It’s not very often when the remix outshines the original. On one hand, I am very pro remixes of things that weren’t meant to be remixed, like jazz classics. On the other, there’s nothing more annoying like gratuitous remixes of pop songs being tacked on … Continue reading Slide In
Goldfrapp really set the standard for modern-day disco music. They’ve made albums that aren’t nightclub material, but it’s all about the dance records. It’s a deliberate bit of time-travel, an attempt to create a happy, woozy atmosphere and a feeling of optimism. That was eight … Continue reading Shiny and Warm
I’ll never not love songs that provide pure escapism. I want dancing and glamour and feather boas. Goldfrapp provides that in amplitude. Not all of her records are direct rockets back to the days of disco and glam rock, but the best ones are. The … Continue reading Satin Chic
The best disco songs are fueled by not-very-double entendres. Goldfrapp has dabbled with success in various styles of music, but they’re at their best when they’re time traveling us back to the era of spandex on the dancefloor. That kind of unabashed sleazy fun may … Continue reading Rocket
Remember Bianca Jagger’s 1977 birthday party that found her riding into Studio 54 astride a white horse led by naked male dancers? You were there, yes? That was probably the single most iconic moment of the disco era. It was also, of course, the jet-setting … Continue reading Ride a White Horse
Not all of Alison Goldfrapp’s music is dance music, but oh, she’s ever so good at it when it is. Goldfrapp has a love for glam rock and disco in all of their feathered, sequin-bomb extravagance. The video here is just about a perfect facsimile … Continue reading Ooh La La
Upscale dance music. Something to put you in the mood when you’re up all night doing unspeakable things. Goldfrapp’s music is sexy; you can dance to it or sit back. I also like her sexy/surreal aesthetic. Glittery but yet artsy, with a queer interest in … Continue reading Number 1
More Goldrapp! I think this is pretty classic in the modern electronic music genre. Almost ten years old and still on the playlist. Yeah, that’s classic.
This is like an old school torch song. It’s a glamorous song and a glamorous performance by Alison Goldfrapp. And a great example of modern technology being used to evoke something older. Goldfrapp used strings and harpsichord as well as synthesizers and vocal distortion to achieve the effect. To define Goldfrapp as an electronic music group is overly simplistic and doesn’t do justice to their eclecticism, but on the other hand, it’s a testament to the wide potential of what ‘electronic music’ can be.
I guess maybe it’s surprising to some people that with my obsessions with glam rock, new wave, and the sixties (and generally impeccable taste, and generally snobbish attitude) I have a big thing for electronica and dance music. Those things are so mindless, you say. I agree that it’s true – a lot of dance music is mindless. But nevertheless, I like to dance, and I don’t see electronically generated music as less valid than more traditional genres, as long as it’s done well. The way I see it, all music is by necessity produced by instruments, be it synthesizers or banging two rocks together. And how do you think music is reproduced? The act of recording a performance is artificial in and of itself, and take into account that nowadays it’s very rare to tape live in the studio and most records are in fact an audio collage of separately recorded parts digitally spliced together. The only true instrument is the human voice, and even that, again by sheer necessity is also recorded for posterity in unnatural electronically enhanced ways. With that in mind, it becomes harder to make a distinction between ‘authentic’ old fashioned live instrument based musical styles and newfangled computer generated ones. It’s a slippery slope, true, between human creativity and just cutting out the middleman and letting the algorithms take over, but we’re not quite there yet. Take this song by Goldfrapp. It’s fairly typical dance music. It’s unapologetically electronic, but still anchored in the realm of the human by Alison Goldrapp’s voice. What she’s saying isn’t supposed to matter, yet there’s feeling in her voice. Those are robot drums, but they compel you to dance just as surely as two rocks being banged together. Is is artistically valid? Is it not? Do you like it? Are you tapping your foot? If you are, do your ideas about artistic value even matter? Because what, in the most primitive sense, is the point of music if not to bypass your judgemental frontal lobes and cut straight to the pleasure center. The same pleasure center that tells infants to rock to their mother’s heartbeat makes you move when you hear a drum. It doesn’t matter if it’s a live or electronic drum, the response is the same. Whether you this kind of music or not, or if you make fine distinctions between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ electronic music is arbitrary. I’ll admit I hold on to some arbitrary judgments, and I do make distinctions of when dance music is bad or good enough for me because, being a judgmental modern person, I have to rationalize the responses I can’t control.