While I do read a lot (250+ books last year), I rarely read about rave culture or techno music. I rather listen to techno than read about it. But some time ago, Jimmy recommended Energy Flash by Simon Reynolds to me, a personal account of a music journalist’s experiences with Britain’s rave scene back in the late 80s and through the 90s. Even legendary Frankie Bones has read the book and posted a short review on goodreads.
I’ve read only about a fifth so far as I read it only when I’m on my way to or from our monthly Slackjackerz radio-show. I generally quite like the book, Reynolds has a way to describe the cheapest hardcore tracks in a thrilling and exciting way that makes you instantly want to hear it. By the way, I’m compiling a Spotify playlist with all the tracks and albums mentioned in the book, so I can always listen to the stuff in the book while reading it. Unfortunately, a lot of the underground hardcore rave stuff isn’t on Spotify. I guess a main reason is the use of lots of unlicensed samples. I also agree with the author that “intelligent” music gets too much credit and respect, while sample based hardcore stuff is often unfairly looked down upon.
However, I totally disagree with his verdict of producers within the intelligent techno genre. He mentions some artists, I’ve already forgotten which ones, in a rather positive manner and contrasts them with the British duo B12 of whom he writes that it’s hard to understand why they were ever hyped. Except for a Redcell vinyl EP that I bought in the early 00s for a buck, I’ve learned of them only in 2015, i.e. two decades after the “hype”, and was still taken in by the music. I find them far more interesting than for example Autechre. In 2017 Warp released a reissue of their debut album Electro-Soma, so I’m obviously not alone with my ongoing appreciation of their work.
Tomorrow is our next broadcast, so I’ll continue reading – if I come across something interesting, I’ll do another blog post.