Nov 192012

Did any of you read the article about the New Disco in yesterday’s New York Times? As a rock nerdist who will admit to loving dance music, I thought I would check the scene out.

Holy Crap! I thought that Psy’s “Gangnam Style” was a record of excess, but The Crystal Ark put that video to shame. And it’s so much cooler.

I admit that I continue to lament the end of LCD Soundsystem, so have had to make do by playing my “12” Eighties Electro Pop” compilations and old Deee-Lite cds. And I’m aware that RTH is not typically a place to hyperventilate about dance music. But check out the new video by The Crystal Ark. I think you’ll find at least a little something to love.

Note the signs and signifiers of music from our cultural past. How about the “Letting Your Freak Flag Fly” multicultural and pansexual ethos? If Van Halen is worthy of a Critical Upgrade, maybe you, too, can enjoy this bands’ Unfulfilled Fashion Ideas? There are even uniforms! Yeah, yeah, yeah, the old “cello or guitar = stand in for a woman” has now been updated. Even tonyola had probably never seen keyboards like this!

If you dare, check out this earlier video. It features zombies, visual commentary on the NY lifestyle, and some very beautiful animal costumes. Equus, eat your heart out!


  7 Responses to “Boiling Melting Pot”

  1. OK — I’ll bite . . . and admit that I do dive into this stuff from time to time.

    There seems to be a real 80s vibe to the Crystal Ark — and many of the other bands and artists who are lumped into this “new disco” movement, which I’m not sure is an accurate label.

    I know many people who didn’t like OMD in the 80s, but I am not one of them. As I recall, the clubs were packed and we all had a good time.

    Here are some recent entries I’ve listened to more than once. This Chad Valley song is an homage to OMD.

    Right now — I kind of like Hannah Georgas, a gal from Canada who used to sing back up on Kathleen Edwards records and tours, but now has gone a more electronic/trance/dance route.

    My previous fling was with Sally Shapiro.

    Dance the Night Away!

  2. ladymisskirroyale

    Thanks, funoka! I look forward to watching and listening.

    I’ll be interested in seeing where this New Disco stuff goes, even if it is very derivative of 70’s and 80’s music. Hey, if we can enjoy retro rock, disco is open for a revisit. I like the like the sound of a lot of this stuff, with it’s combination of “regular” instruments and synthesizers. It somehow gives it more of a soul.

  3. I’ll miss LCD Soundsystem too.

    I’m not sure that 80’s dance music is really disco, though, although a lot of it may have derived from “I Feel Love”, which I would say was an outlier in the Disco era.

    Here’s my favorite 80’s era dance track:

  4. ladymisskirroyale

    Apparently, the man behind the machines (Gavin Russom) also helped out with LCDS.

    Thanks for the tip on C-Bank, a band I didn’t know. I didn’t get in to a lot of the more NY dance stuff until more recently; for me Heaven 17, Depeche Mode, and OMD were the bomb in the 80’s.

  5. 2000 Man

    Hmmm…..Vinyl resurgence…..Disco’s back…..I smell a good, old fashined disco record bonfire in some DJ’s future!

  6. ladymisskirroyale

    Thanks for sharing these. I just gave them a listen.

    The Chad Valley definitely has the OMD electronica vibe. I have to admit, though, that one of the things I’ve liked about OMD is Andy McCluskey’s nasally voice, which was (obviously) missing on the Chad Valley track.

    Sally Shapiro and her/their eurodance thing remind me a lot of early Saint Etienne (who Mr. Royale and I went to see a couple of weeks ago – let’s just say that although the show was fun, seeing Sarah Cracknell swanning around with a feather boa made me realize their music is best left for the young folks).

    I liked the Hannah Georgas the best. Her voice reminds me of Beth Orton and her initial more synthy forays.

  7. trigmogigmo

    Björk wins this round.

    I dunno. On both songs, I kept waiting, waiting, waiting, for something resembling a 2nd chord or break more than riding faders up and down on the synth tracks. Ultimately, overly long and boring. Compare with any long repetitive danceable tempo track from Remain in Light, or any ear-candy Depeche Mode synth piece. Give me OMD and DM any day of the week over this!

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