April 8, 2013

The Joy of Elderly Tourette's Syndrome: Dance Music Edition

Here are the thoughts of two Spanish brothers on the kind of music they play in the famous Ibiza disco they own:
Ricardo Urgell, the son of a Barcelona engineer, built Pacha in the early 1970s on a desolate half-acre he bought for about $14,000. After its opening in 1973 the club came to represent ultracool debauchery and an escape from the conservative moral code of Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator. Native Ibicencos mixed with artists, hippies, thieves on the lam and those whose bronzed bodies were all the clothing they required. 
But as the scene grew, the elder Urgells eventually became disenchanted by the music that made them millionaires. 
“It’s monotonous sound and volume; it’s bodies squeezed together, it’s a little masochistic,” Ricardo Urgell said in a 2011 interview. “The great defect of this music,” he added, “is that it has to be accompanied by drugs. I took Ecstasy just one time in my life and found that out for myself.” 
Electronic music, Piti Urgell said last month, “hasn’t evolved in 20 years and is for idiots.”

Elderly Tourette's Syndrome helps make family gatherings full of interest. 

Anyway, I'm struck that it's older people these days who are the ones who most object to the relative lack of change in popular music. Perhaps us old fogeys are wrong and music is changing as fast today as in, say, the mid-1960s. But, it doesn't seem that way.

My general theory of 20th Century pop music is the spectacular changes in taste in the middle decades of the century were driven less by the much discussed sociological changes (e.g., Baby Boomers, racial changes, etc.) and more by technological changes. For example, Bing Crosby was the first to figure out that the microphone meant that singing was no longer as much of an athletic feat and now a more intimate medium. Similarly, the evolution of the electric guitar from the 1930s through the 1950s had much to do with The Sixties.

In contrast, the electronic synthesizer, which began to appear on records in the 1960s, has proved (at least so far) to be the ultimate instrument. The subsequent digitalization of sound generation and recording now allows anything to be done. But this complete creative freedom has led to perhaps less creativity as musicians less often have to deal with collective challenges, such as the electric guitar and multi-track recording revolutions of the 1960s. Moreover, audiences want, and can now get, their precise subgenre of music. 

The result is a more stable popular music landscape. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of taste.


Anonymous said...

But Steve, don't you know that technological determinism is so irrelevantly dead white male?

Seriously though, you make a good point. I think electronic music largely peaked with Vangelis and Jarre in the 1970s and 1980s, basically when the synthesizer was first invented.

OTOH, perhaps a lot of the other experiment is less technologically determined than artistically determined. Basically there is a domain of all possible musical note combinations, speed, timbre, theme etc. and this space gets explored not randomly, but by individual minds which have absorbed existing musical influences and combined them to make derivative creations.

Such as:


Anonymous said...

Quebecois here

So, all this means that much of pop music is now running in circles.

Isn't the same thing happening with TV, film, popular litterature ? Old ideas being rehashed for minimum risk and more profit.

Popular culture is stagnating, if not devoluting. We can broaden this definition of culture as in the 'general knowledge' of the population at large. You now see a large proportion of college students totally ignorant of facts
most children of grade school age 40 years ago were expected to know.

As far as civilizations go, this is commonly know as 'decadence', and at that point very bad things happen

Jerry said...

I assume this post is a fishing expedition to provoke comments more interesting than the original text... of which one is often enough the grateful beneficiary thanks to iSteve's stellar readership.

1. The anni mirabili of modern popular music seem to have been 1971-1973, from Led Zeppelin IV to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, with so much else in between--see the lists on wikipedia of albums released in those years. What have the 1908's given us? Depeche Mode? Please... This seems to have nothing to do with technology, merely with the way the Zeitgeist smiles.

2. Electronic music is manifestly melodic music in itself, and not just an accompaniment to speed pills. See Tangerine Dream's Atem (1973!) and its subsequent 1970's albums. In the 1990's, the electronic band to listen to is Orbital, especially the album Insides (which I discovered at a club in Seoul in 1998). Another great album from that time: Robert Miles, Dreamland. (By comparison with these, the American Moby seems immature...)

3. In the best electronic compositions, I sense a combination of rhythmic discipline together with an unrestrained (unchained?) melody of longing. See, for example, Orbital's One Perfect Sunrise on youtube, or Adnan's, to my mind one of the perfect compositions of modern music:


Many of these efforts skirt close to kitsch, which is alas a danger associated with certain kinds of expressive ambition. However, I have discovered that modern electronica at its best does not conflict with the touchstone classical compositions of my life experience, or "the soundtrack of my life," as Americans would perhaps say, e.g., Beethoven's late string quartets, Chopin's Nocturnes, certain extended moments in Brahms and in Mahler, etc.

4. Music is a lesser tool for the manipulation of one's mentality. However, unlike with pharmaceutical interventions, music seems to allow one a more defined degree of repeatability. Inevitably someone will say that techno or electronic music is "good for driving across Nebraska at night". It is indeed good as a kind of self-medication for patience, in a way not fundamentally different from classical rock or classical music jazz. It was instructive to learn from John Maudlin's newsletter a few days ago about the benefit of alcohol for writing: "I suspect that, like many writers far more productive and interesting than I am, I was self-medicating my ADD with a little wine and scotch on writing nights. Not a lot, mind you; just enough." Like other kinds of music at their best, synthesized music does that, and many other things as well.

5. "De gustibus non disputandum est." Disdainful comments about electronic music that shall inevitably follow will be boring. Experiences of listening to good music only will not be boring. Here are two easy anthologies for patient listeners (and I am over forty myself)--



Anonymous said...

“The great defect of this music,” he added, “is that it has to be accompanied by drugs. I took Ecstasy just one time in my life and found that out for myself.”


Just a few hours ago, I was reading a terrifying article about the tsunami of new home-brew designer drugs on the market.

Some of us old geezers might not be quite so hip to the real world as we thought we were.

That sort of insanity will destroy civilization every bit as effectively as will dysgenic fertility.

Anonymous said...

Pandora has changed music for me forever. I no longer turn on the radio and listen to the same songs I have heard for the past 40 yrs. I listen to "Rush" on talk radio and that is it.

Rob said...

The woman who invented soft-scoop ice cream has died.

chucho said...

Stravinsky, more or less, was writing for the same orchestra Mozart wrote for more than 100 years prior. Thus innovation during that time frame was more about form, rhythm, harmony, etc. Pop songs today still use the same chords and structure Lennon & McCartney used (and without any of the charm).

The median "song" nowadays has a steady 110-120 bpm dance-pulse, uses at best three chords (and that's stretching it), and is melodically stunted. Idiocracy indeed.

Anonymous said...

Pandora has changed music for me forever. I no longer turn on the radio and listen to the same songs I have heard for the past 40 yrs.

How do you go about using Pandora?

Anonymous said...

Here's a funny Key & Peele skit on "dubstep", the latest iteration of electronic pop music:


Anonymous said...

This Youtube video demonstrates how right Chucho is:


Something like 36 hit songs, same 4 chords.

Cail Corishev said...

Pandora has changed music for me forever. I no longer turn on the radio and listen to the same songs I have heard for the past 40 yrs.

That's a funny thing, at least for me. Back when I was a broke kid who could afford maybe one album a month, I thought it'd be awesome to be able to have all my favorite songs and just listen to them as much as I wanted. Turns out, not so much. Once I got my favorite few hundred songs on an MP3 player, I got bored with them -- not so much with the songs themselves, but with the fact that I was never surprised by anything different. I find myself going back to the radio just for variety, although the ads drive me away before long.

I suspect it's not just me. As cheap as digital music players are now, and as quickly and cheaply as you can download your favorites (legally or otherwise), you'd think the music radio stations would already be bankrupt, but apparently they still have some listeners.

Cail Corishev said...

Chucho, reminds me of a MST3K riff, when a particularly bad band was playing in a movie: "Chord, chord, chord, chord, chord, chord, other chord."

Paul Mendez said...

I have a teenage nephew who is makes, produces and DJ's electronic music.

The funniest aspect of the music, to me, is the endless number of "Genres" that he and his friends analyze, discuss, debate, compare, so earnestly. Like particle physicists studying quarks.

nooffensebut said...

Watch the new documentary, Sound City, for the ultimate analog-rock-star bitchfest about digital technology. They let Trent Reznor represent the digital point of view, and Nirvana was supposed to represent analog tradition. The untold story was that both Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails represent the self-selected sellout perspective because they achieved riches by making compromises with major labels. Trent Reznor modeled his sound on Skinny Puppy, a band that was less accessible and not classically trained but far more creative and experimental with digital equipment. Artists who embraced the technology could introduce more far more variety into their music. Some digital artists sound like they reinvent their instruments with each album, and others sound like they do so several times within each song. I got used to that variety, such that listening to Bob Dylan, the Beatles, or Pink Floyd is very unpleasant for me. (I have no doubt that part of that revulsion is a reaction to the self-satisfied hippie sensibility.)

Anonymous said...

Music today sucks. Like Ikea Boy in Fight Club said, It's just a copy of a copy of a copy ...

Most people don't and never will notice, of course. Most people are happier than pigs in sh*t, I think. Just 24/7 moronic bliss, I'm not kidding.

Anonymous said...

Donald Fagen's new one is actually quite good. Shockingly good, in fact.

He remains my favorite Music Jew.

Anonymous said...

Most types of music have changed dramatically since the early naughties, when I was in middle school (2001-2003). Since then the pop and dance genres have converged almost entirely, there's a new bourgeois strain in a lot of rap music, and - while popular rock music has largely stagnated - the indie scene has been through as many cycles as there are years in a decade.

In retrospect the late-nineties have a very distinct radio landscape (saccharine pop-punk) that I notice whenever I hear Sugar Ray or Blink 182.

nydwracu said...

Sure it's changed. Electronic music has become progressively more reliant on electronics. There are a few albums of orchestral Jarre covers, and Jarre doesn't do much that requires electronics in particular. But something like this was completely impossible until a few decades ago. And then there's dubstep. What would Marinetti think?

The median "song" nowadays has a steady 110-120 bpm dance-pulse, uses at best three chords (and that's stretching it), and is melodically stunted. Idiocracy indeed.
That's like saying classical music is idiocratic because the timbre is boring. They have the exact same few lead instruments in just about everything!

You can't get electronic music if you're thinking in terms of classical music--at least, you can't get the newer kinds, which work in completely different ways that only became possible with the advent of synthesizers.

agnostic said...

"Perhaps us old fogeys are wrong and music is changing as fast today as in, say, the mid-1960s. But, it doesn't seem that way."

It's not an old fogey thing since anyone who's familiar with pop music across the last 60 years comes to that conclusion, regardless of their own age.

Creativity picked up in the '60s, and began steadily falling in the '90s. Which part of the '60s-'80s you like best may vary, though you can at least get along with the other parts of that period.

But once you cross back into the first half of the 1950s, '40s, and later '30s, it doesn't do much for you. Same when you cross into the mid-'90s and beyond.

If people born from the late '40s through the '80s or whenever all reach this same rough conclusion, it's not just personal/generational bias.

Modern Abraham said...

A lot of truth to this. Most popular rock band among kids today (at least the minority still into rock) is probably Led Zeppelin (see their Swan Song-logo T-shirts on teenagers all the time). That's about 2.5 generations removed, but when you compare Zep's sheer firepower to the best today has to offer it kindda makes sense ("rock god" (noun); see this).

Then again, I also see lots of T's for somewhat less legendary oldster bands- Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, AC/DC, etc.

Music consumption has changed quite a bit in the last 20 or so years. Biggest changes are:

* complete sucking of any money out of the industry by Internet piracy (music sales posted their first annual increase in 13 years, yipee!)
* feasibility of micro-niche casting with YouTube, above-mentioned Internet piracy, etc.
* rise of hip-hop as the default music for nice white suburban kids
* ghettoization of rock/metal as the music for weirdos and, interestingly enough, white trash

Instead of technology, what about racial integration as the main catalyst for musical change? With all legal and social barriers to race-mixing removed, neither side can gain from a short, intense exposure to the other's music and style.

Steve has written before about today's less rebellious, establishmentarian youth being boring to punk rockers like himself. Personally, I prefer this period of generational calm made possible by shared music and culture. Children of the Corn was a parable of 60's/70's radicalism, as far as I'm concerned, and I don't want to get kidnapped or blown-up by the next iteration of the Weather Underground just because my daughter's best friend met some hunky "idealist" at college. I like my terrorists swarthy, turbaned, and FOR-EIGN thank you very much!

rightsaidfred said...

1. The anni mirabili of modern popular music seem to have been 1971-1973

Hmmm. "Thick as a Brick" came out in 1972. "Thick as a Brick II" comes out this month.

agnostic said...

As for dance music specifically, there's even stronger agreement about which periods made the best. There was never a '60s revival in dance clubs. Neither for the '70s -- there was disco, but that wasn't as large a part of the overall soundscape of the time, and though it's a lot better than '60s attempts at dance music, it's still not quite at the peak.

'80s night has existed ever since the decade ended. If you want music that your body responds to automatically, that moves you closer to a state of trance or possession, you're going to '80s night.

They've tried to make '90s night happen at nightclubs, but it doesn't work. Only the early '90s had dance music, and it was only halfway decent.

For lack of a better term, '80s dance music puts you in a more primitive or pagan state. It combines wholesome innocence with footloose energy. Music for the noble savage in all of us.

agnostic said...

Dance crazes don't seem to have much to do with technological changes. Before the most recent peak in the disco-new wave-synthpop era, there was the Jazz Age. They weren't using any kind of electronic, let alone digital, instruments.

Like the '80s, the '20s were the culmination of progress that got going some decades earlier, here around 1900 with ragtime. But you can't really cut loose and lose yourself to Scott Joplin. You need the something more engaging, like Louis Armstrong or Bix Beiderbecke from the Roaring Twenties.

Kinesthetically challenged folks like to talk about dance fever as a kind of egocentric, frivolous, hedonistic, show-off kind of activity. In reality, all dance manias involve everybody interacting with everybody else in the setting.

When they get worked up together, there's a superorganic atmosphere where no individual is in charge, no one is the focus of attention while the rest passively spectate.

If there is attention given at the individual level, everyone gets their turn, and nobody minds if some are slightly better than some others. The crowd is egging you on to just go for it, like a trust game. Think of the limbo, or the final prom scene in Footloose.

Liberals and conservatives seem to hate dance crazes for different reasons. Liberals are abstract/conceptual nerds whose bodies just don't respond to the beat at a visceral level. There has to be something for them to "get," but there's nothing to "get" with dancing.

Conservatives are afraid of the mob vibe, where authority is suspended for a little while. I don't think it's their concerns over hedonism and sexuality. Even outside a dating-and-mating context, they're just suspicious and wary of the lack of crowd control.

The two most visible exceptions are William McNeill and Whit Stillman. McNeill wrote Keeping Together in Time, reminding us of the broad use of coordinated muscle movements to bond groups together, not just in dancing but also in military drill. And Stillman made an entire movie non-ironically celebrating the Last Days of Disco. In an interview, he also defended the new wave / synthpop that came after in the '80s.

agnostic said...

To wrap things up, people should realize that this isn't the first time that fans of lively and creative popular music bemoaned the status quo for decade after decade. Read, or at least skim through, Philip Larkin's collection of short essays and reviews, All What Jazz:


Before rock, there was jazz. And like rock of the past 50 years, jazz from the turn of the century through the mid-century was not homogeneous. It was a lot more delightful during the '20s and early '30s. Already by the big band era of the late '30s, it had started to go a little haywire, and by the '50s it was off in outer space.

If you have complaints about how many beats per minute there are in today's electronic / dance music, try listening to bebop.

He doesn't cover the other side of mainstream music of the mid-century, which is the Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra kind. Less offensive to the ears than bebop, but still not very spirited, engaging, or making you want to join others to have fun while listening to it.

That's just like today -- pop music is either too snoozy or too spazzy. It's hard to believe that "only" 25 years ago, perfectly mainstream rock songs still featured a catchy riff at the beginning, other instruments gradually joining in, the lyrics not beginning for awhile (only after the mood was set), tension building up through a skillful guitar solo, reaching a climax, and leaving time for things to wind down and cool off rather than ending abruptly.

"Sweet Child o' Mine" by Guns N' Roses:


asdf said...

Well if you listen to the radio, that seems to stick with the old, conventional kind of stuff.

There are lots of people going forward, exploring captured sound. It can be mixed in as a palate-cleanser (called 'glitch' I think) (eg Sigur Rós' 'Starálfur', a couple from Valtari), or made a subdued textural component, eg Jónsi's ('Animal Arithmetic' - bees, birds). Doing this enriches the song, it really stands out if you've never heard it before. Actually I've heard of movie soundtracks doing the same thing, it's just so common that we don't notice it.

Autechre ('Xylin Room', 'Recury', many others) do more mechanical exploration with meter and sound - sometimes it manages to sound good.

But none of it is on the radio.

Anthony said...

The *real* golden age of dance music.

Music isn't more stable now than in the 60s/70s/80s. Now, it's just cycling between different types of crap, with only an occasional gem to show for it.

kurt9 said...

Only the early '90s had dance music, and it was only halfway decent.


The whole techno/trance/rave electronic dance music and scene started around 1995, peaked around 2000, declined somewhat starting around '02 or so.

I like 80's dance music (late 80's) but I like the late 90's stuff even more.

Dance music:

Late 70's - disco
Late 80's - 80's club music
Late 90's - techno/trance/rave

Anonymous said...


If you're going to 80's night at a club populated by a sub-30's clientele you're probably going to hear dub-step remixes and mash-ups of songs from the eighties, likewise with nineties nights.

Also, on the general topic: I think by far the biggest change in pop-music over the last couple of decades is that charting hits are geared near exclusively to female teenagers and young-women too stupid or too conformist to steal music or look for it from alternative sources. People who care about music, even contemporary music, aren't listening to Katy Perry or Rihanna, and they're listening to a lot more music than casual pop enthusiasts, past or present. It isn't uncommon for a serious music person to have a few-hundred gigabytes of music on his hard-drive and to be reasonably familiar with nearly all of it.

Unknown said...

What I have been noticing is a lack of harder edged, powerful music attaining popularity. In late 2004, I was flipping the channels and noticed an odd band called Modest Mouse on SNL, and to my surprise they were very popular. I asked my girlfriend at the time, who was a fan of all kinds of music
like me, WTF is going on with young people today. She didn't have any answers.

As the years went by, I noticed every time I flipped the channels by that Carson Daly show, similar bands playing who were huge and sold a lot of downloads. Munford & Sons has been the most recent head scratcher.

chucho said...

The big technical changes of the last 15 years are autotune and overuse of dynamic range compression. The latter is particularly horrid. Everything's been amped up to sound great at the Cheesecake Factory or the Gap.

Anonymous said...


You tuned in at just the wrong time. Modest Mouse's 2004 album, "Good News for People Who Love Bad News" is both their most popular and the most maligned among their core listeners.

This song, "Float On," was a big hit and most people have probably heard it.


Compare, "Teeth Like God's Shoeshine" from "The Lonesome Crowded West," an earlier and much better effort.


Or, "3rd Planet," from 1999's "The Moon and Antarctica."


Certainly there's a low-key streak but nothing as execrable as "Float On."

dirk said...

Music matches its landscape. A lot of 70s music is best heard in a fast moving car. Some rock-n-roll songs were recorded to make the listener feel like they had permanent right-of-way. But partying and driving fast is passe. I hear young people aren't even fond of cars anymore.

60s psychedelic drug music sounded more organic because it was meant to be listened to in a field.

80s music was campy because it was meant to accompany campy music videos.

Gone are the days of cranking up your headphones so you could hear them over your lawnmower (because who mows their lawn anymore?).

Drug music today is indoor music. In that way, it is much like disco. It's the sort of music to cause the listener to think gay marriage sounds like a good idea.

Drunk Idiot said...

kurt9 wrote,


The whole techno/trance/rave electronic dance music and scene started around 1995, peaked around 2000, declined somewhat starting around '02 or so.

I like 80's dance music (late 80's) but I like the late 90's stuff even more.

Dance music:

Late 70's - disco
Late 80's - 80's club music
Late 90's - techno/trance/rave

Techno started in the mid/late 80s, when a handful of DJ/producers from inner city Detroit who'd been hanging out in the Chicago house music clubs began to put their unique Detroit spin on Chicago house music.

Detroit DJs/artists Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson are the godfathers of techno (Derrick May is a musical genius, BTW).

Around 1989 or '90, a few neighborhood "Guidos" from old school Brooklyn (not from the hipster, gentrified parts that are trendy today) began putting their own, hard-edged Brooklyn spin on Detroit techno.

The darker, harder, Brooklyn style of techno that Frankie Bones, Joey Beltram and Lenny Dee were spitting out circa '89/'90 took the burgeoning UK rave scene and the continental European club scene by storm.

By the end of 1990, Belgium, Holland and the UK had taken the baton from the American techno innovators, and had made the genre their own.

In 1991, Frankie Bones brought the UK rave scene across the Atlantic and began organizing raves in New York, and then in Los Angeles.

By summer 1992, techno and the rave scene had supplanted the house music scene in Chicago, the birthplace of and unofficial capitol city of house music.

By early 1993, sexy New York deep house music and a tracky, harder-edged "2nd Wave" of Chicago house music had reclaimed the American scene from European techno/rave.

UK techno evolved into Ragamuffin/Break Beat, then into Jungle, and finally into Drum and Bass.

Dutch techno got harder, faster and druggier, and spun off into the less-club-friendly genres Gabber and Happy Hardcore.

"Tecnno" music, as a commercial genre, peaked in 1992 (though you could argue that Detroit techno peaked in 1988/'89, Brooklyn techno peaked in 1990, UK techno peaked in 1991, and Dutch/Belgian techno peaked in 1992).

What's currently known as "Trance" emerged in the mid-late '90s, though an unrelated earlier, "trancier" German version was around in '92-'93.

By 1996, a funky style of house known as French House -- and made popular by Daft Punk -- had emerged from the Paris clubs. French House songs were built around samples of old disco records and drew heavily from 2nd Wave Chicago house.

French House, UK Garage House and copycat "filtered disco" British and American imitations of French House reigned supreme in the clubs/raves until 2003/'04. By 2005, Disco house had been edged out by Electro House.

The rave scene in America died after the passage of the RAVE Act in 2003 (brought to you by Joe Biden, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, Joe Lieberman, and the late Stom Thurmond). After the rave scene dried up, electronic music in America was limited to the clubs ... which made it take on a decidedly more commercial flavor.

Drunk Idiot said...

Had no idea that Pacha had been around since 1973, but can't disagree with either of the Urgell brothers' statements. The kind of electronic dance music that gets played in Ibiza super clubs like Pacha, Amnesia and DC10 is intended to be experienced on drugs, and there hasn't been much innovation since house music cross-pollinated with techno and the rave scene in the mid '90s.

In a screed against Trance music that appeared back around 1999 or 2000, New York house music super producer Armand Van Helden (who was probably the biggest electronic music DJ/producer in the world at the time, and who had just released the now classic "You Don't Know Me") lamented that all the kids at the raves he was playing were out of their minds on ecstasy, and that the Trance music that most of them preferred couldn't be tolerated by anyone who wasn't on drugs.

Of course, he was right.

And most of the electronic dance music that's popular today -- the works of David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Zedd, Deadmau5, the Swedish House Mafia, etc. -- is more or less a repackaged, updated and more commercially friendly version of Trance ... even if it's called "progressive" or "electro" house.

The Chicago house music that took over the UK and European clubs in the late 1980s was revolutionary for its time, and the Detroit techno that followed on its heels was even more revolutionary.

The hip hop/house hybrid, known as hip house, that came out of Chicago from 1988 to 1992 doesn't get respect anymore, but it was fun and innovative at the time. It's also the thing that really pulled yours truly into the house music scene -- as it did for many kids across the ethnic spectrum who grew up in Chicagoland during the late '80s and early '90s -- and prompted me to start DJing at age 14.

New York deep house circa 1992, late 90s UK Garage house and French house from 1996 to 2002 were all high quality genres that were easily enjoyed without the use of drugs. Those sub-genres represented some of the high points in the history the broader category of electronic dance music.

It should also be noted that they're not playing early '90s NYC deep house, or late '90s French house at Pacha (as David Guetta himself demonstrates).

Although different DJs play different music, most of the music that fills the big rooms in peak hours from Ibiza to Miami to Las Vegas is electro and progressive house.

In the last few years, though, there's been a hyper local, micro revival of "jackin' Chicago house" in some of the trendier, hipster parts of Chicago. You won't hear jackin' house on Friday or Saturday nights in the big downtown clubs (where they're playing the same electro/progressive house that gets played at Pacha), but you'll find it in smaller hipster/scenester bars and clubs on the North Side Monday through Thursday nights.

Jackin' Chicago house doesn't get played in the big rooms, but it fills the dance floors in pubs and small clubs, and doesn't require drugs to appreciate.

A good selection of jackin' Chicago house mixes from WNUR, the student radio station at Northwestern University, can be found here.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that Kraftwerk invented house music on their 1981 album 'Computer World'.


FWG said...

Steve Sailer rocks. Where else can I find information on my favorite things including HBD, golf, and electronic music in the same place?

Evil Sandmich said...

I listen to electro/trance all the time and it can be iffy at times, but there are also some real winners (Chicane, Paul van Dyk, etc.) that few people will ever hear. It also seems to be the hole that white people hide in to write pop music that isn't some derivation of hip-hop with a white face on the album cover.

jody said...

i didn't want to make a huge wall of text post, but i'm not so sure these urgell guys are right. electronic music is bigger now than ever and has changed a good amount. styles that didn't exist a decade ago like dubstep are big today. there was nothing like skrillex in 2000. jungle changed once pendulum showed up, there was nothing like them a decade ago either.

they might be right about ibiza trance and house not changing much, but trance has advanced and improved worldwide with the new wave of dutch, german, and english DJs and producers. maybe they are just observing that ibiza has topped out and the scene there is not growing or changing anymore and hasn't for years. but meanwhile, it has exploded worldwide.

in the US, electronic music has never been bigger. it has a name now (EDM), and the two major festivals, ultra miami and electric daisy carnival, are so huge and popular they sell out months in advance and the organizers seem to be unable to ever make them big enough. 200,000 person attendances are normal now. go on youtube and look up videos of ultra 2013 and EDC vegas 2012 and tell me it's not a huge thing. EDC vegas is so big they have to hold it at a NASCAR track.

there's an event of similar size in europe, called tomorrowland, but it's in belgium, not spain.

David Davenport said...

“The great defect of this music,” he added, “is that it has to be accompanied by drugs. I took Ecstasy just one time in my life and found that out for myself.”

Ibiza House Trance Dance 2011

ogunsiron said...

Dubstep WAS around more than 10 years ago. I remember being into it when it was a subgenre of drum and bass that incorporated a huge influence from dub, an electronic music style from Jamaica. For some reason, the name dubstep has come to mean any type of teenager friendly, aggressive electro music now. I really don't like modern dubstep at all.

Try labels like raster noton, warp and mille plateaux for seriously intricate electronic music.