Sunday, November 04, 2007

Intro to Club Music - Part 1

Last night Adam from This Boy Elroy left this comment on Twitter:
"I'm fascinated by people who are into club music. It all sounds the same to me, pots and pans clanging and some unintelligible Diva voice."

Of course, my first reaction was that I really can't expect too much out of Adam -- after all, he went to U of A, so he's just not that bright. And while that's true (I kid, I kid), I suppose that answer is the easy way out. My impression is that there are a lot of people out there who haven't had the opportunity to hear great club music and just don't get what its about. Add on top of it the reality that just like anything else, there's a range of quality when it comes to DJs and club music... kind of like food. There's fast food, gourmet cuisine and everything in between, as well as countless different styles. And so it is with club music.

The Beginning

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Obviously, music has been around for ages and people have been dancing to it for just as long. Modern dance music traces its roots back to the 70s, New York and disco... but not the sort of stuff you'll find on a cheap "Disco Hits" compilation. Disco fused a number of influences -- latin, soul, funk, gospel, blues -- and at its core was gay and underground. Disco collapsed after the major record labels got ahold of it and turned it into a parody of itself, much like they've done with hip hop. Despite its collapse, disco was essentially reborn in Chicago in the 80s as "house" music, which forms the core of most mainstream dance music. House spawned a number of other styles and sub-genres: techno, trance, and progressive being the most well known. Most modern club music (with the exception of hip hop) is some variation of house.

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