What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

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justjohn_jj
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What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by justjohn_jj » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:00 am

It's been a quarter century since I've been to a dance club.

I got Ableton with the notion of playing ambient pseudo-fiddle tunes and that sort of thing for recording and playing at book stores like an old guy in the corner playing accordion or banjo. I picture myself at a table with my laptop and keyboard, noodling along quietly and sometimes politely responding to questions about where the gardening books are. (I'd scope out the whole store before starting.)

However, evidently electronic dance music is now really popular. Or at least it was recently, if even the New York Times has caught on to it. So I'm considering going and checking out some dance clubs to see what's popular, and to see if I could really enjoy spending my time doing it.

Back in the old days when djing was just spinning records, I wouldn't have had the patience to just do that and then hang out on stage waiting for the track to play out. (I did spin records on college radio, but that's way different.) But doing what sounds like a modern version of jazz playing, but to automated beats? That sounds not too bad. It'd be like running a calliope or being an organ grinder (in the non-sexy definitions of those words) but where I'd programmed the gizmo ahead of time and was adding stuff on the fly.

So among the many things I have to learn is, what do the people like to dance to? I mean, besides a beat and the popular sound instruments and effects. What I mean is the overarching timing of their dancing. How do they like a song to build up, and for how long? What lures them onto the floor in the first place? How long should a bit of music last? Is there a conflict between the time it takes to get into the track and the time it takes to get bored with it? How can I help them get laid?

Also, what do they like in the structure of a set? Do callbacks to previous themes get reactions like callbacks in stand-up comedy?

Yeah, I have to go find a real dance club and find out for myself. But meanwhile, I invite your links, suggestions, grand theories and ridicule.
* Radio Free Entropy: http://just-john.com/jjMusic

Komodovaran
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by Komodovaran » Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:44 pm

- You don't have to play vocals in everything you do, but vocals now and then and a remix of some known lyrics do work wonders on the crowd.
- People these days love drops. Massive ones. Like this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQKsLOPK_ls
- Dubstep is increasing in popularity at an exponential rate. If you can put some wowobwobwobwowbo into your set, you win.
- Avicii and loud synths are in. Silent tribal and tech house not so much.

Speaking from own experiences. Can't guarantee anything.

regretfullySaid
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by regretfullySaid » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:35 pm

Kind of sad but I'll humor you.
http://soundcloud.com/machinedrum/machi ... ats-teaser

UK Funky/2-Step/Garage
DnB
Boogie Funk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaNJYVdp2iI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX0aXhs ... r_embedded
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkvobdj5Kcc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FQj04H ... re=related

It's sad though if you're just going to whore yourself to whatever's popular. Do you want to make a crowd dance so badly that you'll pick whatever? Surely there's a crowd that will dance to what you listen to.

Forget about rules and just experiment and do what feels right. Keep it fresh to yourself first and foremost. The audience recognizes this. There's so many ways to go about it there's not one set rule except that it needs to rock. Rock it in your own way and it'll ripple, otherwise you're just going to look like you're doing whatever to fit in. Practice what you start to enjoy the more you improv a set. If you feel like letting a song play, let the song play, if you feel like juggling then juggle. There's nothing wrong with letting a song play out, either, there are still old school dj's who play to dancing crowds that simply mix between tracks. Those dj's aren't there for themselves and neither is the audience. They're there to dance. I think the most important thing is to NOT overdo it, like using fx. Enjoy what you're listening to and listen to your gut on what feels like the right thing to do at the time.

http://soundcloud.com/das-boy/2008-11-1 ... nemouth-uk
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Komodovaran
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by Komodovaran » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:13 pm

Just play a remix of whatever song they request. Keeps it fresh :P

justjohn_jj
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by justjohn_jj » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:26 pm

shadx312 wrote:It's sad though if you're just going to whore yourself to whatever's popular. Do you want to make a crowd dance so badly that you'll pick whatever? Surely there's a crowd that will dance to what you listen to.
Ah. I haven't made it clear that what I want to dj is my own stuff. The fantasy is that I'd take a bunch of home-grown* things -- perhaps drum tracks, a bass track and a "hook" track -- and then play over those and toss in sounds, based on what the crowd was doing and how I felt.

But it's wise to get to know the current conventions, like a fiddle player might before playing his first square dance.

I've been recording just what I've felt like recording for over a quarter century. The crowds have succeeded pretty well in avoiding my stuff. I guess I could fill a theater with people who'd be actively interested in hearing me play live, if I could teleport them in from all over the planet. Sure, I've charted in Canada, but that was a fluke. To the best of my knowledge, my radio play over the past couple years has been entirely on SubGenius shows. And a few of my old tracks can be found on some microbe videos on YouTube. (Follow link in my .sig to find my tracks.)

Now as to what I listen to ... Looking at my recent iTune plays, there's Don Cherry's sparse jazz, the Dead Kennedys, Hank Williams (the original one, not II or III), Hawkwind, Patti Smith, Kate Bush, Chopin, Raymond Scott, Charles Mingus ...

Of electronic djs I've listened to (so far -- I'll get to those links all of you have posted, and I thank you for that) there's mostly my fellow SubG and correspondent 2 Beans, who does the dubstep.



* For certain values of "home-grown." I mean, sure, I might use short loops from external sources, but not whole songs, unless they're my whole songs.
* Radio Free Entropy: http://just-john.com/jjMusic

regretfullySaid
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by regretfullySaid » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:27 am

Thanks for explaining; very cool.
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aisling
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by aisling » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:20 am

8) love hawkwind.
http://soundcloud.com/aislingbeing


Live, Reason, Moog sub phatty, Moog sub 37, Ozone 6, guitars, Pedals, proper ergonomic sitting posture, french pressed coffee with a pinch of cardamon.

littlepig
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by littlepig » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:42 am

Maybe square dance/dub step hybrid is that way forward, you could start a whole new genre

supamonsta
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by supamonsta » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:52 pm

@Just-john:

I think the way you take it is too much clinical and scientific.

You seem to be setting up a commercial promotion session... In that way, I'm pretty sure you won't find much pleasure in it...

indeed, you said it at the end of your first post : get out in some clubs, dance, feel, listen, drink, talk, interview, get laid...

you can't approach any musical genre from the outside with just learning its rules, you can learn theory, write down all the criterias that make this style different form that one, but you may still stay a stranger to the music itself.

you gotta feel it.

If you make a dropdown precisely here at 23'34, don't do it because it has to be there, do it because it feels great FOR YOU at this point of the set... same for the idea of a reoccurring theme, the idea of remixes, and so on.

I allways thought performances, mixes, lives, are better when the artists obviously enjoys the moment.


My 2 cents, good luck!

regretfullySaid
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by regretfullySaid » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:09 pm

I agree, and the audience will pick up on that and be turned off in some way imo.
Picking up on the difference between a guy trying to make a business out of it instead of getting business out of it naturally.
Trying too hard, basically.
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stonee
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by stonee » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:24 pm

people generally (sadly) don't want to hear anything new. if they hear something new, they want it to sound like what they already know.


Its particularly bad where I live. my friends who are the more successful dj's in town have done so by doing a lot of pop song remixes, particularly dubstep remixes of hip hop songs. because gangster hip hop is apparently what is most popular in a coastal maritime city...

meanwhile, in this city, I play psytrance and a hybrid of my own productions. no one here has ever heard of psytrance, and really, no one does.


so, I guess in short, to get people to the floor, you either want to play something that is familiar to the crowd you're playing to, or move to a location where people like they style you play.

beats me
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by beats me » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:51 pm

I guess I’m lucky because I actually like the new hit music that is ripping off 90’s rave but with vocals and better production. The only issue I have is radio friendly songs are generally not DJ friendly unless you love quick fades.

I think it’s almost unavoidable to not get current music at some point in your life but it takes an extra bitter person to not like current music but would have loved it if it came out when they were in their prime.

Bagatell
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by Bagatell » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:03 pm

beats me wrote: I think it’s almost unavoidable to not get current music at some point in your life but it takes an extra bitter person to not like current music but would have loved it if it came out when they were in their prime.
:?:

I like the sound of the book shop gig. Music for potting sheds maybe.

doghouse
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by doghouse » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:31 am

stonee wrote:people generally (sadly) don't want to hear anything new. if they hear something new, they want it to sound like what they already know.
So why are there a couple of hundred electronic dance music subgenres?

I had to look up moombahton yesterday only to find out there's already moombahcore, etc. Do dancers really care about this genre stuff as much as the producers do? I can understand a trance fan not liking dubstep, but when two subgenres differ only by the tempo I scratch my head.

You can probably tell I'm not into EDM at all :wink:

daniel160
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Re: What do the people on the dance floor want from dance music?

Post by daniel160 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:57 am

maybe a couple dance need a elegent music, but if someone alone, better choose some
lock one. :lol:

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