Archive for November, 2015

Why I Love Dance Music.

November 26, 2015

McClain and Electronic Music: A Short History.

I am an old raver!!! Get off of my lawn!!!!! Dance music is all about joy.

Moby was my first electronica show/rave. I went with my mom back in July of 2002. It was at City Market. Trance master Paul Oakenfold opened. I had just had my hip rotated, so I had a walker. Ravin’ with a walker. Kids these days don’t know nuthin’ about nuthin’!!!

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Moby crowd. City Market, Kansas City. 7/12/2002.

This was Moby’s first big hit, back in 1990, “Go.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxIxmMcAFLQ

Here is a long, classic goa trance (inspired by India trance) mix from Oakenfold recorded back in 1994:

Going to France for the first time (2001) also really got me into dance music. That summer, everyone was still bumping Daft Punk “Discovery.” Clubbing til sunrise or on the beach to the cheesy French disco ish jams. It is epic for sure. It was wafting out of every window. Here’s the (kinda cheesy/very French) classy “Digital Love.”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxzBvqY5PP0 Also, every year summer anthems come out in France. I call it “Beach music.”

This was also a big time for chillout and acid jazz. St. Germain was one of my favorites. Here’s the excellent “So Flute.”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7YZqD7dZcQ The soloists improvised solos over the beats, which was/is really cool for electronica.

In terms of chillout, Etienne de Crecy was big in 2001 too (Very French sounding): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve1kCq8Pma4

Zero 7 were also massive on the chill scene too. Here’s the 2001 classic “Destiny.”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INn1C6ImJKg

Photek was big on the drum & bass tip then too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykALcAUWM-E

I used to listen to the BBC every week. House/new tune champion Pete Tong, the “Queen of Breaks” Annie Nightingale (She is also the longest running DJ on the BBC. She debuted in 1970), pop-dance-trance DJ Dave Pearce. Annie was one of my favorite interviews ever: https://mcclainjohnson.com/annienightingale/

Dave Pearce gave a nice perspective on dance music as well: https://mcclainjohnson.com/davepearce/

He would play trance and pop dance classics like this one from 1991: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk8mm1Qmt-Y

My big first DJ interview was Florida breaks king DJ Icey: https://mcclainjohnson.com/dj-icey-interview/ Here’s an Icey track to give you an idea of what he does. Pop vocals on this one, rolling beats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwanTSuXNCM Breaks was/is really big in New Orleans and I used to club hard in NOLA to breaks and drum and bass until the early morning.

The Plump Djs were big too: http://www.lunarmagazine.com/features/plumpdjs.php Here’s an older one from the Plump’s off of their terribly named/excellently named album Eargasm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oah_pKcA4MQ

Underworld are my favorite band ever. They really have their own sound. This is one of my favorite songs of theirs, the joyful “Two Months Off.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyKeE3fBEsM

Old school vibes:
I have interviewed DJ Alfredo, who helped to get the Balearic/Ibiza sound going. Alfreo first came to Ibiza in 1976. https://mcclainjohnson.com/djalfredo/

I interviewed Danny Rampling, who helped launch the modern UK dance club scene around 1987. He helped make acid house popular. https://mcclainjohnson.com/dannyrampling/ “Success is measured by one’s daily actions. You achieve it by playing full out with passion, motivation, commitment. Once experienced, one likes to repeat the experience and build upon success. Success seldom comes without struggle, challenge, which makes it so enjoyable when it happens.”

My biggest DJ interview happened back in 2004, when I interviewed Oakenfold: http://www.lunarmagazine.com/features/oakenfold2004.php

I finally saw Kraftwerk live this year. It was their first KC performance in 45 years. It was my first sit down, 3D rave for old people. They were the first robots that were people. They were writing songs about computers in 1981. It was some of the first electronic music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ybQWD6N6Zo