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"A production whithout design would resemble more the ravings of a madman, than the sober efforts of genius and learning."--An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748) by David Hume

"The commercialization of the movement is seen as inevitable by the makers of Better Living Through Circuitry; as one interviewee states, “20,000 people at a rave can't be underground anymore.”--Dance, Drugs and Escape: The Club Scene in Literature, Film (2007) by Stan Beeler

"Price railed against indie-rock/rave crossover bands like the Beloved, the Shamen, Beats International, and Primal Scream as "totally noncredible acts cashing in on the sort of music 808 State have been doing for years."--Energy Flash (1998) by Simon Reynolds

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A rave is a dance party at a warehouse, club, or other public or private venue, typically featuring performances by DJs playing electronic dance music. The style is most associated with the early 1990s dance music scene when DJs played at illegal events in musical styles dominated by electronic dance music from a wide range of sub-genres, including techno, hardcore, house, and alternative dance. Occasionally live musicians have been known to perform at raves, in addition to other types of performance artists such as go-go dancers and fire dancers. The music is amplified with a large, powerful sound reinforcement system, typically with large subwoofers to produce a deep bass sound. The music is often accompanied by laser light shows, projected coloured images, visual effects and fog machines.

While some raves may be small parties held at nightclubs or private homes, some raves have grown to immense size, such as the large festivals and events featuring multiple DJs and dance areas (e.g., the Castlemorton Common Festival in 1992). Some electronic dance music festivals have features of raves, but on a larger, often commercial scale. Raves may last for a long time, with some events continuing for twenty-four hours, and lasting all through the night. Law enforcement raids and anti-rave laws have presented a challenge to the rave scene in many countries. This is due to the association of rave culture with illegal drugs such as MDMA. In addition to drugs, raves often make use of non-authorized, secret venues, such as squat parties at unoccupied homes, unused warehouses, or aircraft hangars. These concerns are often attributed to a type of moral panic surrounding rave culture.



To rave is to speak or write wildly or incoherently. In Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, David Hume says "a production whithout design would resemble more the ravings of a madman, than the sober efforts of genius and learning."

Rave music

Better Living Through Circuitry

Rave music consists of forms of electronic dance music that are associated with the rave scene.

Most often, the term is used to describe high in energy music, including some forms of trance music, that features samples, loops and synthesizers. Less intense forms of rave music include ambient music, and chillout music, usually used in separate areas of raves known as "chill rooms" that provide a place for "ravers" to rest and relax from the intense dancing.

Rave music closely followed the acid house phenomenon and was initially considered as a combination of fast breakbeat and more hardcore forms of techno. Early 1990s efforts by Nebula 2, Acen, Altern-8, The Prodigy (Experience), Utah Saints and The Shamen (En-Tact) were quintessential rave music and were being played at huge all night raves like Fantazia, Raindance, Universe and others.

By the early 2000s, the term was used more generically to mean any one of a number of different styles (or combinations thereof) that might be played at a rave party. In this sense, rave music is more associated with an event than a particular genre, per se. At a rave there can be different "arenas" or areas which play different styles of rave music. Very large raves called "massives" may include ten or more separate arenas, each with their own music style, ranging from hi-energy techno and trance to chillout and ambient in the chillrooms situated next to or within the surroundings of the main event.


Raver styles of music continue to grow and evolve. Some genres and an iconic artist include (not an exhaustive list):

Non-dance styles which might be heard in a rave "chill-out" room include:

Some ravers are selective between genres, showing little or no interest in one area while finding great satisfaction in another. House often has roots in funk and disco while trance has its roots in new age and symphonic music. Many DJs mix genres, remix existing sounds, or leave electronic music entirely.

Among the new forms of rave music is "Makina", a distorted spelling of the Balkanian word for "machine". It is mainly produced in Spain but also in Italy, Germany and France.

Drug use

Rave music is often tied closely to the drug Ecstasy because of the drug's capablity to enhance the music in an amplified sense. While on Ecstasy, listeners say rave music sounds clearer, crisper, and more "fluid", ultimately making the sound more enjoyable. Rave music is heavily repetitive in nature, and "ravers" state that when the listening or dancing experience is combined with Ecstasy, the effect produced is a heightened and surreal pleasurable experience.

Even though the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) is tied to the drug use, there are many people against the use of it, from listeners to the same DJs and Producers. They claim "Music itself is enough to enjoy it".


Bennett Andy, Peterson Richard A.: "Music Scenes: Local, Translocal and Virtual." Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2004

Reynolds, Simon: Generation Ecstasy: into the world of techno and rave culture Routledge, New York 1999.

Lang, Morgan: "Futuresound: Techno Music and Mediation" University of Washington, Seattle, 1996.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rave" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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