When I heard about it 4 months ago from a London friend, I asked innocently “What next rave would that be?” New Rave or Nu Rave seems to be a street culture movement born in the UK last year, and its momentum has now spilled over to the rest of Europe and the US. However, recently we got to feel its noisy presence in Tokyo, too. But as with all street culture, it is short-lived and nearly over when the hype finally catches up. Look for example at the London Olympics Logo that hectically aims to be so much of a New Rave. Poor British citizens that have to live with this spot until 2012…
PingMag wanted to inspect this so-called New Rave, resulting with us all dressed in neon colours in the office, hyper energetically gesturing and talking with a lot of exclamation marks lately! And arg! All this bloody make-up! You should see us…
Written by Chiemi
Party photos by Billa
Translated by Natsumi Yamane
With kind cooperation of Craig Ford
Every street culture movement is given a name by someone or other. Often it is the media that desperately tries to find a term for something inexplicable, thus creating the trend by themselves. That is why New Rave, which originally emerged from musical backgrounds, was named by the undeniably British music magazine, NME. As you might already have expected, the name is a spoof of the popular 80’s “New Wave” music, but literally meaning New Rave at the same time.
Weird synthesizer sounds reminding us of the 80s
Klaxons from good old Nottingham is THE New Rave flagship band and numerous media have been hailing them as The Next Big Thing. This would make us look forward very much to their visit to Japan this summer – if we only were into them so much. But being a truly global phenomena, we also count other New Rave bands in, such as the British New Young Pony Club, Glasgow’s SHITDOSCO, Brazil’s CSS and Germany’s DIGITALISM.
As for the sound – it might be best described as 80’s influenced Electro Rock or Disco Punk, and its connection with Electroclash that triggered a massive boom in the early 2000s can’t be ignored either. However when compared with Electroclash, New Rave is characterised by its stronger tendency towards rock music.
Incidentally in response to the recent New Rave craze, a current British attitude seems to consider bands to be cooler than DJs. Rumour has it that a steady stream of kids are ditching turntables for guitars, but at the moment we don’t have any hard evidence for that yet…
Omg, that’s SO 80s! The Klaxons beautified in their music video for “Gravity’s Rainbow.” © Partizan
New Young Pony Club is another New Rave representative coming colourful. Still from their “Ice Cream” clip. © Partizan
CSS from Brazil, featuring lots of gore and fake blood. That’s also SO 80s! Still from “Alala.” © Partizan
That must be New Rave, too! Hot Chip’s choice of colours for the “Over and Over” clip. © Partizan
Everything about FLUORESCENT COLOURS
We know it hurts the eye but flamboyant fashion in fluorescent colours is one of the essential elements of New Rave. As usual, some journalists already predicted the arrival of fluorescent colours in town last year, and obviously their forecast wasn’t all that far off. As you might spotted on your city’s streets, pink and yellow fluorescent colours popularised by the New Ravers are spilling over into major brands!
Not surprisingly, the street wear movement caught the haute couture’s attention: So, for this 2007 autumn/winter collection, cosmic-patterned dresses and jumpers were presented by Jeremy Scott. He happens not only to be Madonna’s costume designer, but also released a 12″ full of Electroclash for the New Yorker label A Touch Of Class. Even Martin Margiela famous for his graceful style has announced capes and shoes in fluorescent colours.
From Jeremy Scott’s 2007 autumn/winter collection. Photo: Randy Brooke
From Cassette Playa’s 2007 spring/summer collection. © Cassette Playa
Crucial mix of a carnival costume with a tribal wardrobe: British fashion magazine i-D featured Björk on their June issue. © i-D magazine. June 2007 issue
In the meantime, the London street wear label Cassette Playa is worth making a note, as its design and use of colours are unmistakably New Rave. Though you can buy Cassette Playa’s lines since 2 years at Harajuku’s Laforet, they have been so popular recently that it’s almost impossible to get on of their clothes without reservation. At any rate, it’s definitely worth taking a glimpse, so better check out their dazzling collection at their website or on My Space.
New Ravers! From the “All You Can Eat!” club, London. © Billa
Super pink! From “Foreign” club, London. © Billa
This reminds a lot of New York’s “Studio 54″. From London ‘ s “All You Can Eat!” club, 2007. © Billa
DJ and musician, NIYI is a part of Super Super magazine crew. From “All You Can Eat!” club, London. © Billa
New Rave visualised
New Rave was not only responsible for pouring the idea of “fluorescence” into the world of fashion, this trend also invoked some strange visual phenomena in recent music videos. For example, look at this bizarre sequence in the previously mentioned Klaxons’ clip Magick: There is fluorescent green fluid spurting out of the band members’ eyes. Okay, this is obviously a citation of 70′s and 80′s horror flicks of the gruesome kind. But still, it so New Rave to turn the spurting blood into something fluorescent green… and it really manages to look disturbing enough!
Finally: New Rave in Tokyo!
Now, some of you might be wondering if there are any places that happily engage in New Rave in Tokyo. If you are a cool Tokyoite, don’t worry – as every possible trend on earth, it surely exists here, too!
Vanity is a massively popular, irregularly held venue fusing music and fashion. Major bands on tour to Japan often make secret appearances at these parties, and New Ravers are now beginning to show up here from time to time. Furthermore, Vanity’s organiser Paul James is also the Vivians band leader, as part of the Rallye/Klee label. By incident or not, Klaxons used to belong there too, before they made their major debut at Universal Japan. If you are a Japanese New Raver, check it out!
The cool kids in Tokyo hang at “Vanity.”
Tokyo-based The Vivians
Paparazzi! A “New Rave” girl walking in front of Laforet in Harajuku.
Also, this year’s Summer Sonic festival in Tokyo and Osaka on the 11th and the 12th August will host a bunch of New Rave bands, including Klaxons, CSS, SHITDISCO and Digitalism – all performing on the same stage. A rare opportunity for New Ravers in Japan, so don’t miss on that one!
…So, are you a New Raver or are you anti? Please drop us a line and keep us posted about updates on that subject! Thanks!!!