Part of the Tribe: Crews, Residence, and Affiliation in Underground Dance Music Scenes

Christopher David Charles

Abstract


With diverse roots including the Jamaican sound system, the New York hip-hop collective, and the UK rave crews of the early 1990s, the event ‘crew’ is an important organising force in contemporary electronic dance music cultures. These small groups of individuals are responsible for bringing together performers, audience, equipment, and venue. This is rarely profitable and in fact tends to incur losses – most crewmembers willingly put in their time and effort for free. This work is vital to the maintenance of local EDM scenes; however, it has often gone unnoticed by scholars and the media. Drawing on my recent research into psychedelic trance (psytrance) culture in Bristol, UK, this paper details the activities of three urban event crews in a thriving local scene. It then looks at the concepts of ‘residence’ and ‘affiliation’ which denote formal or quasi-formal relationships between artists, crews, and record labels. Throughout, the paper aims to illuminate the role that these relationships play in musical careers and the structure of music scenes more widely.

Keywords


Promotion; Psytrance; Crews; Residence; Affiliation; EDM

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bibliography

Becker, H. 1982. Art Worlds. London: University of California Press.

Bennett, A. —

Subcultures or Neo-tribes? Re-thinking the Relationship Between Youth, Style and Musical Taste. Sociology 33(3): 599-617.

Consolidating the Music Scenes Perspective. Poetics, 32(3-4): 223-234.

Bourdieu, P. 1979. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Translated by Richard Nice 1987. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Brewster, B. and Broughton, F. 2007. Last Night a DJ Saved My Life. London: Headline.

Burton, E., and Berry, A. 2011. The Trinity Centre: Culture & Change in Urban Bristol. Bristol: Trinity.

Butler, M. —

Unlocking the Groove: Rhythm, Meter, and Musical Design in Electronic Dance Music. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Playing With Something That Runs: Technology, Improvisation, and Composition in DJ and Laptop Performance. New York: Oxford University Press.

Charles, C. 2019. Psyculture in Bristol: Careers, Projects, and Strategies in Digital Music-Making. Ph.D. University of Bristol.

D’Andrea, A. 2007. Global Nomads: Techno and New Age as Transnational Countercultures in Ibiza and Goa. Oxford: Routledge.

Farrugia, R. 2012. Beyond the Dance Floor: Female DJs, Technology and Electronic Dance Music Culture. Bristol: Intellect.

Fikentscher, K. 2000. “You Better Work!” Underground Dance Music in New York City. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

Finnegan, R. 2007. The Hidden Musicians: Music-Making in an English Town. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

Fogarty Woehrel, M. 2019. On Popular Dance Aesthetics: Why Backup Dancers Matter to Hip Hop Dance Histories. Performance Matters 5(1): 116-131.

Henning, M. and Hyder, R. 2015. Locating the ‘Bristol Sound’: Archiving Music as Everyday Life. In S. Cohen et al. Eds. Sites of Popular Music Heritage: Memories, Histories, Places. London: Routledge.

Henriques, J., 2010. Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques, and Ways of Knowing. London: Continuum.

Lindop, R. 2010. Re-Evaluating Musical Genre in UK Psytrance. In G. St John Ed. The Local Scenes and Global Culture of Psytrance. London: Routledge: 114-130.

Madrid, A. 2008. Nor-tec Rifa! Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World. New York: Oxford University Press.

Maffesoli, M. 1996. The Time of the Tribes: The Decline of Individualism in Mass Society. London: Sage.

O’Grady, A. 2015. Dancing Outdoors: DiY Ethics and Democratised Practices of Well-being on the UK Alternative Festival Circuit. DanceCult 7(1): 76-96.

Petiau, A. 2015. Free Parties and Teknivals: Gift-Exchange and Participation on the Margins of the Market and the State. Translated by Luis-Manuel Garcia. DanceCult 7(1): 116-128.

Reitsamer, R. 2011. The DIY Careers of Techno and Drum ‘n’ Bass DJs in Vienna. Dancecult 3(1): 28-43.

Reynolds, S. 2013. Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. London: Faber and Faber.

Rosca, M. 2014. Illegal Raves: Social media messages bring in a new generation of partygoers. The Guardian, [online] 16 April. Available at: < https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/apr/16/illegal-raves-return-with-social-media-messages> [Accessed 29 September 2019]

Ruane, D. 2015. Harm Reduction or Psychedelic Support? Caring for Drug-Related Crises at Transformational Festivals. Dancecult 7(1): 55-75.

Saldanha, A., 2007. Psychedelic White: Goa Trance and the Viscosity of Race. London: University of Minnesota Press.

St. John, G. —

Psytrance: An Introduction. In G. St John Ed. The Local Scenes and Global Culture of Psytrance. London: Routledge: 1-17.

DJ Goa Gil: Kalifornian Exile, Dark Yogi and Dreaded Anomaly. Dancecult 3(1): 97-128.

Global Tribe: Technology, Spirituality and Psytrance. Sheffield: Equinox.

Straw, W. 1991. Systems of Articulation, Logics of Change: Communities and Scenes in Popular Music. Cultural Studies, 5(3):368-388.

Thornton, S. 1995. Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital. Oxford: Polity.

Vernon, J. 2018. Hip Hop, Hegel, and the Art of Emancipation: Let’s Get Free. [e-book] New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Vitos, B. 2009. The Inverted Sublimity of the Dark Psytrance Dancefloor. Dancecult 1(1): 137-141.

Webb, P. 2004. Interrogating the Production of Sound and Place: The Bristol Phenomenon from Lunatic Fringe to Worldwide Massive. In S. Whiteley et al. Eds. Music, Space and Place: Popular Music and Cultural Identity. Aldershot: Ashgate: 66-85.

Webster, E., 2011. Promoting Live Music in the UK: A Behind-the-Scenes Ethnography. Ph. D. University of Glasgow. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 30 September 2016]

Interviews

Fractal Forest. 2018. Interviewed by Author, 20 January.

Krosis. 2017. Interviewed by Author, Bristol, 15 June.

Krosis. 2019. Interviewed by Author, Facebook, 29 September.

Lurk. 2015. Interviewed by Author, Bristol, 14 April.

Tetrasound. 2016. Interviewed by Author. Bristol, 24 February.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.