Music that's covered by the term "Rave" covers many forms of Electronic Dance Music, although the term itself would be mostly associated with the late 80s-early 90s "Rave" scene and in later years became linked to the world of underground Dance.
Most often, the term is used to in description of high energy dance, that also features hook lines made from samples, over loops and featuring synthesisers.
Dominant styles that grew out of the original "Rave" scene included Breakbeat, Acid House, some forms of Trance, Ambient Techno, as well as some of the scene of "chillout". In the days of the late 80s/early 90s "Rave", the events were often separated into areas, these would include a “chillout room” that provided a place for “ravers” to rest and relax from the intense dancing and MDMA highs.
"Rave" as a scene and as a culture was probably more heavily linked to a culture of drug taking than any other musical scene in history, with MDMA playing a major feature.
The timing of the "Rave" scene at the end of 80s, was impeccable, this being the end of the 1980s, and with the UK experiencing a large amount of political unrest, the whole country felt that there was a need to rebel, and "Rave" provided people with that outlet.
There were many political and social issues during the 1980s, these included;-
1) The UK was at war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands.
2) The UK had just lived through the miners strikes.
3) Developing countries had faced economic and social crisis from multiple debt crises, leading many of them to apply for financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
4) Ethiopia witnessed widespread famine, leading to the Live Aid concert.
5) Major civil violence had happened the Middle East, including the Iran-Iraq War.
6) During the late 1980s the Soviet Union announced their abandonment of political hostility toward the Western world and the Cold War ended with the USSR's demise.
7) Global warming had first came to public attention in the late 1980s, largely due to the Yellowstone fires of 1988.
Needless to say, the world needed to party and the world needed to rebel, the culture of "Rave" gave the world the opportunity it needed to carry out both of these things.
Roots & Crossover
"Rave" also grew from a surprising root, much of the earliest "Rave" tunes were created by a number of the old skool Punk crowd, which gave "Rave" the rebellious feel that was so needed by the UK at the end of that decade.
The original "Rave" subculture in Europe (and especially the UK) was mirrored in and initially had much relation to the crusty culture that emerged in the 80s, this caused a lot of parties to combine music from Indie artists, next to music from the "Rave" scene and even crossover with some of the Rock culture.
As "Rave" began to spread into the USA, the rebels in the USA took on the party, various, "Anti-Establishment" partygoers, some "Neo-Hippies" and some "New Age Travellers" would organise impromptu, illegal free party gatherings in fields or warehouses before media attention and government crackdowns forced the "Rave" scene to go legitimate, this bought the culture into large club venues, and with that the drug culture became more hedonistic than idealistic.
Some of the earlier Rave influences;-
808 State (One of the original Rave artists, kicking off in 1987)
The KLF (one of the most notable legends of the Rave culture, aka The Justified Ancients of Mu-Mu, The Timelords, "furthermore known as the JAMs". Kicking off in 1987, with Bill Drummond (alias King Boy D) and Jimmy Cauty (alias Rockman Rock))
LFO (another of the early days creators)
As Rave started to grow, it saw influences from the likes of; -
- The Prodigy who added SynthPunk, and Hip Hop, they also caused a huge amount of crossover between Rave and countless other genres.
- Die Antwoord, who added Hip Hop, and also found an "Alternative" following.
- Orbital who added the sounds Acid Techno / Acid House
- Moby He managed to add some Electro, some Trip Hop, some Ambient Techno, a litte Punk, and bit of Rock to the whole sound.
- Scooter They added Trance, and Rock music.
- Utah Saints who also added their own edge to Rave.
- Fatboy Slim, a true artist who has crossed over countless genres.
- Altern 8 who bought more Acid House, and added some Jungle to it all.
- Massive Attack Who took the entire Electronic Dance Music scene in a new direction, and gave the world Trip Hop