June 23, 2015 by DJ Elroy
I don’t know if it’s me or if it’s the mindless color-by-numbers that’s being passed off for “music” these days, but lately (and by “lately” I mean the past five-plus years), lately I’ve been looking for something new and exciting when it comes to electronic dance music.
Isn’t it ironic that I’ve found it not by casting my hipster-gaze forward for the next big thing, but by looking to the past at some of the stuff that has already lived and died and has risen again thanks to the necromantic tendencies of fads and pop culture.
I’m talking about disco.
Only it’s not that dirty D-word from the 1970s. Disco was good, once. Great, even. Then it became popular, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing until the wrong people start noticing. The more contrived it got, the less inspired it felt, and it quickly became commercially successful and all about the money over the music until it eventually became the butt of jokes and the “Disco is Dead” movement.
It’s the same cycle we’re witnessing today with “EDM”.
But I love good disco anyway. And I even love some of the cheesy disco that purists spit on. I dig that sound. That vibe! It’s old, but it’s new. And face it, most of the kids in the scene nowadays weren’t around for disco. Hell, I bet many of them weren’t even around when DJs used to spin vinyl on turntables stacked on cinder blocks in dark and sweaty warehouses.
But I digress.
Over the past few years I’ve really gotten back into the disco groove. I was big into the whole disco house scene about 10 years ago before it was killed off by electro house and eventually EDM. But it seems to be making (somewhat of) a comeback recently. Maybe nu-disco has always been around and I’ve just been missing it? I don’t know. But I am glad that I’ve found it again.
Here are two great places to start:
Basil puts a new spin on an old sound. I’ve listened to several different mixes and they are all simply amazing. Funky, disco, nu-disco, deep, and soulful house music, these sets bring it all together and they do it so smoothly and seamlessly that I can’t help but bop every time I listen.
Or if you want to start with some original ish, check out Panotaker. He typically sticks with the classics (and not always disco stuff) but does drop edits, remixes, and mashups from time to time. His sets have that rough and raw vibe from days past when disco was actually people playing instruments and not just programmed loops on a computer, back when the DJs had to manually beatmatch their records, back when style and fun was a higher priority than a studio-clean polish.
Whether your virgin ears are hearing original disco for the first time or you’re getting burned on out the so-called “deep house” that’s been everywhere the past few years, I highly recommend you give both the old and “nu” flavors a listen. It’s infectious!