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A raver girl with synthetic dreadlocks, neon colored clothes, and a baby's pacifier around her neck, 2013

Rave music may either refer to the late 1980s/early 1990s genres of house, acid house and techno, the first genres of music in the world to be played at raves, or any other genre of electronic dance music that may be played at a rave, such as electro house, progressive house, acid techno, trance, psychedelic trance, drum and bass, jungle, dubstep, big beat, breakbeat, breakbeat hardcore, hardcore techno, makina, moombahton, gabber, industrial, jumpstyle, hardstyle and speedcore. Very rarely, the term is used to refer to less electronic related genres such as glam rock, new rave, power pop, psychedelic rock and dub parties.

The genre "rave", also known as 1980s hardcore by ravers, first appeared amongst the UK acid movement during the late 1980s as a reaction to New Beat. While New Beat usually borrowed an aggressive industrial sound, rave tended to borrow New Beat's elements that were harder than acid house, while retaining the neutral mooded sound of acid house. Rave tended to be a happy genre that favoured synthesized melodies over the duller sound of the Roland TB-303 in order to attract a wider audience. The genre was later re-established as oldschool hardcore, which lead onto newer forms of rave music such as drum and bass and jazzstep, as well as other hardcore techno genres, such as gabber, hardstyle and happy hardcore.

In the late 1980s, rave culture began to filter through from English expatriates and disc jockeys who would visit Continental Europe. However, rave culture's major expansion in North America is often credited to Frankie Bones, who after spinning a party in an aircraft hangar in England helped organize some of the earliest known American raves in the 1990s in New York City called "Storm Raves" which maintained a consistent core audience. Coinciding at the same time, were the "NASA" parties in NYC by DJ Scotto which was featured in the 1995 movie Kids and forthcoming was concert producer p.a.w.n. Lasers in Pennsylvania who later became the most well known laser company at raves in the East Coast of the United States by cross-promoting these rave events, state to state as far south as Florida and Louisiana. After this, hundreds of smaller promotional groups sprung up across the East Coast such as Ultraworld (MD,DC), Park Rave Madness (NYC), G.O. Guaranteed Overdose (NYC), Local 13 (NJ), Caffeine (NYC), Liquid Grooove aka Liquified (GA), Columns of Knowledge (CT), Special K aka Circle Management (PA), Zen Festivals (FL), Disco Donnie (LA), Ultra Music Festival (FL), and later the West Coast of the United States, causing a true "scene" to develop.


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