In the 90s, dance music was the euphoric, utopian frontier of youth culture. But what does it mean to people around the world today? In Detroit, techno is helping the city heal its economic wounds. In Berlin, idealists are battling the corporatisation of nightlife. In Ibiza, the superstar DJs of the 1990s play to economy-class travellers. In Vegas, popstars like Skrillex play scattershot EDM to a new teen audience.
In South Africa, deep house is soundtracking the 'Apartheid After-Party'. In the south of France, illegal 'teknivals' pit local police against thousands of ravers. In Israel, Jews and Arabs dance side by side to psytrance by the Sea of Galilee. In Shanghai, promoters put on branded nights and talk about market share. In Dubai, unlikely dance music scenes spring up like oases in a desert. And in New York, gay nights are still holding out against the forces of sanitisation. Around the world, rave culture set off an explosion of creativity, generating countless new musical forms, from hip-hop and house to dubstep and grime. But in a quarter-century it has gone from the subculture to the mainstream, and every year it seems closer to reflecting our consumerist era.
In Rave On, Matthew Collin crosses the globe to tell the story of where electronic music has come from and where it is going - and whether it will survive its own success.