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Some thoughts On Dance Music 2009

My feeling about dance (techno, electronica, whatevera) today is nearly exactly the same as my feelings about jazz were twenty years ago. I love it but I don’t grasp it, I don;’t have a clear understanding of how they are doing to me what they are doing to me.

That’s an exciting place to be. Listening to a Boyz Noize remix of Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow”, “Let The Beat Rock” reminded me of hearing “Mojo Part 1” -it stopped me in my tracks and made me lsiten to it again and again.

But it has been that sort of a year on the dance charts. Rock has been OK, fair to middling, but dance has been awesome. Drop the Lime, Tiesto, Boyz Noiz, all the folks at Trouble and Bass, David Guetta, Pitbull, the Black Eyed Peas remixes, Kid Cudi remixes (Guetta’s “Memories” is brilliance and the MGMT and ratatat collab on “Pursuit Of Happiness”), dub-step out of the UK, LMFAO and the Britney remixes on Tuesday and I DON’T SERIOUSLY FOLLOW DANCE!!

And like I was with jazz I am trying to piece together how this happened -how did Dance enter the mainstream. I start with Morodor in the States and Norther Soul clubs in the UK. The disco twelve inchers came out of the US disco scenes and mixed it up with the soul brothers and the hybrid worked their way onto hip hop as samples.

Meanwhile DJs at these clubs in their own rights, folks like Louie Devito in the US and Paul Oakenfeld in the US and as the indie and dance scenes cross-pollinated, DJs formed bands, indie rockers like Beck added two turntables as a microphone and in 2009, at the tail end of the first decade of the millinium, Kid Cudi worked with Wale, Pitbull with Backstreet Boys and everybody with Wil I. Am.

And there are rock stars: William Orbitt, Guetta, Mark Ronson, Tiesto, Oakenfold, Van Helden. I could go on… These guys can sell out 20,000 seaters on the east Coast, they are joking up and down the charts all over the world. And they aren’t even a drop in the ocean. They are so many DJs, so many producers, so many caps worn by so many people, I can’t begin to figure it out. But I will note that their aren’t many women!!

So what next? I dunno but if you are really intersted in rock I recommend you start listening to dance or you’ll sound like you’re grandpa discussing hiphop. Ears need to become attuned to sounds, to frequencies, in order to actually hear em. Is it worth it? Like the man said, free your ass and your mind will follow.

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