Indulis Bilzens –  early rave culture ideologist and driving force passed away at the age 84   

The hero of the documentary Era of Dance and the ideologist of revolutionary rave culture events during the 80s and 90s Indulis Bilzens passed away in Frankfurt following an illness. Last weekend in Frankfurt people from different generations who were close connected to Bilzens, said Adios to the Master (as many called him).

Indulis Bilzens. Born in Riga on April 27, 1940 – a refugee of WW2- graduating from the Latvian Gymnasium in Munster, Cambridge College and Technical University of Stuttgart 

after which he dedicated decades to creating and strengthen the movement of independent media in the post-war era. It all culminated with the founding of the independent Press Corps “ID” in Frankfurt in the 70s which later became the well-known newspaper “Die Tageszeitung” and forming an artist based opposition movement contrary to conservative Germany. He was also the publisher of the avant-garde magazine “D!Fanatic” and worked as a broadcaster for WDR Radio in Cologne and Stuttgart.

Indulis Bilzens during the 80s created independent TV broadcasts (Braeunungsstudio Malaria” and others) where he granted greater freedom over the new talents from the music and arts scene. In the early ’80s, Bilzen’s love affair with electronic music began, introducing German listeners to new talent and giving the stage name to Maximilian Lenz – DJ WestBam. After all, it was thanks to his efforts in the USSR that in 1987 the first Western DJ Westbam came to Riga (part of the Soviet Union back then), whose performance amazed the adherents of the Soviet disco movement, who literally took Westbam’s manifesto about record art. and then transformed into a unique new youth culture.

Bilzens was a visionary man and culture historian who was the driving force and ideologist of many electronic music culture and independent media projects of the 80s and 90s. Bilzen’s influence on the early techno music scene in Germany and the late Soviet Union was undeniable. Berlin’s cult label Low Spirit and the first techno music festival in Europe Mayday are just some of the projects behind which Indulis Bilzēns stood.

The movie ”Era of Dance”, released in 2017 and directed by Viktors Buda, was dedicated to the techno music movement and the relationships between the West and the East. Indulis Bilzens served as a diplomat for this historic invasion, one that would become a cultural phenomena.

Watch the Era of Dance film trailer

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