Saturday, September 2

All the people on the left, wap-bam-boogie. All the people on the right, boo-ga-loo.

I have an incurable addiction to dance music.

It's true, dance music only features as a small proportion of my music. The majority is more guitar based, with lyrics that tell stories and I'm a sucker for singer-songwriters, but that has never meant that I look down on dance music. Much the opposite really.

It's a rare occasion when you find a truly great lyric based dance tune, but that's not to say that they don't exist because they do. But the majority of this genre go for 'feeling' and 'structure' and 'drive' more than anything else. That pulsating precusive beat becomes hypnotic to the point of making the words seem irrelevant.
This is probably a good thing considering most of the songs I would label as 'great dance tunes' don't quite make it in the....let's say....great lyrics category.

Of course everybody has their own preference in songs and dance music is no different. Some people like the speedy stuff that makes the vocal sound like a munchkin from The Wizard Of Oz. Some people like more of a break-beat, instead of one continual tempo. Some people like very little or no vocals at all, while some like the basis of a 'song'....a verse, a chorus, a verse, a chorus, a bridge, a chorus.

Dance music, much like any other genre, goes through various stages of evolving. In my opinion, the most popular 'style' at the moment is kinda like this....

A female vocalist, preferably from a European country and even better if she can't quite sing in English very well. Oh yes, the poor pronunciation only adds to the song. No verse....no story....just a few lines spoken or semi-sung by the girl singer. Most of these lyrics seem to based around finding happiness or good things or even the spiritual and many of them are of course based around the theme of love. Either being in love or having just fallen out of love. Then of course, there are the kind that have lyrics that make no sense what-so-ever, unless you're either pilled up or stoned and dancing away to it in some club and then you feel this 'connection', while your brain tells you that it's the best song ever.
The bass drum doesn't do anything more exciting than beat on the 2 and four. The hi hat meanders between staying tight or enjoying the occasional "pssst" and the snare drum generally mirrors the bass drum.
The key to the whole thing is the bassline, which drives the song forward. Complimented by other keyboard jigger-pokery and percussion, the bassline remains the driving force behind the entire groove.

Some of this kind of stuff is shit, some of it is very listenable. I can't say I dislike it, but I must admit it's becoming quite tiresome recently.

Here's some examples of the wonders they would like to call....lyrics:

"I go ahh ahh ahh, you go ahh ahh ahh ahh 'cos you are the only one"

"Don't go mess with the soldier of fortune. Maybe he's the only one who can take your mind to another side of your soul. He is the soldier of love. The soldier of fortune.....Th th th th th th th the soldier of fortune....Th th th th th th th the soldier of fortune"

"Can you hear me, talking in my mind. I can feel you, you're with me all the time"

"But time passes by. For I wont say goodbye"

"You are the sun and moon, you are the spring in June, you are the one. "

"I hear a wishful thinking, in my peaceful world. I enjoy the exciting moments and no-one speaks a word"

"Take me home, in time you'll love me like one of your own."

"I get restless, I believe. I get restless and free. I get breathless and I....I get restless and high"

I wouldn't say I have a preference when it comes to dance music, as with any genre....I find I can listen to pretty much all of it. That said however, I find myself drawn to a certain style of track;
Bass drum kicks on the 2 and 4.
Snare drum mirrors, but occasionally will fade away and then come back with a frenzy of build up, usually accompanied by heavier vocals and more enhanced keyboard.
The hi hat is tightly closed most of the time, but there's nothing wrong with the occasional 'pssst'.
A bridge (break) in the middle somewhere that gives you that 'toilet door' sound. This is when everything sounds like it's being listened to in a club when you go into the toilets, so you have a barrier between you and the sound and it becomes 'muffled'. The a build up into a wall of sound that makes you wanna throw your arms up in the air and tip your head back.
The bassline is fundamental in driving the tune forward. The best sound is similar to somebody banging a pipe. That hollow, yet booming noise just gets me everytime.
Add one dose of keyboard frenzy, some female vocals, some percussion and a sample or two and you have, in my current ears...a winning formula.

Dance music always raises my spirits. I find that if I have dance stuff playing on my pc in the evening, my mood is never low. I feel lifted and emancipated and just....free. It's a great, great feeling.

Todays episode has been bought to you by the chord C, the pattern 4/4 and the simplicity that is dance.

3 parlez:

Emchi said...

Ah, but I see you've got Lustral by Everytime in there.

I find a good piece of dance music is one that washes over you in waves and just envelopes you...

bedshaped said...

I did indeed include Lustral. Top marks for getting that one emchi.

"I'll show you life.
I'll heal your heart tonight.
Everybody needs a helping hand.
I can help you understand.
You're not alone....I've come to take you home."

rachel said...

i'm with you on the dance music thing, had a carpet disco at mine last night, Basement Jaxx rock