Swift blog today as much to be doing but I thought I'd kick off a mini-series of five great tracks from a chosen genre. I'm conscious that my love of North American Indie could come to dominate this blog if I'm not careful and as there are other bloggers who do it far better 'everybody cares, everybody understands' and 'I am fuel, you are friends' are two great examples.
So genre one, and it's not one I am especially knowledgeable of so apologies if my choices are highly offensive:
I love a good dance. I have very little rhythm but what I lack in technique I make up for in enthusiasm. All kinds of music can be great for dancing - Motown and Northern Soul being the best - so I've always taken issue with the label of dance but I'll stick with it for this.
Heads will Roll by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
I accept that YYYs are far from a dance act and perhaps suggest I am immediately cheating but for me this is a straight down the line dance music and is all the better for it. There is something exciting about a band exploring a new genre but so often it falls flat and frankly embarassing (yes I mean you Bloc Party). However Karen O and friends manage to produce a relentless, pounding track which is humanly impossible not to at the very least tap your foot to.
U Don't Know Me by Armand van Helden
This is a slice of unashamed commercial dance which topped the charts at the top of the charts when dance was king. 99% of commercial dance at this time was garbage and forgettable - Wamdu project, Toca's Miracle, blah, blah. This however had a hook which sticks in your head without getting incredibly annoyingly. I think the trick is to follow quite a conventional song structure in terms of verse and chorus thus avoiding the hook becoming repetitive. Analysis aside, it is a brilliant track that livened up many a Kendalian night out.
Aerodynamic by Daft Punk
It would be quite wrong of me not to include a Daft Punk track in the five and I plumped for Aerodynamic for a reason. Discovery was the first 'dance' album I ever fell in love with. As only a cliched 18year old could I played the mini-disc (!) the moment I crossed the border into France when inter-railing and along with Air it formed the soundtrack to my enlightenment which is so often tread by guitar loving indie kids. Aerodynamic stand out because it begins with an unintentional homage to ACDC and boasts one of the finest guitar riffs of any song. Magnifique.
Setting Sun by The Chemical Brothers (feat. Noel Gallagher)
'Noel Gallagher on a dance record? Oasis' Noel Gallagher? My beloved Oasis' Noel Gallagher on a *spits* dance record?' It is fair to say that as a frankly obnoxious fourteen year old the prospect of the man who made me learn guitar and want to be in a band teaming up with some drug addled ravey types was not a happy one. My immaturity was exposed yet again as the result was a track which sits happily alongside any of Gallagher's other output and most pleasing of all may have contributed to Oasis' bold decision to experiment with loops on Fucking in the Bushes to great effect. Setting Sun has an apocalyptic sense of desperation with Noel's vocals placed cleverly low enough in the mix to create the feeling of an all encompassing storm led by the driving drum loop. The two artists would collaborate again on the enjoyable but less exciting Let Forever Be and not to be outdone Liam lent a terrific guest vocal to Death in Vegas' Scorpio Rising. Death in Vegas were even recruited to produce Don't Believe the Truth which promised a dramatic change of direction but proved a step too far and the sessions are now confined to online rarities.
Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles
I know doubters still exist but they are ignorant fools, The Beatles are actually underrated to the extent that trash like Hey Jude is considered by the majority to be their peak yet their innovation and pushing of musical boundaries is appreciated by comparitively few. It has been said before that you can chart a person's musical awakening by which Beatles songs they enjoy. Like most I grew up loving the perfect guitar pop of Hard Days Night, etc but it is only when you delve into the delights of the Eastern infused tracks and experimentation of the White Album and Revolver that you recognise their true majesty. One accolade that is rarely bestowed upon The Beatles is their invention of dance music as we know it but Tomorrow Never Knows is exactly that. If you don't believe me listen again to Setting Sun and tell me there isn't a nod to The Beatles in the use of loops. It is something of a quirk that even when stepping out of his comfort zone Noel still managed to supply a hefty nod to the Fab Four.
I'd love to know your favourite dance tracks or critical slating of my choices so if you read, please leave a message. After all, just like Chrissy the Witch says, I'm you.