meatballfulton wrote:Electronic dance music is a broad set of percussive music genres that largely inherit from 1970s disco music and, to some extent, the experimental pop music of Kraftwerk.
Considering most of today's "dance" music that I hear is thumpa-thumpa repetitive tat with supersaw leads and vocals samples on top, I fail to see how it relates at all to disco music. Where are the funky bass lines? The harmonies? The killer chord progressions? This sort of stuff seems to be present in some forms of underground scenes ("house" music for one, though I'm sure there are many), but if you walk into most clubs the stuff they play sure doesn't sound anything like disco to me!
Well, if the elements you listed were the ONLY elements that defined disco, I could see how you'd have trouble connecting them. However, they're not. In fact, you avoided every single element which is shared by disco and electronic dance music.
Of primary significance in disco was a four-on-the-floor bass drum at a danceable tempo around 120. While such things had occurred in music previous to disco, disco, as a genre, was built entirely around this beat and tempo. Electronic dance music is based on it, too.
The drums in disco are largely directed at generating rhythmic elements which keep you dancing, or build excitement. There are rarely odd meters, intermittent or random accents (at least not without the four-on-the-floor or a high hat keeping time), moments without rhythm, or tempo changes.
The structure of the songs include constant crescendos of volume and instrumentation, which inspires dancers. These crescendos often result in a breakdown which leaves at least one rhythmic element going... and then builds back up.
The content of disco was often self-referential... it was about dancing, and lyrical, etc. content often proved it.
MANY beats unique to disco can be found consistently imitated in electronic dance music. Most, really.
Disco often simplified... took out developmental sections, took out complex song structures, took out expressive or emotive subjects, took out singing... leaving a simpler structure which was more effective for dancing.
Disco spearheaded sixteenth note basslines.
Repetition inspires dance. Disco embraced repetition more than rock ever had.
Lots of mainstay elements found in disco were taken by electronic dance music... the high hat on the off-beat eighths, for example.
Of course, more modern electronic dance may be moving away from these connective elements... but that doesn't change what actually happened.
While modern electronic music is full of false connections to previous music ("Pierre Schaeffer, THE FIRST TURNTABLIST..." "Delia Derbyshire: BEAT MATCHING VIRTUOSA," etc. God, I could kill someone) , the disco connection is solid.