A Raver is a person who regularly goes to raves. Raves are an organized dance party at a nightclub, outdoor festival, warehouse, or other private property typically featuring performances by DJs, playing a seamless flow of electronic dance music. DJs at rave events play electronic dance music on vinyl, CDs, and digital audio from a wide variety of genres, including techno, hardcore, house, bassline, dubstep, New Beat, and post-industrial. Ravers commonly wear clothing that is bright and/or neon coloured.
Madchester, the predecessor to modern raver culture, is a musical and cultural scene that developed in the English city of Manchester in the late 1980s. It saw artists merging alternative rock with elements of acid house, rave music, psychedelia, and 1960s pop. In many ways, the Madchester scene laid the groundwork for today's Raver aesthetic. Madchester's decline gave way to the Britpop sound that became popular in the mid-to-late 90's thanks to bands like Blur and Oasis. However, more infamously, Madchester was known for having a very rich drug scene, with the popular drug of choice being Ecstacy (aka MDMA/Molly/E); in fact, Madchester band The Shamen put out a song called "Ebeneezer Goode" which was coded to be all about dropping E.
Fashion (Most Commonly Worn/Suggested)
Madchester fashion is the main reason for another name for the genre; Baggy. Baggy pants and shorts were quite popular back in Madchester's heyday and were often accompanied by tie-dye shirts of some sort. It can best be described as equal parts Raver, Hippie/Retro (for its time, not retro as we'd define it today), and Soccer Hooligan. Over time, however, as Madchester/raver culture became more mainstream, raver fashion started evolving into something completely different as it moved away from the warehouse parties of old into more extensive venues and outdoor spaces. Some of the new raver fashion that's come about includes:
- Comfortable Shoes
- Breathable Clothing
- Backpack / Fanny Pack
- Hydration Pack
- Face Mask / Bandana
- Face Glitter & Jewels
- Neon / UV Reactive Gear
- Fluffy Hoodies
- Glow-in-the-dark Accessories
- Into The AM
- Rave Wonderland
- Freedom Rave Wear
- On Cue Apparel
- Etere (Though the prices are extremely high.)
- Electro Threads
- Space Tribe
- Your Mind Your World
- Electric Styles
- Shanti Banti
- All-Over Shirts by Lumi
- The Headspace
- Futuristic Lights
There are multiple genres of music that have their association with the Raver aesthetic, such as:
Drum 'n Bass
Future Bass is an umbrella term for a genre or technique in electronic dance music emphasizing modulated synthesizer bass sounds. The sound waves are often modulated using automation or low-frequency oscillation controlling the cutoff of an audio filter (typically a low- or high-pass filter), or the wave's amplitude, to adjust the waveform (to create a ‘wobbly’ effect on its parameters). In addition, it is common to utilize a somewhat "twinkly"-sounding gradual rise in pitch during "risers" (gradual pre-drop buildups of white noise), and arpeggio chords, vocal chops, or vocoders. Artists include:
- Wave Racer
- Porter Robinson
- RL Grime
- Cashmere Cat
- The Chainsmokers
- Louis the Child
- Martin Garrix
- Mura Masa
- Boombox Cartel
Hardcore (better known as hardcore techno) is a subgenre of electronic dance music based on the Belgian New Beat industrial style of Techno, which originated in the Netherlands in the 1990s. It is distinguished by faster tempos (160 to 200 BPM or more), the intensity of the kicks and the synthesized bass (in some subgenres), the rhythm and the atmosphere of the themes (sometimes violent), the usage of saturation and experimentation close to that of industrial dance music. It would spawn subgenres such as gabber.
As described above, Madchester music combined alternative rock with acid house, techno, psychedelica, and the 1960's pop sound, with some of the big bands in the scene primarily coming from Manchester (hence the name). The music first started gaining headway from a club called the Haçienda (owned by members of legendary New Wave band New Order) and kicked off what came to be known as The Second Summer of Love. Bands within the genre include:
- Happy Mondays
- The Stone Roses
- Inspiral Carpets
- The Shamen
- The Charlatans
- 808 State
- The Mock Turtles
It was being predicted at the time that Madchester would become the defining sound of the 90's, but the 90's had other plans, as we all know by now. But the Madchester sound eventually gave way to the rise of Shoegaze and Britpop; so while Madchester didn't become the decade-defining sound that Grunge turned out to be, it did continue to be an incredibly influential genre of music in its own right (arguably ahead of its time).
As time went on, however, the psychedelica and indie rock vibes started falling away from the Raver sound in favor of a more purely electronic sound, which gave rise to techno, trance, jungle, drum 'n bass, and so on until we arrived into the era of modern EDM, which can be separated into its subgenres.
Mainstream Hardcore is a subgenre of hardcore techno. The essence of mainstream hardcore sound is a distorted bass drum sound, overdriven to the point where it becomes clipped into a distorted square wave and makes a recognizably melodic tone.
- The Sound of EDM Spotify playlist by The Sounds of Spotify
- e-girl warehouse rave Spotify playlist by Ella Lautier
- rEaL rAvEr Spotify playlist by Bigfeetbigballs
- RAVER Spotify playlist by Simon Feuerpfeil
- dark raver Spotify playlist by grashof-esendam
- wooks and ravers Spotify playlist by Tim Martin
- TIKTOK RAVERS😜 Spotify playlist by adele.tondu
The Madchester scene has inspired numerous classic movies, chief among them being 24 Hour Party People (2002) and Trainspotting (1996).