So where is the new fashion of phat pants, street warfare t-shirts, and crazy hair coming from? Its all coming from the new fad of raving. Raves have been in the St. Louis area since 1993. Now in the year of the Millennium, the fad has caught on to many of todays youth. Raves have a short history that began in England, but know the whole world is listening to the electronic beat. Raves are the subculture of today.
The first raves were held in England in the mid-eighties, either in empty warehouses or outdoors, in the countryside. Large numbers of people began to gather at all night parties where they danced to a new type of electronic, beat-orientated music. By 1987 or 1988, this new culture had spread to New York and Los Angeles, where it quickly caught on. Soon it would spread to Detroit and Chicago as well. By this time, dance music was composed, specifically, to be played at rave parties and was becoming more and more diverse. In Chicago, at a very popular club, called The Warehouse, a new type of music with a harder hitting, steadier beat called House was developed. Also in Detroit, a new type of music was birthed which captured the soul of the city in its even harder, more mechanical sound, known as Techno. Then in the early 1990s, back in England, two forms of music, called dancehall and dub, were fused with modern technology to create what is now known as Jungle or Drum n Bass. They had entirely different types of beats that focused on the drums and the bass. Together, these three types of music, and the culture that followed them, spread and matured rapidly, at the time when the harsh lyrically based sound of rock and roll were beginning to lose their edge. People were beginning to look for a new sound to usher in the new millennium, and they found it at raves.
Raves are a unique subculture. There are several steps that one must take to be able to enter into it. One must know the number of the info-line that tells where the party will be. The info-line gives directions to the partys location. The anticipation grows as everyone waits, in the quite night, to get inside. Once inside the party, it is a whole other world. The music is loud, and the numerous strobe lights and lasers are flashing to the beat. A DJ, who mixes records, on a set of two, three, or four turntables, plays the music. Sometimes an artist may perform live, using an array of keyboards, synthesizers, and drum machines. Often the largest sound systems available are used, sometimes pumping out 100,000 watts of sound with stacks of speakers fifteen feet high! This loud pulsating music entices people that are sitting or standing around, to start dancing. The music takes control of their bodies and making them dance like puppets on a string. There is no way that it can be stopped. Vibe is common term used at raves. It is feeling of being in a room with a bunch of total strangers, yet somehow feeling connected. When people greet each other at a rave, they greet with hugs, not handshakes. Often, people do not even introduce themselves before initiating a conversation. People walk around giving out candy, stickers, glow sticks, or colorful flyers to promote future parties. Vendors sell clothing, tapes, CDs, records, water, fruit, and special fortified drinks called smart drinks.