25 June 2009

The New Dance Show

So this is The New Dance Show, the subject of discussion in yesterday's screenshot trailer. Basically Soul Train for local Detroit TV, it ran late '80s to mid '90s. I stumbled over it while digging for doomcore stuff on YouTube. One of Marc Arcadipane's many aliases was Cyborg Unknown, and his Year 2001 sounds amazing here (wait for the shift at 3:30).

Cyborg Unknown – Year 2001

Guy Called Gerald – Blow Your House

Again, the lo-res digital transfer seems to suit the track. A Guy Called Gerald all the way from Manchester to the home of his beloved Juan Atkins and Derrick May. Great anecdote in the comments from someone who must have been a runner or something at the time:
It's weird how this mix came about. Jesse wasn't in the studio that day and we had to come up with some music to play on the show. I had a CASSETTE in my car and gave it to the producer to play so we could have some music. I mixed these 2 songs together in my basement! No Bull.

Dan Bell – Elextric Shock

Detroit local and old Richie Hawtin connection through Plus 8 Records...

Channel X – Yeah, I'm Freaky

Some ridiculous booty music.

What I like about these videos is the sense of almost archaeological distance. These are relics from another epistemology, an era before the moving image and recorded sound became uber-digitized and endlessly distributable and reiterable. It feels like there's a naivety, a lack of self-consciousness, a willing jokiness to the dancers which seems so... enviable somehow. It's not that they thought no-one was watching – obviously the whole thing was an exercise in display. It's more that, despite the intense futurism of the music, the idea of the internet, let alone YouTube, is so unimagined, unimaginable, to the people you're watching. So while there was an audience present in the dancers' heads, the fact that for them it only extended to Detroit and the not-too-distant vicinity is rendered almost antique, vintage, by its appearance on YouTube, available to millions in dozens of countries.

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