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Thread: Whither Dancehall?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Whither Dancehall?

    Or should that read wither?

    2003 the form experiences a minor explosion. And then last year, not much.

    I know fans like the esteemed Stelfox can appreciate the genres subtleties (and thanks Dave for the double CD round-up) but as far as something as infectious as Diwali/Coolie Dance (a 2003 riddim!) there's not been much in the way of greatness.

    Another weird thing about Dancehall, the sound has (to my ears at least) crept into the zone of First World Music, perhaps a result of:

    a) universalising technology/audio parity
    b) assimilation with US r'n'b

    to the extent that (again to me at least) its lost the alien-other sonic appeal which drew me into it in the first place.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Timbaland and the Neptunes didn't do too much in 2004 either, so maybe it just wasn't a great year for beat-making on this side of the pond, but they'll all come back in 2005. Wait till next year as baseball fans would say.

  3. #3

    Default still nice again

    still loving it, though trying to come up with a good response to your interesting points

    currently well into Chaka Chaka riddim
    Beenie Man's dissonant vocal melody version
    and either Wayne Marshall or Busy Signal's singsongsyncopation one

    and Lenky's Bubble Up
    which (per Zemko, Harvell & Stelfox) has exquisitely elaborate versions
    like an incredibly poignant/mysterious fairytale videogame world

  4. #4
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    Default

    Not to be a negative voice, but riddims like the Chaka Chaka are why Dancehall is currently in a decline.

  5. #5
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    Default the eternal return.

    It's really hard to get a proper chronolgy sorted because of the "lag" between stuff coming out on dubplate and the on pre 7" and then on riddim compilations.

    But I think it's a classic case of things going in cycles. For example there were some great tunes maybe 1998/1999 like Space Invaders, Bruk Bottle and other bits and bobs with decent basslines on them.

    Then in 2001-ish you had the first flush of Ward 21 and TOK (anti-spy etc). And then late 2002 early 2003 you had Sean Paul, Diwali and a whole heap of other stuff.

    The question I suppose is twofold: why does this happen, and when will the next wave be?

    I suppose it could happen because producers react against the poppiness emerging by getting more abstract or underground. Or it could be because every innovation is met with tiny bits of incremental imitation for a while until someone shakes things up.

    Buggered if I'm going to put my neck on the line though and predict the next outcrop of insanity.

    What did people think of Red Alert though? Doesn't that fit into Simon R's thing about E culture moving from US Hip Hop over to JA? Molex or Stelfox probably know better but I'm sure I've heard a couple of riddims recently there were distinctly acidy/technoey.

  6. #6
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    Has anyone looked into reasons behind the recent rise in bpm counts of many of the big riddim tracks compared to previous years?

  7. #7

    Default

    "red alert" was my favorite riddim from last year, with "bubble up" and "scoobay" right behind. a lot of stuff seems to be moving at a techno-ified clip these days.

    logan why is "chaka chaka" sign of a decline? (i haven't heard it.)

  8. #8

    Default

    the tempo/structure of the tunes surely has something to do with the (current?) vogue for dance crazes ala the mashed potato too.

  9. #9

    Default

    one word (besides rave): soca

  10. #10

    Default man a badman DJ !

    Red Alert is also one of my faves of 2004
    Kananga & Zaire - "Real King" may even be my fave song of the year

    "Me and my warriors trod into town
    just to pick'up a few things and look around
    stop in a moneygram so I that could catch a loan..."


    very Chaka Demus & Pliers, but one of the most exuberant songs I've ever heard

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hadean
    very Chaka Demus & Pliers
    Chaka Demus & Pliers RULE! Burst out laughing when I saw the pub in Little Britain named after them...

    will have to check that tune.

  12. #12
    captain easychord Guest

    Default

    red alert was definitely my fav of the year. it's true, a lot of the riddims are getting pretty quick, summer bounce has got to be close to 130, kopa is up there too. i think it has a lot do with dancehall's burgeoning popularity, in particular as functional dance music, with producers upping the BPM's and DJ's upping the whole dance craze thing. and maybe its popularity (esp, as woebot has pointed out, in the first world) is responsible for a purging of a lot of the more spiritual/philosophical or conversely "i'm a bodmon" lyrical aspects (which both seem to fit better with slower, low-slung grooves.)

  13. #13
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    I tend to concur with Woebot having felt underwhelmed by recent dancehall. That said, I base this only on my purchasing of Greensleeves best of 2004 cd and a couple of riddim LPs ((Scoobay, Marmalade).

    99/00 was my favourite period of dancehall .Mr Vegas and Buccaneer, what ever happened to them?

  14. #14

  15. #15

    Default

    and the Top 10 (Luka check this for I Wayne video!)

    http://www.muzikmedia.com/videotop.aspx#mv154

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