Factory Floor

Factory Floor was so GOTH! So great. I felt like I was in Manchester in the 80’s. The best part was the way the drummer interacted with the synth loops. (three members – synths, drums, bass) I didn’t realize that’s how they normally record and play their tracks – with a real-life rock drummer (HOT btw). First all the analog synth lines are kicked off, all really industrial sounds and different rhythms layered one after the other. Then the drummer starts off super minimalist, just one kick or a cowbell or hi-hat every eighth count, building suspense, then he adds more beats little by little, very mathematically, until he’s in full industrial disco rockout mode. The bassist comes in last and pushes everything over the edge into a sonic blast. That’s their formula for each track, just like an assembly line as their name suggests. Everything is super precise and really loud. Just amazing.

Factory Floor

There were a few young pups in there who were clearly on something, what I don’t know – really hyper-spaz dancing as if in a mosh pit, but just with each other, grabbing each other a lot, jumping up and down, wildly shaking heads and just generally freaking out. It was fun to watch. I can gather how, while on crank or whatever they were up to, the music would make them freak out that way. But any old sober waver in big boots at Lovecraft would put them to shame, interpreting a Factory Floor song into a solid groove.

House Dancer

Underground culture is often times hard to document. Toes are stepped on, memories differ, and people are offended or forgotten. There is also the problem that dances, even the established and recognized forms like ballet, are notoriously hard to accurately archive.  The sooner people start writing, filming, and talking about their experiences and spreading the knowledge, the more likely we will be able safeguard our dance heritage for the generations to come.  This is especially true of a relatively new dance form like house dancing.

Byron Cox dancer

Byron Cox of housedancer.com

I was recently delighted to find a fantastic source for house dancing called housedancer.com. It seems like they are located in New York, but they have videos from dance workshops and festivals all over the world.  Fortunately for us, they are chipping away at providing information about the history of house dance, sub-categories of the genre, and prominent innovators of the dance form.  I’m still confused about exactly what lofting, jacking, and stomping are but at least people are starting the process of defining these styles.  This post lists significant contributors to house dance, and an interesting comment by someone who as an originator of lofting, is offended that he is left out! I hope this type of dialogue doesn’t deter the writers because now I want to find out more about the offendee and his history!

Chicago The Warehouse

The Warehouse in Chicago – the birth place of house music

I don’t think there will ever be definitive answers regarding the history of house dancing, after all there are differing opinions on where the term house music comes from in the first place.  The Warehouse night club in Chicago?  Music that you would play at your house?  I kind of think it’s more likely the first one, but it just goes to show that sometimes there is more than one meaning and maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle. Another thing about club and street styles of dancing that makes them hard to codify is that by nature they are free style and have to do with personal spontaneous expression. I’ve never seen two waackers waack the same way, that’s for sure!

To find out more about the dancers and choreographers contributing to housedancer.com, check out their House Dance Project page. You can also see videos of dancing and interviews and find out more about their mission as ambassadors of house dance. I truly believe that much of the innovation and breakthroughs in dance come from the streets and the discotheques. Thanks guys for all your hard work and gorgeous dancing and sharing it all with the world!

Bubblin’ homewerk: Jerome LOL and Astronomar 11/23

For our undying Readers Dearest who have asked, the answer is, “yes.” Of course we’re going to the next Bubblin’ gig featuring Jerome LOL and Astronomar, plus homies/dj’s/producers Lincolnup and Ben Tactic. My foot has mostly healed from the bloodthirsty stilettos of Todd Edwards. There will be dancing and merriment.

Bubblin' flyer

Bubblin’ with Jerome LOL and Astromomar

I’m excited for this gig because I’m ready for sh*t to get weird. We’ve had mad European techno, disco/nu-disco, New York house and ballroom, a tinge of old-school acid house (bless you for this, Ben) and funky garage entertaining us this fall here, but we haven’t been totally freaked out in a while.

Astronomar (of Seattle) and Jerome LOL (of Los Angeles) are both freaking me out a bit already as I do my music homework, for I get really masculine (straight masculine) vibes from both of them. The former with violently hard bass-lines, and the latter with sexy slow-jams replete with bedroomy R&B vocal samples. I’m used to my dance music making me feel way queer-er than straighter. ‘Twill be so weird! Will we feel uncomfortable at venerably friendly Groove Suite? That would be a first. We’ll swallow (eww! gross!) the straight style to obtain the boundary-pushing that is Bubblin’s hallmark. I guess Astronomar is also kind of Moombahton-fresh (house / reggaeton fusion)…definitely looking forward that special brand of jam-kicking.

See you there. If we’re retreating like Baby in a corner out of fright, please be our Swayze and get us to dance. But not too dirty, please. Gross.

straight people dancing

this could be us