Reeling (like many of us) from a deluge of news over the past few weeks cataloging moves by Trump that drag us backwards on all sorts of things relating to basic human rights, corporate greed, the health of the planet, and general social inclusion, all against the backdrop of massive social unrest and the threat of war, I just wanted to put some thoughts down.
If you know anything at all about House music, you’ll know that its roots are based in both revolt and inclusion. From the early days at the Warehouse, House music provided a place where people were able to go and express themselves collectively in a way that the strict segregation of standard clubs did not allow. “Spiritually and aesthetically, it developed in the U.S. out of the need of oppressed people, African Americans, gays and Latinos, to build a community through dance”(reference).
From very early on, the rise of dance music in the UK was also part of a rejection of what many considered to be repressive social policies. Thatcherism, which involved privatization of previously nationalized industries and the weakening of trade unions, led many to dance not only to release their tension and frustration, but also to collectively reject the status quo. Dance music offered an alternative, more inclusive, outlook that rejected an emphasis on capitalism and the individual vs. the collective.
Fast forward to 2017. Here we are, facing what is arguably one of the most blatant attacks on all that House music stands for in our lifetime. Instead of inclusion and tolerance, we’re being forced down a road of division and hate.
So, I’m calling out my producer friends. After a quick scan of what’s “hot” right now in the charts of the usual spots, I’m noticing a dearth of music addressing the situation. There doesn’t seem to be much of a nod to, as Marvin says, “what’s going on”. Maybe I’m jumping the gun, maybe it’s in the pipeline.
I think a lot of people, especially House newbies, could benefit from some lessons on what House is REALLY about.