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Dance Music All Night Long

Posted by Smiles Davis, July 8, 2009 03:43pm | Post a Comment
Music, good music, is popping up everywhere and I’m loving every minute of it. Dance music in particular is really having the best year ever. I’m not just talking about house and techno, I’m talking about music that makes you wanna boogie, music that really makes you wanna get down with the get down and forget all your worries. I don't exactly know who to give credit to for putting the fun back in music but one thing is absolute: everything eventually comes full circle.

Back in the day—we’re talking the 70’s—there was disco, a little bit of hip-hop, some more disco, what was left of modern jazz, rock-n-roll, and a little more disco. The best thing about urban nightlife at that time was disco. And you didn’t hear none of that A.D.D. DJ we hear so frequently today, where the music selector changes songs every thirty seconds (thanks a lot DJ AM). No, none of that. The DJ’s at the discotheques usually played the long versions of songs, nearly in their entirety, to keep the feet on the dance floor all night long. Oh, how things have changed.

At that time, people weren’t up on hip-hop like that quite yet; it was still pretty underground. You had to know where to go to find a DJ spinning hip-hop. And chances are, if you knew about it, you knew it was the only spot in town where you could go to hear that type of music. Not to mention the fact that that one and only spot was probably members only. You had to be affiliated with a crew to gain access. If you weren’t a part of a tagging crew, a breaking crew, or one of the emcees or DJs, chances were you didn’t even know about it. But, back to disco. It started mainly on the east coast in the late 60’s. By the early 70’s disco had cross-pollinated and spread like wild fire all over the globe. Most popular soul and funk acts like Earth, Wind & Fire and The Bar-kays soon jumped ship and found themselves chin deep in the disco trend. Unfortunately, like most fads, disco was finished quicker than morning coffee and soon disappeared from the radar. For the most part, I think the public wanted it that way. Disco Demolition Night, a promotional event that took place on Thursday, July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, was in part to blame for the end of an era. However, industry folk and even many consumers talked about the decline of the genre long before this event took place.  

Disco, although short lived, was to music, in part, what the sex, drugs and rock n roll generation, better known as New Hollywood was to post- classical Hollywood in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80's. Well, sort of, not really, but they had many similarities: together they completely altered the conventional format of entertainment, they were relentlessly rebellious, adored by tweens, and utterly despised by conservatives. Also, the misfits of Hollywood during that time were the first to recognize film as an art form, while the DJs of the disco era catapulted advancements in turntablism and too recognized it as an art form. Disco faded to black shortly before the “movie brats” did.  

Still, disco influenced many styles of music, including hip-hop and electronica. Donna Summer, one of the more notable disco singers, was the first to really incorporate electronica into the popular dance style. Today, a number of acts are bringing it back like an 8-track. Holy Ghost, Men, Hercules and Love Affair and compilations like Italo Disco are all making strides to breathe some life back into the genre. Hi-5 disco! The good times are well overdue.

Also influenced by disco, or dance music in general, was Baltimore Club music, better know as Bmore. Bmore is so hot right now. Let me tell you from a DJ’s perspective: All the kiddies love it! Nothing packs the dance floor quicker than a Bmore remix. The “Remix” evolved out of disco, by the way, thanks to Tom Moulton, and later spread into hip-hop, pop and other styles of dance music like techno.

The front-runners of the current Bmore movement are the best things since sliced bread. The key players include DJ Class, Aaron Lacrate, Diplo, Switch, and DJ Blaqstarr, just to name a few. And it just so happens they’re all DJ’s. Major Lazer, the brainchild of Diplo & Switch, and the new kids on the block, is making noise all over the Internet. The single “Hold The Line” packs the dance floor any time and anywhere I play it. Same thing with DJ Class’ “I’m the Ish.” Works like a charm every time. Even mainstream acts like the Black Eyed Peas have hopped aboard the bandwagon with their single “Boom Pow.” Something tells me Baltimore Club will be around for a while. Go on back that thang up, get your Bmore on! Let's dance, not fight.


‘Till next time…chew the corners off. 


Relevant Tags

Hercules And Love Affair (3), Major Lazer (5), Switch (3), Diplo (8), Donna Summer (21), Dance Music (2)