Just last weekend we've had (once again after two years break) the Love Parade, basically a huge open-air
rave. Now fully commercialized (but that's a totally different story). I
didn't attend it, but somehow the publicity surrounding that event prompted
me to look into my 15GB archive (and corresponding CD collection) of early
nineties Techno music.
Little of my blog readers will know me for that long time. Most of you will
think, yeah it's that Goth guy, he listens to strange dark wave, industrial,
ebm, music. Some of you also know that I enjoy a fair share of popular Hindi
But actually when I first started to actively listen to music, maybe at the age
of 12 and up, I was a _huge_ fan of the then-popular electronic music in
Germany: Techno. In a very short time this genre made it mainstream, creating a
new youth culture in mainly Europe, but particularly Germany.
It was an euphoric time. German had just reunited. People were
enthusiastically looking forward at the supposedly-bright future, now that the
cold war was over. Everything was looking bright. People still mostly had job
security, unemployment was low (compared to now), the negative effects of the
neoliberal globalization did not yet affect the public at large.
At the same time, technology was en vogue. Home computers had started to become
public in the second half of the eighties, the BBS scene existed, a small minority
of people had access to Usenet, later the Internet. Music that used (mainly)
synthesizers, samplers, sequencers and the like was very modern/futuristic.
So this was the kind of setting in which I spend my teens. Obviously I was too
young (and shy) to attend any of the big raves at that time, but I was listening to
music from Westbam, Marusha, DJ Dick, Hardfloor, PCP, Sven Vaeth, Sunbeam, RMB,
Star Wash, Underworld, Cosmic Baby, Members of Mayday etc. I spent literally
hundreds of Sunday nights recording the (in)famous "Techno Club" at the local
radio station N1. God, how often did I watch the recordings / live shows of
the cult "Mayday" raves.
So this was about 1991 to 1996. After that time, this kind of electronic music
became less and less mainstream. I listened to Dutch "Rotterdam" hardcore for
some time, but gave up on that very soon, too. Disappointed by the perceived
in-availability of any good electronic music as I knew it, I resorted to
classical music for a couple of years, until I got more and more into the "all etc.
kinds of dark music" in which I still feel at home today. Music that is much more
depressive/negative/destructive than the "happy partying" kind of Techno music.
This sort-of resembles my change of mind-set during the same period of time.
Reading up on world poverty, globalization issues, north/south conflict,
environmental issues, the neoliberal model, increasing unemployment, increasing
divide between rich and poor, the constant destruction of civil liberties, etc.
Anyway, so given that recent love parade revival, and me listening to "L.A.
Style - James Brown is Dead" at some Industrial/Gabber/Minimal Electronics party
last month, I decided to tune into that collection of old music once again.
I'm almost overwhelmed by the amount of feelings and memories this has
triggered inside me. Basically it teleported me right back into how I felt
10-15 years ago. A life still in school, not knowing the [evil] world as I
know it now, a life full of dreams, hope, happiness and the corresponding music.
This "trip back in history" is now basically going on for the better part of
one week. It's going to end soon, and it will leave me longing for the corresponding
sorrowlessness. Depressive reality will reclaim its terrain...