As you may already know, Toronto, Ontario, is busting at the seams with dance-music talent. Even beyond the more obvious names (who know who we’re talking about), folks like Keys N Krates, Autoerotique, Gingy, Azari & III, and tons more are keeping the scene fresh, vibrant, and not tied to any single genre or scene. Like the country’s multicultural mandate, Toronto too embodies an all-are-welcome musical ethos.
On his own, Japanese artist Ryo Fujimoto (aka Humanelectro) is a beatboxing phenomenon. But with a team of engineers and artists, who convert the electric signals that emanate from Fujimoto’s body during a performance into real-time audio and video, his work becomes a whole new thing.
The dance music world just can’t get enough of Nile Rodgers. And for good reason: the guy has remained constantly relevant since the ’70s, and is riding a tidal wave of attention in the last couple years with his collaborations with Daft Punk, Avicii, Nicky Romero, and more. Dubspot had a chance to sit down with the legendary guitarist recently to roll through a number of his past achievements and get inside the mind that created some of dance music’s biggest hits, among them Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,” David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” and his own band Chic’s “Le Freak,” to name just a fraction. But Rodgers wasn’t always a hit-maker; it took being put in his place by a former music teacher to really embrace the dance and pop worlds.
Out of nowhere it would seem that this past week or so presented us with a treasure trove of big videos from across the dance-music spectrum. Whether it was a snappy vocal production from Matias Aguayo, totally leftfield experiments from The Knife or a morose pop-dance tune from Dillon Francis and T.E.E.D., there was much going on in the world of music/visual accompaniment.
Look, we’re not going to try to tell you how important the city of Detroit remains to the world of music—whether dance, rock, whatever. Anyone with a working pair of ears knows and a passing understanding of music already knows. But what we do want to do today is hip you to Thump’s ongoing SUB.Culture Detroit series, in which they took a team of filmmakers to the Motor City to dig into what’s happening now amongst its underground techno, house, and hip-hop producers and DJs. The series kicked off back in June with an examination of the city’s now-13-years-going electronic music festival (currently known as Movement). They then paid a visit to the arts-minded community center Youthville with instructor Mike Huckaby, and, now, the crew takes a look at what Detroit’s musical future holds with artists like Mark Flash, Jon Dixon, Aaron ‘FIT’ Siegel, and Waajeed.
Aphex Twin, as you know, is one helluva character—and while his temperament may have mellowed as the years have passed, in 1996 he was indeed the provocateur of IDM, churning out track upon track of instantly classic music for the legendary Warp Records while playing all his competitors for fools.
“Gabber isn’t about being noticed,” opines DJ Rob, one of the progenitors of gabber in Rotterdam—which is ironic, considering how much gabber culture has permeated the underground dance and art worlds, whether via sites like Gabber Eleganza or photographer Rineke Dijkstra’s moving portraits. One thing is for certain—gabber fans, with their unconventional styles of dress, dance, and nearly-200-BPM music, get noticed. We recently came across this gem of a documentary from 1995 that takes an impressionistic look at the community’s early foundations via interviews with party attendees, DJs, and producers, all interspersed with dance segments that show off gabber’s frenetic, visceral style.
The Ibiza summer clubbing season is in full swing, drawing revelers from all over the globe to the tiny Balearic island’s sunny beaches and swish dancefloors. But it wasn’t always the British and German holiday mecca that it is today—that actually took some doing. Paul Oakenfold and a grip of London acid-house DJs were really the first to turn the dance-music world on to the magic of Cafe Del Mar and its surrounds, and it was with films like today’s Friday Matinée, A Short Film About Chilling, that the pilgrimages began. So take a dip into this one below, and see what all the early fuss was about, with interviews featuring The Farm, 808 State, and plenty more classic electronic artists.
First of all, who knew Idris Elba (aka The Wire‘s “Stringer Bell”) was a fan of dance music? Second of all, who knew he had an English accent? Okay, the details: Last year, the native Londoner, along with the BBC, assembled a solid documentary on the history of clubbing—basically a top-20 countdown of the most significant events in dance music’s legacy.
The influence of gay culture on what we know as dance music today is extremely far-reaching. From Chicago’s and NYC’s early house and disco communities to today’s bounce scene in New Orleans, gay culture has been an integral part of the formation and evolution of dance music. In honor of Pride Month (yes, June is Pride month) we have selected five films that celebrate some of the LGBT community’s biggest icons in club music. Check out our picks after the jump.