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Notes from the Wild Zone: Rethinking a Psychogeography of the Dance Culture

Notes from the Wild Zone: Rethinking a Psychogeography of the Dance Culture


By Ian McKay

Hatchet Green Press
ISBN: 978-0956837240
May 1, 2012
200 pages

'A fascinating account of the way electronic music, radical politics, and drugs of choice, transformed the city and the way we now relate to it.'

In this book, which looks back on the dance culture of the late-1980s and 1990s, Ian McKay seeks to reveal the way in which a broad cross section of British youth challenged the established ideas of what the city was for. Here is the story of the way in which the world of 'organised leisure' was disrupted and transformed by electronic music, radical politics, and new drugs of choice all of which fostered and encouraged new ways of navigating the city, exploring its hidden secrets, and pursuing 'lived pleasures' in the late-20th century urban environment.

Tracing the development of the early warehouse parties, through to the subsequent splintering of the dance culture into numerous subcultural factions in the early-21st century, this is a story of the dance culture as seen through a Situationist lens. It is also the story of the lost histories of 19th century Londoners; the decaying streets in which they lived; the complex web of connections between Victorian London and the London of today; and also the many attempts by government to bring the dance culture within the commodity economy as a means of social control.

'The interdisciplinary nature of psychogeography enables a crossover with many broad academic fields, and Ian McKay's writing attests to the variety of origins of psychogeographical writing.' 

– Tina Richardson, Walking Inside Out: Contemporary British Psychogeography (Rowman and Littlefield, NYC, 2015).

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