Leaving the final pages of Dreaming in Yellow left me with sadness rather than the taste of celebration that races so frequently throughout this book. If you were part of that story or when you read it for yourself you’ll understand what is meant.
So why should you want to read this book on the adventures of the DiY soundsytem? Well, precisely for that very reason, it was an adventure which formed a very vibrant part of club culture evolving over the course of the 80’s until now. It’s easy to forget just how long that is in terms of cultural significance but its freedom seeking echo still resounds. You just need to look.
Ironically, given how much I loved the exciting connection to this story, the free festival movement was never something that really appealed to me at that time, apart from historically as the linage of 1960’s counter culture. With hindsight maybe I missed something more than I gained, especially given the appeal of nonconformity compared with the broader spectrum of club culture which quite often became more about a hierarchy of rampant ego’s than a genuine community of equals. However the depth of what was achieved by DiY went further than the various club nights they ran, such as Bounce, they also expanded into a record label and DJ agency all determinedly intertwined with an ideal for living.
Seemingly travelling into excess at the even the slightest opportunity and given the distance of the past it’s amazing that there is still so much detail available to recall. One of things I enjoyed about exploring the life and style of DiY’s experience were those close your eyes and you could be there moments (well almost) while the new territory in terms of music and ecstasy was rigorously exploited. When it was good it was clearly much more than that. Something signifying real human depth. Dreaming in Yellow is the story of an important piece of the jigsaw of how dance music evolved and an invaluable one at that.
This is also of course Harry Harrison’s story, how he saw events unfolding from his early days in Bolton then moving to the adventures of Nottingham and further afield. Charting his first encounters in the cities clubs with what became known as House, subsequently the impact of Acid House and how the music proceeded to ripple across the country. It sounds like the ride of a lifetime, let alone for someone in their twenties.
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