Rave New World was screened on British TV in 2004. A year later the death of Britain’s most notorious drug victim Leah Betts would send the UK into a spiral of wide spread recrimination against Ecstasy and the nascent culture it had birthed in the mid/late 80s.
Fortuitously sandwiched between the post-Leah Betts information shut down and the equally ignorant early tabloid-led response to the evils of early Acid House during Second Summer of Love in 1988/89, Rave New World comes across as a surprisingly even and balanced offering.
Scenes connecting Rave to a sort of hippy aesthetic futurism (think Burning Man) immediately stand out, as does the image of champion pill proselytizer Alexander Shuglin synthesising new psychedelic compounds in his crazy garden shed laboratory.
Well worth watching.
(words by Paul Pieroni)