This is it. Lockdown is finally over. After countless months confined at home, and limited to the same selection of faces week in, week out, the fact that pubs are now open and I can see strangers’ faces and listen to unfamiliar voices comes as the most welcomed gift of 2021 so far. Plus, summer has offically started and with it comes an overall good vibe and party mood. But one question still remains, one that has been keeping (some) of us up at night – when will we be able to dance again? I don’t mean in your house, or on your gym classes – I mean the communal and sweaty dancing that takes place in overcrowded nightclubs, just like in the good old pre covid times. Maybe we weren’t doing it enough, or maybe we took it for granted when we were free to do it, but boy I sure do miss breaking it down in the dancefloors [Author’s note: I never really “broke it down” on the dancefloors, but you get the point].
Of course, this urge to go to a nightclub needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. The fact that you CAN’T go to nightclubs just makes you WANT it even more – you know, the classic “forbidden fruit” situation. One tends to just remember the great and fun times, the crazy stories and how epic it would be to relieve all those moments once again – memory is a selective thing. Looking back, you rarely recall the times you left nightclubs because the music… well, the music sucked [Author’s note: I acknowledge that we are called “snobs” for a reason]. Truth be told, most of the electronic music I hear nowadays in nightclubs is pretty terrible.
Mind you, I am not saying that the current electronic music is terrible – far from it. Electronic music is better than ever. Arguably the genre that most evolves, with genre trends coming and going faster than teenagers with juicy gossip, electronic music is increasingly becoming a core pillar of the entire music ecosystem. From long-time established superstars like Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, New Order or Depeche Mode, to the more recent likes of LCD Soundsystem, Massive Attack, MGMT or Arcade Fire, more and more artists other than the traditional “disc jockey” are incorporating electronic components in their standard recording and production processes, breaking down some stereotypes and, quite frankly, unfair prejudice regarding the so-called “ravers” and electronic music lovers along the way. Hell, nowadays you wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the world’s biggest DJ’s announced as Glastonbury headliners the same week they were playing in Las Vegas [Author’s note: we can all thank Daft Punk’s legendary 2006 Coachella performance for that].
So, no, electronic music is not terrible – what I am saying is that the one that plays in most nightclubs is terrible. Of course, you can say that “you are not going to the right places” or “every city has a couple of places for specific musical tastes”, affirmations that are obviously true – I am referring to what you could call0⁰ “mainstream” nightclubs. You know, the more “fashionable” places where everyone hangs out, and where no one really goes for the music that’s playing. And how does a music snob like myself end up in such a place, you might ask? Well, not everyone has the same musical taste, and this includes your group of friends – we are not those snobs. So yes, sometimes you end up in such a place to hang out with all of the gang [Author’s note: for the record, I don’t really call my friends “the gang”] and to my point, unfortunately the music there is pretty terrible.
It wasn’t always like this, right? I mean, I remember going out to the same nightclubs, and it was a completely different experience. Regardless of your musical taste (i.e., snob or not), back then the music had groove and you WANTED to dance – everyone wanted to dance. And I am not saying this because we were younger and more energetic – we are still all young and energetic (at least in spirit), and we do still feel the need to break it down on the dancefloors every once in a while [Author’s note: again, the whole “breaking it down” thing, not true]. But nowadays, with the musical selection in such places seemingly being equal parts what’s on the Spotify’s Weekly Top and what’s on the DJ’s personal Discover Weekly, you certainly alienate many more people, or at least the ones that are actually listening to what’s being played [Author’s note: not that the owners of such establishments really care]. But what was done differently back then? Looking back, the trick was quite simple – the trick was house music.
With that in mind, and following what might seem an old man’s rant about “the music of nowadays”, allow me to take a trip down memory lane with AS x House Classics – a selection of the best and most danceable music, from Chicago House to UK garage, passing through Detroit techno, electroswing and disco house [Author’s note: yes, I know this is not purely “house” music, but “AS x House Classics” sounds better than “AS x John’s Teenager Night Out Party Mix”]. From Donna Summers to Daft Punk, Martin Solveig to Laurent Garnier, passing through The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy and Calvin Harris, from timeless classics such as One More Time, Knights of the Jaguar, Make Luv or even Sandstorm to the must haves like Horny, Rise Up or The World is Mine, I think there is a bit for everyone here. So take this playlist, spread it as much as you can and, please oh please, dance yourself away! With some luck, some DJ in one of these mainstream places will pick this up…