Tag Archives: A Decade of Dance Music

2008

2008 was an odd year. i was working in a job i didn’t really like for some eight months, i had disastrous luck with university applications, i was generally quite bored a lot of the time and the weather was, in dublin at any rate, muck for most of the year. that said, i travelled to rome, barcelona, london and belgium, as well as getting to five festivals in three countries (the above photo was taken during simian mobile disco’s set at pukkelpop). i also really got going on my journalist career, writing for analogue magazine and moving to the uk to study journalism at post-graduate level. amidst all of this, of course, was music. while most of the tracks used in this mix seem to have come from the summer months, there was great music coming out all year long.

i guess this was the point at which electro (as it was known) came to an end, tracks like diplo’s get up remix and mind dimension were great, but there wasn’t really anywhere else it could go. most of the stuff within that sub-genre’s sphere over the last 18 months has been too noisy, derivative and lacking in any innovation whatsoever to make me like it any more. but at this point, it was still good. this was also about the time that the whole “nu-disco” thing started to take off (ha!) thanks to the likes of aeroplane, hercules and love affair and a rejuvenated cut copy, whose in ghost colours was one of my favourite albums that year. sadly, none of that album’s tracks made the mix. as usual, that’s the occupational hazard of trying to sum up 365 days in 80 minutes. also absent, upsettingly, is the juan maclean’s glorious happy house, as well as anything from gang gang dance’s saint dymphna or santigold’s eponymous debut. such is life, however. i’m sure you’ll find something to enjoy here.

haido – 2008 (Stream)
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2007

first off, i must apologise for the huge delay between instalments. life always seems to get in the way you know. but finally, here it is, my 90-minute round up of the year that was 2007. yes, 90 minutes. whenever i try to make a mix, i always try to keep it under 80 minutes, as if i were going to put it on a cd. in this case i had to keep it at this length. it just felt right.
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two thousand and ‘i prefer the switch mix’ six

i’m going to kick this off with a disclaimer – over the last few years i’ve made a point of never copying a dj’s mixes, ie if someone mixes two tracks together that sound great, i’ll go out of my way to find other ways of mixing them. i don’t wanna jock nobody’s style. but i’ve done it in this mix. not as a ripoff, but as an homage. it was in 2006 that i first saw the great man that is erol alkan play, and his opening tracks that night were his own remix of i don’t feel like dancing by scissor sisters and trentemøller‘s remix of go by moby. after that, like many of his sets, i was completely stumped – it always seems that he kicks off with something HUGE, then follows it up with an hour of obscurity, and lays the bangers on thick for his grand finale. later on that night i heard him play some of the tracks that have come to define that year, half of which are included in this very mix. bump, sitwoc, magick. that was 2006. this was year zero for the current crop of electro kids who never before had any interest in “dance music” – rock and rave had already come together through the likes of soulwax and lcd soundsystem, now labels like modular and ed banger were, i wouldn’t say consummating that marriage – they were f*cking like rabbits. it was wild.
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2005

yes on the last day of this year i’m posting the latest in my series of mixes that go some way towards encapsulating what this paste decade meant to me in terms of music, well, from a clubbing point of view at least. 2005 was a strange year – most of my clubbing was spent in what you might call “indie discos”, so i didn’t always get to hear some of the tracks i’ve included. but hey, i damn sure listened to them at home. so i’ve included a few tracks from the rockier side of my clubbing history – interpol, arcade fire, the killers, you know. it was in this year that a new form of dance music seemed to be taking shape – 2manydjs had already wowed the world with as heard on radio soulwax a few years before, but their nite versions album and tour(s) blew that out of the water in my opinion. we also had the debut album from lcd soundsystem, as well as a return from daft punk which, though arguably not as good as the duo’s previous two albums, paved the way for their mindblowing tour a year later.
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one louder

i was in town one afternoon in early july 2003. i had to drop something to the department of education for my brother. in the evening i met my friend to go to a play written by a friend of ours. in the interim, i picked up muzik magazine – it had p diddy on the cover! his much-lauded let’s get ill was, apparently, about to reshape the dance music universe. well, with the benefit of hindsight, we all know that never happened…

more important was the free cd that came with the magazine. i think i’d heard of the dj, erol alkan, a few months previously in the sunday times magazine, as one to watch. those profiles are all well and good, but mean nothing if you can’t hear what he’s about. this cd changed all that. the section of my diary entry (yes, i keep a diary) concerning the magazine read as follows: “Got Muzik with cool electro stylee cd.” if you forgive me for using the word stylee, you’ll understand what the relevance was. up to this point, i had moved from euphoria-style trance in the late 90s, to global underground and renaissance in the early 00s. a little of funky house had entered my sphere but not so much that i’d ever be tempted to enter that world permanently. this erol alkan chap helped redefine the sounds i was listening to. i must mention james lavelle, whose gu022 had ventured outside the prog-house mould and belatedly introduced me to the likes of dj shadow, as well as the solo work of thomas bangalter. i also got to know the beast that is unkle – but that’s a story for another day. this is about erol.

unfortunately i wouldn’t see erol in the flesh until 2006, but that wasn’t for lack of trying. once i was sick. once he played the trinity ball and i couldn’t find him. once he was playing just hours before i flew to prague. once i was in america. and so on. when i finally did see him, i wrote this.

you’ve read a lot to get this point. now you can just enjoy the mix.

Erol Alkan presents One Louder

01 Playgroup – Make It Happen (Zongamin Mix) (Edit)
02 Mitsu – Hush
03 Duran Duran – Girls On Film (Night Version)
04 The Faint – The Conductor (Thin White Duke Remix) (Edit)
05 Codec & Flexor – Crazy Girls Make My Heart Go Boom Boom
06 Headman – It Rough (Chicken Lips Mix)
07.a Goldfrapp/Benny Benassi – Train (Ewan Pearson Dub Mix)/Satisfaction (Acappella)
08 Grand Popo Football Club – Men Are Not Nice Guys (Goldrun Remix)
09 Tom Gillieron and Ravi McArthur – Now It’s Dark
10 Kiko/Alex Gopher – Italomatic (Kiko & The Hacker Remix)/Party People (Acappella)
11 Ferenc – Yes Sir I Can Hardcore
12 Archigram – Doggystyle
13 Uminski – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

you are sleeping

ok, so first of all i’d like to apologise – for several reasons, i will not be putting together a 2003 mix. i won’t go into them, but unfortunately it’s just not feasible. the same may also be true for 2004 – but i’ll be back and raring to go for 2005 all the way up to this year. anyway here’s a video. the track (and lyrics underneath) are from a mix by the guys that up until this point had been my biggest inspiration in dance music – deep dish. later i’ll post a mix from the man who replaced them.

you pick up this working girl, who’s hooked on smack, who hustles and scores, that’s all i do she says. she says ten bucks for head, fifteen for half and half she says. 3 hits a day at 35 per, that’s 7 tricks a day at least, but she says “sometimes I get lucky… once this guy gives me a bill and a half just to eat me. only time I ever came.”

you figure you can save her. you sell your colour TV that keeps her off the streets a whole day. you hock your typewriter for one jolt. then your shotgun, your watch. a week later you say “listen, i’m a little short,” but she says “no scratch, no snatch.” you say “look it is better to give,” but she says “beat off, creep.”

one night they spot you on the street in your skivvies, trying to sell your shoes. you tell them who you are but they nail you. then she happens by and she says “christ, you look ****ed,” she says “hang tough!” but you don’t say anything. you just think “what a bum rap for a nice sensitive guy like me…”

2002

this was a weird one. 2002 for many was the year of electroclash, but for some reason i was oblivious to much of that trend, happily bathed in the warm glow of prog and what one might term proper house music. of course sunglasses at night was inescapable – but that aside, it was all about tough jacking beats and uplifting funk – and i mean that in the best possible way.

a few words about the music. i was never that much a fan of the radio edit of röyksopp‘s remind me, but the video is beyond words, and besides, melody a.m. came out in 01 so it wouldn’t be right to include the original here. that group had such a profound effect on me in 02 that i felt it necessary to include another track of theirs, their beautiful remix of weak become heroes by the streets, who also made a big splash that year. i first heard minimal funk‘s definition of house on danny tenaglia‘s gu017, released in 2000, but this edit, by x-press 2‘s rocky, hit the shelves in may 02. i remember listening to it on a tape i’d recorded from the radio before my trip to california in june 2002, along with shakedown‘s at night – which might be my favourite track from that year. that trip is the reason the artwork is at is – see me match my hands to those of al pacino at grauman’s chinese theatre in hollywood – near where my brother now lives. well for some!
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