Trippy, Dippy, Hippie 

News Flash: People Who Feel Disenfranchised Bond Together to Form Subcultures!

RAVERS, especially glow-stick toting candy ravers, really get a bad rap, and after seeing rave documentary Better Living Through Circuitry, I can see why. It was most likely not director John Reiss' intention to paint rave culture as a long-running surface study in vapidity (and later, a spooky, dogmatic pseudo-spiritual cult), but that's exactly what happens.

The film starts out with a high-tech computer-generated trip through the credits, not unlike the visuals shown at raves. Immediately, it jerks itself into poorly-spliced interviews with longtime ravers, graphic designers, and popular DJs, as they talk about what started them in the scene and what it's like to be a regular guy who plays records to 25,000 people.

On the whole, the interviewees seem to be in a contest to see who can make the dumbest statement. Unfortunately, those uninitiated into the world of raves who watch this movie will likely view the culture and its participants as completely invalid.

The worst offenders are the musicians themselves, as the boys from the Crystal Method, Freaky Chakra (the biggest hippie of all time), Keoki, and even Genesis P-Orridge bumble their way through idiotic pseudo-sociology and unload their snotty attitudes towards all music made without the assistance of electronics. DJ Spooky and Kraftwerk's Wolfgang Fuhr are practically the only people who say anything interesting or articulate, and their appearances are cut short.

Instead, Keoki is allowed to flap his mouth while watering his plants, ridiculously, in tight white pants and a see-through mesh shirt. Instead of offering insight into electronic music and culture, he yammers on about the spirituality of raves, never once removing his gilded sunglasses.

The film, in a few parts, ventures into real analysis. It shows how raves can offer a sense of religion and community. But what was an attempt to be a riveting film about the culture behind the music, technology, and unprecedented dance culture, just makes it look really stupid.

Comments (0)

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy