I’ve been trying to figure out what was so special about that scene, other than it being my gateway to electronic music in general. I think it has something to do with how profoundly uncool dance music was in the time leading up to that movement. It seems like it gave people a real freedom of experimentation. Before I go and write a novel on the topic, I want to get a sense of what that movement meant to other people. I was so close to it my perception could be totally skewed.
Some anecdotal support - I was trying to think of what was going on in dance music from like 2000 to 2006 and thought “what was R&S releasing? they wouldn’t release anything uncool”, so I checked and found that R&S shut down from 2000 to 2006 because Renaat was so bored with the sound of dance music at that time, which was a funny bit of validation. By the way, I think the EDM crash will create a similar atmosphere of uncoolness in 3-5 years that will make for a really interesting scene.
Some examples of unique sounds from the era.