||This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (November 2009)|
|Stylistic origins||Post-punk revival, dance-punk, electronic rock, new wave, indie rock, grindie, breakbeat hardcore, electro house, acid house, experimental, techno, mashup|
|Typical instruments||Guitar, bass, drums, drum machine, percussion, synthesizer|
New rave (sometimes spelled nu rave or neu rave) is a term applied to several types of music that fuse elements of electronic music, new wave, rock, indie, techno, mashup, breakbeat hardcore and electro house. It is most commonly applied to an arguable British-based music scene between 2005 and late 2008 of fast-paced electronica-influenced indie music that celebrated the late 1980s Madchester and rave scenes through the use of neon colours and using the term 'raving' to refer to going nightclubbing.
The British music magazine NME is largely responsible for popularising the term throughout 2006 and 2007, until claiming in mid-2008 reviews that "New Rave is over". The genre has connotations of being a "new" version of rave as well as being a play on the term "new wave".
Klaxons, Trash Fashion, New Young Pony Club, Hadouken!, Late of the Pier, We Smoke Fags and Shitdisco are generally accepted as the main exponents of the genre (although some of them disavow the term entirely).
The aesthetics of the new rave scene are largely similar to those of the original rave scene, being mostly centred around psychedelic visual effects. Glowsticks, neon and other lights are common, and followers of the scene often dress in extremely bright and fluorescent colored clothing. Indeed, many consider New Rave to be defined more by the image and aesthetic of its bands and supporters, than by the somewhat vague sonic criteria. Trash Fashion lead singer, Jet Storm, and Electro heroine Uffie, have been described as the scene's very own pin ups. Nevertheless, the usage of electronic instruments, a musical fusion of rock and dance styles, and a particular anarchic, trashy energy are certainly key elements.
Nu-rave.com claims that the term "nu rave" was stolen by the NME for the promotion of indie music and that real nu-rave is a trio of distinct but united music styles: hardcore breaks, rave breaks and jungle techno (J-tek); music that takes the best from the original early 90s UK rave scene and brings it up-to-date.
The term was coined by Angular Records founder Joe Daniel and was featured on the "An Angular Disco" flyer used to advertise Klaxons's first gig. Klaxons later declared they were not new rave, describing it as a "joke that's got out of hand" and that the term was originally ironic, not serious. In reaction to the media overkill of the "genre", Klaxons banned the use of glowsticks at their gigs in April 2007, saying that "We kept getting asked to explain it. The whole idea of new rave was to take the piss out of the media by making them talk about something that didn't exist, just for our own amusement. And they'd say, I appreciate that, but can you tell me more about new rave?" Los Angeles Times critic Margaret Wappler comments that the "minimalist dance-punk of LCD Soundsystem, the analog classicism of Simian Mobile Disco, the fanatical electro-thrash of Justice, the international amalgam of M.I.A., the agitated funk of !!! (Chk Chk Chk) and the art-schooled disco-sleaze of Cansei de Ser Sexy" contributed to the thriving 'new rave' dance scene, which led to a rediscovery of indie rockers, and a critical and intellectual revolution in dance music.
New rave clubs
One of the things that distinguished new rave from other movements was the wearing of baggy clothes, fluorescent colours and the emphasis on celebrities. One of the most influential clubs, organised by musician K-Tron and Jim Warboy called All You Can Eat became a regular haunt for artist Stuart Semple, fashion designer Rubbish Fairy and performance artist Theo Adams and members of rock group Trash Fashion.
The actual sound of the original rave style is barely (if at all) discernible (save some typical analog synth lines) in the majority of bands referred to as new rave. Bands such as The Sunshine Underground, Cansei de Ser Sexy and Hot Chip are often labeled as new rave due to their large following by fans of the genre. M.I.A., has been described as "a new raver before it was old." Several have publicly declared they had nothing to do with the genre. Stylist Carri Mundane described it as funny, saying New Rave was "Vacant in retro. It’s just a marketing machine.... I guess it was a fun time but I’m more excited about what happens now. The next level - the next generation. There’s a mood of neo-spiritualism and futurism that excites me."
In their review of the Klaxons' first album, Myths of the Near Future, the NME branded the traditional rave scene as "twats with baggy trousers".
The new rave scene can be viewed as a media construct, largely propounded by the NME and TRAX, with other publications treating the subject as a joke. The belief that many of the bands associated with new rave can more appropriately be associated with the genre of dance-punk has given credence to such suggestions, although differences between both genres are said to be minor and more down to aesthetics. Critic John Harris has stated in The Guardian newspaper that the genre is nothing more than a "piss-poor supposed 'youthquake'" that will soon go out of fashion in the same way as rave. In series 3 of the BBC comedy The Mighty Boosh, the song "Eels" sung by Noel Fielding made satirical references to new rave, in an episode titled "Eels".
- The Observer. 5 October 2006 Rousing Rave from the Grave. Retrieved 9 January 2008.
- NME. "Album Reviews: Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles - Album Reviews"[clarification needed]
- BBC News. 3 January 2007. "Sound of 2007: Klaxons". Retrieved 31 March 2007.
- The Observer. 28 January 2007. "New Rave is Dead; Long Live the Klaxons". Retrieved 31 March 2007.
- Harris, John. 13 October 2006. "New Rave? Old Rubbish". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
- The Guardian. January 5, 2007. "2007's Original Soundtrack". Retrieved 12 April 2007.
- Boston Globe. 6 April 2007. "Meet the NEW Rave. Same As the Old Rave?". Retrieved 12 April 2007.
- Times Online. 12 November 2006. "Here We Glo Again". Retrieved 131 February 2009.
- Sunday Life. 4 February 2007. "Music: Having a Blast". Retrieved 12 April 2007.
- The Guardian. February 3, 2007. "The Future's Bright...". Retrieved 31 March 2007.
- BigShinyThing. October 12, 2006. "God Help Us All: New Rave". Retrieved 11 February 2009.
- Entertainment Wise. November 1, 2006. "Klaxons: We're Not New Rave". Retrieved 31 March 2007.
- Popworld interview. 13 April 2007. "Music News". Retrieved 14 April 2007.
- Wappler, Margaret (20 September 2007). "Turning the beat around again". Los Angeles Times.
- "Sunshine Underground gig review". NME. Retrieved 18 July 2007.
- Smoughton, Rob (24 July 2007). "Times Online Hot Chip Review review". London: Times Online. Retrieved 24 July 2007.
- Collins, Hattie (2007-08-18). "Blog Rockin' Beats". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2008.
- NME. 4 March 2007. "Review: Klaxons - Myths of the Future". Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Rave Dog" - a documentary about Trash Fashion and new rave on the Channel 4 (UK) programme FourDocs