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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Techno. House. Rhythm. Bounce

Music: it has always been the most important factor to a hot bangin’ party. Gimikans everywhere gain and enjoy popularity because of the quality of music they play; some even go to the extent of creating exclusive mixes to address the need of the crowd. Some gimikans have even ceased to be main stream just because of the type of music they play; they suddenly cater a specific niche. Music that is played in clubs could even dictate what types of people the establishment draws in.


A couple of years back, most clubs and bars played only three genres of music: R&B and House and Techno (Trance, after all, is ancient and should be left in Tito’s baul). And we were fine with that. These types of music clearly defined the crowd, and the preferred time these crowds visit a particular bar.


It used to be, the people who weren’t much into dancing would get to the club earlier, because then they would still be playing main stream R&B music, and they could drink their socks off while listening to music that was probably already playing in their car radio. Of course, things could get a little rowdy sometimes while still on the R&B mode, what with all those High School boys trying to copy that Usher-esque type of swagger, and those little College girls trying to dance like those poor creatures you see dancing half-naked in those music videos. Sometimes they get carried away with the fakeness of it all and act crazy. They get drunk, start to dance, strip on top of bars and counters and just get stupid.


On the other hand, house and techno lovers get to the bar to dance while getting drunk, instead of dancing after one has mustered enough alcohol-induced courage. Their dance steps seem more organic, not much hand waving, no Paula Abdul-Michael Jackson popping moves, no “I Am Hot” facial expressions, and definitely no moon walking. They just move to the beat, somehow, without clear choreography. But when you mix House and Techno with druggies and junkies, you are in for something really wild. I refuse to talk about this too much, just because I believe that what happens in a bar, should definitely stay there; trust me though, when I say, it doesn’t always end up as sunny and fun as those saccharine sweet lyrics from Beach House ditties.


But then again, that has been the club culture even before I started clubbing, and I was fine with that. However, I have sensed a change in today’s music. More and more main stream R&B music is being flavored with House and Techno influences.


I mean, once in a while, there has always been that popular R&B song, which was somehow set to a House groove or beat. However, the main stream pop songs now are sounding more and more like party ditties, and I do not know if I should be happy about it or not. I mean, how did this happen? Should we blame the pop Diva,  Mariah Carey for breaking all the rules with one song? When she made Fantasy back in 1995, she not only sampled the club favorite, “Genius of Love by the Tom Tom Club”, she even collaborated with the hardest rapper around, ODB.


So you can’t really blame Rihanna for following suit and infusing her music with House grooves as in Disturbia or Don’t Stop the Music; she grew up listening to these Mariah tracks. And then there’s Closer from Ne-yo, Forever by Chris Brown; My Flow So Tight by the Jump Smokers; Sugar by Flo Rida and Wynter sampling the ‘90s hit- Blue, and the ever hypnotic Insomnia by Craig David. Not that these aren’t all great songs, I am just anxious, worried and excited to know how these changes will affect the club scene. Will the House, Techno and R&B lovers form one homogenous group, or will the House lovers look for another genre of music because, well, House and Techno have never been produced to be main stream; these songs have always been part of an alternative culture, and maybe therein lies the allure of those beats and grooves?


Sadly, all we partyphiles can do is just step back and wait for these changes to occur. Don’t try to fight it dahlings, things just always seem to get better. Just listen to the music and allow it to take you wherever it wants you to go.


Confession 36:


At this time of musical uncertainty and mash-ups, maybe the only constant we need after a long hard day is a bunch of friends, great conversation, and some freezing-cold beer, whatever music is playing ion the background.


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