Is Anything New?

Digitalism-Anything New

I had a rather obvious epiphany the other night: if you enjoy dancing, you probably enjoy dance music. Obvious, right? Whether dance music is derivative, full of samples of other songs or comprised of beats I’ve heard over and over again, I will probably listen to it. This understanding helps me comprehend why some people don’t like dance music. They probably don’t dance and if they do dance, they don’t dance with their hips (because you need a good rhythm to dance with your hips). Yeah, my logic is simple but it helps me understand why lots of dance music, especially of the electronic variety is so often derided.

Another obvious realization I had the other day while at the Balkan/World/Gypsy music club Malabomba: the best dance music DJs are the ones that feel just as comfortable on the dance floor as they do behind the turntables. The DJ there played some really nice global tunes but not songs you’d necessarily want to dance to.

Digitalism-Digitalism in Cairo

Digitalism is a band that explores the various issues around sampling, borrowing and re-using songs and beats through their music. You might make out a nod to Thriller in Anything New and the obvious sample of The Cure’s Fire in Cairo, above.

Felix Da Housecat-Madame Hollywood

Felix Da Housecat is another DJ who will lift whole rhythm tracks from obscure dance songs for his tunes. It’s always small thrill when I’m able to recognize the origin of a Felix Da Housecat sample. The foundation may be old or unoriginal but it’s the combination of elements that make music sound fresh. The best innovators always make a tip of the hat to what came before them.

One thought on “Is Anything New?

  1. apio says:

    You are probably right about the relationship between dancing well and the enjoyment, particularly, of electronic dance music. I am not a good dancer (though I do sometimes enjoy making a fool of myself in front of people by flailing my body around), and I am not so fond of electronic dance music. You have helped me to appreciate a bit more than I once did, but in terms of dance music, I still very much prefer funk, what gets called “ethnic” (i.e., not western pop) dance music, and the like. but I do appreciate the collage aspect of electronic dance music, and recognize that, as in other forms of collage, some people do it better than others. And during a good party, I will even flail about to the electronic dance music.

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