Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House

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Serpent's Tail, 1998 - Music - 329 pages
Altered State tracks the development of Ecstasy culture from its roots in the psychedelic uudergrouud and gay disco movements of America in the '70s, through the utopian frenzy of acid house and the illegal rave spectaculars of the late '80s, to the ultimate creation of a mass drug culture in '90s Britain. The book pulls together the disparate threads of an extraordinary tale populated by a cast of flamboyant characters - outlaw entrepreneurs, drug dealers, nomadic techno tribes, pirate radio broadcasters, pop stars and policemen - and documents hysterical and repressive responses to the dance-drug movement from the legal, political, medical and commercial establishments. Drawing on a wealth of background research and original interviews with key figures on both sides of the law, Altered State critically examines the causes and contexts, ideologies and myths of Ecstasy culture, dramatising its euphoric narrative from peak experience to comedown and aftermath, and shedding new light on the social history of the most spectacular British youth movement of the century.

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Altered State (Old Edition)

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Journalists Collin and Godfrey have written a fascinating, compelling account of youth culture in conservative Britain during the last decade. They begin with a brief history of the dual elements at ... Read full review


the technologies of pleasure
summer of love
magical mystery tour

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About the author (1998)

Matthew Collin has worked as a magazine editor, a foreign correspondent, a broadcast journalist and a features writer. He has been the editor of the Big Issue, the Time Out website and i-D magazine, and has worked in news for the BBC World Service. He has also written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Observer, Independent, Moscow Times, Face and Mojo. His previous books, This is Serbia Calling and Altered State, were also published by Serpent's Tail.

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