Graphic design studio Dorothy has designed a map documenting the exhaustive history of dance music and rave culture atop a circuit diagram of Roland’s legendary TB-303 bass synthesizer, a piece of musical kit responsible for the launching, alien wobble of acid house’s low-end spasms.
Most of you reading this won’t have lived through the often referenced second summer of love — those fabled few months in 1988 when, if YouTube and dance music magazines are to be believed, the entirety of the population downed tools and descended upon gargantuan warehouses dotted about the peripheries of the M25 for weeklong, ecstasy-soaked parties.
If you are too young to have sunk warm cider out the back of camper vans with Terry Farley and Andrew Weatherall while Thatcher was still living on Downing Street, but still want to be able to hold your historical own next time you’re stuck in a smoking area chat at Tresor, you might just be in luck.
Following on from Dorothy’s visual histories of alternative music, including the electronic scene and hip-hop, the Acid House Love Blueprint – A History of Dance Music and Rave Culture – Summer of Love Edition takes the viewer on a trip from post-industrial Detroit to beatific Ibiza via the New York loft scene and Paris in the mid-90s.
Celebrating the role that 900 or so parties, DJs, producers, labels, clubs, zines, and radio stations played in the creation of a late-20th century cultural revolution, Dorothy’s bold work would sit nicely on the wall of that bloke you know who has memorised the catalogue number of every record Nu Groove ever released.
When asked as to whether he views the blueprints as being educational, informative, or entertaining Dorothy’s Jim Quail says it’s a bit of all three, adding that his favourite feedback comes when people “recognise scenes that they were a part of and then follow the connections on the print to see where else they lead.” He adds that, “we can remember vividly where we were when we first heard a song, track or ‘sound’ – so compiling the timeline and flow for the data also becomes quite personal. Is a bit like mapping out sections of our lives.”
Dorothy tasked former raver, and current designer, Ian Mitchell with working on the project. Ian says of the acid house movement – which is still a massive part of UK underground culture today – “It was democratic, it was DIY, it was underground and word of mouth. It was a period of celebration and joy. It impacted everything from music itself, to redefining clubs and clubbing, influencing fashion (and ultimately changing laws).”