One of the reasons I believe the Disco backlash occurred back in the late 7os was mainstream artists trying to cash in on the popularity of the genre. Trying duplicate it’s sound without immersing themselves into the culture and actually feeling the music. The majority of artists patterned their attempts after mainstream tracks instead of actually doing their research at the clubs. Their only inspiration were the dollars they were so desperately wanting. In most instances it was gut wrenching to hear their interpretation of Disco, trying to disguise it as much as possible as to not appear to be “selling out” Disco pissed off alot of people who were displaced by it. Rock artists, Radio Jocks and many others. Many of today’s DJs with little or No exposure to ” Real ” Disco music will often play Remixed tracks to audiences who lived the era and experience a negative response because the remix is a complete ” Rework” of the original a big No No when programming to fans of this genre.
Today an artist’s music can be ” remixed” into any format and marketed to a specific audience . Back then, the goal was mainstream radio , the only outlet that could potentially translate into physical record sales. Today the artist can ” hide’ behind the remixer and not appear to be selling out to their core fan base. So a group like ,let’s say, Metallica can have one of their hits remixed by a popular producer/Dj who would assume ” musical” responsibility for that particular version without appearing that the artist has jumped on the bandwagon ( While still cashing in ).
Is today’s crowd willing to accept ” Remixed” versions of their Pop favorites with only a hint of the original glaring through the synths and heavy bassline and effects? In my experience and by speaking to other jocks the answer is ” Yes” The new consumer with their short attention span ,only wants to hear the hook the repetitive phrase that reminds them that they are listening to a particular song they’ve heard before , how it’s presented is up to the DJ who is serving the track at a particular venue. Lyrics that were meant to illicit emotions, to be enjoyed in ” long form’ are reduced to a phrase from the original composition , A call to the dancefloor.The track ,to be played only for a few minutes only ,before mixing into the next.
Fortunately some remixes ( and of course this is a matter of personal opinion) of Classic Dance tracks have been reworked in such a fashion that can still be enjoyed by both new and older fans alike. Conserving the integrity of the original track in the case of Classic Dance tracks is of great importance . Veterans such as myself who are still actively playing music to these Demographics ( 45 and over) have to be extremely selective about the remixes we choose to present to our audiences. Our DJ instincts make us hunger for new material , but we must accept that the average person desires familiar sounding material and straying to far from the source will turn off this group.
Below are a few of my personal and dancefloor friendly remixes of Classic Disco tracks. A few tips for playing Remixes to the older crowd. Must be loyal to the original song, not too many effects or filters, signature parts of the song must be left in, don’t cut it short they want to sing along.
Starting with a recent Donna Summer track expertly and respectfully reworked by Frankie Knucles & Eric Kupper ” Hot Stuff” one of my favorites and another one of my favorites The Dax Rider Supernature, Cerrones’ Classic as well as the ” Give Me Love” by Bob Sinclair There are hundreds …You just have to do your homework.