Rave culture is a form of expression that has deeply penetrated society. It is more than just music and a movement, it is a way of life, a philosophy based on freedom, love, and peace. But how can such a diverse and eclectic culture convey such a powerful message?
PLUR, a value that has become the central axis. These are the initials in English that stand for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. These four values become the foundation, the fundamental principle that guides its followers through music and dance.
In a world full of prejudices and stereotypes, rave culture becomes a space where everyone is welcome, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic. Where equality, tolerance, and respect are promoted, it is possible to create a safe space where people can be free to express themselves and be themselves.
If you are a fan of electronic music, you have probably heard of rave parties, but do you really know what they are and what they consist of? Get comfortable and join us to find out!
It is a unique and exciting experience that attracts people from all over the world. It is an electronic music event that usually takes place in outdoor locations or closed venues. The music is very varied, but it focuses mainly on genres such as techno, house, trance, and drum and bass.
Rave parties often last all night and feature live DJ performances, which are usually accompanied by spectacular lighting effects and visual projections. Attendees often dress colorfully and extravagantly, and often engage in activities such as body painting and fire juggling.
It is a phenomenon that has spread throughout the world, and originated in the 1980s in the United Kingdom. The British rave scene emerged as a response to a youth disenchanted with commercial music and consumer culture. Young people sought a form of escape and freedom in electronic music and in clandestine parties known as raves. Acid House was the first musical genre associated with the culture, and was characterized by the use of synthesizers and drum machines to create a psychedelic and danceable sound.
House music is an electronic music genre that originated in the city of Chicago in the early 1980s. It was created by DJs and electronic music producers who experimented with the use of synthesizers and samplers to create danceable and electronic music with a unique sound. House music is characterized by its four-beat rhythm, a deep and repetitive bass, and the use of voice and instrument samples.
House quickly became a key element in the 1980s as DJs began to include it in their sets at clubs and parties. Over time, house evolved into different subgenres, including acid house, deep house, progressive house, and electro house.
The rave scene in the UK grew rapidly and became a culturally significant phenomenon in the 1990s. Raves spread to other European countries such as Spain, where rave culture was known as “La Movida.” In Spain, raves were closely related to techno music and the use of drugs such as ecstasy.
La Movida became an important part of Spanish youth culture, and many artists and DJs of the time such as Paco de Lucía and DJ Chus had a great influence on the Spanish electronic music scene.
Atari Teenage Riot is a German electronic and punk rock band founded in Berlin in 1992. The group is characterized by its experimental and politically charged style, which mixes electronic and punk rock sounds with radical and anti-system lyrics.
Front 242 is a Belgian electronic music band and one of the most influential in the development of industrial music in the 80s and 90s. Formed in 1981 in Brussels, the band is composed of Jean-Luc De Meyer (vocals), Richard Jonckheere (keyboards), Patrick Codenys (keyboards), and Daniel Bressanutti (bass and programming).
Front 242’s sound is a combination of elements of industrial music, techno, and EBM (Electronic Body Music), and is characterized by the use of metallic sounds, samples, and repetitive and forceful rhythms. Their music is intense and dark, and often explores themes such as politics, violence, and alienation.
Another important genre is techno, which originated in the city of Detroit in the early 80s. Techno is characterized by its fast-paced rhythm and use of synthesizers and sound samples. Unlike house music, techno has a darker and more experimental sound, and has given rise to numerous sub-genres such as Detroit techno, minimal techno, and industrial techno.
There are many influential artists in the rave culture over the years who have contributed to the development of different musical genres. Below I will mention some of the most recognized artists in each genre:
Of course, this list is just a small sample of the many talented artists in the electronic music scene. Each has contributed in their own way to the development of rave culture and has left their mark on the history of electronic music.
The island of Goa, located on the west coast of India, became one of the most popular destinations for travelers seeking a psychedelic experience in the 70s and 80s. In the 1990s, trance music and psytrance began to gain popularity in the Goa scene.
Parties in Goa are characterized by a mixture of cultures and lifestyles. Travelers and locals come together to celebrate music, art, and freedom in an environment full of energy and joy. The sounds of trance music and psytrance resonate on nearby beaches and forests, creating a mystical and psychedelic atmosphere.
Goa parties often last several days and take place in remote locations, giving them an air of mystery and adventure. Many of these parties are organized by hippie communities and groups of travelers who share a passion for music.
Trance is one of the most popular genres of electronic music and has been an integral part of rave culture since its inception. It is often described as a genre that induces meditation and is characterized by its hypnotic rhythms and emotive melodies.
Psytrance is a subgenre of trance that developed in the 1990s. It is characterized by its use of psychedelic sounds and a more complex song structure that often includes multiple layers of sound and changes in rhythm. Psytrance is also associated with hippie culture and counterculture philosophy.
Psycore is a faster and harder variant of psytrance, with accelerated and aggressive rhythms. It is often used in music festivals and underground raves, where energy and intensity are key.
Another subgenre of trance is uplifting trance, which is characterized by its emotional and optimistic melodies and is often used to close the nights at trance events.
Hard trance is a subgenre characterized by its harder and more aggressive rhythms that are often combined with elements of techno music.
Lastly, techno-trance is a hybrid between techno and trance, which combines the energy of both genres into a unique sound.
In the 2000s, it evolved and expanded around the world. Trance music became one of the most popular genres, characterized by its hypnotic and emotional melodies. Massive events such as Sensation in Amsterdam, Creamfields in England, and Love Parade in Berlin attracted thousands of people from around the world and became symbols of rave culture.
Currently, it continues to evolve and expand worldwide. Festivals such as Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, and Electric Daisy Carnival attract millions of people each year and offer a unique experience in terms of music, art, and culture. Additionally, there are several documentaries and films such as “Human Traffic” and “Rave Against the Machine” that have contributed to spreading the culture and keeping it alive.
Since ancient times, cultures around the world have used plants and substances to reach altered states of consciousness. Shamans, witches, and priests used plants like ayahuasca, peyote, or the sacred mushroom to connect with the divine and obtain wisdom. These plants were considered sacred and used in religious ceremonies and rituals.
Over time, scientific research has shown that these plants contain psychoactive compounds that can alter perception, thinking, and consciousness. For example, ayahuasca contains DMT (dimethyltryptamine), a substance that can produce intense and profound visionary experiences.
In rave culture, hallucinogenic drugs have also been part of the experience from the beginning. Many attendees use substances such as ecstasy, LSD, mushrooms, and others to enhance the experience and immerse themselves in the music and dance. Some even believe that these substances can open the mind and spirit to new possibilities and connections.
However, it is important to note that the use of hallucinogenic drugs can be dangerous and potentially harmful. Excessive or uncontrolled consumption can lead to risky situations and affect long-term mental and physical health.
It is important that those who choose to use hallucinogenic drugs at a rave party do so responsibly and consciously. Education on safe use and risk reduction should be a priority for the rave community. Some measures to reduce risks include drug testing, adequate hydration, care for body temperature, and moderation in consumption.
Although rave parties are commonly associated with drug use, it is important to note that not all people who attend them consume drugs. Many people simply go for the music and the atmosphere, and enjoy the positive energy and sense of community found at these events. However, it is important to emphasize that safety and health care are fundamental at these parties, so many organizers have adopted stricter safety measures, such as hiring medical services and banning certain substances.
When the lights go out and the music starts playing, everyone present becomes one entity, united by the rhythm and energy generated in the environment. This collective experience becomes a moment of communion, a moment where all prejudices and differences disappear and only human connection remains. In that moment, the values of PLUR take on a special meaning.
In addition to events, the rave culture has been influenced by a series of highly important artists in the electronic scene, such as Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Daft Punk, The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, among many others. These artists have left their mark and have been responsible for creating many of the sub-genres of electronic music.
The rave culture has not only influenced electronic music, but also had a significant impact on fashion and popular culture in general. Rave clothing, which often includes bright colors, loose clothing, and eye-catching accessories, has become a popular fashion style worldwide. It has inspired artists of all kinds, from fashion designers to filmmakers and visual artists.
As for films and documentaries that have portrayed the culture, there are several worth mentioning. One of the most well-known is “Human Traffic” (1999), a British film that follows the adventures of a group of friends living the rave culture in the 1990s. Another relevant film is “Berlin Calling” (2008), a German drama that tells the story of a techno DJ in Berlin.
On the other hand, the documentary “Ibiza: The Silent Movie” (2019) offers a historical view of the Spanish island and its influence on rave culture. Also noteworthy is the documentary “What We Started” (2018), which explores the evolution of electronic music from its beginnings to the present day.
Although the rave culture may have lost some of its cultural and commercial relevance in recent years, it still remains a source of inspiration for many electronic music artists and has left a lasting mark on popular culture, keeping the rave culture alive to some extent.
In summary, the rave culture is a way of life that has evolved and adapted over time, but has always maintained its essence of love, unity, respect, and peace.
From its emergence in the 80s to the present day, it has been influenced by a series of artists, subcultures, events, and movies that have left their mark on the rave culture and helped to consolidate it as one of the most important cultural expressions of the 21st century.
While the rave culture has had its ups and downs and faced criticisms and controversies, it remains a way of life that invites all of us to be better human beings, to seek shared happiness in community, and to live in harmony and respect with our fellow human beings.
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