we left off in the previous segment with electronic music, and one can definitely dance to those. here, we look at the actual dance songs preferred because of their, sometimes unusual, beats. of course, the songs are also critical to the listening habits, beyond being great for the purpose of a being superb to dance.
- “White Lines” : rapping, at least in the USA form of hip-hop, is really not in my interest. however, this is a song that not only was great at clubs, but showed me that rap (in its infancy) has some great stuff in it. rap music eventually took over the clubs that I frequented, and clubbing decreased to zero, since all night of rap was not interesting to dance. yet, this one opened up some songs I could greatly enjoy from other artists… and cringe when some bands tried it… like New Order.
- “Phat Planet”: I loved the first Leftfield, and this second one was a departure from it. yet, this is a far superior album for how clean it is, and an increased visceral experience. dancing to this song would have been a dream, but it, and the entire album, is otherworldly. really, it rivals LFO for importance in electronic music.
- “Deadlock” :I think this is the only song to come from sampling streaming. all other songs/groups were found with the usual means— that is, friends, reading a review, or serendipity (record stores, etc). this song and all of SCALPING’s first album Void have made an electronic album (from a new group, because Underworld‘s Barbara… is also great) being super exciting for the first time in almost 20 years. ok, not sure that they are purely electronic, but let’s go with that for this case. that said, the intensity of this song matches the best examples from Stereolab, Loop, and Wire (and many others).
- “Juanita /…” : this album has a great travel memory on an early trip to Paris. while I brought other music with me, I only played this CD during the entire week+ time in Paris. I had not listened to it before I left on the trip, and it really was so fitting to this visit. in some ways, as one person said long ago in an online forum, that Underworld could have been like New Order for dance… and in many ways, they were for me with regard to dance music. this was a critical song, where Orbital was a bit Prog, this was pure dance being extremely visceral. along with Orbital, the Underworld‘s concert at the time was just that: a superb dance + visceral energy experience. very memorable concerts from both.
- “The Perfect Kiss” : and we come to the best dance song ever. right? that this was from 3/4 of Joy Division was strange, yet, “She’s Lost Control” hinted at it was not a fluke. at the club, and in the car, or at home, this song never gets tiring (as “Blue Monday”, though after a very long time). perhaps because there is a pop element, among many other layers, to this song. in the context of the time, and more so within the venerable Low-life album, this song is a most surprising development that may be only achievable by New Order. even more impressive, in the context of the MTV video world, is that it is a fantastic performance made beautiful by Jonathan Demme, thus remaining a singular moment in music videos too. [ video version. ]
well, a singular moment in my musical interests.
- “Soon” : the impact and love for Isn’t Anything did not anticipate the experience with Loveless. this single came out first and I was just shocked. I mean, the drum pattern is intriguing as it a fresh way to dance to it. absolutely vital and essential… which worked into appreciating the next three songs many years later.
- “I against I” : while American hip-hop may not have sunk in, British trip-hop did, not without faltering at first. Massive Attack‘s Blue Lines had an appeal, but it was just enjoyable and didn’t lead to exploring the genre. the same can be said about Tricky and Portishead at the time– this would change with their later work. already in love with Massive Attack by the time this track arrived, this was again a revival of a good dance track that was missing for so long. again, it comes down to the drum rhythm, though the lyrics and singing from Mos Def is super appealing.
- “You Can Lose It” : less of a gap between “awesome dance tracks”, the vocalist from Wolfgang Press (another, among many, favorite group not in the list). his deep soulful voice has great impact, and combined here with an infectious drum pattern, which recalls that of My Bloody Valentine‘s “Soon”.
- “Romance” : like “The Perfect Kiss”, a pop song that is a great dance song is not really that common. here, again, there is an unusual drum playing (see this live performance video ) and it is mesmerizing. the most soothing voice also helps in distinguishing this track from the rest, and make it a top song for hoping that good dance track, pop or otherwise, are released with greater frequency.
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