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 of FreeNRG."

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 of Melbourne.

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 liberated space.

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.

FreeNRG Contents:

Foreword by Ken Gelder.

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.

The paperback, published by Common Ground Press (252pp, 40 B&W images, $35.00) can be ordered from their on line bookstore at:

More details about the project, along with a FreeNRG discussion forum, can be found at:

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