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Why Ecstasy Associated With Dance Music Press Essay

The aim of this task is to find the reasons as to why and exactly how ecstasy has become associated with today's party music, and the way the two link collectively. This project covers issues such as the history of the medication, the varying genres of music and the way the drug respond to one another, as well as the social and politics factors relating to this area.

My research was done through reading and referencing books and articles in newspaper publishers and journals, as well as the utilization of the internet.

The Origins of Ecstasy

Whilst researching it became noticeable that, matching to popular background ecstasy, in any other case known as MDMA, was first uncovered in 1912, when it was developed by the German pharmaceutical company called Merck, in an effort to control the appetites of troops in the German military. However records of bizarre area effects one of the people screening the medicine became apparent, meaning that Merck was obligated to withdraw the medicine until it was resurrected by Alexander Shulgin. Alexander Shulgin functioned as a biochemist for Dow chemicals, and was seeking an "curiosity about psychedelics on the sly. " (Reynolds 1998, pg 22). Having prevailed with Dow, he was able to setup his own government approved lab, allowing him to legitimately produce the chemicals he required.

Shulgin launched ecstasy to Leo Zoff, who was simply regarded as a highly reputed psychologist who was simply recognized to administer psychoactive drugs, such as LSD, to patients during his remedy classes. Zoff was near retirement living when he was presented to the medicine, but became so convinced of its therapeutic probable that he spent the next couple of years travelling America, producing Ecstasy to a huge selection of therapists and thousands of patients.

Many therapists discovered that the emotional ramifications of ecstasy made patients connect more easily and openly, therefore helping with the treatment of patients. In The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs by Philip Wolfson, one therapist quotations, "MDMA is penicillin for the heart and soul. "

Realising what they had been working on Shulgin and Zoff, agreed that it should be held under wraps. Due to this, no scientific documents were released on the impact of the drug on humans until as overdue as 1978.

However, term of the drug soon spread and started to become readily available. This recommended that the Drugs Enforcement Company (DEA) began to investigate, and deducted that ecstasy should be restricted as way too many people were taking the medication recreationally.

Although therapists were outraged that the drug was banned, it became noticeable that Ecstasy could have uses a lot more influential than those dreamed by Alex Shulgin while others. Ecstasy had been taken in combo with music and night clubs, alternatively than in bonding trainings between lovers. As Simon Reynolds mentioned:

"When large numbers of people took Ecstasy alongside one another, the medicine catalysed a wondrous sense of collective intimacy, and much more significantly, MDMA proved to truly have a uniquely synergistic/synaesthetic relationship with music,

especially up-tempo, recurring, electronic boogie music. "

Below is a timetable created by Helen O'Brien from the Guardian papers, who wrote articles on the development of ecstasy.


1912 First synthesis of MDMA by Kollishch at Merck in Darmstadt 1970 First recognition of MDMA in tablets seized in the avenues of Chicago. From the mid-1970s the drugs expert Alexander Shulgin experienced begun to analyze its effects 1977 MDMA labeled as a Class A drug in UK 1984 MDMA's avenue name of 'ecstasy' coined in California

1985 MDMA becomes a Program 1 controlled material in america In the united kingdom the street price of ecstasy is 25 Mid to past due 80s Raves become ever more popular, spreading out from the centre of London and Manchester 1989 Raves, and the electronic boogie music and ecstasy, which fuels them, lead to a 'second warmer summer months of love'. Acid house, with the accompanying smiley-face T-shirts, goes mainstream and in to the pop charts. This year also perceives the first recorded ecstasy-related death in the united kingdom 1994 Parts of the Criminal Justice and General public Order Act focus on raves, or gatherings with music which is characterised by 'a succession of repetitive beats' 1995 Loss of life of Leah Betts after taking an ecstasy tablet on her 18th birthday 2003 6, 230 people found guilty, cautioned or fined for ecstasy related offences 2005 In a survey of 500 Edinburgh students, 36% said that they had taken ecstasy and of these, 75% considered ecstasy a 'positive power' on the lives 2006 The existing neighborhood price is 3-8

During the eighties, unemployment levels within the united kingdom were high. Therefore more of the younger generation made a decision to see the world and have some fun, rather than proclaiming unemployment benefits or working for a low wage in the cold, damp, weather, many travelled to Ibiza, and survived fiscally by doing strange jobs, bar work or handing out club flyers, to be able to earn some cash whilst also enjoying the elements and lifestyle of the island. Ecstasy have been notorious in Ibiza because the early eighties, and increased in acceptance every year. However the music being played in the clubs included some house files, the design of DJing would become known

As 'Balearic'. (This recommended a mix everything from; soul, reggae, hiphop, electric pop and house. )

The varying genres of music could be due to the varying age range and nationalities in the public.

One of the most famous DJ's associated with the Balearic style in Ibiza was Alfredo, who experienced a residency at a golf club called Amnesia.

Paul Oakenfold, Johnny Walker, Nicky Holloway and Danny Rampling will be the four people associated with bringing the Ibiza culture to Great britain.

Paul Oakenfold got originally tried out before, at a team in 1985. However,

no one in the group could understand why all these strange records were

being played among the methods they expected to listen to, and the club failed.

Mathew Collin has one advice as to the reasons it didn't work: "There is no

Ecstasy. " pg 86

In September of 1987 the four of these went to Ibiza to remember the birthdays of Oakenfold and Walker. They finished up in Amnesia, taking Ecstasy and listening to Alfredo. They made the decision that the Ibizia experience had to be repeated in London, by any means necessary. This decision improved the ideas and conception of dance music. As Paul Oakenfold quoted:

"It became probably the most crucial - as well as the best - vacation all

four of us have ever had. " (Matthew Collin Pg 122)

Paul Oakenfold first opened up a club nights known as "range", which focused on "acid solution house music". Then Danny Rampling exposed "Shoom" which focused on the "Balearic" theme but also played "acid house". When Nicky Holloway opened "The Trip" the ecstasy scene travelled mainstream. Whilst Acid House gained acceptance, a Smiley face was the sign that was from the music, and was entirely on all sorts of products, such as: T-shirts, and badges, that could be bought from your traditional shops. The Sun newspaper even possessed its own T-shirt offer, backed by the following headline: "It's groovy and cool - It's our Acidity House T-shirt. Only 5. 50 man. " However, SUNLIGHT newspaper later branded an article headlined "The Evil of Ecstasy. " Obviously, relating to 'The Sunlight Doctor' Vernon Coleman, "invest the Ecstasy":

"You can expect to hallucinate. For instance, unless you like spiders you'll start seeing huge ones. "

Due to more folks taking ecstasy, the amount of alcohol consumption declined. Which means brewers decided to try and use the ecstasy culture. This included ideas of refreshments being called "Ravers" and "DNA" which got a glow in the dark label.

One significant statistic also worth considering is the purchase price change in

Ecstasy over the years. When the medication first arrived to the UK, one tablet could

Cost up to 25. Corresponding to Matthew Atha, in 1995, reports showed that the average price for a pill was 11. 65. This figure has fallen every year to less than 2-3 for a tablet.

According to Decca Aitkenhead:

"Ecstasy has cut across social boundaries in ways no medication has ever done before. It is the first medicine to tolerate no attendant ideology, identification or idealism; it has in simple fact rendered the phrase 'drug culture' meaningless. What we have now, instead, is a favorite culture described by the medicine Ecstasy. "

The music we pay attention to, the clubs we visit, the slang that people use, and the clothes we wear, all for some reason have been affected by the Ecstasy culture. The merchandise that Ecstasy is becoming associated with is party music, specifically music with a four-on-the-floor kick drum. Such as House and Techno. It is because house and techno are both made up of a sequence of recurring beats.

Political and Community Factors

During the rise of the ecstasy culture in Britain. Margret Thatcher is at electric power of the British isles government.

Ecstasy allowed those from all classes, races and sexualities to socialise jointly. Proof of this is seen when rivalries between sports hooligans dispersed. Simon Reynolds states that:

"Inside the eighties with mass unemployment and Thatcher's defeat of the unions, the football match and the warehouse get together offered unusual opportunities for the working school to experience a sense of collective intimacy: to participate in a 'we' alternatively than an atomised, impotent 'I'. "

Although ecstasy did not bring football violence to an end, it helped to eliminate some animosity.

During the eighties, night clubs in Britain had strict starting and licensing laws and regulations, which recommended that they had to close at two or three 3 in the morning at the latest. One reason why people had a whole lot success with illegitimate raves, was because of the illegal status, and didn't follow these laws and regulations. The Conservative government wished to clamp down on illegitimate raves. An Entertainment Invoice was created so that anyone found guilty of organising against the law functions would face a 20, 000 fine and six months imprisonment. This is set up in July 1990. Many promoters stopped their create of against the law raves, making warehouse gatherings less consistent. The Charge also resulted in many clubs being given licences to start all night, and many promoters started to organise legal raves in locations such as athletics and party halls. Mathew Collin reviews on the time:

"Slowly, raves became integrated into the infrastructure of the entertainment establishment: shepherded back into licensed premises, contained and commodified. "

Due to clubs being given much longer licences, clubbers who wanted to party forever could legally. The aim of the Bill was to reduce the quantity of drug use among the get together goers by aiding move the culture in to the mainstream. However, since clubbing was now available to everyone, this intended that dance music and ecstasy, were also available to everyone going out, most of whom began to experiment with ecstasy.

As well as the politics issues, during this time period the risk of AIDS was a huge concern as a serious killer. This resulted in many party goers preferring to test out ecstasy, alternatively than associated risk their immediate health by sleeping around and drugs like heroin, that required intravenous treatment into a vein.

Phil Sutcliffe states in his book "The advertising of smiley culture":

"Ecstasy arrived at a time when drugs were being regarded as with even more trepidation because of the relationship between heroin use and AIDS. "

The reputation of the rave arena at the end of the eighties could be linked to the change in the attitude towards sex. Matching to Jimi Fritz "Supports had turned making love into a dangerous and possibly lethal game", particularly for homosexuals, and society were required to re evaluate its behaviour towards sex. This was done by questioning and re assessing the benefits and pleasures of everyday gender. The rave field, associated with ecstasy use, provided younger people the opportunity to go to town sexually, but without the risks that had been previously associated with this kind of behavior. This change in frame of mind led Steve Redhead to touch upon the sexual atmosphere in night clubs in this age. Instead of the females being subjected to lecherous behavior, "dancing no longer symbolizes the erotic screen of your body. "

Varying genres of music

The popularity of the rave world helped, for new styles to build up, as well as, a new drug gaining in popularity as the picture branched out. In particular hardcore and jungle music, with both genres having an identical structure and constitute. However both styles had differing veiws on the use of ecstasy.

The hardcore picture grew out of house and techno music in the first 1990s, creating a second influx of rave. The field was notorious for Ecstasy mistreatment, as the music helped clubbers get together even harder than before. Around 1993, jungle music began to evolve out of hardcore, however the drug of choice veered towards weed rather than Ecstasy. Both scenes existed alongside one another, but there were differing thoughts on Ecstasy use. On the main one area, the hardcore ravers were seen as idiotic, whilst junglists received a reputation as being moody and unfriendly.

Hardcore music was creating a fresh digital future for the enthusiasts of the genre. It is because cheap computer centered home studio set-ups and sequencing programs like Cubase, allowed people to take the influences of house, techno, reggae and hiphop, and change the sound, to be able to build their own styles, to fit their needs and desires, such as, Looped breakbeats, which were cut up and increased, and were combined with "four on the floor" kick drum.

In order for people to fulfil these needs, mega-raves were created with situations such as: Raindance, Helter Skelter and Fantazia. These substantial events captivated crowds of up to 25, 000, in arenas specifically suitable for a full-on audio/visual experience. Lasers, strobes, funfair rides, massive sound-systems and legend DJ line-ups were all applied to give punters an event like never before. Simon Reynolds declares that:

"As rave became big business, the rave transformed itself from a lawless

zone into an extremely organised space designed for pleasure. "

The hardcore ravers developed techniques, to enhance the effects of ecstasy, one which involved smearing their chests with Vicks Vapour rub. The menthol fumes supposedly increased the ecstasy hype, bringing over a rush. The utilization and abuse of the medicine in this era is obvious from a number of angles. Firstly, Simon Reynolds talks about the change in language. On the good nights you'd get 'encountered' (off that person), 'sledgied' (into a coma), 'cabbaged' or 'monged' (turned into a veggie). Good tracks were 'mental', 'kickin' or 'bangin'. The weekender aspect of raving got always fitted nicely into the traditional working school 'culture of consolation', but hardcore needed this further and progressed into "a regime of punishing bliss, exclusively for the headstrong. " Another piece of evidence regarding the extent of Ecstasy use was the rise in authorities seizures for the drug in that period, according to the Independent Medication Monitoring Product. In 1990, the London Metropolitan seized 5500 kilos; in 1991, the shape was more than 66, 000 kilos. These statistics reflect both increased numbers of folks doing the drug, and the increased recklessness towards medication intake. Unsurprisingly, the amount of MDMA-related deaths started out to rise too. Additionally it is worth considering the headings of tracks being released, and the lyrics and vocals comprised within them, for example: 'Hurry INSIDE THE House', 'Feel Real Good', 'Closer To All' and 'Such A Feeling' were all obviously linked to the taking of ecstasy. Another example of this is: Baby D's 'Let Me Be Your Illusion' The judgment gained from hearing the lyrics could be recognized that the lyrics are sung from the idea of view of Ecstasy itself. (Please find a backup of the songs in appendix I) The hardcore picture seemed motivated by Ecstasy intake, which eventually caused the landscape to split in two. Many clubbers realised that their physiques were experiencing the punishing each week routine of partying and supplement taking constantly, and slowed up. But others forced on regardless. This sort of behaviour is common to all Ecstasy views, as Mathew Collin explains: "The first dash begins the honeymoon period - the beatific, loved-up, evangelical stage. Within a year or so, that early excitement begins to diminish and many experience diminishing profits. Some accelerate into excessive, abuse sometimes resulting in the emergence of physical or mental health problems. The 3rd stage is the comedown: disillusionment, reduced use, and makes an attempt to readjust to the fact that the original high is gone forever. Finally comes the re-entry in to the post-Ecstasy world, a period of reassessment and the regaining of equilibrium. " Between 1992 and 1994, jungle began to evolve and branch off. This is done by sacrificing the "four on to the floor" kick drum structure linked with hardcore music. Jungle music also will not follow the recurring pattern approximately hardcore. Therefore ecstasy would not have the same effects. Whereas hardcore have been entirely about ecstasy and the dash, jungle favoured reggae looks and examples about weed. As cannabis commenced displacing ecstasy as the drug of choice, dancing lost its mania, and became less ravey and out of control. This change in habits of medicine use was shown in the audience that might be seen at jungle occasions. The conception of life within hardcore music was that everything will be fine. Whereas those hearing jungle music, had a more natural impression of life and were of a far more sceptical nature. The main one original difference between hardcore and jungle was the kick drum. That one thing could be argued to of led to the two styles having such contrasting views on ecstasy use. However, due to repetitive dynamics of the kick drum. In the event the four-on-the-floor kick drum was not part of the music, there would be no call for the other rush-inducing effects such as ecstasy, because people would not desire to take Ecstasy to the music in the first place. The proof this theory is jungle. This genre has changed without a recurring structure and for that reason has not considered on board any of the rush-inducing ramifications of hardcore. Since the music discards repetition, people do not enjoy taking ecstasy to it. Therefore, as the music produces it generally does not develop as an help to ecstasy consumption. Hardcore, on the other hands, has been permitted to be developed as an aid to Ecstasy consumption, because it provides the only necessary component: a recurring kick drum. For example, with repetitive music such as hardcore, when it is enjoyed to a audience dancing in a repeated pattern, the majority of those dance are under the influence of drugs such as ecstasy which induces repetitive behaviour. The idea of why party music and ecstasy are so popular jointly, could be argued that ecstasy encourages its users to respond in certain ways and follow certain rules and habits, such as hearing and dance to music with recurring drum habits. One anonymous source, quoted in a study paper by Stuart Borthwick, stating:

"Ecstasy and boogie music just go hand in hand. . . When you boogie on Ecstasy [it] permits one to climb inside the music and feel its combat. It enables one to properly lock onto the drum patterns which means that your body has almost become a machine. "

Stuart Borthwick runs further to claim that there are links between the

regular pattern of the working week and the way in which we approach

weekends, whenever we are free from these restraints:

"Despite its recurring nature, or simply because of computer, dance music provides an exploration of, and an explanation for, the repetitive dynamics of [our] lives. Participants claim that this phenomenon is furthered and deepened by the recurring trance-like state induced through Ecstasy. "

He proceeds:

"The repetition at the heart of contemporary party music is also in the centre of contemporary party culture, and symbolizes a symbolic look at for contemporary dance culture to comprehend its place within past due capitalist populationEcstasy is not utilized by participants within modern day party culture for purely hedonistic reasons, but is tied to the repetitive dynamics of both party music and life within British isles society. "

So, because of the repetitive characteristics of our everyday lives, modern culture is a lot more susceptible to varieties of repetition in free time as well. Clubbing is a release from the repetition of work, but is a repetitive experience, particularly when it is combined with ecstasy. After reading this maybe it's argued that it's no coincidence it is becoming associated with party music in today's society.

Whilst researching the internet about how ecstasy works, one learned that ecstasy affects the brain by increasing activity in the mind cells. Specifically serotonin. The Ecstasy causes these neurotransmitters to be released off their storage area sites in neurons, leading to increased neurotransmitter activity. Ecstasy causes an increased serotonin release and an inferior release of dopamine.

The online physician website takes this further by chatting about how serotonin works:

Serotonin is a hormone that is found effortlessly in the human brain; it is also within the digestive system and platelets of some pets, including human beings. Categorized as a neurotransmitter, it is important in transmitting nerve impulses. . . Serotonin can be considered a "happy" hormone, as it greatly influences an overall sense of well-being. It also helps to regulate moods, temper anxiousness, and relieve major depression.

In 2006, the BBC reported that Italian researchers got found a connection to ecstasy and party music, whilst evaluating the drugs on rats. The experts tested the drug on rats, which were then subjected to music at nightclub sound levels, so that they were exposed to the same type of environment as clubbers, who go into an environment with plenty of flashing lights and noisy music. The research workers then assessed the electro-mechanical activity in the rats' brains. They found out that noise prolonged the consequences of ecstasy by up to five days and nights. The BBC article said that:

The research workers, from the Institute of Neurological Science in Catanzaro, found low dosages of ecstasy did not modify the brain activity of rats if no music was performed. But total electric powered brain activity in the family pets significantly lowered in the existence of loud music, determined to imitate levels commonly within clubs. High doses of ecstasy reduced brain activity even without noise, but the effect was increased by loud music and lasted for five days after the drug was given.

In rats given a higher medication dosage of ecstasy however, not exposed to music, brain activity delivered to normal in one day.

Dr Michelangelo Iannone, was the individual who led the ecstasy on rats test. He advised that the effects of the medicine could be produced stronger "by relatively common environmental factors" and pressured the "potential danger for man of chemicals that have been so 'popularly' accepted as relatively 'safe' due to their 'brief term' effects. "


From the study gathered, one could draw the final outcome that clubbing and ecstasy go along. This is credited to both clubbing and ecstasy being truly a greatly popular pastime for young people in Britain. Perhaps unsurprisingly, house music has the greatest attachment to the area.

It appears that music composed repetitive beats gets the biggest contribution to Ecstasy use, which facilitates statements manufactured in previous

sections. This leads me to think that the repetition found within these styles influences Ecstasy users subconsciously. This unconscious effect is a lot more influential since it 'causes' clubbers to boogie, because they feel just like they have to be dancing, to a framework. The repetition is an underlying part of the music. If it is not catchy or memorable such as a hook or riff, and it generally does not affect the body just like a bass line.

The conclusion that folks listening to non repetitive boogie music,

do not enjoy taking ecstasy whilst listening to these genres can be drawn from a offer by Simon Reynolds:

"Music like jungle seems good on Ecstasy, but you just can't boogie to it, because there is no concentrate point, like internal or techno. In order to enjoy the music on Ecstasy, you need to be able to lose yourself in it. Jungle is too complicated because of this, and so the Ecstasy experience becomes less enjoyable. "

This quote talks about why jungle and other non-repetitive styles are not assisting to contribute to the ecstasy experience. This is because the music is constantly innovating. Since ecstasy causes the brain to behave in an abnormally. Taking ecstasy makes the user to want to lose themselves in the music. Because jungle has complex rhythms it does not permit the ecstasy effect to occur, making the ecstasy experience less advantageous.

The difference between those who needed Ecstasy and those who don't can be recognized by the reactions to the breakdown sections of songs. Those taking the medicine particularly trance and hardcore, normally feel euphoria as their main emotion. This is because the drug gives you to feel like you are part of the music. The breakdowns of hardcore music are filled up with piano chords and vocals, that are designed to induce an ecstasy hurry. Those drugs at this point are experiencing euphoria in these areas. Those not on the drug and hearing the same music do not experience this feeling, leading to the final outcome that certain genres of music are targeted specifically at Ecstasy users.

My final final result is the fact house, techno, trance and hardcore are the genres of party music, with the largest contribution to ecstasy use, because they're made up of a collection of repetitive beats. Ecstasy can transform views on music, since it opens up your brain, allowing unconventional or different styles to be accepted. This fact was essential in the past due eighties when house music began to be played in the united kingdom. Finally, styles of dance music that may be described at non-repetitive, are definitely more suitable for cannabis, liquor and cocaine, because they decrease the users inhibitions whilst also permitting them to focus on the complex rhythms of the music.

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