Saturday, 14 February 2009

Dose 5...Dancin' the Night Away

Note: Sorry for the lack of updates, but a recent bout of illness has kept me bedridden for the past couple of days. Luckily in that time all I was able to do was listen to music and watch scrubs in 72 minute blocks (thanks megavideo).

Though it is quite a difficult task to date the origins of "dancing", archaeologists suspect these rhythmic body movements have been an integral part of story-telling, showing affection for the opposite gender, and expressing the sentiments of pieces of music since the beginning of human civilization. From then on, dance and music have been inseparable.

How then are the contemporary genres of "dance" and "electronica and dance" divergent from any other music? In this humble bear's opinion, it is in the fact that these two styles imply something about the emotion they transmit. Often led by a shrill falsetto, robotic vocoder, or sampled verse, these songs are saturated with a certain elation that you can't find everywhere. With their 4/4 beats and 200+ BPM these songs get even the lamest geizers movin' and a-shakin'. So here's a thought, this week spend your 15 bucks on the type ecstasy that will keep you sweaty and dancing until the wee hours of the morning, without scaring mom.

1)Smile Upon Me by Passion Pit

My first brush with Passion Pit, the electro-ego of Michael Angelakos (perhaps Greek for "angelic voice"), was on the way to a Mike Gordon show at Highline this past summer. Pumped for the sweet jams I was about to hear, I was charged with the euphoric intoxication only the freedom of summer and 1/4 of Phish could arouse. While my friend, a recent graduate, and I waited at a nearby apartment for the doors to open, he regaled me with his stories of post-college life. Most notably, he told me about the job he had landed as a talent scout at a local venue, Piano's. When I asked him what bands he had been checking out lately, he had but one name: Passion Pit! When I told him I had yet to hear of them, he quickly lunged for the nearest computer and proceeded to Youtube "Sleepyhead", the only song off the Chunk of Change EP anyone knew about. From that moment on I knew they would be big.

Now, nearly 6 months later, I'm hard pressed to find a person who hasn't heard of this Cambridge electro-dance band. Every blog, reviewer, and music columnist has added their two cents to Passion Pit's growing "Chunk of Change" (where do I come up with this?). So, in lieu of the background information, concept of the album, or song breakdown, I will just leave you with the love-inspired sounds of Passion Pit...

Chunk of Change EP (2008)

2)Shooting Stars by Bag Raiders featuring Rhys

Together, Aussies Chris Stracey and Jack Glass are the duo known as Bag Raiders. Primarily known for their impossibly addictive EPs and remixes, the two have never put out a full length album. I remember this being the subject of a heated debate this past fall. Arguably, none of the songs on their three EP is worth skipping over, but why not complete an LP and showcase their talent outright? It wasn't until short while ago that I realized: these two are products of the modern generation. In our world of iPhones, mp3's, and ADD who really has the time or attention span to listen to a full album? Hell, the concept behind the Bear is to bring digestible quantities of great music to this very audience. Instead, the Bag Raiders and we (shameless self-promotion) understand this trend and seek not to curb your behavior as some of our peers would, but rather to indulge you in your instant gratification. Two great songs, two remixes, what more do you need? Be sure to also check out "Turbo Love", the title song of the album.

Shooting Stars

Turbo Love

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