A Brief History of Acid House: Suddi Raval

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The latest book in the Attack Magazine online store is ‘A Brief History of Acid House’. It’s a colourful, fun and highly enjoyable new book about the history and legacy of Acid House. We spoke with the author, Suddi Raval, to find out more.

Attack: The striking thing with your book is that your passion for the genre clearly comes across. It feels personal. Can you tell us more about your history?

Suddi: My love of music began with Acid House but my passion extended to me forming a band with my best friend Jonathan Donaghy after we met at the Blackburn raves. We only ever wanted our record ‘Hardcore Uproar’ to be heard at the Hacienda but it just grew and grew and then the major labels came bidding for us. It was incredible to be at the centre of a bidding war but in all honesty, it wasn’t something I felt comfortable with as there is no love for what they do. It is purely driven by money.

I never wanted to sign to Pete Tongs label FFRR but somehow we were forced to by our lawyer. We were kids in our teens so easily duped but FFRR wasn’t a bad label to be on but we always wondered what might have happened if we signed to the label we wanted to Deconstruction. I still think to this day that we could have concocted the bidding war to inflate our advances. I wish we were that clever!

When did you have the idea to make the book?

The idea has been knocking about for many years and it was going to be called Encyclopaedia Acidica. I broke my leg early 2017 and as I was sat at home unable to move, I got my laptop out and started making this version which started out as “An Acid House Bedtime story”. Friends advised me to ditch the title if I wanted to find some success with it. I’m glad I listened to them.

What inspired you?

One of the things that inspired me is that I have most of the books on Acid House out there and they are so serious, at times academic which can be great but Acid House was fun and colourful so I wanted to create something that reflected the mood of the music and the people who followed it.

How long did it take to make?

It probably took about 3 months in total which doesn’t sound like long but all the various chapters from the Roland intro, pages on Chicago and Phuture, the stuff about Police riots and even the smiley face pages, they were all going to form a part of the predecessor Encyclopaedia Acidica so even if the pages weren’t written fully, I’d been thinking about these themes for years.

A Brief History of Acid House: Suddi Raval

How on earth do you break down Acid House into 60 pages? What made you decide what did and what did not make the cut?

If I had had forever this would have been, god knows how long!

It was very difficult deciding what to keep in. I have a trick for my writing. As I could not pass the text to an editor whenever I need a second opinion, I put all the text into a voice synthesizer. This way, it feels like someone else is reading your story to you. You can then get a better feel for what to keep and what to cut.

If you going to publish something it has to be bang on. I run stuff I am unsure about to close friends. They can be ruthless but honest feedback is golden in any creative field.