WRDM6

Keep on reading this Tuesday’s blog HERE because this week on this blog I am telling YOU all about (dance) music genres. Not everyone can tell the difference between West Coast G-Funk Rap and German Minimalist Industrial so I’m here to break it down for you. I’m going to be explaining each and EVERY genre of (dance) music. You will learn the history behind each genre, I’ll identify the big players who have either helped shape or push forward each genre and then I’m going to rate once and for all how good each genre is with a score out of ten.

In THIS week’s blog.

However, before I begin on the reviews I have to read out and write a SHOUT out to a young man called Asega Olima. This brave little fella wrote me a lovely email after last week's blog and I'm sure he won't mind me repeating what he said to the tens of you that are still reading today. He said, and I quote, "I love your work. I really fucking do." THIS is what I'm talking about when I say that the dance music community has one love flowing through it and THIS is what I mean when I talk about one love flowing through the dance music world. One love.

If we keep this one love flowing then I see no reason why dance music cannot overtake rock and roll as the most popular genre of music in the world. Who's with me?

As for me, keep tuning in, keep reading until the end and then tell other people about this blog so that more people get interested in what I have to say. Then, when I have a large enough profile I can work on building a portfolio that will go towards a global brand awareness in markets outside of the UK and inside Pan-Asian territories/America (USA). THEN, I can quit my office admin job and start making enough money to bring up my little boy properly.



DISCO

If it wasn’t for New York’s Studio 45 there would be no Club Fabric in London. That, we can all agree on. In 1973 Studio 45 opened on Upper Broadway and Lexington Road, and was New York’s first ever nightclub. Studio 45 was where Grace Jones and Mick Jagger famously got off with each other in front of a shocked Andy Warhol. It is also where David Bowie drove a HORSE, bare back, through the front door after losing a drunken bet with a young Sylvester Stallone. Beat that George Michael!

Disco is played fast and loose. There will always be a 4/4 kick drum pattern, lots of funky bass and a few uplifting strings chucked into the mix. Every disco track has vocals, usually sung by women, telling the listener/dancer to “get down” or “keep on dancing” (like we need telling, eh clubbers?!). The first ever disco DJ was a young New York University structural engineering graduate called Larry Levan. He was both the resident AND guest DJ every Friday and Saturday down at 'The Studio', as John Lennon used to call it, and he only had one deck. These were the days before cross-faders and Ableton Live 8 so Larry had to learn how to swap records in the time it takes to go from one beat to the next. That is why he is now known as Lightening Larry Levan because he got so good at swapping disco records on one deck. This is one disco king that never graduated to a pair of Technics. Never needed to.

After all these years Studio 45 is still going strong, albeit without the madcap celebrity shenanigans of yesteryear. As a club night it has influenced the likes of Horse Meat Disco and Disco Bloodbath in London in both musical choice and presentation. Larry Levan even makes the occasional surprise appearance at Disco Bloodbath via video link up from Studio 45! 8/10



MINIMAL TECHNO
Remember that bit in Star Wars when Obi Wan Shinobi tells Luke that he's his dad? Listening to minimal is just like that; fucking unbelievable. When I heard Ricky V drop 'Dexter' at Fabric in July it literally made the hairs on the back of my goose pimples stand on end because that track is the ultimate minimal track.

Minimal is not just played at Club Fabric though. Back in the day, me and my mates used to go to a place called Foreign Muck in Kings Cross. It was there where I heard a young foreign DJ called Boris Horel play a track that consisted of nothing but a kick drum and a low bass note every three beats for 15 minutes. I loved every second. Sadly, Foreign Muck was torn down after another Boris (Johnston) became Mayor of London and decided that there were too many nightclubs in Kings Cross.

Here's to many, many more years of minimal techno! 9.5/10



SHOULDER PAD TECHNO
Fuck knows. The Guardian Guide made this up in 2004 and have never explained it. If there is anyone still working on The Guide now that was around in 2004, get in touch and fill me in. 5/10


HANDBAG HOUSE
Handbag House is a genre that is as popular today as it was in 1994. Tony De Vit is the originator of this genre and introduced it to the world during his infamous 1993 Chuff Chuff headlining set at Nottingham's Thrumpton Hall. Handbag is a sub-genre of hard house and is identifiable by its high tempo BPMs, bouncy bass lines and, dare I say it, camp vocals.

A lot of people say that Handbag House is cheesy. I say that if you think dancing on a VIP boat to Dina Carroll at a Miss Moneypenny's party whilst dressed head-to-toe in white next to Sara Cox and Stan Collymore is cheesy then you're a fucking twat. 7/10



GANGSTER RAP
"If I got to choose a coast, I've got to choose the East. I live out there, so don't...go there." Those were the last words spluttered by The Notorious B.I.G. as he lay paralysed from the arse down after being shot in the chest by one of 2Pac's henchmen in Las Vegas. He later died in hospital from gun shot wounds.

2Pac died exactly one week later when he was stabbed up by members of Junior Mafia whilst rollin' through Brooklyn looking for Puffy.

Prior to these shootings, Gangster Rap was a fun, cartoonish place to be. Eazy E was never really going to gang bang your sister, Ice Cube was never really going to pull an AK off the shelf and Run DMC didn't really want you to kill cops. It was all a bit of a laugh and carry on designed to get up the nose of 'The Man'. With the benefit of hindsight, I would say that 2Pac and Biggie took things a bit too far. It's ok to say that you're going to make a brother eat pistol on wax but to do that in reality ruins it for the rest of us. The likes of Plan B and Tinchie Stryder should learn the lessons of history and NOT back up their violent words with action.

Musically, Gangster Rap is all about the samples. Dr. Dre openly admits that he would not have the first clue about creating a beat himself. He just raids his massive record collection, looks for a funky soul break, puts it on his sampler and then uses a computer to make it phat. Simple as.

Once you have the phat beat sample in place you need someone with a knack for rapping. Snoop Dogg, in my humble opinion, was the greatest rapper because of how smooth he sounded. Whilst everyone around him was screaming and spitting into the mic (mentioning no names, Busta), the Boss Dogg simply spilled out his rhymes like jam from a honey jar. He was incredibly elegant on the mic. 9/10


TRANCE
Trance is music that is supposed to make you feel uplifted. You speak to any trance fan and they will talk about how melodic and positive the whole experience is. They will tell you all about how much of a Mecca Gatecrasher is for life affirmation and positive human synchronisation. To be honest though, I could be in a club listening to The fucking Smiths and still feel uplifted if I'd taken 8 or 9 pills. Don't listen to people like Tiesto who will talk about Trance being a force for world harmony because, again, let's be honest, its all about the quality of the drugs you're taking. I've got a mate who goes clubbing and once he's sucked his first mint you don't see him all night - he fucks off to the darkest corner of the club to be alone. He's exactly the same at minimal nights, techno nights, electro nights and trance nights.

Eat that, ATB. 3/10



HOUSE
House is the genre to beat all genres. House is where dance music lives and breathes. House is the template for all other (dance) music genres to build upon. House is four to the floor. House is a religion for those without God but still in touch with their spiritual side. House is love. House is the house that Jack built for all of us to jack in. House is from Heaven and is made by angels. House is played at night. House is played on Sunday afternoons. House is for the head. House will take over your soul if you let it. House fucked Mary. Let house into your life and you will NEVER be alone. However new house is it has always been there. House was made on the eighth day. House is all around you. House does not need a bedroom to be a house. House has a heart that beats. House is for you. House is for them. House is for me. House is the house of God.

It's lyrics like that that make house music embarrassing to young folk looking for a genre of (dance) music to get into. Producers need to stop putting that kind of shit on their records because we already KNOW that house music is brilliant, we don't need some deep voiced American dude getting all earnest on us over a skip rhythm track.

House music was invented twenty five years ago in Chicago by DJ Frankie Knuckles. 10/10



DUB STEP
Fucking shit fad for Hackney nerds and wankers who listen to Radio 1. A clap or a snare on the three? Not for me, mate; keep it two and four. 1/10

There you go, that's dance music sewn up. House wins with a perfect Tonka ten out of ten. Thanks for reading, hope you learned a few things or two.

Before I go to breakfast, I'm deadly serious about wanting PAID work. I've had no contact with ANYONE from RA, Minimal Messages (mmnmmsgs) or Mixmag yet. So, DJ Magazine, the door is still open. Get in touch with me at tonkawrdm@gmail.com to discuss PAID work.

I am a top class writer when it comes to dance music and would/will be a very interesting voice amongst all of the shit that usually gets written about these types of things.

Next Tuesday I'm reviewing ME. You'll get the full lowdown on some of the best nights out clubbing I've ever had in London and across Spain.

Forever yours,
Tonka