Dance Music needs to get its mind out of the Guetta
Vamos a ésta Fiesta !
(Via: Ibiza Voice) The David Guetta musical juggernaut has officially flattenedAmerica. The USA is so Francophobic they renamed French fries “freedom fries” but they can’t get enough of this particularFrenchman. His role call of blinging superstar collaborators now includes Akon, Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, Fergie and Flo Rida; plus he pulls production duties for the likes of Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Lopez. Love or hate him, the man is officially a big deal.
Which leaves dance music in something of a quandary. After years of sulking at its exclusion from the charts and beating a plaintive four-four drum for the underground, electronica is indisputably the sound of pop music. For example, uber-icon Britney Spears’ latest single’Hold It Against Me’ is pure electro-house. Strip back the vocal and it could be on Cr2 Records circa 2006. And it’s not just Brit Brit. From Lady Gaga to Miley Cyrus, Lil’ Wayne to Justin Timberlake, everybody’s gone and taken it to the dancefloor. All without so much as mentioning the word “electronic” and the so-called underground is looking around nervously, wondering what to do next.
Because if no one can tell the difference between dance music and pop music, what’s a DJ (or producer) to do? The obvious answer, for some, is to jump on to the bandwagon with both feet and hang on for as long as it lasts. Plenty of producers will finally get paid in ways they never dreamed possible, thanks to their unique skills in being able to push buttons on their MacBook. Others will probably get terminally embittered and resort to playing, and making, increasingly obscure and contrary music in order to win the public indifference they crave. Unfortunately, neither of these options is particularly useful for electronic culture as we know it. One way, the dance scene turns into a soulless offshoot of the major label commercial music industry; the other it builds its own grave out of antiquated analogue synths and progressively less interesting drugs. Who needs that?
There are two alternatives: build a fortress around the existing concept of the “rave scene” and its romantic self-perceptions of freedom, idealism and musical communion. Or take a deep breath and blow down the house that jack built. Maybe it’s time to stop pretending there is a fundamental distinction between vodka-swilling teenagers making awkward sexual advances towards each other at the local Ritzy to the tune of Christina Aguilera and “proper” dance fans bumping woozily off each other in the car park at Space opening. Maybe it’s time for the “proper” producers to stop hating on the Guetta’s of the world and admit that, really, they wish they’d thought of it first. Maybe it’s time to put to rest our persecution fantasies and brush that chip off our collective shoulder. Maybe it’s time to take a hard look at the way things are, not the way we want them to be, and act accordingly.