It’s party time at the Design Museum with the upcoming Electronic exhibition, already one of the most anticipated shows of 2020. Tracing the history and cultural impact of the ever-popular, evolving music genre, it promises to evoke the club experience. From the underground to the mainstream, visitors will travel to dance floors from Detroit to Chicago, Paris, the UK and – of course – Berlin in a series of mesmerising installations and displays. Highlights include a 3D experience of pioneering German electronic band Kraftwerk, widely believed to have popularised the genre with hits like Das Model and Autobahn, their songs almost hypnotic in its robotic simplicity. Fans of the genre in particular are in for a treat, with the likes of Detroit techno legend Jeff Mills, Ellen Allien, Jean- Michel Jarre and the seminal BBC Radiophonic Workshop all featuring.
But music is just the start of it: the exhibition will guide viewers on a tour of the people, art, design, technology and photography that have been capturing and shaping the electronic music landscape. Experience rave culture as it was through large-scale photography by Andreas Gursky, iconic DJ masks and fashion, all to the tune of a genre-spanning soundtrack by French producer and DJ Laurent Garnier.
Of course, the UK has its own long history with electronic music, with the arrival of acid house from the US and rave culture in the ’80s, helped in part by nightclubs like Manchester’s legendary Haçienda (gone but not forgotten by a generation of ravers), the Factory Records label and electronic bands like New Order. Graphics by designer Peter Saville CBE, who was behind much of the iconic sleeve art for Factory’s output, will also feature.
NB: This event has an age guidance of 12+
1 April – 26 July 2020
Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG
Tickets £16, via designmuseum.org; members go free.