Simon Reynolds: journalist, author, critic and all round cool-cat has re-published his techno-bible Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture with the addition of five extra chapters (which means the book also doubles as a really fancy paper weight).

The raveologist carefully traces the history of dance and rave culture in minute, whimsical detail, often emoting a feeling of jealously amongst the readers who can only wish of being there. From its origins in Chicago and Detroit, to the pill-popping sunny psychedelia of Madchester, whirling through the shores of Spain in Ibiza, and ending in the rise of EDM in America and the detonation of dubstep. Simon also critically analyses the comedown of rave culture in regards to modern technology; that the digital domain has given anyone the ability to re-purpose analogue music, which he argues is detrimental to the cause.

With his arsenal of music contacts in tow, the rave raconteur dedicates a portion of his book to interviews with the prime movers of the movement: 808 State, Stone Roses, Paul Oakenfold and Aphex Twin to name a few amongst many. There’s also a gallery in the middle, showing the gormless, stoned, sweaty, drunk bodies all dancing wall to wall, glow-sticks and bucket hats in tow. Simon undoubtedly makes this book an encyclopaedia for all things rave.

What is so enchanting about Simon’s writing is that he is simultaneously the observer and the participator. From attending that notorious illegal-rave at Castlemorton, to critically talking of the emergence of EDM in America, he really does do it all. With a unique, insightful, yet authoratitive angle, he aptly pins down a culture flash that remains lucid and ever-changing.


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