PURE Guest.026 Gabber Eleganza
Classic kick in a contemporary perspective.
Gabber, is "absolutely the hardest music in dance." A typical gabber track has a tempo that ranges from fast (150 BPM) to furious (180 BPM) and a punishing, pill-smashing sound that spread out across Europe from its home city, Rotterdam, in the 90s, inspiring a wave of fluoro fashion along the way. Arguably one of the most defining and important subcultures to emerge from the rave scene. Alberto Guerrini – known by his moniker Gabber Eleganza, an Italian DJ, researcher and artist based in Berlin; he is a rave culture aficionado, obsessed by subcultures and by the countercultural movement.
"In 2005 I saw Chris Cunningham and Aphex Twin and it blew my mind," he says. "This was a whole new form of music to me, this intelligent breakbeat version of hardcore. More avant-garde in terms of its production, but still connected in spirit. I became even more interested in the subcultural side, and started to explore it on the Internet. I noticed there were a lot of misconceptions about the music and the scene – stereotypes of sweating white men pulling funny faces, or connections to right-wing or fascist culture, which of course it had, but isn't what it was about. It frustrated me, and at the same time I noticed there was a lot of writing but not so much of the scene's visual realm online. I had always been interested in graphics, fanzines, posters, merchandise, and the whole DIY aesthetic, and that's how the blog began — the vision was to change the stereotypes behind rave subcultures and Gabber especially, by remixing and reworking old material focused mostly on the aesthetic and visual narrative of rave culture."
Since 2011 has grown into a heady archive of rave flyers, posters, and photo-shoots from the European hardcore and gabber scenes; the arresting imagery means you need little familiarity with the era of info hotlines and long-defunct sportswear brands to make an emotional connection with its subjects. Guerrini was not to focus simply on aesthetics, but also with the socio-anthropology of cultural phenomena. In 2018 Alberto moved to Berlin, more for personal than career reasons, he says, but since then he's engaged in a flurry of activity. In the last year or so he's presented his Hakke Show at Club2Club, Berghain, Hyperreality, Oval Space and CTM Festival. He's also launched his own label Never Sleep to showcase "new and old artists that symbolize not just rave and post-rave culture, but a wider DIY aesthetic."