I brought on Dr. Disco to the Daily Beat staff not only because I admired his musical taste, but I wanted to learn more about one of the fastest growing sub-genres of dance music.....disco. Donna Summer swept North America off its feet with her 1978 smash hit 'Last Dance.' This Academy Award and Golden Globe winning track is still bumping through the speakers of many of your parents' living rooms today. But I ask myself, 'what makes our parents and generations past keep going back to songs like that?'
My face still turns red whenever I ride in the car with my father listening to the Saturday Night Fever Movie Soundtrack as he attempts to hit the falsetto of the Bee Gees. But no one can laugh at the fact that this album stayed on Billboard's album charts for 120 weeks until March of 1980. So why now? Why is disco suddenly making a surge back into the electronic dance music world?
One simple answer. Dance.
We all jump up and down to the latest progressive house masterpiece and hold up our fists to the latest hard-hitting electro track. But, in actuality, what makes us dance? It's the feel good music that lets you groove. Manila Killa had the privilege of spinning at Opera Ultra Lounge in Washington, DC this past Friday, opening for DJ mastermind Stylus Chris. Sure it was 10 PM - 12:30 AM set, but boy did people show up early. Most opening DJs play your typical conversational music....the tech house beats with a few build up tracks towards the headlining set. Manila Killa's disco set made me look at the genre through a completely different lens.
Duke Dumont's 'Need U (100%) featuring A*M*E (SKREAMIX)' was dropped last week bringing more people to the dance floor than I could imagine (yes, the Harlem Shake will still bring more people to the dance floor). The flawless 80s synth along with A*M*E's vocal brought that old-school groove out.
So I conclude with this: disco is a genre that will connect our generation with the generations of our past. Electronic Dance Music is bringing people today as one voice, but disco will re-define the way we use the term dance in 'EDM.'