“The Meaning of the Party”, dancing cement of our society

After that of cannabis with Me, Myself and Highthe Nique-La radio team continues to explore themes that are too often caricatured. The sense of celebration explores the ethos of partying: going out, dancing, shouting, discovering yourself, finding yourself or getting lost in the night is not only this pastime decreed as “non-essential” during the pandemic. It is a social fact, often political, always collective, “a bonfire in which you can burn your wings, writes Christophe Payet. It is this ambivalence that we are looking for”.

In fifteen long interviews, taken from the podcast of the same name, the organizers, musicians, DJs, journalists or physios who have “Parties the French way, from the end of the 1970s to the present day” tell their apprenticeships, their improbable anecdotes and musical epiphanies, the friendships that have been created and undone over the endless nights, and the music, omnipresent, almost palpable over the pages, whether bolero, pachanga, techno , electroclash or the French touch, like a cement that binds the foundations of communities in the making.

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In the more than four hundred pages of the book, there is no definitive answer to the question: what is the meaning of the party? We imagine that the author knew this very well before even starting, it is impossible to articulate like a banal answer to a dissertation. We can only try to convey it to the reader by dotted lines, by sensations. “What you experience at night, it stays there, you can’t transcribe it”, summarizes Ariel Wizman by recounting his years on the Parisian dancefloors in the 1980s. Or as the legendary DJ Laurent Garnier nicely puts it when he recalls the sequence of days spent doing his military service and nights mixing music. acid house: “They are photo albums without the paper, cartridges of happiness that you keep engraved close to your heart. »

A great curiosity

What can however be put down on paper is the journey of these men, these women and these places that have made the French night. If there is a certain concentration in Paris (the Palace, the Bains Douches or the Queen for the oldest, Concrete, the Rex or the Pulp for the youngest), other more off-center party places are not neglected. : why would the Clé des champs near Bourg-en-Bresse, its five rooms and its foam parties with 5,000 followers have anything to envy the effervescence of Paris?

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The book never falls into the trap of elitism, granting as much curiosity to the most select party as to the most popular. It is enough to turn the first page to realize it. Two quotes set the tone: the first from the philosopher Michaël Fœssel, on what remains of individuality in the night, the second from Patrick Sébastien on… “sardines”.

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