For my book report I read Generation Ecstasy. There was so much information in the book about the rave scene and "ecstasy", I didn't know where to begin. .
It's been ten years since the English seized on Detroit techno, Chicago house, and New York garage as the seeds of what's generally agreed-over there, at least-to be the most significant music since punk, and they're celebrating with a slew of historical studies. Simon Reynolds attempts to bridge the gap with "Generation Ecstasy," an exhaustive compendium of almost every rave-associated sound and idea, both half-baked and momentous, that traces the digital Diaspora back and forth across Europe and America. .
Using the multiple perspectives of music critic, enthusiastic participant, and sociological outsider to trace the development of dance music's "rhythmic phsycadelic.
," Reynolds, finds two predominant, contrasting strains: the search for gnosis, or spiritual revelation, and the desire to get completely out of it at the weekend. Setting these timeless traits in the context of the up-to-the-minute technology that made rave emblematic of its era-the fragmentary, fast-forward aesthetic, the flexible production and distribution network, the avoidance of personality and narrative in favor of sensation-he comes up with a portrait of hi-tech millennium that resonates well beyond its subculture confines. .
There are those who might find a book to analyze music that often aims for the effect of a sledgehammer to the head a mite pretentious. Yet the radicalism of dance music lies precisely in its "meaninglessness," which, paradoxically, requires intellectualization in order to get at its significance. This problem is particularly acute for Reynolds, who wants to both valorize everything about techno that makes it resistant to rock-crit "literary" analysis, and also explain exactly why it really did mean something, man.