Dance music is a funny thing. There is no center of the dance world. Ibiza is the closest thing, but only because of its longstanding summer nightlife culture. It’s not the equivalent of Nashville to country music where the budding country star moves to Nashville to record music and hit it big.
Dance music artists are diffuse. They live in New York, LA, Miami, Canada, the Netherlands, France, England, Sweden, Germany, Spain, and Australia to name a few. In some cases, the music reflects these diverse backgrounds. In some cases, it does not. An interesting quality of dance music is that you might not notice any difference in the music of a house producer from the US or from France, for example.
That said, some of the most interesting and far-reaching tracks do in fact draw upon a local or unique sound that’s mixed in with some traditional elements of dance music. It is no wonder why the track “Stereo Love” by Edward Maya became so massive. The song is distinctly dance music, but it has this Eastern European/Mediterranean sound that appeals to those who enjoy music from all over the world.
It is important, therefore, to appreciate, understand, and learn about music from various regions and backgrounds to be able to push dance music to a more interesting place. I think a party that emphasizes strictly instrumental trance from a Dutch DJ could get to be repetitive and boring quickly. The key to satisfying the palette is not to bombard it with sameness, but keep it sophisticated with new and different tastes.
I, thus, bring you The Hot Six – #6 (Eclectic Mix). I call it the eclectic mix because it truly represents a wide taste in music, representing different countries, genres, and sounds. But, the point is that all of it contributes to developing one’s taste in dance music.
A few months ago, I had never heard of Florence and the Machine. Then my dad recommended this song and video from a live performance. I can tell you this: Florence Welch’s voice is flawless; this live performance is awesome; and the crowd’s reaction is phenomenal. Good lesson: don’t judge this British chick by her hippie style and older looks. She’s only 24 and she rocks this crowd, especially from the 3:45 minute mark and on. For DJ’s, can someone say remix? Eclectic indeed.
1. Dog Days Are Over – Florence and the Machine
I’ve had requests for more reggaeton on The Hot Six. I’ll be honest, I’m not discriminating when it comes to genre. If it makes me move, it’ll get on here. That said, I focus on dance music. When I think of dance music, I think of what it does to you when you’re at a club. Whereas “Dog Days” in its present form would not be ready for a club, “Hey Baby” is club-ready. I’m not quite sure what vocal talent T-Pain has considering his voice is consistently auto-tuned, but I seem to like him on every track that he’s on. Pitbull, a.k.a. Armando Christian Perez, is a 29 year-old Cuban-American performer from Miami. He’s created a reputation as one of the kings of reggaeton. Although this song is a little more electronic, it still has that reggaeton flavor. I dig it. Check it.
2. Hey Baby (Drop it to the Floor) – Pitbull ft. T-Pain
Kanye’s new album, “My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy,” is epic. Mark my words, it will receive enormous Grammy love. And it rightfully should. There are many foundational electronic elements to the album starting with the beats and the voice manipulation, but it is not a dance album. There are few club hits on the album, and no dance music hits. But, it is an important album musically. Kanye’s sound is evolving, it is unique, and sufficiently diverse to keep each track fresh. More importantly, the album is complete in that each track is worthwhile. Remember Lauryn Hill’s “Miseducation”? Regardless of your personal feelings towards Kanye, he is an excellent artist. One of the key points about this album is that you could feel that many of the tracks are written in response to a negative stimulus like pain. The reaction then comes out in the music. The fact that Kanye produced a 35 minute mini-movie featuring virtually every track of the album in the movie is brilliant. This last song is memorable.
3. Lost in the World – Kanye West
Who is Tim Berg? Who is Avicii? Is Tim Berg Avicii? Is Avicii in fact Tim Berg? The answer is yes; Tim Berg and his pseudonym Avicii are the “duo” that make up this fantastic track underlying the vocals of English singer, Amanda Wilson. The 21 year-old Swede, Berg, has made a splash this year with this track and “My Feelings For You.” Berg said he selected the moniker Avicii because it is like Dante’s Inferno. In Buddhism “Avici” represents the lowest level of hell and that thought just stuck with him. If Tim Berg is DJ’ing in hell, can I still get bottle service…preferably with ice?
4. Seek Bromance (Avicii Vocal Edit) – Tim Berg
If you’ve ever gone to an Indian party and tried talking to the cuter girls in the room, you’ve experienced the rush of Indian guys swooping in to run interference on you. In fact, any fight that I have ever seen between Indian guys has been over a girl. That’s why this video is only slightly convincing. Does anyone doubt that there will be a fight at the end of this party? We all know that the white guy will eventually hit on a fine Indian lady and the Indian guys who are acting like his buddy now will try to beat him up. That said, this is a fun song, and you should listen to it. Like, for real, I like it a lot. And in honor of the numerous Indian acting roles I’ve had recently….
5. Take Your Picture – Blitz feat. Juggy D and Tigerstyle
I think y’all know by now that I enjoy the occasional Latin beat in my dance music. This funky electronic track has serious Latin soul. Chocolate Puma is the duo of DJ Zki and Dobres known as René ter Horst and Gaston Steenkist, respectively. The Dutch producers’ first hit was the 1993 smash, “Give It Up” under the name Goodmen. They also scored big in 2006 with the hit, “Always and Forever.” This video is particularly entertaining for its remarkably low budget value. I honestly feel like I am watching a camcorder from 1980s Chihuahua, Mexico. I think the Most Interesting Man in the World is sitting at the bar, where, between the hours of whenever he’s there, it’s called Happy Hour.
6. Tonco Tone – Chocolate Puma
Remember to let me know what you’re listening to, and to….
Keep it Hot and Keep Dancin’!