I’m not one to sing the praises of the overhyped house-music scene, but I gotta say, something interesting is afoot on Prague’s dance floors. What had devolved into a scene dominated by jackhammer techno and bubblegum trance has started evolving again with a return to whimsical lyrics, bootlegged pop turns and nods to the edgier end of ‘70s rock.
The latest generation of electronic-music makers is drawing from a much wider array of influences than pre-bundled sample libraries. From the newly legitimized (and lucrative) bastard-pop and mash-up scenes to the top 40 choruses cut and pasted over wicked dance grooves embraced on the fashion runways, the house scene is, at long last, loosening up and lightening up.
Hey – it’s dance music, not politics! Let’s have some fun out here. I almost gave birth when the Roxy’s Joel Einhorn mixed in a progressive-house remix of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” at the recent Zen Birthday event. I often hear Nirvana and Zeppelin riffs sampled into driving electro sets by Praha wonderboy DJ Orbith. Bowie and Talking Heads along side Bob Sinclair and Daft Punk? Brilliant!
Ondrej Novak, aka DJ Tvyks, has become a fixture amid the imported mixing talent coming to town for the recent spate of French Connection parties.Tvyks has fondly embraced this new sound, offering a unique blend of electro-funk, breakbeats and deep house flavored by ‘70s disco – a nicely dirty, less-polished alternative to the patty-cake Latin style that dominates Prague dance floors. He regularly appears in London and southern France, but you can also hear him regularly alongside wingman Dys Martin at Mecca and Roxy. His compositions have compiled on a variety of European labels, including France’s F Communication, Manchester-based Paper Recordings and Glasgow’s renowned Soma Records.
All of this genre-melding means just one thing: house music has responded to your need to get your head involved as well as your butt. Please report immediately to the dance floor.
Tim’s Top 5 new Dance Compilations
1) Paris Lounge Vol 4. (Wagram)
2) Cafe Mambo Evissa (React)
3) James Lavelle in Romania (Global Underground)
4) ZEN 2004 mixed by Joel Einhorn (Bootleg)
5) Bloom (Netwerk)
Tim Otis hosts High Fidelity every Friday from 8-11 p.m. on Radio 1, 91.9 FM.