How do you sell an enigma? In the 1990s, American rave was a big but scattered subculture. Packaging its fleeting tunes and site-specific good times for mainstream consumption would take some doing. When rock and hip-hop began show signs of weakness mid-decade, a handful of true believers, funded by major-label money, would make their move.
Few U.S. labels paid attention at first rave was largely a European phenomenon, with few “name” artists that the majors could sell to radio. House and techno were singles-oriented, their first albums compilations. Most of those were only available in England, though American fans either bought 12-inches, mixtapes from local or regional DJs, or imported compilations.
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