partying at such garage concerts in general. It was later used as part of the title of the "Million Volt Light and Sound Rave," an electronic music performance event conducted on January 28, 1967, in London's Roundhouse.

The event included the sole known public performance by Paul McCartney of The Beatles' experimental sound collage prepared for the occasion ā€” the iconic "Carnival of Light" recording.

The phrase dropped out of use with the quick transition of British pop culture from the mod era of 1963ā€“1966 to the hippie era of 1967 and beyond. Many consider the Northern soul movement to be a crucial step toward the development of modern club culture and the celebrity DJ culture of the 2000s. Northern soul DJs, like those in modern club culture, created a fan base by meeting the crowd's yearning for music that they couldn't get anyplace else. Many say that Northern soul was essential in establishing a network of clubs, DJs, record collectors, and dealers in the United Kingdom and that it was the first music scene to provide the British charts with albums that sold solely through club play.

The sequencing of tracks to produce euphoric highs and lows for the crowd was a tactic used by northern soul DJs in common with their later equivalents. Laurence 'Larry' Proxton, a DJ, is well-known for using this technique. DJ personalities and their fans from the early Northern soul movement went on to become influential characters in the house and dance music sectors. The phrase was not popular in the 1970s and early 1980s until its revival, with one noteworthy exception in the lyrics of David Bowie's song "Drive-In Saturday" (from his 1973 album Aladdin Sane), which includes the line, "It's a crash course for the ravers." Its use at the time would have been viewed as a quaint or satirical use of bygone slang: part of the outmoded 1960s vocabulary with phrases like "groovy."