FreeNRG - notes from the edge of the dancefloor by Graham St John
FreeNRG: Notes from the Edge of the Dance Floor is now published in both PDF and
paperback formats. "Culture and critique, utopia and hedonism, secret history
and public protest: all are dancing between--across--bursting out of!--the pages
Prof George McKay, Dept of Cultural Studies, University of Central Lancashire.
"Finally, the electronica underground is getting the attention it deserves as a
genuine and articulate cultural movement. Extending from the dance floor and
into politics, economics, environmentalism and spirituality, the rave movement
deserves the multi-dimensional analysis only possible in an anthology like FreeNRG."
Douglas Rushkoff, author of Ecstasy Club, Cyberia, Playing the Future, Bull.
"FreeNRG is both a selfless and ... a self-indulgent counter culture, fusing
social critique with abandonment and escape (to the dance beat, to pleasure).
FreeNRG commentators are emergent public intellectuals, articulate technicians,
producers of treatises and manifestos as well as CDs and other electronic
paraphernalia. Their work and activity is a source of renewal and hope for a
youth so often imagined as "without politics" ... This is a wonderful archive of
counter cultural ideas and activities in Australia in recent times."
From the Foreword by Ken Gelder, Head, English with Cultural Studies, University
Edited by Graham St John, FreeNRG is a collection of frontline communiques on
technotribes, contemporary musical practices and events transpiring on the
fringes of Australian dance culture throughout the nineties. The anthology_s
thirteen essays are written by specialists and affiliates of a spectrum of youth
phenomena found at the edge of the dance floor.
The anthology examines DiY or 'FreeNRG' culture, a networked youth movement
committed to voluntarism, ecological sustainability, social justice and human
rights. FreeNRG people subscribe to an economy of mutual-aid and co-operation,
are committed to the non-commodification of art and embrace freedoms of
experience and expression. Artists and activists, their cultural output is a
product of novel mixtures of pleasure and politics. Technicians and
esotericists, they pirate technologies in the pursuit of re-enchantment and
An impressive array of contributors (artists, activists, academics and music
makers) document the history of DiY culture, doofs and technomadic activism in
Australia analysing and free-wheeling around specific technotribes, locales,
events, technics and musics.
Foreword by Ken Gelder.
The paperback, published by Common Ground Press (252pp, 40 B&W images, $35.00)
can be ordered from their on line bookstore at:
Introduction - Techno Inferno
Part One: Post Rave Australia
- Doof! Australian Post Rave Culture, Graham St John.
- Propagating Abominable Knowledge: Tekno Zine Culture', Kathleen Williamson.
Part Two: Sound Systems and Systems Sound
- Sound Systems and Australian DiY Culture: Folk Music for the Dot Com
Generation, Enda Murray.
- Doofstory: Sydney Park to the Desert, Peter Strong.
- Tuning Technology to Ecology: Labrats Sola Powered Sound System, Marc Peckham
and Izzy Brown.
- Techno Terra-ism: Feral Systems and Sound Futures, Graham St John.
Part Three: Techno-Ascension
- Mutoid Waste Recycledelia and Earthdream, Robin Cooke.
- Psychic Sonics: Tribadelic Dance Trance-formation, Eugene ENRG (DJ Krusty)
interviews Ray Castle.
- Chaos Engines: Doofs, Psychedelics and Religious Experience, Des Tramacchi.
- Directions to the Game: Barrelfull of Monkeys, Rak Razam.
Part Four: Reclaiming Space
- Practice Random Acts: Reclaiming the Streets of Australia, Susan Luckman.
- Carnival at Crown Casino: S11as Party and Protest, Kurt Iveson and Sean Scalmer.
- Appropriating the Means of Production: Dance Music Industries and Contested
Digital Space, Chris Gibson.
More details about the project, along with a FreeNRG discussion forum, can be
Book launched in Melbourne and Sydney in March/April 2002.
Second edition Book Launched at ElectroFringe in Oct 2002, Newcastle NSW.
More about the book - contact Graham St John at:
(03) 9486 3492