Class of ’99, Vol. 16

For most of the 90s, raving was relegated to the underground. Very rarely did the scene get any mainstream exposure, but around 1998-99 rave seemed to step over pop culture and enjoy some visibility in more upscale cultural institutions. Suddenly, I was seeing billboards for Modulations and Better Living Through Circuitry at places like the Chicago History Museum.

In 1996, The Museum of Contemporary Art began an annual, 24-hour event called Summer Solstice. In 1999, the MCA turned their cafeteria and patio into a rave called Brite Spot, putting high society in direct contact with the teenage underground.

Simultaneous to this phenomenon was the rise of the Internet, which ravers had been using since the early days of Hyperreal and Rollin. Web design emerged as an important new art form, and flyer designers like Airline Industries parlayed their talents into cutting-edge print and multimedia graphcs.

Airline Industries

Rave culture had already seeped into the world of gaming with the Wipeout series, and this trend continued with 1999’s Space Channel 5. Sega originally asked Lady Miss Kier of Dee-Lite to star in this game as the main character, and when she declined they created Ulala, a character so obviously based on her that she sued the company (surprisingly, however, she lost the suit and had to pay Sega’s legal expenses).

Class of ’99, Volume 16: Let’s Do It!
Download the mix (MP3, 49 minutes, 112 MB)

About the cover

This is from an ad I found in an old issue of Thousand Words magazine, which I have mentioned before and which I consider the publication of record for the Chicago scene.

Track List

Follow these links to read more about the selections:

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