On Dance Music

The Four-On-The-Floor Doctrine

The conservative world of techno/edm music was birthed by its own conservative audiences. The four-on-the-floor foundation has not nearly been creatively exhausted as some may believe it to be, yet its progenitors continue to milk the mundane into further nothingness in an almost desperate grasp at traditional roots and easy recognition.

And it is the seemingly necessary recognition of symbols that continue to perpetuate the FOTF doctrine. Can one accessibly enjoy the unfamiliar? Other forms of art argue not: even the advent of realist paintings were a product of laziness; when was reality ever approximated by accuracy of stroke? Instead artists put a mask on reality and sold it as authentic.

The authenticity (not moralizing) of dance is derived its most improvised state. The institutional forms of “ballet” and “salsa” are separate performative art based on templates rather than ingenuity, just like “realist” aesthetics. If this statement of dance is accepted, why must the music stagnate while the dancer flourish?

FOTF makes a statement: “my audiences want new but nothing new. My beneficiaries want innovation in regression.” Like all self-fulfilling prophecies, the water always flows to the lowest possible point and we are left at square one. Is this fair for the would-be musicians and dancers who, if enabled, could attract themselves to more irregular sounds and make something actually new?

Lastly, why does it matter? What seems like an incisive question is answered by an optimism for the everlasting decree that “we can do better”. It’s not NECESSARY to discover innovative sounds and movements, but it surely is more agreeable than comfortably accepting that nothing should be done to forward dormant genres. In short, why not?