So I was watching this somewhat interesting 10 minute mini-documentary from Size TV on Steve Angello. There are scenes of him fiddling around in his studio, performing at a gig in Brazil and speaking candidly about his (temporary?) loss of hearing.
It’s the “sensitive” side of Steve.
While waxing poetic on the beauty of analog and toying with ear-piercing squelches on his synthesizers, he says something that catches my attention:
90 percent of new dance fans today miss that whole thing… When everything was super funky. If you think about it people don’t even dance anymore. They’re just jumping. And that’s awesome. But there’s a gap where that kind of music used to be.
That was a lightbulb moment for me; I had observed something interesting at the more traditional house sets at recent festivals.
For instance, at this past weekend’s Wavefront, I saw Mark Farina and Derrick Carter’s awesome tag team set accompanied by a noticeable lack of movement. In fact, if you watch several videos taken of them, there are a few comments about people’s dancing being reserved. (For those not aware of Chicago’s Wavefront Festival, the dynamic duo was at the House Heritage stage, while the other 5 stages carried other genres of electronic dance music.)
My take? It’s not for the younger kids’ lack of a good time. They were certainly excited and attentive. I think they were just… physically confused. Since much of the millenial generation (those born somewhere between 1982-2000s) was probably fed on big room sounds, harder and more chaotic, with intense buildups and the eventual release of a breakdown likened to that of a bacchanalian orgy, subtlety is often a stranger to them.
Served anything with a consistent rhythm sans epic upswings and dramatic drops, it’s as if they’ve become nervous. They are in constant need of sonic cues, musical stimulation that tells them to Jump here! – Wave Your Hands in the air now! – Bounce! – Scream! – Rage!
So when you really think about it, their “dance” vocabulary is usually limited to…well… jumping up and down. (Sorry hula hoop girls, poi dancers and glow stick experts. You are the exception.) Perhaps, like overly crowded rock concerts of yesteryear, the only economic way to move is vertically.
Thank God for the acts that demonstrate to neophytes the intricacies of a slower ride, a head nodding funk, and the sweetness of a laid back groove.
I do believe if Mark Farina started vigorously pumping his fist or Derrick Carter got to kicking his mixer in time with the lights, the kids would have lost it…
On a lighter note: