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The Slow Evolution of Dance Music

‚The Slow Evolution of Dance Music.‘
or
‚The Painful Younger Years of Dance Music.‘
or
‚Dance Music – a Butterfly Caught.‘

The latter part of the 1980’s saw the birth of Dance music (along with several other sub-genres). Within a few weeks it became impossible to go anywhere without hearing that same stylised and hypnotic beat! However, what should have been a fresh and exciting time in music rapidly became something much more stale and cheesy…

Record amounts of record companies were rapidly became aware of the mammoth commercial possibilities and fought one another to jump on the Dance bandwagon. The charts were suddenly spilling over with ‚Dance remixes‘ of old and previously released songs. These tracks were exactly the same as they had been the first time around, except that a ‚modern‘ drum loop had been added to their background. Needless to say, the majority of these were rubbish. Not only were they insulting to the originals, they were also a tasteless commercial sham to followers of the true Dance vibe!

For a couple of years it seemed as though everyone was being affected/infected by the Dance sound; however, this would frequently have some thoroughly embarrassing results… Even artists in totally separate categories began rushing out to purchase DJ equipment and drum machines! Imagine the horror of Goth fans when The Cure released their, ‚Mixed Up‘ album. It was essentially a remixed collection of their most loved songs in a laughably bad Dance style! Now everyone was confused…

All in all, Dance was on the verge of remixing itself to death before vanishing up its own bottom… Of course, genuine underground Dance music had never gone away, but the charts were a totally different matter! It just couldn’t go on like this and something had to give. And it did… although it seemed to take a painfully long time.

* Moby – used old Blues and Gospel songs and incorporated them into Dance-based tracks.

* Faithless – added a whole lot more depth the Dance music by using intelligent lyrics and other, more organic instrumentation.

* Prodigy – may have started out as a Dance outfit, but their best tracks made use of meaty electric guitars and other ‚proper‘ instruments.

* The KLF – took Dance and turned it into a total parody of itself, yet they still created some cracking songs in the process!

* Enigma – added a New Age slant to the Dance scene by integrating music from ancient cultures

* David Gray – ‚borrowed‘ the throbbing Dance heartbeat and came up with a whole new sound for the acoustic singer/songwriter slot.

* Miike Snow – Built on their House/Dance background and mixed it all up with the sounds of Pop, Acoustic and Reggae. The result; awesome.

* Massive Attack – Added a mature and artistic vibe to the world of Dance, creating some amazingly intricate songs with an impressive range of guest vocalists.

* DJ Tiesto – Blended his DJ equipment with orchestral sections when he recorded an amazing reworking of Samuel Barber’s, ‚Adagio for Strings‘.

Thankfully, things are now a far more interesting in the Dance scene. It has finally grown-up, evolved and spread itself into many new and original genres.

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