Friday, September 11, 2009

Archived Music Press

Archived Music Press is a blog consisting of scanned articles from the New Musical Express and Melody Maker, from 1987-1996. As you might expect, it is an indie treasure trove, but also has some interesting articles on the dance music scenes that these papers largely overlooked in their enthusiasm for every passing guitar band trend.

For instance there's this great 1996 Simon Reynolds review of Tribal Gathering at Luton Hoo, in which he surveys the myriad scenes that emerged after 'rave's Ecstasy-sponsored unity inevitably re-fractured along class, race and regional lines. The borders and divisions that rave once magically dissolved reasserted themselves. The result: a sort of balkanisation of dance culture'.

The article also features a scathing critique of the then-dominant (at least in NME and Melody Maker) Britpop sound:

'Britpop is an evasion of the multiracial, technology-mediated nature of UK pop culture in the Nineties... the symbolic erasure of Black Britiain, as manifested in jungle and trip hop...Perhaps even more than race, it's covert class struggle that underpins Britpop's anti-rave subtext: the fetishising by mostly middle-class bands of an outmoded stereotype of working class-ness, is really a means of evading the real nature of modern prole leisure. This remains overwhelmingly shaped by Ecstasy culture and the music it spawned - a still unfolding era of psychedelia based around the drugs/technology interface'.

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