Monday, June 29, 2009

Cymbal #13:: The Gleefully Silly 1990s

Scenes always played through my head when I was a kid. I used to imagine the worlds I could not enter, and cursed with an overactive, wildly associative imagination, they would be detailed worlds, with complete soundtracks, or at the very least, a sort of sound.

And this stupid happy-hardcore/ravepop song was the sound of the world I imagined electronic music had unlocked - some sort of pneumatic golden future, a perfect world where everyone was free to wear as much nylon and plastic as they wanted. A great deal of this was fueled by some report in a Newsweek from Berlin's Love Parade, accompanied by pictures of lots of people in thigh-high platinum boots.

Dune - Can't Stop Raving - 1995

In retrospect, it's a fairly retarded song. As was the scene that I wanted to grow up and party in. Large pants, day-glo colors, people dancing spastically. It would all subsequently become cheesy, a joke, hundred of kids with glowsticks dropping E in crummy warehouses. But if you were a kid just about opening your ears in the mid-90s, electronic music sounded defiantly like the future.

In fact, if you want to see how ridiculous this got:

Laila K. - Open Sesame

On the other end of the spectrum was this: Sex and Candy. So languid, so dreamy. One little descending guitar phrase unknots all the tension in your head. Slacker chic was at its peak in the late nineties, at the end of the whole rainbow of britpop.

Marcy Playground - Sex and Candy-1997

I wanted this mans life. I still want this mans life. I want to wake up late and spend the day watching people. Also, what is disco lemonade? Where do I get some? Is it as good as it sounds? Why is no one casting devious stares at me? Seriously.

But, for complete world creation, you have to play with the big boys. No one ever told the director of California Love where to get off the Mad Max bus. Civilization as we know it has come to an end. California is now a desert holdout of mad renegades (with an infinite supply of fossil fuels, presumably). It is never explained what purpose the large wooden domes serve. I can only presume that they cover one of those dance floors we never find empty. The chicks look superbly bored, and there have been no make-up shortages.

2Pac - California Love - 1995

I've wanted a dune buggy like Tupac's for at least a decade now, to ride in likewise style; the small car/hatchback market scene in India is a bit apocalyptic. Besides, like everyone in rap in the 90s, I want to ride with the good Doctor.

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