Is dance music really “a walk in the park”?

Over the next five Fridays, inthemix will be getting involved with a series of hot-topic debates. Each week we’ll chew over topics ranging from the state of weekly clubbing to where trance is at in 2012, with prizes for getting involved in the debate. All this is powered by Hyundai Veloster, and of course the need to stay entertained on Fridays. Here’s the first in the five-part series.

If you care to trawl through 11 years of inthemix editorial (don’t; get some sun instead), you won’t find much mention of the name Noel Gallagher. Despite the occasional hook-up with electronic titans like Goldie and The Chemical Brothers, the former Oasis co-anchor rarely raises a blip on our radar. In October 2011, however, Noel Gallagher made it to the ITM homepage with some eyebrow-raising comments about the current state of dance music.

“There’s too much shit now,” he mused in a video interview. “I had a house in Ibiza for 12 years, and you could just feel the change one year. From nobody knowing what they were doing with these machines, to somebody mastering it and the machine makers making it easier for people to use. Dance music sounds like a walk in the park now. Any fucker can do it – and quite frankly, every fucker is doing it. Back in the late ‘80s, songs like Pacific State, Voodoo Ray and Strings Of Life were just amazing pieces of music.”

Naturally, Noel Gallagher isn’t who we’d consider an authority on dance music, but our curiosity was sparked less by his comments than by the response to his comments on inthemix and beyond. For all the people giving Noel the back-hand, many others conceded that the man’s got a point. Maybe making dance music these days – and even achieving a level of commercial success with that music – is too easy, too formula-driven, too cut-and-paste. In other words: interesting argument, wrong mouthpiece.

Someone whose opinion does hold weight around these parts is house original Francois K, who foreshadowed Gallagher’s comments when we interviewed him in 2010. “When I look back at the ‘90s, it was a time when bedroom studios were not so prevalent,” he said. “In those days, they were spending quite a bit of money in recording studios. Today there’s 100,000 bedroom producers trying to make that magic track that becomes number one on Beatport. They’re basically all sampling the results of those expensive recording sessions that they can’t afford to do themselves for the most part. A lot of people are taking what was expensive to make so that they in turn can make it very cheaply.”

Next page