Latest posts by Peter O'Rourke (see all)
- Dance: The Drop – A fond farewell from columnist Peter O’Rourke (plus all the latest OMG EDM CS) - November 20, 2019
- [Dance: The Drop – Oct/Nov] A meditation on the art of chillout + the latest and greatest Canberra club culture - October 18, 2019
- Dance: The Drop – Just what is trending these days? Plus LGBTQI+ DJ workshops, Techno Thursdays, Mutant Mayhem and more! - July 20, 2019
Trends. It’s something that affects all genres of music, especially when it comes to what you’ll hear on the dancefloor in the club. You can trace the rise and fall (and rise again) of many DJs on the back of what the hot sound is.
The tricky thing is to be at the forefront of the wave, so you’re the one defining the trend, not hoping to catch up.
That aside, it’s interesting to see where we are in the 4×4 beats-to-the-floor space right now. For a while there, we had the deep/tech house stuff dominating the mainroom, only for tech-house to get a bad rep with lazy copy-cat records.
From there, techno started to become the flavour of the month – of course for a lot of commentators, what was being promoted as ‘techno’ is really just tech-house, or progressive house (confusingly called ‘melodic house and techno’ on Beatport as progressive also gained a stigma of overproduced cheesy anthems…) and not techno at all.
Now proper techno itself is becoming popular again – or at least the faster stuff is. But then a lot of that sounds like older trance records; case in point with DJs like Nina Kravis mixing in actual trance into their high energy sets.
Ultimately, all this confusion about what is and isn’t a particular style of music has actually created a really interesting point for music right now. In the last 18 months, DJs have been taking risks again. They aren’t afraid to mix with different tempos, different sub-genres, throwing in oldskool tunes, or playing multiple styles in a set, but in a way that seems to have a natural flow.
In some sense, it’s becoming closer to what dance music used to be back in the early ‘90s when genres weren’t so set in stone.
I reckon we’re at a great point with music, and there’s something exciting coming out every week. For a DJ and clubber, that’s an awesome spot to be in.
The first Saturday of this issue, 27 July, is a big one for Canberra House Social, with Harvey Sutherland playing a headline set for a party at UC, plus support from Loure, LEMN & MIA. Tickets are selling fast, only a few days to go!
Thursdays at Fiction have taken a different turn, with a weekly dose of heavy beats with their Techno Thursdays – pretty cool to see something like this, so let’s hope it sticks around!
And there’s a new theme on their Saturday nights, with Anthems, playing some of the biggest tunes of house, electro, trap and hopefully a few trance classics.
For special gigs, definitely give FEEL a look in, with Tigerlily on 2 August, and Blanke on 23 August.
Here’s an interesting one – Alex Dyson (of triple j fame – yes that’s in lowercase) will be at Mr Wolf on Friday, 26 July. Wonder what he’ll be spinning? Wear a legionnaires hat, apparently.
Later in the month my crew Department of Late Nights will be at Wolf on 9 August – B-tham’s up from Melbourne on headline duties, along with Dratec to close, while I’ll be back-to-back with Fourthstate. Heaps of techno guaranteed!
This is pretty cool as well – Mr Wolf is running a series of DJ workshops on a Saturday afternoon for women, trans, and non binary folk. And you’ll be in safe hands with the amazing Brittany De Marco who is a wicked DJ, and all-round awesome human being. Check out their Facebook page for details.
Balthazar has your house music sorted for 10 August with the wonderfully titled Sorry Mum, I’m going out and I may be some time, hosted by Mista Nige with some local selectas – bring your dancing shoes and give it a looksee.
As always, Sideway have plenty of gigs on pretty much every night, so you’ll definitely find something you’ll dig – but here are a few dance selections. Queer party Throb has a sweet line-up on 27 July with Melbourne’s Whiskey Houston who’ll bring a record bag full of soulful techno and house, plus local spinner sardines, and live drag performances from MadB + Ty Zahn.
On 15 August be sure to wear your best ‘doomsday cocktail’ outfit for the Mutant Mayhem fundraiser party by the Australian Student Environment Network and Beyond Uranium – it’s a great cause with even greater DJs, so check it out!
And finally, Headz are Rolling have a ripper of a night planned on 17 August with Tamen from Ireland for some jungle and breakbeat influenced DnB, plus some awesome local support including Tidy, Karuna, Boomtze, and Ragz 2 Riches making their Headz debut at the club too.
Send yer gigs, releases, and dance-y info to Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org