Guided by Elif Pulcu.
As the days are getting shorter, trench coats are pulled out of that unreachable top shelf, London ravers are finding their way back to the clubs from the greenfield festivals. When the sun is shining, and let’s be fair we had a sun-soaked one, the choices skew towards dancing at rooftop parties, making new friends in day festivals in the evergreen parks of London, or getting lost in the late-night sweaty stomping in camping festivals. Three festivals stood out from this summer that I’m waiting to secure the early bird tickets for – We Out Here in Abbots Ripton, Love Supreme in Glynde Place (scored already), and Gala in Peckham.
I believe there are two important historic influences on the rave culture as we know it. The first one comes from across the Atlantic, 70’s in New York, starting with David Mancuso and his Loft invite-only underground dance parties. In these parties David Mancuso and his friends laid the roots of beatmatching and record pool system. Loft parties were all about sharing the love for music and almost worshipping the music played by the DJ, dancing turning into a religious ritual. These invite-only parties did not only shape dance music but also were a source of inspiration for private discotheques of the 70’s & 80’s such as Studio 54. The first private party held by Mancuso was on Valentine’s Day in 1970 and was called “Love Saves The Day”. The predominant music was mostly disco and funk, including legends like Earth, Wind & Fire, George Duke and James Brown.
The opening of Hacienda, Manchester
Photos: courtesy of Ben Kelly
The second influence is The Second Summer of Love in the late 80’s where The Hacienda in Manchester was one of the major players. Even though illegal raves were popping everywhere in the UK at the time, clubs such as Shoom & The Hacienda were finally acquiring licenses to run all-night parties. Inspired by the illegal rave culture of early 80’s where the location of the party was communicated through phone booth calls, answering machine messages, mobile messaging and secret flyers, these legal raves still held on true to the anti-establishment & sub-culture aspect of dance parties. The predominant music of this era was house music, in particular Acid House with tracks that last up to 10 minutes, influenced by Detroit, Chicago and Ibiza sounds.
Nowadays London is at the forefront of raving culture today with big establishments like Fabric, Printworks and Koko as well as more underground clubs such as Colour Factory, Corsica Studios and Fold. For this autumn/ winter season, the parties that I am most looking forward to are these three:
Folamour presents: House of Love
What: Folamour dropping his disco beats in the refurbished Koko
When: 14 October
Honey Dijon presents Radiance
What: Chicago-native Honey Dijon bringing together a mix of tastemakers such as Dan Shake and Mr. G.
Where: The Beams
When: 15 October
The Hydra: Erased Tapes
What: London based independent record label Erased Tapes mixing genres with music visionaries like Gilles Peterson at the South London raver
When: 5 November
See you on the dancefloor!