Class of ’99, Vol. 12

This month’s mix begins with a scene from the 1995 movie Party Girl. There are very few rave movies, and even fewer that get anything right (the unfortunate exception being the aforementioned Kids). Party Girl features Parker Posey as a promoter in the rave-adjacent “outlaw party” scene, and her roommate who lands a residency at a nightclub run by Renée, a violent drunk:

Party Girl is a really cute, very 90s movie that you should watch if you haven’t already. Also worth watching is the 1999 UK film Human Traffic. By this time, British rave culture had moved almost completely into the clubs, after parliament passed a law making raves not just illegal, but very illegal (Chicago passed a similar law in 2000, which I will discuss, in detail, in a future post).

I actually haven’t seen this in over 20 years, but seeing that wall of records, with all those classic labels—V, Subliminal, FFRR, Manifesto, Positiva and more—definitely brought me back. I might have to watch this one again.

The American rave scene saw very little exposure in popular culture, including film and television. There’s another 1999 film called Go which looked stupid when it came out, and which I never saw, but this intro looks awesome and gets everything right (except the music), so it might be worth checking out. And then there’s Vibrations, one of the absolute dumbest, most out-of-touch subculture movies ever produced.

I’m going off memory here, but this is how I remember the premise of Vibrations: a rock band keyboardist encounters a group of hillbillies out joyriding in a stolen backhoe, which they use to crush his hands. He loses his livelihood and becomes a homeless drunk with stumps where his hands were. One night he falls asleep in an abandoned warehouse, and when he wakes up there’s a rave happening all around him.

From there he meets Christina Applegate, the unlikely costar of the film. She introduces him to techno, and her nerdy friend constructs robotic hands for him that he can pre-program somehow, and then he starts touring as a robot, playing techno keyboards at raves with his automatic hands.

It’s not even worth explaining what’s wrong with this movie. It has to be seen to be believed.

Honorable mention

I’ll just leave this here because it was one of the few times I saw raves depicted on television. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a short-lived, live-action series, similar to Power Rangers and to the TMNT movies—except now they also had a girl ninja turtle with boobs on her plastron.

About this volume

This month’s mix is heavy on the jazz. It features a number of fusion acts, from France and especially Italy.

Class of ’99, Volume 12: For Renée
Download the mix (MP3, 46 minutes, 107 MB)

Track List

Follow these links to read more about the selections:

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