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Altered State
The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House
Rating :
Author(s) :
Matthew Collin
Pages :
Pub Date :
1997, 1998
Edition(s) at Erowid :
Publisher :
Serpent's Tail
Ecstasy and house music: a perfect combination of chemistry and sound that changed popular culture for ever.

Altered State tracks the development of Ecstasy culture from its roots in the psychedelic underground and gay disco movements of American in the '70s, through the utopian frenzy of acid house and the illegal rave spectaculars of the '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.

"At last somebody has written the real history of the last ten years, and written it with such wit, verve, empathy and profound intelligence. If you've been part of the scenen in any way, this brilliant book will serve as positive affirmation. If you haven't, yet till feel moved to pontificate about it, you will no longer have the excuse of doing so from a position of ignorance. I can't recommend this marvellous piece of work enough."
-- Irvine Welsh

"The first full history of the dance boom which, fuelled by Ecstasy, has transformed British culture over the past decade: here you will also find the drive to transcendence, or oblivion, that is at the heart of British pop."
-- Jon Savage