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Thresholds of ListeningSound, Technics, Space$
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Sander van Maas

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264377

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264377.001.0001

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Negotiating Ecstasy

Negotiating Ecstasy

Electronic Dance Music and the Temporary Autonomous Zone

(p.226) Chapter 13 Negotiating Ecstasy
Thresholds of Listening

Andrew Shenton

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the role of electronic dance music (EDM) in a reconceptualization of listening. It shows how EDM has developed since the 1980s at the outer edges of mainstream culture into a highly diversified major genre in globalized popular music. It considers EDM's general formal properties, especially its composition and performance; the listening environment, particularly the institution of a “safe space” or temporary autonomous zone; and how chemical sensory alteration through the use of illegal drugs changes the listening experience. It also discusses the reasons for participation in EDM events such as teknival, especially how listeners seek an ecstatic experience. Finally, it explores the ways in which EDM works around the habitual patterns of both musical structure and listening subjectivity as people seek to reexperience ecstasy or at least to reanimate the original feeling.

Keywords:   electronic dance music, listening, popular music, performance, safe space, temporary autonomous zone, illegal drugs, teknival, subjectivity, ecstasy

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