Dancefloor moments

boxedjoy

Well-known member

Start a thread on dancefloor moments. What are your top 10 dancefloor moments?

been thinking a lot about dancefloors and how much I've missed them during lockdown, and how I should have spent more time on better ones when I was in my twenties instead of being depressed and too afraid to go out dancing
 

boxedjoy

Well-known member
1) Motocross Madness, 2006


academic intakes don't follow normal calendar years, so as a January baby I was one of the youngest in my class and peer group, and one of the last to be able to go out legally. We had tried sneaking into bars but my baby face and obvious guilt meant we never lasted more than one Blu WKD before being turfed out. So everybody else had months of experience ahead of me, my best friend had been 18 for nearly eight months before me. People spoke about clubbing with such fervour and enthusiasm. I had grown up listening to the Ministry Of Sound and Cream compilations, and in 2004/2005 started to really find my way into dance music thanks to the internet, the early days of electro-house and Kompakt, shaking off indie shame slowly through mixes like Diplo's Fabriclive and Erlend Oye's DJ Kicks. I was desperate to go dancing.

We went out to the city, I let them take me to the most popular high street nightclub, it was absolutely rotten, I tried not to get upset in the taxi home. Is this it? Months of waiting to pay £10 to see students dancing to Journey and Bryan Adams? It had to be better.

I scoured the listings and found a night that sounded good. The flyer said "kitsch" and listed dance music names beside indie and new wave bands. I could convince the crew to come to this. It looked like As Heard On Radio Soulwax: Glasgow, on a Tuesday with drink promotions. We went, super early because if it was duff we could leave and go somewhere else. The DJs were doing the Optimo thing of playing non-dance music for the first hour and it was "Venus As A Boy" as we walked in, a personal favourite. It got busy, the music turned into proper dance music, my apprehensive pals were relieved to hear Blondie and Daft Punk while I beamed to Booka Shade and Vitalic. They played this, which most people know from that Soulwax mix which I had passed on to my pals in an attempt to get them into dance music. I was really drunk, I danced to this perhaps a bit too enthusiastically, happy that I was winning my pals from school over to dance music. It didn't last, it wasn't for them, and the further I got into dance music and experimental stuff the further they seemed to retreat into the familiar and comfortable sounds of chartpop and landfill indie. But for a night and a few more, it felt like the potential was still there.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
This is a great idea for a thread but for whatever reason I struggle to remember anything much about my most enjoyable dance-floor moments.
 

boxedjoy

Well-known member
2) Broken Heart, 2008


so fast-forward a couple of years later and the divides are becoming increasingly apparent: my pals from my hometown and my uni classmates still love the commercial end of the high street, and only enjoy the dance music clubbing we do because I'm making them mixes and preparing them for the anthems of the time, while I'm getting increasingly interested in sounds beyond the now-formulaic proto-EDM bosh of electro-house. We go to see Justice supported by CSS, and it's terrible, the mid-range painful to listen to, and they don't understand why I'm so disappointed when it's me who first introduced both acts to our group listening. They love Hot Chip, I find the fey sensitivity cloying. They love LCD Soundsystem, I think it sounds like weak pop music. Everyone loves Standing In The Way Of Control but the battle lines are drawn on what version you prefer. Meanwhile, the axis of FACT Mag house/techno/dubstep is taking off. Glasgow's Numbers collective are going from local heroes to scenius tastemakers. Linear dance music is feeling boring, as UK funky and post-dubstep become a thing, and wonky/aquacrunk (ugh) gets written about in the national papers. I'm still thinking I might pursue music journalism and contributing to a freesheet listings magazine, but it's obvious to me that while I'm just a listener with a keen ear who lives ten miles outside the city, everyone else is actively living and partaking in the scene as ravers and connectors. Plus, I'm an academic geek from a provincial town - I'm basically terrified of drugs.

Modeselektor are coming to Glasgow and I love them - their first two albums are weird, diffuse yet cohesive, taking a million different directions outwards from traditional techno as I know it, yet crunchy and fun. I manage to persuade one friend to come with me. Modeselektor are incredible, or at least they seemed to 20-yr-old me, but it's the warm-up DJs who are a revelation. Jackmaster is Jackmaster: party anthems, neon-lit big-room house and techno, it was good then and it would be good now I guess. Spencer, however, is something else. His opening two hours traverse everything - things like Kevin Saunderson and Cybotron, Daft Punk and Mr Oizo, r&b bootlegs and bassline house. A mix of stuff I recognise but had never heard in a club, and stuff that was just completely alien. The highlight is this - it comes on about two hours after we arrive, just as my pal goes off to the loo and leaves me alone. This is like a big wave of calm in a night of frantic energy, like someone's pressed Pause on the club. I'd never really heard anything as "deep" as this, the pads and chords sounding so warm and sweaty and dreamy. It sounds excellent, and the whole night makes clear the distinction between playing tunes and DJing, and I'm excited about dance music again.
 

boxedjoy

Well-known member
(I know this type of post-dubstep is mostly frowned upon here, but it wasn't all awful and it made more sense when used sparingly to pepper sets than exclusively played itself)
 
Other people's reactions, individuals or a whole crowd going nuts will imprint moments. My cousin grabbing me to say "what the fuck is this? it's making my nose vibrate"

 

boxedjoy

Well-known member
Other people's reactions, individuals or a whole crowd going nuts will imprint moments. My cousin grabbing me to say "what the fuck is this? it's making my nose vibrate"


I did consider this as one of my dancefloor epiphanies - strong memories of hearing it and thinking "this is so horrible I love it" while my friends scrambled in horror to the cloakroom queue
 

boxedjoy

Well-known member
3) Beam Me Up, 2010


2008-2010 was rough. I take custody of my brother in 2008 after my mother moves out to the other side of the country, the idea being that he can finish his final two years at the same school without too much upheaval. He can't go that wild, surely, and I'll be about, and what's the worst that can happen? Apart from, of course, you leave an 20 yr old to look after a 16 yr old, and the 20 yr old is at uni all day and working nights in a shop to help pay the bills, so the 16 yr is left to his own devices and gets massively into drinking, drugs, gambling and spending days watching endless repeats of Friends on E4. I spend my uni funding on rent, I come home daily to find he's skipped school to get stoned, and from Friday night to Sunday morning our house looks like the set of Skins. I'm trying to parent someone who doesn't want it and I'm trying to be a flatmate to someone who isn't old enough for the social responsiblity. Him and all his friends are constantly getting deliveries of plant food to the house and what I see of it isn't fun at all - they're aggressive, arrogant, volatile and never know when to stop, so there's a few scary situations. I'm not going out as much as I would like because I'm responsible and there's no chance I'm escaping our small provincial town when I've got the guilt from all angles being piled on me about doing the right thing by my brother. I'm hardly drinking, still not trying anything else: how can I tell him to behave if I'm not doing it myself?

I graduate in 2009, a 2:1 in English joined with Journalism & Creative Writing. The whole project feels like a waste of time. The English side of it is boring outside of post-modernism classes, and the journalism side is having the concept of a blog repeatedly explained with "in conclusion the internet is going to change journalism" essays, and the creative writing side is mostly peer assessment. I skip all my dissertation supervisions because I haven't done any work because I'm working 24 hrs a week on top of uni, and yet my 10,000 word submission on feminism in techno gets me the best mark I've ever had at uni. I go to Grad Ball and a classmate brings over some friends who've never met a gay man, they ask stupid questions about do I find my own dick arousing and I wonder why I bothered trying to take myself seriously if nobody ever was going to.

By 2010 I'm no longer interested in newspaper journalism, and music writing already feels like a door closed to me, I don't have time to maintain a blog or the confidence to pitch. I'm working all hours in my retail job, and still trying to monitor my brother who by this point still isn't acting any more rationally. Meanwhile my classmates are getting jobs with newspapers or moving into postgrads. I go to the doctor and get prescribed six months of fluoxetine, and I try to sort myself out by going sober the entire time. It works, kinda, and in September I get invited with some uni mates I'm still friends with to go visit one of them who is working in Paris.

Paris is great. We go for four days and thanks to the ash cloud we stay for six. I have an awkward yet thrilling holiday romance with a colleague of the friend we stay with. We drink wine and eat baguettes and take a boat cruise down the river. I look the best I've ever looked in my life and I've somehow saved enough money that the trip is properly enjoyable, none of this watch-your-pennies fear that blights adult holidays. Everyone looks glamorous and chic, it's like a fantasy retreat from real life which isn't going anywhere nearly as well as it should.

We go to a club on the last night and they're playing r&b and disco. Deep cuts from Beyonce's first albums, Shola Ama in non-remix form, the Cher version of Take Me Home, and this. One of the great things about disco is that it has an in-built sense of hedonism - not just its historical context that you get from knowing about Paradise Garage and Studio 54, but it's inherent sense of groove and decadence. This sounds luxurious and rich and strident in a way that my everyday life was completely lacking. Of course, I knew this song from keeping up with the nu-disco revival in magazines and mixes, but nobody else did on that dancefloor, yet everyone ended up singing along to the hook halfway through. Dancefloors are places of escape - and for a night it was exactly what I needed.
 
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