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How important is context to dance music?


TRIBE Member
Due to a bunch of factors (relative ease of creation, short shelf life, "drug music" stigma, multitude of subgenres), a lot of dance music is burned through and forgotten fairly quickly. No one bats an eye when hearing a 40-year-old rock or pop song in a variety of environments (pub, store, wedding, radio, etc), but dance music classics are typically only appreciated by people "who were there". You don't get many 20-year-olds seeking out 90s house or 2000s D+B.

I find that even my own appreciation of certain tunes/genres that I was really into at the time (and had some of the best nights of my life hearing) comes and goes. Of course, there are the timeless tunes that still get regular rotation on my MP3 player/car stereo, but a fair amount of my stuff can sit for years at a time without a listen. My friends are more or less the same.

I still seek out new music regularly (and DJ occasionally), so it's not a question of moving on entirely. Is dance music simply more susceptible to this than other genres? Do you need the club/rave/crowd/drugs/youth in order to get the most out of it?
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


Staff member
You don't get many 20-year-olds seeking out 90s house or 2000s D+B.

I think people will, eventually. Hopefully.

I remember talking to Roger Sanchez in the 90s about how the music might not have any staying power because it was almost completely based on samples from original material (disco and r&b) that wasn't being created any more. I thought it was so derivative it might actually snuff itself out. Now, however, when I pull out a classic house track from the 90's and slap it on the turntable I find it can sound new and fresh and well made.

I am not sure most people these days have the attention span or desire to listen more than 2 minutes of a track, and less to hunt down and find old gems from the early days...


TRIBE Member
I still think timeless tracks are timeless and there's plenty in the electronic oeuvre I think have mass appeal, especially within the electronic community. (ie people into electronic music already)

There's certainly still that feeling that something that came out a year or two ago is "old" - but when I think of the most effective DJs I've seen its people who are able to keep up with the trends but then find OLDER tracks that still fit those trends.

Anyone can download the beatport top 100 and have software automix, takes taste and knowledge to fit new stuff into a story that reaches way back, and those sets are always more interesting.

Also goes to show that as much as 'new music' feels fresh, old stuff can too - at a recent just for fun gig I turned a few heads with a Repeat Repeat track from like 2005 that people were like "WHAT IS THIS"

sounded so fresh!

but was over 10 years old...
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TRIBE Member
See exactly! ;)

All thats old is new again - its funny to me to hear someone in the scene comment on how a track is "old", given that so much new stuff these days is deliberately nostalgic for previous cycles in the electronic scene!
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TRIBE Member
Very interesting question. This could probably be opened up to all music.

Those who truly love music are more likely to appreciate music extending across various time periods. It is because they appreciate the art of music.

For dance music, maybe the masses will subscribe to the current time period (or the time period in which they were dancing) because for them it is more about the experience and less the art.

Think Top 40: It has a huge following because it is tied to many other things people love: pop culture, fashion, clubbing, etc. Those who love the art of music are less likely to follow it.

Destro Sanchez

TRIBE Member
You don't get many 20-year-olds seeking out 90s house or 2000s D+B.

I have seen a bunch of kids in the last few years in their early or mid 20s who are eating up the 90s house.

One, who I am good friends with, comes over and I pull out records from the wall to share with him. Then the next time i see him playing he has an mp3 of that Terrence Parker joint. They're searching dollar bins for Strictly Rhythms, Nu Groove and Nervous records.

Maybe not the 20 year olds you know, but they are out there.

They start with Disclosure and start down the rabbit hole to the good shit.


TRIBE Member
There will probably be anomalies.

I dont see a resurgence of Happy Hardcore - some of the early offshoots hit dead ends haha
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TRIBE Member
well i just happen to have a handful within arm's reach right now

<goes to look up who Mark Knight is>

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
think i heard knight before tenaglia took over at Guvernment. (correct me if i'm wrong). .. . nothing to tell the kids about, but not bad (just not a prime time selector i would reach for on a booking)

[OT] it boggles my mind Re: the money that flows in the entertainment business for (Hang teh) DJ's


TRIBE Member
Girlfriend and I were recently listening to (and loving) the Chemical Brothers 2015 glastonbury set blasting in our house while making lunch a few weeks back and I remarked to her that "this has kind of become our classic rock"

In the sense that hearing Setting Sun is probably how older siblings in the 90's regarded hearing Zeppelin or Floyd.