Dance: The Drop – pondering the art of the music video + enough events to clog yer calendar

The dance music video. It’s an interesting one, and something I was thinking about the other day after I searched for an old tune by master of electronic weirdness Aphex TwinCome to Daddy

Set in a grim English housing estate, it’s an iconic clip to a crazy track, with a demon trapped in an old television and creepy children with Aphex Twin’s very meme-able face who smash up the place and terrorise an elderly woman. 

“Narrrrr… Not a looker among ’em.”

Looking back, there were some really fantastic music videos over the years from The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Massive Attack, Justice, Daft Punk and the Chemical Brothers (who continue to surprise, such as this year’s Got to Keep On). And… look, there are too many to list here so I won’t try.

However, it doesn’t seem to be nearly as much of the case these days. Is that true? Or is it just the fact that I don’t religiously sit down to watch Rage these days and instead hear all my music via streaming, or in the club? 

What does seem to be much more prevalent, though, is the use of visuals themselves as part of a performance. Whether this is from huge electronic music acts, such as the aforementioned Chem Bros, Eric Prdyz, Max Cooper, or Plastikman who create a custom made visually stimulating show, to individual DJs working with festival production engineers to bring a performance to life with an out-of-this-world setting transporting you to another dimension (particularly in the techno and trance world of festivals). 

Even on a small scale there’s some pretty incredible projection mapping and visuals being done for more intimate settings – the technology is incredible!

And I guess this is where techno (used as a catch-all term) really thrives. The electronic music movement always had a techno-utopian vibe and aesthetic, embracing visuals, virtual reality, and chemicals to imagine something new and exciting. And as cool as a great piece of short cinema is set to music, it’s being in that ‘other world’ on the dance floor in a full 3D audio/visual experience where the real fun is to be had. 

Moving on, there’s heaps of happenings happening (haha) at Sideway. On the dance tip, I reckon give Section Seven: Martial Order a crack this Thursday, 22 August, while It’s a London Thing has all your UK grime/garage/2-step covered with Big Ting Recordings (SYD) & MCs Dtech & Tukka D (SYD) taking over the Communi-fi system on Saturday, 24 August

Stil at Sideway, Le Doof will take you through some weird electronica and techno with Steeplejack boss Harold’s apocalyptic sound, and Le Doof resident Big Data (formerly Bàobīng) on Saturday, 31 August

Toast on the Sunday, 1 September has some fun DJs, and Monkey Marc is bringing his Vital Sound album launch show to Canberra with plenty of heavyweight bass vibes on Thursday, October 24. One for the diary!

Fiction continues the techno every Thursday with local selectas, while there’s a fair bit of bass heavy house and EDM across a few Fridays, with Blanke on 23 August for his national tour, Wongo for the official Listen Out festival warm-up party on 30 August, and LO’99 on 6 September.

Mr Wolf has a few choice gigs worth checking out in the next month. This weekend on Friday, 23 August they’ve got some new up-and-coming DJs for a Rising Stars night – check out Woody, Theo, Alex Allen, Vivace, Haylee Karmer, Nue Dae, Bouncii, and Take-Tu. 

Made by Tsuki bring the audio/visual delights to Mr Wolf this August

The following Friday, 30 August at Wolfie looks pretty interesting with a party from Made By Tsuki, an audio/visual project based out of Sydney whose been getting some seriously cool support from big name artists and festivals (including VIVID and Splendour in the Grass). 

And continuing a solid run of Fridays at Mr Wolf, on 13 September, Equinox has teamed up with Bassic Records for the 5 years of Bassic tour – plenty of bush techno styles with Kase Kochen, ZigMon, Vorpal, and Canberra favourite Doppel.

For hard dance fans, Hard Attack has a Defqon1 Tribute party to honour the now defunct festival, with Tyx, Dzasta, Losta Beat, Ryan, Cotts, and Tyrade spinning some fast BPMs on Friday, 21 September

Queer hotspot Cube Nightclub are celebrating their 14th birthday on 6 September – there’ll be a burlesque show, pole dancing performances, DJ Rawson on the decks, and debuchary aplenty.

A few doofs coming up as well this month; if you know you know! 😉

And what’s probably going to be the party of the year, Canberra titans Escape Ferocity will bring German techno extraordinaire Extrawelt to a warehouse location for a special live show on Saturday, 28 September. Local supports not yet announced, but you know it’s going to be a massive one!

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