Voor de beste ervaring schakelt u JavaScript in en gebruikt u een moderne browser!
Switch to English

Online presentation by Hillegonda C Rietveld (London South Bank University, UK) organized by Oliver Seibt (f.o.seibt@uva.nl) as part of the research group Amsterdance. To register, please, send a message to Oliver.

Event details of Spectacular Noise: The Case of Gabber
Date 29 September 2021

The presentation will address sonic and visual dominant sensory modes on the dancefloor, with reference to gabber, an abrasive form of electronic dance music with tempos of over 170 bpm, as case study. During the 1990s, gabber developed as a sonic overdrive aesthetic, initially connected to living with Rotterdam Europoort. Centred on a carnivalesque engagement with noise, gabber functioned as the soundtrack to a sonic culture that turned the pain and rage of horror, noise, and acceleration into pleasure.  Within a few years, the musical form and the early characteristic dress style of its dancers morphed into a spectacular form of popular culture in the Netherlands, with some Dutch pop songs and advertisements drawing on gabber caricatures. Dance parties started to fill up sports halls and festival fields, placing the DJ on a high stage, surrounded by dance performers and spectacular stage sets. Due to the genealogy of the sound of gabber, however, the sound of gabber was internationally appropriated by a different, more experimental, crowd. Such varied and, at times, contradictory understandings of gabber illustrate an ongoing dynamic between embodied sonic culture on the one hand, and visually dominated cultural forms on the other hand. 

Hillegonda C Rietveld is Professor of Sonic Culture at London South Bank University (UK) and was Chief Editor of IASPM Journal between 2011 and 2017. She has published extensively on electronic dance music and DJ cultures, including a co-edited special issue for Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture and the co-edited collection DJ Culture in the Mix: Power, Technology, and Social Change in Electronic Dance Music.