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Edward
09-04-2010, 10:50 AM
I started going out at the very beginning of the 90s, to "normal" provincial nightclubs, then london clubs playing rave, hardcore, techno, and some underground raves. Since then I've been playing and attending clubs and festivals where techno, house, electro, jungle etc were played.
I will always love this music.

This week I went to a kind of 50s club where they played old RnB, ska, soul and rock n roll.
Some of the music is great but it's not really my taste. But what was amazing was everyone was friendly, they were talking, people were dancing in couples, not necessarily romantically involved but just dancing together. I made new friends. Everyone was open even though I obviously wasn't from their scene, just from the way I dress.

It made me realise how solitary it can be going to electronic clubs. The music's too loud to talk and everybody dances alone. It's almost impossible to meet new people in these places. It suddenly seems like quite an unhealthy thing, you're in a place with loads of people but there's no real interaction. Even at the peak of the rave days, you might get a hug and "where you from mate?" but not a lot more.

Perhaps I am a bit twisted in my perceptions of things because as a DJ I very very often am in clubs where I don't know anyone and I'm leaving the city or country the next day. So clubs have become extra-solitary places for me. But still.... it was an eye-opener.

I won't be selling my Transmat records but I might learn some basic dance steps...

benjybars
09-04-2010, 11:27 AM
yeah good post.

i think when i first starting going to clubs/raves when i was 17 or so (around 99/00), i LOVED chatting and meeting new people. But i think this was mainly due to drugs to be honest. My first couple of years of going out and taking pills/mdma all i really cared about was getting as high as possible and talking to people for hours and hours. i mean i would go to practically any rave, didn't really care what the music was. Went to Raindance and Warp at the Drome, Whirly Gig (!) anything really.

Then i stopped going out and taking drugs for a bit.

Then by the time i started going out again to grime/dubstep nights, i was so into the music that i didn't really see it as a social thing so much. It was more a functional thing of, I really fucking like this music, so i'm gonna go and listen to it on a big system..

although i think even if you aren't going around being bare sociable and making loads of new friends, being in a club with loads of people can feel like a really positive social thing. The best times i've had at DMZ for example have had that feeling unity through everyone vibsing off the music. It's a bit like going to a football match really.. you might only go with one mate but then when you're sitting there singing along with 35,000 people it's quality.

but yeah i do miss the times when i first went out. there really is no nicer feeling when you're high than meeting someone and chatting to them for ages and having a little connection and all that good shit. especially if it's a buff girl..

also going to rave and hearing a tune and turning to your mate and saying fuckin hell this tune man and they're like yeah i know. haha.. that's really good aswell.

baboon2004
09-04-2010, 11:39 AM
although i think even if you aren't going around being bare sociable and making loads of new friends, being in a club with loads of people can feel like a really positive social thing. The best times i've had at DMZ for example have had that feeling unity through everyone vibsing off the music. It's a bit like going to a football match really.. you might only go with one mate but then when you're sitting there singing along with 35,000 people it's quality.


Dissolving into the mass for a moment is great - certainly the best reason to go to watch football imo. I've yet to read 'the literature' on this as much as I'd like to, but I'd argue that that feeling is a pretty primordial human need.

I agree that it's difficult to find a club with a really good, open atmosphere, and that can sully the night a little, unless other factors all come together (amazing music and amazing soundsystem for example - one of the joys of PP)...

Mr. Tea
09-04-2010, 12:09 PM
I've had some great times in the kind of clubs Edward describes - quite apart from the atmosphere/vibe at these places, the music can be fucking excellent and, as a mate of mine pointed out, is often a lot more demanding to dance to than most kinds of electronic music, excepting perhaps the most spasticated kind of jungle or whatever.

What's often nice about them is the range of people you find there - there'll be peeps my age, give or take, plus some older couples in their 40s or 50s, and some fresh-faced 18/20-year-olds who are too young to remember Nirvana or Oasis the first time around, let alone '60s garage/psych/r'n'b or whatever. And often it's the young 'uns who've really gone overboard on the vintage clothes, in a good way I mean, really made an effort. And, the loveliness of a darkened room full of pilled-up drugmonkeys notwithstanding, it's refreshing that people generally aren't totally fucked at these events.

Edit: though I should say there seems to be almost an element of victim-of-its-own-success to this vintage/retro clubbing thing that's come into vogue in the past few years...I've pretty much given up on the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club as I've been unable to get in the last three times I've tried to go there. :(

bassnation
09-04-2010, 12:11 PM
This week I went to a kind of 50s club where they played old RnB, ska, soul and rock n roll.
Some of the music is great but it's not really my taste. But what was amazing was everyone was friendly, they were talking, people were dancing in couples, not necessarily romantically involved but just dancing together. I made new friends. Everyone was open even though I obviously wasn't from their scene, just from the way I dress.


yeah i agree with the point you make about electronic clubs, but in my experience (and this was quite a few years ago, its very rare that i go to clubs these days, mostly because people would mistake me for someones dad come to pick them up) i used to spend a lot of time chatting to randoms, in the chillout area, the toliets and even on the dancefloor. it doesn't have to be solitary, but then that meditative feel of being lost in music is something else altogether.

and that rockabilly thing totally leaves me cold. its music even my parents generation are bored of. my local has a night every friday playing it blisteringly loud, its a total midrange headfuck if you ask me. and i'm not really into retro scenes. where's the fresh records, or ideas? its almost entirely centred round aping what their grandparents did. dull. young people, eh? whats wrong with a gram of speed, three pills and a night bouncing about to sped up breakbeats for christs sake?

Corpsey
09-04-2010, 12:38 PM
Benjiebars is right about the being part of a crowd thing.

Speaking as a social retard, I'd have to say that getting wankered on MDMA is about my only hope of meeting new people socially anyway. I can't stand dancing WITH people it makes me cringe to the depths of my bullied-as-an-infant soul. If a girl ever came near me with a rhythmically moving body part, I would be forced to pretend my shoelace was untied so I could duck down between the nearest persons feet, crawl to the bogs and make an escape through the window into the comfortable cold of the car park. In fact this has happened quite a few times.

As long as I don't have to look anybody in the face, I am A.O.K.

benjybars
09-04-2010, 01:09 PM
Benjiebars is right about the being part of a crowd thing.

Speaking as a social retard, I'd have to say that getting wankered on MDMA is about my only hope of meeting new people socially anyway. I can't stand dancing WITH people it makes me cringe to the depths of my bullied-as-an-infant soul. If a girl ever came near me with a rhythmically moving body part, I would be forced to pretend my shoelace was untied so I could duck down between the nearest persons feet, crawl to the bogs and make an escape through the window into the comfortable cold of the car park. In fact this has happened quite a few times.

As long as I don't have to look anybody in the face, I am A.O.K.


haha. i swear i've seen you buss a very respectable left foot skank corpsey?

bassnation
09-04-2010, 01:10 PM
let alone '60s garage/psych/r'n'b

thats not my experience of rockabilly djs at all - if only. more like rock around the motherfucking clock. they can all take a hike through that wormhole back to the fifties and see how they like it then, as far as i'm concerned. not that i'm narrow minded or anything.

nochexxx
09-04-2010, 01:22 PM
As long as I don't have to look anybody in the face, I am A.O.K.

just stare at their feet, that's what i do. in fact i find it strangely facinating (and no i don't have a foot fetish!).

zhao
09-04-2010, 01:24 PM
totally.

edit: yeah.

baboon2004
09-04-2010, 01:26 PM
Benjiebars is right about the being part of a crowd thing.

Speaking as a social retard, I'd have to say that getting wankered on MDMA is about my only hope of meeting new people socially anyway. I can't stand dancing WITH people it makes me cringe to the depths of my bullied-as-an-infant soul. If a girl ever came near me with a rhythmically moving body part, I would be forced to pretend my shoelace was untied so I could duck down between the nearest persons feet, crawl to the bogs and make an escape through the window into the comfortable cold of the car park. In fact this has happened quite a few times.

As long as I don't have to look anybody in the face, I am A.O.K.

Dancing with someone - OK
Dancing opposite a girl who can dance really well - humiliation.

bassnation
09-04-2010, 01:56 PM
Dancing with someone - OK
Dancing opposite a girl who can dance really well - humiliation.

especially as a lot of women infer a direct connection between how good a man dances to how good he will be in bed. when you think about it there are a lot of parallels - rhythm, ability to throw away inhibitions, confidence.... not sure it works that way for everyone, as lets be honest most of us don't really make love in front of a room full of strangers.

baboon2004
09-04-2010, 02:04 PM
especially as a lot of women infer a direct connection between how good a man dances to how good he will be in bed. when you think about it there are a lot of parallels - rhythm, ability to throw away inhibitions, confidence.... not sure it works that way for everyone, as lets be honest most of us don't really make love in front of a room full of strangers.

yeah, I've been assured by several girls that that correlation doesn't work (for precisely the reason you give), although it is very persuasive.

droid
09-04-2010, 02:14 PM
especially as a lot of women infer a direct connection between how good a man dances to how good he will be in bed. when you think about it there are a lot of parallels - rhythm, ability to throw away inhibitions, confidence.... not sure it works that way for everyone, as lets be honest most of us don't really make love in front of a room full of strangers.

Plus, in your case Marc, I assume its hard to get into a club wearing nothing but a black bin bag full of budgerigars on your head and a soiled nappy.

polystyle desu
09-04-2010, 02:35 PM
Thanks for the post Edward.
Always good to hear your perspective, this time on 'in the clubs'.

As an ancient one who went to the clubs in the prime time '80's,
from King Crimson & Humble Pie at Alexandria Roller rink with High School friends to an overloud Tim Hecker at L Poisson Rogue the other week - the social times were great, everybody mixed.
I came out of 'punk' ( inspired by the Patti Smith, Television NYC 'style' as well as the rage and anger of The Pistols and Clash ), got into electronics early around '79,
interested in early hiphop after hearing Bam when Michael Holman brought him down to the Mudd Club first time and we made Death Comet Crew, moved to W Berlin in '83 and did Dominatrix.
So the styles of music were fresh and new, one was either 'with it' or not, or at least one felt that way in a moment.
A day after Malcolm's passed, can remember Buffalo Gals -we did laugh, Bow Wow's cassette,
and he got Dominique from Dominatrix to do vocal for a track.
Those days were definitely about 'the crowd' at The Roxy, Paradise Garage, etc.

I hear you on meeting ppl, in the NYC old days you knew everyone there, be in a Madonna or a JM Basquiat, because many of us 'came up' the same year, a bit like High School 'class'.
Not 'class' in the British sense, mind.
'Class' in the sense that someone a year younger or older could seem like a chasm.
By the '90's tho' Iggy's line "All the pretty girls ... look the same" seemed to come true as well,
shiny new people came through who didn't have much clue except to ape previous styles.
The guy with the ENB symbol tattoo on back of his head because he saw it on Henry Rollins.

The music was and is the main focus, otherwise I don't need to be there.
Sorry to hear about the troubles some have with dancing women and so on,
the '80's clubs here were just bursting with um, things to do - and people to do it with.

Trends come and go, you get older and deal with those issues , the world changed.
Can't give a *uck who thinks geezers shouldn't go out, sometimes there are shows one just has to go out to see and hear.
After Simon's article in the Village Voice turned us onto "Torque", we would be in the clubs listening to Ed Rush, buzzed and bouncing on our soles, often individuals on their own trip.
Almost no way to talk at those gigs !

Have always found shows / gigs not the easiest thing; so many factors involved.
If you are playing, set up , play , break down and go home, often really late.
Those affairs can be easier in a 'group', we can watch vid of the show, playback, burn a couple and critique together.
Doing it all oneself, tired and far from home- yeah I know that a bit but sounds sometimes tough.

By now, after a decade of rereleases, reformations and new recordings,
am finding that there are more gigs then ever, founded a new group after thinking privately
"That's it, no more groups !" for a couple years there -and like i did when arriving in NYC , find there are still a few great artists to work with as musik tries to move forward.

In relation to what you write Edward, by now I find myself setting up more electronic gigs and doing those clubs solitary as you mention.
Haven't done many solo gigs, but am headed that direction on next album.
What do you do when your mates' go cold ?

Another phase, where time and space lands one.
It's all a ride where one can get on or off.
Will know when it becomes 'boring' or too much of the same thing,
then there will be something else to do.

4linehaiku
09-04-2010, 02:40 PM
Trying to combine the two is pretty tricky I find. Most festivals I go to I seem get over-excited and spend the whole of Friday night yelling conversations at people right in front of the speakers, and can't even speak on Saturday.

The one positive of stupid licensing laws is that you can dance like a loon until 3am, then chat shit to strangers for hours at an afterparty.

Oh an re: the dance fear, that's why you need pitch black clubs innit.

bassnation
09-04-2010, 02:51 PM
Plus, in your case Marc, I assume its hard to get into a club wearing nothing but a black bin bag full of budgerigars on your head and a soiled nappy.

have you been stalking me in london again droid? i thought that injunction had done the trick!

you are of course right, unless we are talking Torture Garden, in which case my chosen outfit would be tame in comparision.

grizzleb
09-04-2010, 03:51 PM
but yeah i do miss the times when i first went out. there really is no nicer feeling when you're high than meeting someone and chatting to them for ages and having a little connection and all that good shit. especially if it's a buff girl..
Truth.

Mr. Tea
09-04-2010, 04:36 PM
thats not my experience of rockabilly djs at all - if only. more like rock around the motherfucking clock. they can all take a hike through that wormhole back to the fifties and see how they like it then, as far as i'm concerned. not that i'm narrow minded or anything.

Ah. Well there's bound to be a spectrum of quality in these things, like anything. I mean, a 'house' or 'techno' night could mean a mind-blowing experience courtesy of the cream of Berlin/Chicago/Detroit...or it could mean the latest Hed Kandi compilation. :eek:

mms
09-04-2010, 05:56 PM
i always have fun in clubs sometimes chatting sometimes dancing in the zone, its more lonely if you are djing mind/.

mixed_biscuits
09-04-2010, 06:03 PM
For clubs with loud modern music, it would be good to have voice recognition t-shirts that flash what you're saying across your chest on an LCD display.

BIT LOUD ISN'T IT!

YES!

mistersloane
09-04-2010, 06:37 PM
For clubs with loud modern music, it would be good to have voice recognition t-shirts that flash what you're saying across your chest on an LCD display.

BIT LOUD ISN'T IT!

YES!

I don't know why someone doesn't do a 'Sign Language for clubbers' course.

grizzleb
09-04-2010, 06:44 PM
Meh, tbh I never thought that clubbing was at its best a thing to facilitate one-on-one interaction, and more about creating a 'crowd consciousness' whereby everybody is dancing and grooving off the collective. This works at a basic level that language doesn't touch IMO. Which as I read back over the thread is basically what benjybars said earlier. So I agree with you on various points...

mixed_biscuits
09-04-2010, 06:54 PM
I don't know why someone doesn't do a 'Sign Language for clubbers' course.

Not the only advantage that deaf people have at a dubstep night! :D

zhao
09-04-2010, 07:09 PM
have to say i am often annoyed by how cold the dance floor is in clubs. more in Berlin than LA or Amsterdam and many other places.

i like dancing with anyone who is feeling the music. i like flirtatious behavior on the dance floor, which should be simple fun with no string attached. i like it when girls ride my leg, i like it when they grind what they mama gave them in my area. freakin with strangers is one of the most fun things about going dancing, and here it never ever happens. here it's oooooooo don't get in my personal space.

stupid bullshit is what it is.

massrock
09-04-2010, 11:11 PM
I think a positive aspect of the whole rock n' roll and trad thing is that it's roots and that it belongs to all of us equally which is a nice idea and can sort of work but i'd say that too often what happens is inevitably people become invested in creating scenes based around revival and curatorship and fetishising the particular style and then it just becomes an atavistic throwback load of reactionary blinkered conservative bollocks.

massrock
09-04-2010, 11:15 PM
I mean I love rock music still. It's all rock really.

The politics of frequency comes into this. One thing about dubstep when it really was bass music was that you could conduct a conversation even standing right in front of a massive system because the music was vibrating your trousers but not occupying too much of the human vocal range.

Big Nose
09-04-2010, 11:23 PM
I think I remembering reading a Kode9 interview where he said he likes being a DJ because he doesn't have to talk to anyone, he can just chill behind the decks in the dark or something like that.

When I go to a night, Im going to listen to music and dance. Im not big on socializing at nights but I think thats down to the nights I go too. Id love attend a club that has a community vibe going though, were you know everyone in the club, everyones sharing music, that sort of thing...

massrock
09-04-2010, 11:31 PM
DJing is nice like that. You have a focus. Can have wee chats with a few people but you have something else to do. Plus you get to play the music that you want to hear at that moment.

massrock
09-04-2010, 11:36 PM
But I state the obvious.

mistersloane
10-04-2010, 12:04 AM
I tend towards drink rather than drugs so I tend to be really, horribly chatty wherever i go, much to the annoyance of everyone else, I'm sure. I prefer working when I'm going out to going out for fun though. The past couple of years (PP excluded), it's been all about squats for me though. You can smoke indoors, and there's usually rooms without stupid loud music. Or I stay outside in the smoking areas. They're the new kitchens at parties.

Edward
10-04-2010, 04:10 PM
its very rare that i go to clubs these days, mostly because people would mistake me for someones dad come to pick them up
yeah I feel like that too. but often I have the excuse that I am DJing....


i used to spend a lot of time chatting to randoms, in the chillout area, the toliets and even on the dancefloor
when did you last see a chill-out area in a club? I miss those.
men who talk to me in the toilets unsettle me.


'm not really into retro scenes. where's the fresh records, or ideas?
It's funny, as a kid in the 70s and 80s I couldn't think of anything worse than the kids who were into the Beatles or the Doors. But now I find myself mostly DJing techno and house and electro from the 80s and 90s.... music that's older now than the Beatles were then..... so I figure I have to own up and say, fine, it's the same thing. I'm desperate for new music that I like but that's a whole different thread. Mostly I am settling for old music that's new to me.


If a girl ever came near me with a rhythmically moving body part, I would be forced to pretend my shoelace was untied
Mate I know you're kind of joking but it's heartbeaking. And I know how you feel, that's kind of the difference in vibes I am talking about, places where people return your smiles or places where you don't want to smile and talk in case you get treated like a creep. Some clubs feel like the same social rules as being on the tube - DON'T LOOK AT ANYONE ELSE. Lame.......
smile at some people, it's lush when they are friendly back, and it works as often as not, it's amazing when you start trying it...... sorry if I'm going all californian on you but my dad taught me it and it's true.


thats not my experience of rockabilly djs at all - if only. more like rock around the motherfucking clock.
yeah but how deep have you dug? you could equally say that techno clubs are just 2 unlimited etc etc. the thing i went to was a few obvious hits but mostly obscure old ska, RnB etc.


Dancing with someone - OK
Dancing opposite a girl who can dance really well - humiliation.
hmm yeah. unless they are lush and friendly and try and teach you and don't care if you step on their feet...... maybe it's you judging yourself harshly and she would just appreciate that you're not intimidated and game enough to have a go. wow I feel like I am suddenly the dissensus "how to get on with chicks" coach. as if I have a clue........


Haven't done many solo gigs, but am headed that direction on next album.
What do you do when your mates' go cold ?

It can be really lonely and boring, waiting in airports, waiting in clubs, waiting in hotels. Just now I am training myself to live for the moment like I did before I got jaded.... so instead of being cool, DJing, leaving straight away, I am talking to anyone and everyone and going to the after party and whatever. maybe it's my midlife crisis but it's a lot more fun than before.... i was just trying to "get it over with" as quick as possible, only coming alive and enjoying myself for the 2hours i was onstage.
Of course sometimes you get stuck listening to the boring self-promoting music guy who thinks you can help him with his career or something, but equally often you meet some interesting folks.


i like dancing with anyone who is feeling the music. i like flirtatious behavior on the dance floor, which should be simple fun with no string attached.
exackly! the problem is boys think it means more than it does, they get too excited and pushy and then the girls don't want to play any more cos of the creepy guys. that's exactly why I dug the 50s thing, it took me 10 mins to realise that the people dancing together weren't couples, they weren't trying to pull either, they were just dancing partners and that was thrilling enough for them. and there was not much sex about it, it was more like the friendliest most intimate sport you can imagine.

baboon2004
10-04-2010, 11:19 PM
hmm yeah. unless they are lush and friendly and try and teach you and don't care if you step on their feet...... maybe it's you judging yourself harshly and she would just appreciate that you're not intimidated and game enough to have a go. wow I feel like I am suddenly the dissensus "how to get on with chicks" coach. as if I have a clue........


girl in question was my girlfriend! i was just thinking, stop embarrassing me by being so good and showing up my innate lack of riddim... Got my own back when they dropped some grime though....enthusiasm alone is enough dancing to When I'm Ere and Fwd Riddim....

Edward
11-04-2010, 02:00 AM
Ah good for you!

zhao
11-04-2010, 08:53 AM
there is a fuck of a lot of fresh ideas, and i mean exciting formal ideas, in many "retro" scenes, and IMO often much much more than in current club music.

Sofrito Records for instance. the 1970s tropical sickness from lesser known areas of the Caribbean they drop is simply mind boggling. kompa percussion more sophisticated than the most intricate post-Funky programming. shit is untouchable. music of a quality and class rarely heard in new dance music.