This book is an enjoyable and useful read.
Popular Music, 2011
An enjoyable, stimulating and informative book, and it represents a valuable addition to the written histories of dance music. While it is essential reading for anyone with an interest in EDMC, its broader cultural scope should lend it an appeal for anyone keen on exploring the continued significance of music in a countercultural context, and for those who take an interest in cultural politics, popular music and protest, and resistance movements. Its broad geographical framework provides a template not only for further studies of EDMC, but also for future investigations into the intersections between music and counterculture.
Perfect Beat, Vol 11, no 2 (2010)
Technomad: Global Raving Countercultures is the most wide-ranging and detailed of all the books on rave. More than the study of a musical movement or genre, Technomad offers an alternate history of cultural politics since the 1960s, from hippies and Acid Tests through the sound systems and ‘vibe-tribes’ of the 1990s and beyond. St John maps the long cultural front of ‘hedonists, anarchists, artists, travellers, exiles, queers, pirates, hackers, [and] visionaries’ who transformed the relationship between transgressive and progressive politics in the cultural field. Like Greil Marcus’s Lipstick Traces, Technomad makes unexpected but entirely convincing connections between people, movements and events. Like Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, St John’s book introduces us to unknown heroes, committed geniuses and genuine revolutionaries. Beautifully written, with a genuinely international perspective on electronic dance music culture, Technomad is one of the best books on music I’ve read in some time.
Professor Will Straw, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University
Technomad offers important insights into the meeting points between countercultural discourses and post-rave techno cultures. Optimistic regarding the progressive potential of outdoor techno-trance gatherings, this well-documented study traces the complex genealogy of a global nomadic ‘technoccult’, with emphasis on Europe, North-America and Australia. Not to be missed by anyone interested in the study of rave cultures, countercultures and festivals.
Dr Hillegonda Rietveld, Reader in Cultural Studies, London South Bank University
A critical utopianism is articulated and celebrated with a textual energy too rare in today’s cultural studies. Graham St John is wide-eyed in order to look more closely. I recommend his shining and grubby doofscape to all interested in the radical possibilities and limitations of contemporary culture.
Professor George McKay, University of Salford
St John’s Technomad is an outstanding theoretical and empirical contribution to the emerging field of Electronic Dance Music studies. St John offers ground breaking and complex theoretical discussions on resistance, counterculture, music/media studies and globalization. Written in an absolutely mesmerizing style, Technomad offers invaluable insider accounts and documents crucial events in EDM history. This book is already an all time classic, and indispensable to anyone interested in the diversity of EDM practices and intentions, and its multiple impacts on contemporary global cultural politics.
Anna Gavanas, University of Leeds