“Rave’s rise mirrors the Web’s in many ways. Both mixed rhetorical utopianism with insider snobbery. Both were future-forward ‘free spaces’ with special appeal to geeks and wonks. (It can’t be a coincidence that dance music’s instruments of choice are referred to by their model numbers: 303, 606, 808, 909.) Both took root through the ’80s and emerged in fits and starts through the mid-’90s, at which point both became part of the social fabric. Indeed, one of electronic dance music’s key genres, IDM, was named after an email list devoted to “intelligent dance music.”
“‘Part of the explosion of the whole electronic music scene has been totally tied to the Internet, and the way we can communicate over vast distances,’ says Richie Hawtin, who as Plastikman was an early rave icon.