Club dance music is technology-based with the DJ playing an important role in mixing and presenting tracks. It is characterised by:
The roots of club dance are in 1970s Jamaican dub, Funk, Disco and 1980s European synth-pop.
Jamaican dub is a style of reggae where new instrumental versions of songs are made by remixing. The mixing desk is used to allow different elements of the songs to be pushed backwards and forwards in the mix. Effects such as echo and reverb are added. Dub artists include Lee Scratch Perry.
Funk is jazzy, energetic, guitar driven and groove based. Funk artists include Sly and the Family Stone and James Brown.
European synth-pop uses lots of electronic instruments. Bands include Kraftwerk, the Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode.
Hip-hop was another early influence on dance music. Hip-hop is a US urban black culture which features DJing, breakdancing, and 'rap'. Some hip-hop DJs, notably Kool Herc, extended the breaks of records by mixing two copies of the same record.
The Technics SL1200 turntable appeared in the 1970s and had a big effect on the dance scene because it lent itself to scratching. A pitch control enabled the user to speed up or slow down records so that two records could be 'beatmatched' and songs could be mixed together
The introduction of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) in the early 1980s meant that one musician could control several different electronic instruments easily and cheaply.
The Pioneer CDJ-1000 is the standard CD deck now and is found in most nightclubs. CD decks work in similar way to vinyl decks but have better sound quality and are able to loop sections of the track.
The Roland CR and TR drum machines were the first to have programmable rhythms. Drum machines have mostly been replaced by computer-based sequencers using sampled drum sounds.
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