Following a conversation with Mike and JH Sound on this thread (https://www.singlecellsoftware.com/node/17627) the challenge was to pick key, genre defining, zeitgeist records from the main genres and sub genres of modern dance music. To help illustrate this, I grabbed the infograph above from one of the many dance music magazine sites on the internet.
(Disclaimer - there are some genres I know little about and / or care little about so there's some guesswork here!)
Hip House = The Young MC 'Know How' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wck6YaZytmM
Psy Trance = Hallocinogen - LSD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIsVzSMRw8E
Progressive House = Leftfield - Not Forgotten (Hard Hands Mix) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLoZBMO9uaY
Liquid Drum'n'Bass = LTJ Bukem - Horizons (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o11cnMUTHM4)
Dubstep = Burial - Near Dark (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHjxJItKbLQ)
Detroit Techno = Rhythm is Rhythm - The Beginning (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc5YEgeky7E)
Acid House = Bam Bam - Where's Your Child (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDyxyRcZWBA)
Deep House = De'lacy - Hideaway (Deep Dish mix) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1sLhOcP8g4)
Jungle = M Beat feat General Levy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL2Bgj-za5k)
Dancehall = Chaka Demus & Pliers - Murder She Wrote (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-av7F1JBmj4)
Breakbeat = Zero B - Lock Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkfwoAr-zPI)
Speed Garage = Double 99 - Rip Groove (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR3Vw8J8vUo)
Drum'n'Bass = Origin Unknown - Valley of the Shadows (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5meT63flnM)
Melodic Trance - Paul Van Dyk - For An Angel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM5q1o7ofnc)
*to be continued*
(11 down, 35 (approx.) to go...)
(12 down, 34 to go...)
(13 down, 33 to go...)
14 down, 32 to go...
Wow, you've given me a lot of homework! Thank you!
Okay, I think it's 47 genres so it's 14 down, 33 to go...
IDM = Future Sound of London - Lifeforms (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00_6h1nVKcs)
Pop / Commercial = Reel 2 Real - I Like To Move It (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyx4v1QFzhQ)
Techno = Ravesignal - Horsepower (Remix) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkqUwvyPKwU)
Funky House = Elevatorman - Funk And Drive (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzPpwe6WDLY)
Jazzy House = St Germain - Deep In It (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=letuN0Dlliw)
Minimal Techno = DBX - Losing Control (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MRP5D_3WUo)
Jump Up = DJ Zinc - Super Sharp Shooter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sSR-GJnhvw)
US Dubstep / Brostep = Skrillex - Bangrang (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJVmu6yttiw)
Dub = Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown - (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbCrYBWh62Y)
Trance = Quench - Dreams (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa_iOGzoY9A)
Ambient = The Orb - A Huge Overgrowing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of the Ultraworld (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qexS5hBB1C0)
Hardcore = 808 State - Cubik (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y9SYNWkuow)
Gabber = The Speed Freak - The Solution (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN8JZne-UeY)
Happy Hardcore = DJ Vibes - Obsession (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp5Jfckz8Lg)
Progressive Trance = Protoculture - Laguna (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44NdBiH8JHQ)
*takes a breath*
29 down, 18 to go
Holy pigeon hole batman!
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Chillstep = Skrux - You & Me (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UifuuynvrlY)
Nu Disco = Todd Terje - Delorean Dynamite (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUOIvT9hzD8)
Funky Breaks = The Crystal Method - Busy Child (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko-DhvdfgwE)
Nu School Breaks = Freestylers - Push Up (Plump DJ's mix) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBmQPU1yzGY)
Tech / Hardstep = Dom + Roland - Thunder (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uucE2ki-Lnk)
Downtempo = Zero 7 - I Have Seen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7iRBhwizKI)
Lounge = Air - All I Need (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkgfmWfJ11s)
Glitch = Pole - Paula (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N6X1Tf9sHo)
Experimental = Pan Sonic - Urania (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYiP0n-KwnQ)
Intelligent (D'n'B) = Adam F - Circles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDRNYUucKvA)
Hardstyle = Headhunterz & Wildstylez vs. Noisecontrollers - Tonight (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TGp7W_HUK4)
Garage = Todd Terry - Something Goin'On (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwzc0ithTDc)
Disco House = Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vde2JIBz_RU)
Two Step / UK Garage = Roy Davis Junior Ft.Peven Everett - Gabriel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6YFeiGXj54)
Tech House = Phuture - Rise From Your Grave (Wild Pitch Mix) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJcsDsrfMiI)
Chill House / Tropical House = Kygo - Stole The Show (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sc-ir2UwGU)
House = Roger Sanchez - Another Chance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdlvPe959Ck)
This is great, thanks James.
I used to have a link to some weird Flash site that had a psycedelic trip that branched all genres off from themselves. The site is probably long gone by now.
Once more, thank you James. I will listen to all the examples (eventually) but I'd like to identify a few and try to create something in those genres. I think the stuff I do contains a lot of these musical ideas but it's all mixed up and mashed up.
I know the whole "genre" thing is a cliche but IMHO if you go back to these that were defined years ago, they really had a purpose in how they were performed and how they made people feel.
Liken it to carpentry, you learn all these styles that could be thought as outdated, but then as you master each and it's own "dimension", then you can start to assemble your own wood creations using techniques that you picked up from different artistic periods (genres).
So these days it's not like these new genres that are produced are new, they are just master carpenters creating new styles from bits of old styles.
I think this is the most fun, I have done this quite a bit in the last 10 years, take an established genre, break it apart and build it again, you learn soooo much.
I always called this my love of illusration, taking real things and remaking them in your minds eye, same with music, it is probably the most powerful learning tool you can use. It forces you to become a scientist and really investigate, what the groove, melodies, rhythm really are and what the actual similarities of genre sounds are.
Oh yeah, corny but it really does come down to all the tribes in this world and if you want to speak to them through music, you have to speak their language.
A lot of genres were born out of distinct cultures that had their own trials an triumphs. E.G. Blues on the guitar verses 80's metal. (I know most understand this, just pointing it out)
Hey Mike, the woodworking analogy is a good one and a similar thing happens in painting, too. Techniques are learned from existing and historic examples but once learned, can be used to create something new and different. Great painters, current and past, didn't just pick up a brush and start going. They studied and learned techniques of others first.
> They studied and learned techniques of others first.
Some great tunes to listen to whilst working.
Maybe someone less lazy than me can turn these into a playlist.
My Soundcloud profile is _dredge_
I'm definitely not claiming to love or even like everything I've picked, but I've tried to ensure that each one is representative and significant.
Every track was hand picked and where possible they were picked from my memory / experience / record collection but some were definitely picked with the assistance of some patient googling and YouTubing - given that there were a fair few genres I don't really have much time for, it was bit odd googling 'classic gabber tunes' - an oxymoron and then some And yes, it's incredibly subjective, especially when you get to the various House / Garage sub genres, and the Drum'n'Bass / Jungle ones.
Some genres make more sense when you understand the time period they emerged - they were either based on merging elements of other, established genres - Progressive House, Tech House etc. or they were a reaction to the then mainstream sounds dominating dance culture and were a way of trying to take dance music back to its roots, or to a time when things were more 'authentic' - particularly true of the Soulful, Jazzy, Disco influenced sub genres in the House pantheon.
Occasionally you can pull and push music backwards and forwards across time - 'Rise From Your Grave' by Phuture came out years before Tech House was an established genre but it had already defined the sound and was just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.
There are also a lot of sub genres and sounds that are 'missing' (Acid Techno, Acid Trance, Big Beat, Rave, Italo House etc.) from this but hey, that Infograph was a perfect way to frame this so I'm not going to add them for the sake of it.
Have I been surprised by anything so far? Yes, how bloody good is that Augustus Pablo tune (dub)? and how stylish is that St Germain track (Jazzy House)?
And that Dom + Roland track (Techstep) is a bit tasty!
Enjoy (or not) but just as importantly listen and learn
Wow, thanks for sharing this, you've put in a few hours. I'm really enjoying this.
The only possible drawback here is that sometimes the songs chosen to represent a genre/subgenre may appeal to one listener but not another, this stuff is so subjective.
On one hand the track you choose may perfectly represent a genre yet I might think "I'll pass, that doesn't really appeal to me".
It's absolutely not a reason to not do this, personal taste doesn't define the criteria for your project, and really you've even written a clear disclaimer or two so hopefully you won't view this as criticism.
Perhaps as this project goes along others can chime in with other possible suggestions for your consideration.
For example, and I realize many might disagree, I far prefer this Skrillex song to Bangarang. Does it define the genre any better. No. And you might not like it better either.
Skrillex - First of the Year (Equinox)
Realistically it would also be crazy difficult for you to listen to say two dozen songs in every category listed to weed out favorites so maybe those worth experience in some of this can chime in...not me, I already exhausted half my knowledge by mentioning the Skrillex tune.
Ah heck, might ad well pass on the other half
Crystal Method - Keep Hope Alive
All caveats still apply but ha ha - The Crystal Method!
I actually flipped between 'Keep Hope Alive' and 'Busy Child' and only went with the latter because it felt closer to the genre, despite not being the better tune
Skrillex? I don't know enough of his music to have a strong opinion, I really should have honed in on his earliest big tracks as I was going for 'genre defining' rather than 'best track in that genre'.
The tracks I've chosen have ended up falling into maybe two categories, 'genre defining' and 'representative of that genre'. Where I know the genre well I've picked genre defining ones (still very subjective), and where I don't know the genre as well or even at all, there's a high risk I've picked up some 'representative of that genre' tracks instead.
Oh, and don't forget about timelines - I started going to raves and then dance clubs in 1992 so a genre defining track to me is going to be different to someone that started clubbing midway through the 90's, or in the noughties etc.
James mentioned something important to this thread. The original question wasn't, "What is the best song in this genre?" The question was, "What is a song that best represents this genre?" It grew out of wanting to know the pieces and parts that went into each. I was just curious about nuances of rhythm and intrumentation that made each different.
James came through with a very good starting point for anyone with similar curiousities. No way I can explore all of them, but if one hits me right I will try to break it down into its components and see if I can do something similar. Even if it's no good, I'll have a better understanding.
I must have watched / listened about 50 times so far tonight - too funny.
Ooh, and just another 'last' word from me - there are some amazing tunes that I've missed because they fall outside the timeframe of the genres on the Infograph (on that Infograph, Dub is a bit of a random ingredient given that Dub has been around since the 70's)
- so hats off to everything by Kraftwerk
- shirts off to everything by Chic, especially 'Lost In Music' by Sister Sledge
- and take all your clothes off to 'I Feel Love' by Donna Summer