Difference between revisions of "Gylian dance-rock"

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Revision as of 09:20, 15 February 2020

Gylian dance-rock refers to styles that fuse dance music and rock music made in Gylias or connected to Gylian culture. Gylias' dance-rock scene is significant among its vibrant music scenes, and is diverse, encompassing genres such as funk rock and funk metal, avant-funk, electronic rock, dance-rock and dance-punk, new wave, and rap rock.



Antecedents to dance-rock emerged in the 1960s, with the growth of rock and development of dance music. Nora Gunnarsen identifies several "groove-oriented" rock songs of the 1960s as precursors, including The Dandys' "Chris' Number" (1965) and The Monkees' "Mary Mary" (1966), and highlights the contribution of soul jazz from the other facet.

Suzanne Ciani's solo albums and soundtrack for Agent Jane, with their groundbreaking fusion of electronic music and rock, are also considered a precursor to dance-rock.

While the "psychedelic revolution" was central to the Gylian music scene in 1966–1969, the popularisation of funk and jazz fusion were significant stepping-stones to the development of dance-rock in the 1970s. Amanda Leloup's For Your Pleasure (1973) was pioneering in its fusion of art rock and danceable grooves, and later disco material demonstrated a strong rock influence, particularly with songs like "I Am a Photograph" (1977) and "The Stud" (1978).

The growth of new wave, post-punk, and dance-punk in the 1980s provided more opportunities for experimentation.

Art rock meets funk

Lizzy Mercier-Descloux is considered a founding figure of Gylias' avant-funk scene. In the late 1970s–early 1980s, she brought together a circle of musicians and artistic figures in Lænas, and during her career, her bands would include future members of Talking Heads, Interzone, Bow Wow Wow, Elastica, The Art of Noise, and New Order. Lizzy's albums Press Colour (1979), Mambo Nassau (1981), and Zulu Rock (1984) were seminal in fusing art rock sensibilities with funk rhythms, new wave, and Mubabop.

Talking Heads, having started off as a new wave/post-punk band, were transformed by collaboration with Jane Birkin into a leading avant-funk band. The dense polyrhythms and trancelike chants of Fear of Music (1979) and Remain in Light (1980) brought them critical acclaim and commercial success. Remain in Light was a key touchstone for the new kind of "alien funk" that was developing in Lænas, bringing it to the attention of Gylias as a whole and earning its first foreign exposure. Lead singer David Byrne's solo collaboration with Jane, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981), further explored the style through extensive use of sampled vocals and found sounds.

Interzone built on the Talking Heads' foundation by adding gamelan and minimal music influences. Their trilogy Discipline (1981), Beat (1982) and Three of a Perfect Pair (1984) is characterised by intricate interlocking rhythms and phasing riffs, sometimes humorously compared to math rock or dubbed "Reich and roll". Marisa Ibáñez Flores describes Interzone's 1980s work as "the most cerebrally complicated music to have won a mass audience", which took dance-rock to "new heights of relentlessly danceable polyrhythmic tension and drive".

Bow Wow Wow featured strong Mubabop influences and a versatile approach: their sound reunited Junko Mori's Mubatan drumming, Jennifer Andrews' new wave–surf rockspaghetti Western guitar style, Misato Katsuragi's intricate funk basslines, and Kyaw Nu Lwin's quirky vocals, backed with the band's Mubatan-influenced chanting.

In general, these groups can be said to have applied progressive rock sensibilities to rhythm rather than melody and harmony — Interzone famously displayed their virtuosity not through solos but through navigating their "knotty and demanding" polyrhythms.

Electronics and samplers

New Order approached the dance-rock fusion from the other end, basing their music on synthpop and post-disco with the addition of rock elements. They gained fame for their "anti-image" in the 1980s, manifested through surreal videos for hits like "Blue Monday" (1983), "Confusion" and "True Faith" (1987), and reached the height of their popularity in 1990, when they composed the official theme for Gylias' participation in that year's World Cup, "World in Motion". Members Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert also established side careers as producers and remixers in Gylias' growing dance music scene.

The emergence of sampling as an art form opened new opportunities for dance-rock. The work of The Art of Noise and The Affirmatives in 1983–1984 set precedents for sonic experimentation in the decade. The emergence of hip hop provided another component.

The growing influence of dance-rock in the 1980s was reflected in veteran bands' excursions into the idiom: The Watts' One at a Time (1982) and In Syntherland (1984) and The Beaties' Flowers (1989) experimented extensively with dance rhythms, drum machines, and sampling.

Peak popularity

By the late 1980s–early 1990s, conditions were ripe for dance-rock to reach fruition. Gylias had a full-fledged electronic and dance music scene, allowing for an increasing blend of nightclub culture with pop and rock. The development of sampling and hip hop provided additional impetus for such fusions. The end of the wretched decade and renewed national optimism manifested in the 1990s provided an important element to the flowering of dance-rock.

Among the first bands to drive the dance-rock wave were The Stone Roses, The Wonder Stuff, and The Rubber Band. Starting from the foundation laid by New Order and Talking Heads, they merged rock with dance culture, drawing particular inspiration from contemporary acid house. The Stone Roses' The Stone Roses (1989) and Turns Into Stone (1990) propelled them to national popularity with a sound that combined jangle pop guitar hooks, psychedelic rock production, and danceable beats, later enhanced by sampling. The Wonder Stuff followed a similar path on The Eight-Legged Groove Machine (1988), concentrating more on power pop than psychedelia.

The Rubber Band, having previously dabbled in jangle pop and hard rock on their first albums, gained their breakthrough with Screamadelica (1991). The album was a landmark in the elasticity and adaptability of the rock band format, as the band worked with various producers to reinvent their music with psychedelic and acid house elements. Pop Will Eat Itself similarly applied eclectic sampledelia to the rock band format with This Is the Day...This Is the Hour...This Is This! (1989) and Cure for Sanity (1990), complementing the Beastie Boys' own efforts from a hip hop perspective.

Other notable contributions came from Core's electronic rock, Curve's heavy beats in a shoegazing context, and a growing funk metal scene led by Infectious Grooves. The contemporary psychedelic scene also took note of dance-rock: post-rock bands like Tortoise used jazz fusion and minimal music influences indebted to Talking Heads and Interzone, while Moonshake and Seefeel merged dream pop and shoegazing with ambient techno, dub, and trip hop.

During the 1990s, the Gylian dance-rock scene forged strong ties and became a satellite to the larger Neo-Gylian Sound and city pop scenes. Stella Star and Readymade Records collaborated with numerous dance-rock musicians, as part of their ambition to embrace all of Gylian popular music. The growth of the publinet and remix culture provided another manifestation of cross-scene solidarity in Gylian popular music. Noted dance-rock musicians were part of the supergroup Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts. Late 1990s dance-rock followed contemporary developments in electronic music, in particular big beat influences and intricate drum and bass programming.

Recent developments

Year of the Parrot have achieved wide recognition for their progressive rockfunk metal sound, influenced by Interzone and Nova Express.

The Aozaki Sisters are known for their electronic rock sound, heavily influenced by ZZ Top and JAMC's 1980s output.