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Dance Culture and Society's Image of it, Music or Drugs?

            There has been an association between intoxicants and music probably since time immemorial and certainly since the illegal speakeasies in America's prohibition era. Different drugs are popularly associated with different cultures and subcultures within Britain: Mods and amphetamines, hippies and LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethyl amide) amongst others, Rastafarians and Cannabis and most recently Ecstasy and Dance Music. Is there something specific about the culture, which then chooses the drug it adopts, or does the presence of a particular drug shape the music and culture? .
             Techno music developed from House Music in the late 1980s. Frankie Knuckles, a Chicago DJ, experimented with beat mixing, allowing him to segue one number imperceptibly into the next, allowing the crowd to dance non-stop all night. In Detroit, via gay clubs, the music became darker and harder until in England, with courtesy partly to the Roland TB303 bass unit and it's squelches, also used in America, Acid House was born. The early overall term of Techno, used for the harder, faster style, splintered into a myriad different offspring, each with a slightly different rhythm and tempo. Trance, Hardcore, Drum and Bass amongst others still persist and are still splintering to keep their freshness and variety. What was originally a few thousand people travelling to parties has become a major part of life for hundreds of thousands of people, travelling to clubs throughout the country.
             Coincident with this has been the rise in the use of Ecstasy. Seizures of the drug rose from 5,500 Kilos in 1990 to 66,000 Kilos in 1991. 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, later known as ecstasy), a psychedelic amphetamine, was first synthesised in 1912 by the German pharmaceutical company Merck. It was not used further, nor did it find it's way into the general population, as did its cousin the hallucinogen/psychedelic, LSD.

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