I don't much like techno music. New Order is about as close as it comes, and they have guitars. I'll maybe listen to Daft Punk when I'm feeling particularly mindless. So my trip to the Village last Friday to see DJ Baby Anne and Josh the Funky 1 was really a foray into cultural anthropology. Who's into this stuff, anyway?
It was hard to tell. The Village is a theater, and about half the ravers were sitting down, taking in the laser light show and big screen computer graphics, decidedly not raving. Even the people on the floor weren't that into the scene. There were no more than 75 people in the thick of it, including: four or five dancers waving glow sticks around, stuck in their own heads; several shirtless men, most unadvisedly so; one fellow with a Cat-in-the-Hat-style hat that I vaguely remember as being essential rave apparel back in the day. But nowhere near as much sketchiness as you might expect.
Why the low energy and lack of perversion? Chalk it up to the tunes. I'm not the best person to judge this sort of music — I'm vaguely aware that there are differences between house and jungle and trance and whatever else, just don't ask me what they are — but it was obvious that the DJ was playing some uninspired and repetitive stuff, with pretty boring samples. (Snoop Dog's “Sexual Eruption” got some play, as did Ron Carroll's “Walking Down the Street with My Nikes On.”) This was all mixed into a house beat (said a source at the rave), a style driven by a thick bass that the DJ periodically cut out in order to build tension.
But I can't imagine that many people in the room were giving much thought to what they were hearing — the real indicator of quality at this sort of show, apparently, is how much excitement it generates. Friday there was next to none.