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Tag Archives | Planet Rock

The EDM From Way Back When

EDM (electronic dance music), as they like to call it in the US, has never been bigger, America now fully embracing it, having previously regarded it as a little more than a side-issue, always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Now, the more curious minded dance music enthusiasts Stateside, wishing to avoid the mainstream commercialisation of a previously more underground club culture, are, often for the first time, excavating the mid-late ’80s period, when Chicago House and Detroit Techno emerged (finding far more love at the time in the UK and Europe, than in the country of its origin).

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How Clubbing Changed The World

Last month I was over in Chicago chilling out in my hotel room ahead of my first gig in the city, at Smart Bar, a venue with a rich tradition, which opened back in 1982. Chicago is, of course, along with Detroit, Philadelphia and New York, revered as a key US city when it comes to the evolution of dance culture (and, indeed, black culture, with, way before House, a deep heritage in Rhythm & Blues, Blues and Jazz, dating right back to the ‘great migration’ of black workers from the southern states, beginning just over 100 years ago).

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Sub-Sonic Force

When I was in Adelaide in February I received an email from DeFacto, the Nottingham based creative agency whose accounts include the Fred Perry clothing brand. They’d already approached me to appear at one of the monthly Fred Perry Subculture nights they hold at The Garage in London, presenting Reels Of Steel for the first time in the capital, so we’d been discussing a possible line-up for a date later in the year. However, they’d just learned of Afrika Bambaataa’s availability for their 20th April date and, quite rightly, saw this as a perfect fit with me, given my Electro-Funk background, with Bambaataa very much a key inspiration (not to mention that, as serendipity had it, this was exactly 30 years on from his era-defining single with the Soul Sonic Force, the mighty ‘Planet Rock’).

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