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FYI COVER STORY - GLOBE and MAIL Oct. 9 1993 (Canada)

jocelyn dee

TRIBE Promoter
***found this while doing some online research - interesting to read what stereotypes the media was perpetuating even way back when ... (a little long but interesting)

COVER STORY - GLOBE and MAIL -
Sat, Oct. 9 1993 (Canada)

They only come out at night - Rave on the rise: Is the underground selling its
soul?
article by Charlotte Parsons (Globe and Mail Montreal)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Between the bank and the hair salon, Alice gyrates in a cloud of glowing
violet. A bearded man spins past her through the mist. He is wearing a purple
tie-dyed dress; strands of pearls swing from his neck. Alice remains unfazed.
She knows what to expect after stepping through the looking glass into rave
country. The moment she walked into Place Newman, an otherwise ordinary
Montreal shopping mall, she entered a dreamscape of shifting colours, throbbing
music and outlandish attire.
Laser-lit and music-powered, the underground dance culture known as rave has
escaped the grey backdrop of its industrial British birthplace. Now, young
people from Hong Kong to Moscow are flocking to secretive surrealistic parties
known for their creativity and their size. One in London drew an ardent crowd
estimated at 30,000.

To the true believer, rave is more than just a label for an all-night dance
marathon held in some unlikely location, such as an airport hangar, library or
flea market. It is an alternative Lifestyle that allows its adherents to shed
the bonds of daily existence for a Saturday-night extravaganza cloaked in
fantasy and anonymity.
Rave 'has its own music, its own dress code, its own ethos.
And has a dark side.

Next to Alice, a young woman with ribbons in her ponytails and Tweetybird on
her skirt suddenly stops dancing, unzips her plastic Care Bears backpack and
extricates a jar of Vick's VapoRub. She smears a dot below each nostril, zips
the bag back up and resumes her frenetic dance.
She is less likely to have a cold than to be in the throes of ecstasy the
street name for the drug that has come to be associated with rave culture. Its
effects are reputedly heightened by the aromatic cold remedy.

Much confusion surrounds ecstasy, which is known to science as
methylenedioxymethamphetamine.

The drug is often described by its initials, MDMA. No one is really sure
whether to call it an amphetamine, a designer drug or a psychedelic. But it is
surely illegal, which is why, in addition to high energy and great joy, most
raves now feature a police presence.

The rave adventure begins with a phone call. The location is always kept secret
until about 12 hours in advance, that's when a message appears on the
organizers' phone line telling those who are mobile where to go? which could be
any place large and rentable?and those who are not where to find the fleet of
chartered buses that will take them there.
A crowd has already formed around a row of yellow school buses as Alice arrives
at the preordained downtown street corner. In her checkerboard sunglasses, neon
rubber earrings and plastic orange necklace, she blends in perfectly,. Hats
straight from the pages of Dr. Seuss bob above the crowd. A teen-aged girl
sporting braids and a flower-covered velvet bonnet swaps jokes with a young
oriental man in a striped top hat.
In regular life, Alice is a student of anthropology, and she now finds herself
standing between two interesting subjects: a man with blue hair and a teen-aged
boy wearing a propeller-topped ball cap. Unable to resist she spins the prop,
whose owner turns and smiles. Then the doors of the first bus open and she is
swept aboard .
Bizarre costume is central to the rave lifestyle, and the rising demand for the
elements of a bold visual statement has spawned a network of suppliers. Among
them is XStatic, a shop just off Toronto's hip Queen Street West strip where a
videotape of a recent rave flickers across a TV screen over the cash register.

The merchandise on offer ranges from ravewear (such as striped, floppy hats and
form-fitting bodices) to cassettes featuring techno, the new, largely
computerized music that drives the dancers. Lining the back wall and free for
the taking are an array of underground publications on the latest in music and
party trends.

One of the papers is called Tribe, and Mychol Holtman who writes its "Wazup"
column, offers this theory to explain why rave has become such a magnet for
restless youth since emerging from Liverpool and Manchester.
"It can be summed up in one word: unity," he says, arguing that ravers "are
reacting to the 'me, me, me: forget everyone else' attitude of the seventies
and eighties. "

Mr. Holtman feels that young people are increasingly depressed by their lot in
life, by the fact that so many of them are heading straight from high school to

the unemployment line. The rave "vibe" provides an antidote, he says. "They
reassure each other that there is hope and love out there. "
This analysis strikes a chord with Dave, a Toronto rave producer who agrees to
speak only if his last name is withheld. (Secrecy is a rave watchword.)

"There's no work. Kids are depressed. With the rave scene, they can go out and
have a good time and forget about their problems," he says, adding that the
experience can also benefit young people from unstable homes. "That sense of
family is there for people who lack it. I think they get a lot of love and
affection in the rave scene.".

Such sentiments, especially combined with psychedelic lights and wild costumes,
not to mention drugs, may sound familiar to those who remember the hippie era.
"It's a total peace movement," confirms Dave. "It's the same thing as the
sixties. "

Canadian rave got its start two years ago with four techno-starved British
expatriates. Over coffee at a Toronto cafe, disc jockey and rave producer Sean
L recalls that they "were basically just looking for a place to go ourselves,
because there was nothing here. "
Given their common background and affection for the music of Bob Marley, the
four adopted the name Exodus, planned their first rave and distributed several
hundred flyers in downtown bars to advertise it.

To their amazement, about 400 people showed up for the debut. It was an
embryonic outing, far less elaborate than those to follow, but the novices
responded to a mood and music unknown even in the avantgarde clubs many of them

frequented. "I don't suppose there was one person there who didn't go home
thinking, 'Wow, that was something else,' " Sean says.
Thus encouraged, Exodus began to arrange weekly raves, and soon other
production groups emerged. As it grew in popularity, rave began to spread,
popping up from Halifax to Vancouver. To its devotees, Saturday nights would
never be the same.
The doors of Place Newman open just as the bus pulls up to unload its youthful
cargo. On the way in, Alice is frisked for weapons and drugs by a woman wearing
a puffy pseudo-fur I coat, orange bandanna and the special sneakers favored by
Montreal ravers. (They've been elevated several inches by a stack of extra no
less .)
She surrenders her $15 ticket and sprints toward the heart of the mall, pausing
where the rave merchants have set up shop. One table is labeled "Toys" and
covered with glowing whistles and plastic troll dolls. The other overflows with
lollipops and chewing gum.
She selects two miniature boxes of gum (50 cents), tips their cargo into her
mouth and heads down the corridor as colored spotlights sway back and forth
overhead, dragging circular puddles of purple across the floor.
Then the music takes hold of her.

The music of rave comes in several forms, with "techno" and "house" the best
known. Asked to describe them, Sean says that house is " mellower, slower?a bit
more rhythmatic," while techno is harder and faster, "more abrasive, I guess."
It has an extra 50 or 60 beats a minute, features a very heavy bass line and
sparse vocals, and "it's always very loud?the louder the better. "

RAVE may be a British export but its music was born in the U.S.A. House
appeared first, taking shape in Chicago dance clubs in the early eighties and
mutating into techno after it hit Detroit. Not that the mutation has stopped.
The sound changes so rapidly that disc jockeys,
dedicated to staying abreast of the latest trends, are often
bigger stars than the performers they play.

They cultivate a personal style captured on cassettes sold with their names on
the label. A rave is a 'one off' occasion," explains Dave Crook, a Toronto disc
jockey originally from Manchester, "and the only way they can describe what
kind of music there's going to be is by putting the deejay's name on it?it's
like putting the band names on a concert flyer.
The beat buffets Alice's body as green light scribbles across her face and
glowing bars of neon criss-cross in time to the music. Fog rolls outward from
the speaker laden stage in front of the Brico hardware store, and multicoloured
ceiling lights stain the mist green, red, yellow and blue.
Suddenly, the colour vanishes as blinding sheets of white light stutter across
the smoke, cutting Alice's dance movements to photo stills. Then she is plunged
back into colour-slashed dark.
Rave electrician Neil Robertson says that many of these cosmic laser effects
are done with mirrors. "They can project light onto mirrors, which create a 3-D
image in the room. The mirrors are really small, maybe five inches, and can be
used to make the image of maybe a pyramid. "
"Laser animation" is another rave specialty. A moving image of laser light is
projected against the wall, and that's something you don't see in the clubs, "
he says.

At Place Newman, lasers are being used to create illusory tunnels and surfaces.
A ceiling of luminous green bars shoots out from the stage, just above the
heads of the dancers. Then the flat surface appears to contract, transforming
itself into a green-spoked spinning wheel.
According to Alice, there is method to this laser madness. "I think that,
visually, raves are setup to enhance the experience of being on psychedelics
she explains "although I do know a lot of people who don't use drugs who go
just for the experience of being around people
who are free and happy. "
Of those who have chosen to indulge, many are on ecstasy, which is a variant of
the sixties a love drug" MDA and the intoxicant of choice for ravers from
London to San Francisco.
However, the growing attention being paid to ecstasy angers rave organizer
Dave. "There are a million kids out there who come to these things who don't
even do drugs, " he contends. "They come for the music." His brows knit in
frustration.
"If I could extricate drugs from the scene, I would. But can the Grateful Dead
get the drugs out of their concerts? So why don't we disallow the Dead?"

"When I see a 17-year-old kid who's wrecked, I get upset. I really do. But I
take care of these kids. And that's a lot more than I can say for those [rock]
concerts."

ALICE is not on drugs, but after an hour of dancing she is certainly thirsty.
She escapes the laser kaleidoscope and weaves through the crowd toward a heavy
black curtain. As she slips past it, black lighting turns the white stripes of
her dress electric mauve, and she arrives at the "smart bar. "

A woman in a black bodice is tending three blenders housing "smart
drinks"?liquids in cheery shades of red, orange and green. "They're made with
amino acids, fruit and caffeine," she explains while pouring Alice's selection,
raspberry, into a plastic cup. "They give you an energy boost. "
Across from the bar, an empty shop has been converted into the "chill-out
lounge." Young people sit cross-legged in the light of a single candle, as a
stereo set next to a tangled heap of pink and blue neon tubing emits music
totally unlike the pounding techno on the other
side of the curtain.

Called "ambient", it features a soft beat and keyboard
washes that create an oasis for the bass-weary The smell
of clove cigaettes and hashish is in the air.

By 4 a.m. Alice has spent whatever energy her smart drink had provided.
Exhausted, she manoeuvres through the crowd and out the door. She is struck by
the sudden quiet as she steps back into the grey-black reality of the parking
lot.

A police cruiser sits idling, as its occupants gaze at the mall with apparent
boredom. The two policemen have a long wait ahead. They've been assigned to
watch over the party until it wraps up in another four hours. Bidding the
officers good night, Alice boards the bus that will take her back downtown.
Across the parking lot, a second bus pulls up with a fresh crop of costumed
youth. For them, the night is just beginning.

Lately, the police have taken a passive approach to rave control. "When we find
out about a rave party, then we'll monitor them says Detective
Sergeant Craig Hilborn of the Metro Toronto force's drug unit. "The main
concern we have is the age of the participants and the possible use of illicit
drugs."

He says there is little of the violence that would cause a policing problem. In
fact, a rave in May did end in serious violence, but not at the instigation of
its participants. Video footage of the Montreal force shutting down festivities
at the Palais du Commerce show police in riot gear beating party-goers with
nightsticks.
Yet, the future of rave may be in doubt. If anything, the phenomenon may fall
victim to its own success.

In recent months, rave has left its underground birthplace and percolated into
the mainstream. Fully aware of what happened to disco, punk and all the other
subterranean movements that made this journey, hardcore ravers are growing
disillusioned.

Popularity breeds commercialism, and the purists have become skeptical as
second-generation competitors appear in the marketplace.
"The sole purpose of a lot of these people is just simply to make a killing, "
complains Sean L. "I think what happened is, people saw what was going on?four
or five hundred people dancing?and thought, 'Hey, I could do that!' But to
throw a rave you have to understand what it is; what the vibe is. "

At a recent event staged by Atlantis, one of the newcomers in Toronto,
representatives of Chemistry, an early arrival, handed patrons their
resignations?laminated cards that read: "The scene has gone commercial been
bastardized and generally gotten f----d up. That's why we've reluctantly
decided to pack it all in.... "

As the parties move away from their underground dance roots, Sean says, there
is less emphasis on the music, and more on a carnival atmosphere with games and
toys. For example, the Atlantis production featured a maze, a game of ring toss
and a giant blow-up castle with a bouncy floor.
This is rave packaged by businessmen in their 30s, he says, and their target
market is no longer the inner-city crowd who started it all. "They're appealing

mostly to high-school kids from the suburbs.
The pioneers fear that in losing its clandestine nature, rave may lose the key
ingredient to its continued good health. They may not have to wait long to find
out whether they're right.
This month's schedule in Toronto demonstrates just how quickly rave is losing
its low profile. Atlantis is planning to hold one at the CN Tower, the tallest
free-standing structure in the world.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Its true, we have been around that long, I am still amazed myself sometimes...
 

deep

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by jocelyn dee

At a recent event staged by Atlantis, one of the newcomers in Toronto,
representatives of Chemistry, an early arrival, handed patrons their
resignations?laminated cards that read: "The scene has gone commercial been
bastardized and generally gotten f----d up. That's why we've reluctantly
decided to pack it all in.... "
rofl , jaded and bitching about the scene even in 93
 
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deep

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Chubbs
Doesnt that make sense?

Last year's halloween party was the tribe 9 year was it not?
a better question, don't you think the guy who owns the magazine might remember when he started it? ;)
 

Chubbs

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by deep
a better question, don't you think the guy who owns the magazine might remember when he started it? ;)
His statement reeked of amnesia. I was simply using logic to prove a simple point ;)
 

deep

TRIBE Member
I wonder what the names quoted are doing now...

like married with kids and a minivan or some shiz
 

Cheap Ego

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: FYI COVER STORY - GLOBE and MAIL Oct. 9 1993 (Canada)

Originally posted by deep
rofl , jaded and bitching about the scene even in 93
yah man.. parties were so much better before they existed...
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
I am not married, no kids. dating a russian girl

everyone else has retired
 
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bucky

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: FYI COVER STORY - GLOBE and MAIL Oct. 9 1993 (Canada)

Originally posted by deep
rofl , jaded and bitching about the scene even in 93
haha.. i thought the exact same thing.

some things it appear have not changed one bit!
 

deep

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Re: FYI COVER STORY - GLOBE and MAIL Oct. 9 1993 (Canada)

Originally posted by Cheap Ego
yah man.. parties were so much better before they existed...
I remember, back in the cave, they put so much more effort into the wall paintings, and people actually danced to Ug's drumming, instead of standing around and stroking their chins
 

deep

TRIBE Member
and fur wasn't "fun", you couldn't pick it up at numb, you had to go kill the fucking sabertooth tiger yourself
 
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OTIS

TRIBE Member
This only reinforces the idea that the days when the party culture was described in such kind words are forever gone.. and rightfully so. It's not being jaded, I just have a genuine problem with reminiscing on the haydays 90's partying and remembering it slowly craft it's own demise when I watched, participated, and still hoped it could blossom into what it was wholey capable of. Now only the music exists. Back to basics till the next evo-revolution I guess.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Originally posted by OTIS
This only reinforces the idea that the days when the party culture was described in such kind words are forever gone.. and rightfully so. It's not being jaded, I just have a genuine problem with reminiscing on the haydays 90's partying and remembering it slowly craft it's own demise when I watched, participated, and still hoped it could blossom into what it was wholey capable of. Now only the music exists. Back to basics till the next evo-revolution I guess.
I said pretty much the same thing when disco died in the early 80's there OTIS... I think we may have another long wait till the next cycle..
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by alexd
I said pretty much the same thing when disco died in the early 80's there OTIS... I think we may have another long wait till the next cycle..
Yea, I look at disco's ressurection through house as an encouraging event from a musical standpoint. But I speak moreso of the social subtext of the party scene which seemed (to me) to be it's glue. Others would argue that it was the drugs.. but I could argue that most of those arguers indeed followed that logic first hand. When I stubled upon it I genuinely peered upon the sub-cultre as one with so much momentum & vitality that it would change the world. And maybe it did, in ways more subtle, but it left as soon as it came and that's always a sad thing that kinda undermines what it was.
 

deep

TRIBE Member
do you not think that feeling was in part due to the idealism of youth?

unburdened by the responsibilities we acquire through time (even basic shit like paying the bills) it's a lot easier to take to nights out with rose coloured glasses...

There are two effects I'm describing here...one that people grow older and two that there is a fundamental tendency to look back nostalgically on things and see them as being better than they might have actually been. memory is by virtue reconstructive, not a carbon copy of events in time
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by deep
do you not think that feeling was in part due to the idealism of youth?

unburdened by the responsibilities we acquire through time (even basic shit like paying the bills) it's a lot easier to take to nights out with rose coloured glasses...

There are two effects I'm describing here...one that people grow older and two that there is a fundamental tendency to look back nostalgically on things and see them as being better than they might have actually been. memory is by virtue reconstructive, not a carbon copy of events in time
I acknowledge and have many times acknowleged all of what you present.. naive idealism, seductive nostalgia, selective memories.. but I always felt something above all that, that transcends yet does not necessarilly disclude the above. Something that was truly unique and special, and was stong enough to be partial reason for me to stay away from drug culture -for fear of diluting that feel I got everytime I walked into a bumping party.

Ever since I was a little kid I had this odd ability to mentally accurately bookmark places & times in my life where I felt immensely content, so much so I was able to carry that exact feeling with me forever. These aren't selective memories, these are bookmarks in their truest sense, where I mentally recorded the exact feelings and mental state I felt at that precise moment in time to be recalled as accurately as a riddle or math equation. Some of these bookmarks are a collages of different memories of childhood, trips to the cottage when I was four, chillin with gramps fishing in florida, but I cannot tell you how many I reserved since party day 01, to present.. it wa a consistency that could not be ignored or denounced as the product of carefree induced idealism.

Bah.. I didn't want to get into this really.
 
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deep

TRIBE Member
I agree in that it felt very special at the time, like something unique about our generation. I'm happy to have been a part of it while it lasted.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by deep
I agree in that it felt very special at the time, like something unique about our generation. I'm happy to have been a part of it while it lasted.
Yea.. I couldn't have said it better myself, however I have a hard time with the last three words.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Most people have a tendency to remember the good times, and discount the bad times. Now this ain't a bad thing (mostly), but it is why when thinking of the past, it seems pretty rosy until you start actually trying to think of all the bad things... you know they were there right? But damn if it ain't hard to bring them up as easily as the good.

Anyway, I'm glad to have caught the very final tail end of whatever the fuck happened ;)
 

EffinHard

TRIBE Member
seriously, Im glad the scene was "jaded" long before I got here. Now I can tell people to stop bitching and have fun.
 
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