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Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture Paperback – 1 Feb 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 2008 Updated/ Expanded Edition edition (1 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033045420X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330454209
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'...definitive history of rave and what followed has now been to the soundtrack to endless nights of ecstasy.' -- Observer Music Monthly

'...manages to chronicle how rave culture coalesced into being...for the subject is apparently inexhaustible and enjoyably infectious.'
-- The Guardian

'A classic chronicle of the Nineties rave movement . . . Striking and well-reported' -- Rolling Stone

'An exceptional book. Reynolds has tracked the unfolding sounds and rituals of ''the (al)chemical generation'' so comprehensively that he virtually obviates the need for any further literature on the period' -- Mojo

'Crucially, Reynolds concentrates every bit as much on the music itself... as on the culture of people, places and fascinating and informative as it is enthusiastic and entertaining'
-- Q

'This expanded edition of Reynold's brilliant dance music study was first published in book written on rave explosion...' -- Q

'Yields new insights across 424 sharply funny, accessible pages. A great achievement from a world class writer' -- ID

'enthusiasm, passion and knowledge . . . seeps out of every page' -- The Face

`Dance music's defining tome gets a remix.' -- Five stars

Book Description

Published to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Second Summer of Love

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
Although Simon Reynolds ends the book with his personal theory that a music genres relevance is directly proportional to the amount of books written about it, dance music isn't yet at this point. Unlike rock n roll, this music has not been culturally dissected and mummified in a museum somewhere. There is much to suggest that this is now taking place but Simon Reynolds efforts will stand head & shoulders above the others in this field.
Firstly, it is written from an enthusiasts point of view and this comes screaming out of the books text at all points. His style is easy going and clever, with enough musical references to delight the most anal of trainspotters.
Reynolds focusses on dance music in the UK, from its birth as imported street music, to the first British attempts at house music, getting it wrong and creating a musical hybrid which ends up becoming drum n bass. For someone who was round in the early nineties when much of this was going on, this is a tremendously exciting book which covers a creative period which most dance music hipsters are loathe to even recognise (although this is now changing and hardcore is being given the credit it deserves).
A free CD comes with the book showing the evolution from house to drum n bass over the course of around ten years and makes an ideal companion to the book, especially for those of us who didn't bother to buy the records the first time around.
A joy and a pleasure for anyone with even a passing interest in this subject.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
Simon Reynolds - Energy Flash (Picador) Watch out, this interactive book is a time bomb supercharged with music, history, interviews and...a CD! Yeah, that's why it's interactively cool! Simon Reynolds, historiographer of the musiquarium of the last twenty years brings you in a journey through the places and the records of all times. From the Chicago house and gay black scene and the techno and black scene in Detroit to the Ecstasy scene of Ibiza and then the British scene. Everything might sound rather the same of what you have already read in Collin' s book, but this book goes further, since it describes even the equipment often used and it stops to brood on other scenes such as the hardcore scene, the techno scene (with precious flashes on Belgium and Germany), the spiral tribe movement, the ambient and trance, the pirate radios and their hip MCs, the jungle and gabba fever with its raves at Rezerection, the rave scene in the States, trip hop and Tricky, drum and bass, jazz jungle and Roni Size closing with technostep, sampladelia, post rave fringe in Germany, the spirituality intrinsic in the E culture and the Big Beat. An encyclopaedia of music, criticism and history with an amazingly good discography and with a CD featuring Joey Beltram' s "Energy Flash", Sonz of A Loop Da Loop Era's "Bust That Groove" and 4Hero's "The Elements" among others.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Apollo 11 VINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
An exhaustively researched, and extremely insightful book that chronicles the evolution of darn near every genre and sub-genre of dance - from Detroit to dubstep.

Despite the dire cover, which pointlessly signposts this as belonging over at the gurning end of the shelf, Energy Flash contains some brilliantly inventive prose, which Reynolds employs with apparent ease, maintaining your interest as the dna of dance morphs through its myriad remixes.

Written as an overarching analysis of rave, rather than just dance music, Energy Flash also builds into a record of how the entire movement has, and continues to, act as a potent - but not always positive - force for creative, social and political change.

Reynolds is expertly adept at evoking the moods of the time, and specific scenes, and is at his most effective - and sometimes unsettling - as the music and its audience warp symbiotically into places as gritty, hard and dark as the music often becomes.

In recording this simultaneous evo/devo-lution, the author also reflects on the longtail of contemporary drug use, following each new wave of incoming ravers towards their own conclusions. Some peel off to birth slower, more sedate scenes; others chase down some majorly unsavoury damage as they stay the course; but all are united in pursuing their own brand of accelerated experience - all enticed by a beat, and that opening, crashing (but long since faded) buzz surrounding Ecstacy and the promises of an MDMA-altered state.
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