Thursday, March 19, 2009

When DJs Ruled the World

Former mixmag editor Dom Phillips has a book out, and part of it has been excerpted in the Independent.

Acid house had exploded in the UK in 1988, spreading from clubs in London and Manchester to giant, illegal outdoor raves during the so-called summers of love, immortalised on tabloid front pages and in that smiley face logo. Then it had slipped from view, under the radar, into smaller, dressier, in-the-know clubs in places like Nottingham and Stoke. In 1992, smartened up and now staged in legal venues, it came back. The superclub era began in the North, with clubs like Renaissance and later Cream in Liverpool. Ministry of Sound had opened the previous year in London. And the superstar DJs became their stars.
A review of the book:

As a journalist for Mixmag, the clubbers' in-house glossy, Phillips had first-hand experience of most of the events and characters he describes here. Although his decision to tell the story thematically muddles the chronology at times, his book is so packed with bizarre incidents and larger-than-life personalities you scarcely care. Especially attractive to the general reader is Phillips's ambivalence towards his subject. He acknowledges that ecstasy can, in rare cases, kills, and that without it, a lot of 1990s dance music makes little sense. As a fan of the original, anarchic spirit of acid house, he looks askance at the commercial feeding-frenzy it spawned.