Rave New World: Confessions of a Raving Reporter is this summer’s holiday book for clubbers wanting the behind the scenes thrills and pills of 20th century club culture.
Whatever your own background, Rave New World puts you in the centre of those innocent (and sometimes less than innocent) early days of DJ culture. It’s a must-read for anyone who was either too young to experience the original rave scene first-hand or was there and has a somewhat hazy memory of what happened.
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Kirk Field, the book’s author, was Mixmag’s first rave-focused journalist and was embedded in the scene, initially as a bar-man but soon an in-the-field reporter, here retelling pivotal moments in dance history like a Forest Gump of clubland.
Kirk has created an entertaining account of the birth of modern clubbing and all the magical, hilarious or down-right dodgy characters he met along the way. Like Kirk, the book is lively and relentless, but as opposed to painting himself as the star, Kirk is as self-deprecating as he is humble about his legacy as a dance music journalist.
He maps the spread of rave culture from the warehouses and fields to behind the iron curtain, Ibiza and beyond. He also provides insights into the social and political context of that time, exploring the ways in which dance culture challenged the politicians and laws of the era, plus the cat and mouse antics that ensured.
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Along the way there’s accidental acid spiking, run-ins with armed-guards, never-before shared Ibiza club secrets not to mention cameos from The KLF, Diego Maradonna and Her Majesty The Queen.
Rave New World is a reminder of how nightlife evolved and that we got to where we are now thanks to people like Kirk who recognised raving as something greater than the sum of its parts; a transformative movement and a global force for good. It’s a funny, insightful, and exciting read that comes strongly recommended.
Buy it and find out more via kirkfield.net.
Nick Stevenson is Mixmag’s Managing Director, follow him on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins