Mixmag – UNACCEPTABLE IN THE NINETIES

Original post. He’s wrong obviously.

Mixmag | UNACCEPTABLE IN THE NINETIES.

With the retooling of 90s-style house and garage by the likes of Disclosure, a 90s fashion comeback and a renaissance of 90s legends like MK, Sasha, Masters At Work and EZ, you might be forgiven that the decade before the millenium was the UK’s golden era of rave. Bollocks, says Matt Chittock… and he was there. Here are ten reasons why 90s raving sucked compared to today

1. Crap licensing laws. In the 90s pubs still shut at 11pm and clubs chucked out at two. And yes – the legendary raves were definitely 24 hours: but after 1993 drug dealers and assorted gangsters made them scarier than a bath tub full of rattlesnakes.

2. Only four channels of comedown telly. Today, thanks to YouTube, you can plug into an endless supply of brain-soothing silliness to ease you back into real life. Early nineties ravers only had Open University broadcasts to smother the madness mounting in their brain.

3. Uppity record shop staff. Getting served in old-skool dance stores meant running the gauntlet of the dickhead owner and his sniggering mates who’d openly laugh at your choices. Which always cost a tenner. Of your own hard-earned money. From his fucking shop. Many of us welcomed the internet-driven record shop holocaust, and aren’t ashamed to say it.

4. Useless vinyl records and CDs. Because however much DJ Sneak bangs on about ‘the soul of the sound’ MP3s ain’t never going to be scratched up, nicked, bent out of shape or covered in blim burns by the end of the night.

5. Really strong ecstasy. OK, so getting on one 90s-style was the ideal accompaniment to acid house – but for every ageing raver rhapsodising about the power of white callies there’s a gibbering middle-aged wreck who’s been scared to leave the house since he got back from Shelleys.

6. The end-of-night taxi fight. Since all clubs chucked out at the same time your average taxi rank resembled a battle scene from Lord of The Rings as piss-heads fought pill-heads for the next ride home. See Glasgow city centre today for a window back in time.

7. Smoking in clubs. The smoking ban may mean clubs are now a toxic fug of farts and sweat – but smell Paul Oakenfold’s hair and you’ll still get a whiff of the amyl nitrate and Marlboro Lights peasouper that made up Eau de Club twenty years ago.

8. Learning to mix. Throughout the 90s wannabe DJs wasted years hunched over their belt-driven bedroom decks trying to blend one record into another. Fast forward 15 years and touch button mixing can turn your gran into David Guetta in five minutes flat. Not good for the craft, but definitely for our ears.

9. Horrible fashion. The rave fashion fantasy: cool kids in Moschino wearing tiny sunglasses and vogueing to ‘Strings Of Life’. The reality: a freezing warehouse stuffed with dayglo muppets with a middle shed and John Lennon specs eating their own faces.

10. Losing people. How the fuck did people find each other at raves without mobile phones? They didn’t. Cue aimless, endless and addled wandering around podiums while your mates were dancing by the smoke machine.

11. A government that hated you. While today’s politicians try to get down with the kids to distract from their Eton roots, 80s/90s MPs actively hated your guts. Hence the Criminal Justice Bill – a notorious bit of 90s legislation which allowed the fun police to break up anything livelier than a toddler’s birthday party.

12. Crap records. Whatever ageing ravers tell you, it wasn’t all wall-to-wall dance classics back then. Italian piano house, comedy rave records and (much, much later) Big Beat did more to kill off acid house than (allegedly) rat-poison-laced pills ever did.

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