Friday, May 22, 2020

Albums That Defined My Musical Tastes – Dance Mix UK

I left Canada in 1995 as a 23 year old prairie boy ready to take on the world. After a whirlwind backpacking trip through Europe I landed in London, England and shacked up with my buddies Stillman and Colin from university. It was a time of great change in my life. Goodbye rye & coke, hello pints of warm beer. Goodbye jeans and t-shirt, hello business suit. Good riddance frigid winters, hello rain and lukewarm gloom year round. Goodbye peanut butter, hello Marmite. But mostly, I had to part ways with rock and metal and start experiencing new music. I realized quite quickly that living in a big city meant you went clubbing, and when you went clubbing, there was dance music. Of course I just called it “dance music” as a negative term because I had previously through dance music was for losers. But when you find yourself in the Ministry of Sound nightclub wearing classy club clothes, with the bass driving your heartbeat, mood-altering substances coursing through your body, surrounded by beautiful people, and dancing like nobody is watching, your opinion of electronic music evolves rapidly indeed.

I started to listening to electronic music regularly and discovered a world of exciting sounds and beats I never knew existed. Trance, techno, dubstep, house, drum and bass, downtempo, chill –it was all new and very exciting to me. But I happened to be in the UK right during the resurgence of Brit Pop, when British bands were sounding more British again, and carving out new sounds, rivalries, and fans across the Atlantic and further. Oasis was everywhere, with Wonderwall blasting out of nearly every bar you passed by. I also listened to Blur, Pulp, Ocean Colour Scene, Placebo, Chemical Brothers, Stone Roses, The Prodigy, Travis, The Verve, and Supergrass.

This led to a much better appreciation for "danceable" music and I found bands such as Chromeo, Daft Punk, and David Guetta whose music is perfect for those situations when you just gotta get on the dance floor.

It was an exciting time in my life and I’d probably never experienced as much new music as I did during those 18 months in London. And much of it stuck with me.

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