Those expecting a glammed-up celebration of the 90s dance music explosion in all its excessive glory are in for a shock on many levels. Dom Phillips is a former editor of Mixmag, the dance bible which never shied from looking beneath the surface of a movement which turned into one of the most socially-influential (and biggest money-spinners) music has ever seen. Phillips’ wellresearched, highly readable account of dance music’s rise and fall during the last decade ably recounts the glory days, when the top spinners he focuses on (Sasha, Jeremy Healey, Norman Cook, Judge Jules and Pete Tong) reached rock star status in terms of devotion, lifestyle and earnings. But he also describes how greed and excessive drug-taking stunted some of those same careers.
The book’s sub-text is what happens when DJs age: clean-living, multi-millionaire Tong can bask in his Ibiza villa, while original acid house nutter Nicky Holloway lives in North London, dealing with the cocaine and booze addictions which riddle many of the characters here. It’s an eyeopening read, especially the DJs’ astronomical six-figure Millennium party fees, which basically killed mainstream dance music. Some compare and contrast with the stillthriving underground wouldn’t have gone amiss but, as an ego-busting mother of all comedowns, it works a treat.