Posthuman’s Requiem For A Rave is more than nostalgia for your misspent youth

While I don’t remember any specific patterns of coordination, it’s remarkable how most of Europe and North America decided, at about the same time, to crush the rave movement of the ’90s with hysterical and hysterically misapplied laws that mentioned crackhouses and recycled just about every urban legend and social panic about drugs that had circulated over the past thirty years.

There weren’t any international summits about it, or scenes of shady royals and seedy FBI narcs sharing their distress over young people self-organizing in sometimes enormous numbers to spend all night dancing, often without the aid of anything more powerful than a strobe light.

But it was poetic in its own way: just as the raving phenomenon spread among youth, skipping oceans and continents with few clear lines of transmission, so did the backlash spread among cops and the sober guardians of society from all corners of the planet seemingly without any need for coordinating seminars or even sharing the text of each country’s punitive legislation.

In the UK the scene moved “from the fields to the clubs,” which are about as similar to one another as gabber is to gospel. It’s to this lost history and the people that populated its rolling hills that Posthuman has dedicated his album Requiem For A Rave, a “love letter to our teenage selves.”

If you want to know if this is going to be a nostalgia trip or not, there is a direct answer here: yes, it is, though with the self-awareness that we’re not the same “teenage selves” now either. “It’s rave, and techno, and jungle, and trance, and house, and ambient,” the liner notes read, “but none of it is quite straight forward. It’s all a bit hazy, timelines broken and lines blurred. We hope the memory connects with you, the way it does with us.”

Despite the variety of sounds, Requiem For A Rave is remarkably coherent across 16 tracks that run amok with breakbeats, rampant with distorted fuzz and tape hiss. It flows. The album is anchored by three “interludes” with a pseudo-radio jock narrating bits of poetry wedged between the rake of an FM tuner dragging back and forth across the dial. The tracks have a fugitive feeling to them too — beginning with “RMX,” these are the type of tunes you heard at the edge of a 7th generation mixtape and would maybe spend the next 20 years trying to alternately forget or identify. “Rushing High” might have appeared on a rare demo that still might be handed to DJ in the middle of the night with no indication of who made it or where it came from.

But where Posthuman really nails this is the aesthetic of anonymity. He isn’t trying to so much to sound like a bunch of different producers as much as he is trying to sound like ALL of them. Developing your own distinctive sound for most producers was secondary then to figuring out how to use the fucking equipment and especially figuring out why it stopped working all of a sudden (As a famous internet signature had it: “It’s all computers, so it’s logical, and there’s a perfectly logical reason why you need to sacrifice a goat to get MIDI working again.”) Requiem For A Rave captures the vibe of all the kids who wrestled with their equipment to produce a handful of great tracks that got a shitty release and were only rediscovered a decade after they gave up in obscurity. This album could be your youth or your life. If you were alive then, and reading this now, it probably was.

Posthuman: Requiem For A Rave (Balkan Vinyl / 2×12″ Vinyl / Digital / October 2021)
1. Posthuman: Intro (01:20)
2. Posthuman: RMX (05:06)
3. Posthuman: To The Place (05:23)
4. Posthuman: Interlude 1 (01:13)
5. Posthuman: Hate (05:13)
6. Posthuman: Ultrareal (04:45)
7. Posthuman: Fontalic (06:30)
8. Posthuman: Interlude 2 (00:50)
9. Posthuman: Proof And Fade (06:25)
10. Posthuman: Tunnel (06:00)
11. Posthuman: Rushing High (08:11)
12. Posthuman: MCRD (03:56)
13. Posthuman: Interlude 3 (00:36)
14. Posthuman: Homecoming (03:27)
15. Posthuman: Take Me Back (06:08)
16. Posthuman: Outro (00:23)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo on behalf of the label.

 


 

 

 




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