Swedish House Mafia is not house music, says DJ Dan
|House music veteran DJ Dan is coming to Bassgasm|
Bassgasm 7 lineup announced
Artists will forever rail against pigeonholing, but genre classifications provide immediacy, saleability, and ultimately a fanbase. They're a sonic roadmap for the EDM world, so when pop-dance artists like Swedish House Mafia and AVICII rise to a bewildering level of acclaim as "house music" performers, it understandably has angered veteran house DJs who claim they're not using this genre just as a buzzword.
There's been some miseducation surrounding the house music genre for several years now. Longtime house vets like Sneak, Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, Paul Johnson, and DJ Dan, who came up in house's early days under soul and disco, have taken a backseat to the glossy European superproducers of the world a la David Guetta. Even artists like Kaskade and Bob Sinclar shed their roots to some degree in order to pack arenas with kids salivating for synth stabs.
|Chicago house music O.G. Derrick Carter|
A lightning-fast lesson for the uninitiated, here's what house sounds like -- funky and tracky with big disco and soul influences:
And here's where the debate lies -- "house" featuring relentless synth stabs, tranced-out melodies, and glittering, super-produced vocals.
|Photo by Jen Boyles|
|Swedish House Mafia DJs Steve Angello & Sebastian Ingrosso|
A longtime friend and collaborator with Sneak, DJ Dan chatted with Gimme Noise about the issue before his headlining set at Bassgasm 7 at First Avenue next Friday, September 21.
Dan rose to dance music fame in the early rave days, pioneering a funky West Coast spin on the genre. Frustrated by the appropriation of the music, Dan feels the responsibility is with the DJs them selves as "leaders and trendsetters."
"If they're going up there and saying they're playing house music, they should represent that," Dan says from his home in California. "The Swedish House Mafia is not house.They're making cheesy pop trance and infusing it into big rooms and festivals and calling it house music. To play or make music solely based on reaction is, to me, really cheap."
|Clubber common ground?|
A regular rotation of massively popular and arguably overpaid DJs takes over club calendars nationwide, eclipsing up and comers as well as the original trailblazers.
While anyone would agree a love for music is a good thing, this house remains divided. Perhaps the answer is as simple as opening ears and minds to artists beyond what's most accessible, but how to spur such a shift is a long-unsolved puzzle. Perhaps Daft Punk will just emerge from their robot lair and save us all.
What do you think about the current debate around house music? We'd love to hear your opinion! Comment below and be automatically entered to win a pair of tickets to Bassgasm 7 and a chance to meet DJ Dan!
Full interview with Dan coming next week!
IF YOU GO:
City Pages on Facebook | Gimme Noise on Facebook | Twitter | e-mail us