Although rave sirens echo throughout the dance halls and temples of today’s world only in the form of samples, and the fluorescent excesses of the 90s have ceded to a subtler club culture, the rave as a movement, event type, and aesthetic category is currently undergoing a diametrical rebirth. While its zombie-fied, glowstick-bedecked version – the ruthlessly commercial EDM scene – has conquered the mainstream in the USA, a rapt reappraisal of the early 90s as the “Golden Age” of hedonistic yet socially and politically transgressive dance music is now unfolding in Europe. Hardcore breaks are alive and kicking again in house sets, and a touch of P.L.U.R. is in the air.
Each artist at this all-nighter presents a different take on rave: from Samuel Kerridge, who is more than a little influenced by his parents’ acid house background, passing through a special hardcore set by Berlin’s Shed, mysterious act Powell’s thoroughly emaciated, obtuse and primitivist take on techno, the utter destruction of rave in 2012 with the violent “rave slime” mutations of EVOL, and the decelerated, dubbed-out techno of Andy Stott. The night culminates in a DJ-set of original rave hero Mark Archer of Altern 8, the dust mask-wearing icon of the movement in the 90s, while the final blow will be delivered by the gothic-industrial hybridity of Lower Order Ethics.
Active as a DJ since his teens, Conor Thomas worked behind the counter at Pelicanneck records and subsequently for one of the world's leading independent music specialists, Boomkat.com, for most of the past decade.
One of the original rave heroes, Mark Archer is one half of Altern 8.
Lower Order Ethics is Szilvia Lednitzky, hailing from the murky depths of underground Budapest nights. Flirting with borderline gothic and harsh industrial, her sets pry open the doors of experimental techno’s secret chambers, conjuring up smoky, hypnotic images of endless nights spent in a daze.
Manchester-based Stott won acclaim for his brooding techno releases on Modern Love, in the mid 00s. He has since moved into murkier and less floor-oriented territory with his second full-length Luxury Problems (2012).
Roc Jiménez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp produce what they call "computer music for hooligans". Their work can be understood as an aesthetic exploration of algorithmic composition and a deconstruction of rave culture under the light of various theories in recent metaphysics.
Shed is René Pawlowitz, a Berlin producer with a multitude of techno projects that reference the early 90s including Wax, EQD and WK7. Though he has a long history with Hard Wax and Ostgut Ton, his most recent album, The Killer, is on Modeselektor’s 50 Weapons.
With a diverse sound that incorporates New York no wave, industrial/EBM, post-punk, late 90s drum n’ bass, and ascetic European electronics, Powell's thoroughly emaciated, obtuse, and primitivist take on techno (merging club music, noise, and experimental electronics) has provided the foundation for his own Diagonal label and been tipped by the likes of Downwards founder Regis, PAN head Bill Kouligas, Raime, and Blackest Ever Black.