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Saatchi Gallery announce first ever exhibition devoted to rave culture

Sweet Harmony Rave|Today is the ground-breaking retrospective exploring the impact of the acid house youth movement.

Curated by Irvine Welsh, Shery Garratt, Saatchi Gallery director Philly Adams and Kobi Prempeh, Sweet Harmony: Youth of Today will be a truly momentous exhibition and landmark for rave culture.

Opening on July 12 at the Saatchi Gallery, Sweet Harmony: Youth of Today will recapture the exciting new world that emerged from the acid house scene, reliving the revolution through the voices and lenses of those who experienced.

Featuring multimedia visuals, sonic room installations and artworks by some of the most prolific artists of rave culture, old and new. The show hopes to transport you back to the beginning, to be part of the movement first hand, experiencing the explosive sub-culture for all its raw emotion, energy and power. Philly explains “the exhibition brings together contributors from past and present, championing new, celebrating current and re-positioning revered artists closely linked to the story. I’ve long been thinking about creating this exhibition for its historical importance and relevance to the music scene today. It will explore the underbelly of the UK Rave scene, how it arrived, how it exported and morphed across Europe and beyond, looking to the ever-evolving scene’s future.”

Saatchi has announced that legendary DJ Seth Troxler, voted Resident’s Advisor’s number one DJ in 2012, and Phil Moffa the professor, DJ and producer will be involved and perform at the exhibition, alongside a selection of other acts yet to be announced.

Sweet Harmony: Youth of Today’s vision is to relate the huge influence and dominance rave culture has had over the youth of today, from clothes to music to make-up, rave is back, from the underbelly of its music roots to mainstream platforms, such as ASOS, MAC and Urban Outfitters collections, which would actually not have been so accepting of the sub-culture originally back in the 90s.

Britain in 1989 had lived through 10 years of Thatcher’s rule, while the elite got rich in big cities, the rest of the country was left to do – well, not much. Young people had given up hope of the social change society was hungry for. Fast forward to the summer of ’89, a new underground dance revolution had changed that mindset and pretty much everything else for a whole generation, working-class to elite, the music didn’t discriminate. Tens of thousands of teenagers would flock to fields or disused barns in the idyllic British countryside to attend events such as Fantazia and Sprial Tribe well into the early hours, and before long the same shared sense of love, excitement for the new drugs, culture and music spread to Europe.

Sweet Harmony: Youth of Today, showcases artists and observers who captured this adrenaline pumped atmospheres first-hand, such as Tom Hunter, Vinca Peterson, Ted Polhemus and Dave Swindles.

Addition to a vinyl record shop, talks and panel discussion each genre of music will be represented by playlists.

Sweet Harmony: Youth of Today’s co-creator Kobi Prempeh remarks, “Acid music and rave culture continues to be celebrated today. Comparing then and now, the fast-paced rate of change that followed rave means we’re due something incredible soon.”

5 July 2019