The Vibe in World Electronica
If you're in Vienna this Sunday, I've got a "theory" jaunt at TQW Studios, Museumsplatz 1, A-1070 Wien @ 4pm 12 March,
As affirmed in the time of corona, ‘transformation’ is a leitmotif of the dance music cultures of electronica. Experts on ritual have long known that the condition of liminality – being in-between or on the threshold – is pivotal to transformation, whether of individuals, societies or cultures. And researchers of dance culture movements recognise that the socio-sonic aesthetic known as the ‘vibe’ is an archetypically liminal state of affairs. In electronic dance music genres, scenes, and event cultures the world over, the vibe evolved as an optimal meta-liminal collision of pleasure and the sacred. At the same time, pandemicity and the era of ‘social distancing’ have restricted, tested, and pushed the boundaries of event design. In this new era of crisis, public health safety became a feature integral to the transformative exegesis. Using examples from world electronica, from psytrance to techno, this presentation offers a brief history of the vibe, with attention to its resilience in a world of risk.