Since its birth in Rotterdam in the early ‘90s, gabber has largely been derided by “serious” clubbers as as whizz-fueled music for puerile head-bangers. But forget what you’ve heard – a new generation of French gabber obsessives are pumping fresh blood into a maligned genre to bring a taste of gabber to a contemporary club audience. April Clare Welsh meets the Casual Gabberz.
Nosebleed tempos, chainsaw samples, skull-crushing bass drums, a lurid dress code and frothing skinheads gurning their faces into oblivion – gabber, in its original form, probably isn’t for everyone. Rotterdam’s homegrown strain of hard techno began life in the early ‘90s as a counterattack to the highbrow house music that had started sweeping through Amsterdam a few years prior. Kickstarted by the self-styled “godfather of hardcore” DJ Paul Elstak, whose 1992 single ‘Where the Fuck Is Amsterdam?’ – engraved with the words “It’s Not A Disgrace To Be Gabber!” – laid the template, gabber exploded into a massive yet short-lived cultural phenomenon that grabbed Dutch teenagers by the scruff of their necks….read the full article.