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Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:03 am
by KBD_TRACKER
in the survival of analog (and for that matter any) synths ?

without going back to KW PF, and even disco, for which synths and rythm boxes were more "condiments" (sorry giorgio...) than fully expressive means, for me it is the likes of 808 state, "the the", LFO, the shamen, FSOL, inner city, et. al. followed by many in detroit, and chicago, who were the first and the ones to use synths as fully expressive basis for their music ...which was dance music.

in fact without acid house (dance), today how much would be worth a TB303 ??? and how many emulations like jomox etc. would have happened ?

so without dance music (meaning house/techno and not disco, although i certainly do respect disco) would this forum even exist in its present shape ? i believe that without dance music synths would be curiosity items worshipped by a tiny group of older or experimental musicians and firms like DSI might not exist, moog might not have survived, and instruments like the andromeda might not be here.

dance music has given an aura to electronic instruments which fascinates many teenagers, and has kept many from becoming batallions of stratocaster players....

sure, nowadays dance music has been co-opted by commercialism and trend-hunters, but i feel we still owe to dancers the existence/survival of many of our cherished instruments

SO YOUNG AND OLD, LETS KEEP DANCING

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:11 am
by CS_TBL
When narrowed down to trance (the stuff you hear at Digitally Imported internet radio), I say respect the genre a lot for 2 reasons:
- sound design, there's really a lot of mixing and layering detail in all that
- minimalism, as I'm more from the orchestral/pop stables, I'd never be able to make trance (as in: simple leads/arpeggios that go on for minutes without change), as I'll always try to make it something which it isn't. Always trying to add the extra melody, the extra chord etc.

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:33 pm
by Christopher Winkels
I respect any music which makes me emote. Not all dance music does this, but a lot of it has the ability to do so. So much the better that a lot of the fairly impoverished musicians who, fairly early on in their careers, were forced to use "outdated" analogue gear. That has been a real boon for the analogue revival of the last decade and a half. My heart thanks them, even if my wallet doesn't!

Nothing wrong with another stratocaster player too; the world's big enough for musical enthusiasts of all stripes.

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:07 pm
by Yoozer
KBD_TRACKER wrote: it is the likes of 808 state, "the the", LFO, the shamen, FSOL, inner city, et. al. followed by many in detroit, and chicago, who were the first and the ones to use synths as fully expressive basis for their music ...which was dance music.
But those are filled with samples. The workhorse in those studios was called Akai first and foremost ;).

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:21 pm
by nvbrkr
No.

Without techno musicians going gaga over any analog synth for their "phatness" and "low-end" I could purchase most vintagesynths for 20% of the price they are currently going for, and make all the silly p**n funk my heart desires. :wink:

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:11 pm
by meatballfulton
KBD_TRACKER wrote:i feel we still owe to dancers the existence/survival of many of our cherished instruments
SO YOUNG AND OLD, LETS KEEP DANCING
I play a lot of dance music...not electronic dance music mind you. Contradance, square dance, cajun dance, zydeco, swing dance, Texas two-step, etc. Then there's the styles I don't play: polka, salsa, Balkan styles, etc.

To the general public these are totally off the radar. I'm sure most of you will need to pop up Wikipedia just to find out what those styles are.

Still within those narrow niches there are plenty of good paying gigs and the dancers are keeping those musical styles alive even if the pop mainstream has forgotten about them.

Dancing and music go together and always have.

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:04 pm
by shaft9000
if you've never danced all night before... never been in the state of total abandon of the usual daily routine, never gone completely nuts for a tune emerging in the midst of a slamming mix by a DJ or live P.A. performance that is stimulating everything in sight.....then I feel somewhat sorry for you.
You just haven't lived yet, son!
OR rather, I envy you a little, because there's only one unique "1st time" for anyone...and my 1st time experiencing this was maaaaaany moons ago. Yours is just around the corner - IF you can find the right party to go to w/ your friends.... it's sadly become very scarce in America the last 10 years.

And NO, drugs are not necessary.
The best time I ever had dancing was at Big Top in Oakland, CA ~1996...Juan Atkins, Derrick May, System7, Joey Beltram, KMR Saunderson, Moby(Everything Is Wrong days), Banco de Gaia, ... ALL took me to supreme body-jacking ecstacy...with no external chemical intake required but water.

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:44 pm
by mute
I dont nessicarily associate dance music and electronic music as not all electronic music is dance music and not all dance music is electronic. actually, pretty much all i listen to is electronic music and very little of it is what would be deemed as dance music. and since when is The The dance music? Beaten Generation or Dogs of Lust != dance music. Maybe there's another The The i dont know about...

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:50 pm
by blitzdj86
I think the reason synthesisers have remained is because there's been enough people that still like synthesisers to buy them, regardless of whether their music is 'dance' or not.


There's plenty of possibility for dance music that has no synthesisers in it, so its not 'dance music' that makes synthesisers survive... People are specifically choosing synthesiser dance music over non-synthesiser dance music, which means they like synthesisers for the fact that they sound like synthesisers, not just because they are in some dance music.

So what I'm trying to say is, the synthesiser has survived, because people love the sounds that various synthesisers can make.

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:48 pm
by Phenom
I loved synths before I loved dance music, but dance music did lead me in new directions. If it wasn't for the influence of dance music, we might all still be playing black 5-octave rompler jobs. Some of us still do of course, but it's one choice rather than the only choice. A lot of the interface improvements on modern synths are a direct result of the demands from dance musicians (amongst others) to have useful realtime control.

I came to synths in the early 90's. Without the retro reviews in Future Music back then I would have thought all those sounds that I really loved were coming from M1s and D50. Unfortunately everybody else seen those articles too, and suddenly a 303, 808 or 909 were all going for a grand each.

I remember the first article I ever read on dance music production, it was in the British music shop rag Making Music, maybe 91/92 (anyone remember that???). Some things it said put me right off. It said point blank that dance music required samplers, and serious dance music required 2 fully loaded S1000s. It made scant mention of analogue synths, maybe producers back then regarded analogues as garnish around the meat and potatoes of sampling, and not the other way round.

Maybe skewing off-topic, but what I find equally interesting is the denial of the value of digital synths (not including samplers) in the history and development of dance. Listen again to the originals, not just remixes, and chances are they'll be packed with old digitals. Maybe this gets forgotten because computers can do everything old digital synths can do, usually a lot better (e.g. Korg Legacy M1/Wavestation), and maybe because multitimbrality is not the desperate issue that it once was. But it was all in there back then, and people were less judgemental of the lable "digital". They just wanted something that made a sound in the hope they could achieve a full mix.

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:07 pm
by nathanscribe
KBD_TRACKER wrote:for me it is the likes of 808 state, "the the", LFO, the shamen, FSOL, inner city, et. al. followed by many in detroit, and chicago, who were the first and the ones to use synths as fully expressive basis for their music ...
Kraftwerk, Cabaret Voltaire, JM Jarre, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Throbbing Gristle, Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, John Foxx, Human League, Heaven 17, OMD, New Order, Yellow Magic Orchestra....

All these were using synthesizers either predominantly or solely in their music way before your examples of mass-appeal late-80s/early-90s dance acts. There was stuff going on in Detroit/Chicago before the ones you mention as well, plenty of early-80s synth-oriented dance music.

Where would any of those you mention be without their predecessors?

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:44 pm
by Automatic Gainsay
KBD_TRACKER wrote:in the survival of analog (and for that matter any) synths ?
Hmm. Not really.
There are plenty of musicians who love and use synthesizers outside of dance-related electronic music.

nathanscribe wrote:Kraftwerk, Cabaret Voltaire, JM Jarre, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Throbbing Gristle, Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, John Foxx, Human League, Heaven 17, OMD, New Order, Yellow Magic Orchestra....

All these were using synthesizers either predominantly or solely in their music way before your examples of mass-appeal late-80s/early-90s dance acts. There was stuff going on in Detroit/Chicago before the ones you mention as well, plenty of early-80s synth-oriented dance music.

Where would any of those you mention be without their predecessors?
Thanks, nathanscribe!
While the internet/wiki/etc. would have you believe that dance music started with techno, it just didn't.
We were all dancing madly those same beats before techno... made by the artists above, and the artists who did the 12 inch remixes of those artists' songs.
I was a dance music author for many years, and into the nineties had never heard the Detroit artists which everyone NOW gives credit to for electronic dance music. Techno became big in the US much later. Those of us doing dance music in the 80s were influenced by the dance music artists like those nathanscribe describes.

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:26 pm
by otto
You could basically say this about any genre of music that incorporates synths.
Without dance music no one would be using synths
without industrial no one would be using synths
without the return of all things retro and nastalgic no one would be using synths
without modern indie no one would be using synths
without finding old records no one would be using synths
without hip-hop no one would be using synths
without soundtracks and bizzare sound effects no one would be using synths

I like some "electronic dance" but it is most definately not something with over-arching importance in my lexicon of musical influences.

And to shaft, if you haven't been kicked in the face or kicked someone in the face at a hardcore show in your youth, you haven't lived. I couldn't imagine dancing like a prick to techno music. I don't mean that to be offensive but we each have our own places we come from and we probably all have some magical youth experience that can't be replaced, repeated or completely understood by others.

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:25 pm
by Hugo76
It seems obvious to me that electronic music such as trance, techno, d'n'b, has been very important for electronic music gear manufacturers.
Yoozer wrote:
KBD_TRACKER wrote: it is the likes of 808 state, "the the", LFO, the shamen, FSOL, inner city, et. al. followed by many in detroit, and chicago, who were the first and the ones to use synths as fully expressive basis for their music ...which was dance music.
But those are filled with samples. The workhorse in those studios was called Akai first and foremost ;).
Yeah, but if you look at the kit-list of for example FSOL, you'll see that it's filled with various synths. The same goes for a lot of the other acts mentioned. I think the sampler was very important for many of them, but maybe first and foremost for the purpose of workflow and capturing complex synth patches and setups. That's what I think, anyway.

Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:55 pm
by Computer Controlled
Some of this has swerved rather OT. This isn't about did dance music start with techno. It obviously didn't. You guys are looking too far back. Of course there were lots of synths back then. This is about did "modern" EDM kick start the analogue revival of sorts and help with bringing them back into the public eye. I'd say yes, without a doubt. Would there be all these new analogue and VAs w/o the interest from EDM? Probably not. I don't see the audience for these being large enough outside of EDM. Without Acid House, there would have been no interest in the 303 or 808 or 909. Or any of the Roland x0x boxes. Same with techno. It just happen to end up that these boxes were cheap at the time being dumped for all the latest digital whiz bangs. They didn't care that they were analogue (for the most part, though some did actually). They cared that they were cheap and affordable. If you look at the rise in popularity of analogues, the manufacturing of new analogues and VAs... you'll see a parallel with the rise in popularity of EDM.

So what would we have all these great new toys to play with if the EDM/Rave scene hadn't kicked off the way it did? Uhhh... probably not. I'm sure we'd have some, but probably the amount that there is now.