Monday, 21 June 2004

I cannot dance to this din

Canary Islands
Having chosen the height of the low-season to visit the Canary Islands for a 2-week holiday, one can be forgiven for having much to comment about in terms of entertainment and activity.
There is not doubt that this time is the most affordable to visit the Islands, it is also the time that many of the businesses chose to take a holiday because business is a trickle rather than a flood.
Basically, the high season is the winter months from about the second-half of September to just after Easter. The signs you see around Gran Canaria in particular are first in Spanish, then in German and sometimes in English.
In German, not because of what I first thought was a Nazi invasion of the 40´s but because the whole of geriatric Germany makes an Exodus to the warmer climes of the Tropics without necessarily being in Africa.
The Canary Islands of which there are 7 mainly is a part of Spain, comprising of 2 states.
The smart thing about the geriatric years is exemplified in a comment made by a septuagenarian from England who said; during the winter months you are either at home trying to keep warm or out here doing every good activity and being utterly youthful with bonhomie. I agree most entirely.
Keep the mix, give me the music
Back to the main topic, I visited a number of clubs or bars which might be pseudo-clubs in the centre of Playa del Ingles which is in the southern tip of Gran Canaria looking for some entertainment or rather music to dance to.
I come from an era when music was a performance created by people doing things with musical instruments rather then chips and electrons cruising through wires and cables to the loudspeaker.
I have found it very difficult to dance to the music I hear in these clubs, because of the following reasons
  1. None of the music sounds like what you get from the original singles
  2. Neither is the music like what you see on the videos on MTV or the Box, where the performers do their best in formation dancing to sell the music
  3. The music or din as it were averages 120 beats per minute, you almost definitely have to be on some drug to find the rhythm with which to synchronise or synchopate
In fact the reason why the whole experience is so alien is because of the advent of something called mixing, the fusion of the original music or sound track with a series of monotonous percussion sounds to create dance music.
Unfortunate as this might seem, I can understand that anyone without African blood probably does not know how to take the rhythm of any sound or original beat to relate effectively with their body movements to create an image of poise and prowess in dancing.
Anything, that deviates from the the formality of ballet through ballroom dancing to the Latin American styles is almost alien to the youth of today, the freestyle they adopt might as well be amateur puppetry with 2 left feet.
However, I have found that the Mancunians for some reason do know how to pick up the rhythm in original music, there is no need to inform they through the 120 beat per minute deafening din excited by pills of ecstasy.
To my memory, only one piece of atrociously bad music has ever been improved upon by this sordid mixing ordeal, that is Cher’s Believe, every other mix I have heard has murdered, depreciated, maligned and jettisoned the quality expressed the artiste in the original output.
The music industry disconnect
The music industry is now caught in a schizophrenic grip of trying to maintain music sales and satisfying this dance music craze.
Whilst, dance music is the rave amongst most disc jockeys, it is really a skill that has moved from an art to a science, and poor science for that matter. A DJ needs a good ear and timing to splice one track into another.
With original sound tracks, that is a literally impossible for people who have no inkling of how music works, however, this is easy if the underlying 120 bpm thing is the medium, persistence of hearing caused by the pneumatic effect of speakers that could bring down the building from the vibration makes it easier to switch tracks without too much of a honed skill.
Though, it can be argued that you have to skilled in a non-skill to be an expert in that non-skill - my view entirely.
Now, do does the music industry expect to survive, if what I buy from the shops and listen to on the TV is corrupted beyond recognition when I go out to the clubs?
The beats I listen to at home which in my mind create the feeling that makes me want to dance, are all muffled out by this viral percussion which is supposed to be my cue to dance - I am at a loss at the logic.
Oh! For a club that just plays the music as it is and DJs who know how to splice the music and keep people on the dance floor. It is a dying or dead art.
Addendum: What is referred to as dance music in this blog is better known as EuroTrash, I can add no better definition to this situation. Euro meaning it is European and trash speaks for itself.

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