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What makes a poor track to Jive to?

 
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Southern Jiver
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:06 pm    Post subject: What makes a poor track to Jive to? Reply with quote

I know that there has been discussion about what makes a good Jive track at http://southernjive.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=77 but this thread is prompted by my experiences at a request night freestyle. Generally, the music was good and it's always a bit of a toss up on request nights as to what music will be played. However, there was a patch in the middle of the freestyle when track after track for about 30 minutes really turned me off Jiving. It wasn't the BPM, the tracks were a good tempo for Jiving. It wasn't the beat as they all had a strong beat. On reflection, I think that the tracks were "soulless". By that I mean they had no complexity, no allure, no energy. They were mainly electronic based tracks, some newish, some remixes of other tracks but all seemed to lack that special something that causes people to leap up and dance. When I'm Jiving, I prefer that the music is providing an energy that gives life to the dancing. It's not something easily pinned down but it is evident in certain tracks like Agnes - Release Me , or Leon Jackson - Creative or Santana - Smooth or Jennifer Hudson - Spotlight and many others that are always good to dance to. I'm not sure what it is but definitely the techno-mix, dull, soulless ones just didn't have it. Anyone care to comment?
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Nicky
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SJ wrote:
Quote:
Anyone care to comment?

...SJ, how could I resist? Very Happy

I guess it all comes down to personal taste...One mans meat is another mans poison, so to speak!

I personally have an intense dislike of most motown music, and fail to understand what it is that people love about it. I have read about the history of it, listened to various radio programs about it, and tried time and again to find that special something about it that so many people love, but all to no avail.To me, the tracks seem to all follow a similar formula and sound very samey, which is what makes them so instantly recognisable....Just not for me, i'm afraid.

I do understand what you mean by "soulless".... Some tracks have so much about them thats right, but there is a certain ingredient missing that makes it not work, leaves it feeling flat....I find that for me, it can often be the lyrics or a particular change in tune which doesn't seem to fit...Again, its still a totally personal thing.

Tough question to answer SJ Confused
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Bungle
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicky wrote:
its still a totally personal thing.


Yeah, it must be, because everytime a DJ plays this:

Southern Jiver wrote:
Santana - Smooth


I feel compelled to sit down. No offence intended to SJ, but to me, at least, that particular track just drones on and on and on, with no sense of direction Sad

Here's another one, for years I used to wonder why DJs kept playing 'The Bongo Song', which to me is a terribly repetetive, monotonous track. Then, one day I discovered that dancers were asking for it Surprised Shocked

I've been to plenty of freestyles where I've sat out for 30 minutes because none of the music inspires me. If there aren't enough tracks with interesting breaks and structures in the music then I'll be carefully considering if I want to go back. Sure, I'll dance to stuff that doesn't fit that description but i'd prefer it be uplifting and energetic rather than something like Smooth-Santana, which just makes me want to nod off.

Fortunately I also dance Lindyhop and Salsa so I've got plenty of other options for nights out dancing. For a long time I never bothered much with Salsa because I found the music was such a turn off. Then; I discovered some salsa clubs that play interesting music that I really want to dance to. Very Happy For Lindyhop, I also have problems with music when DJs play stuff with little or no percussion or no lyrics. It's just too boring for my taste!

I suppose I come across as being very fussy when it comes to music. Trouble is, if I don't like the music then it's only ever going to be a 'so-so' night for me, even if everything else is perfect.

Oh! And one other thing, I regard the practice of playing extremely long tracks with disdain. Seriously, who genuinely wants to dance to those tracks? I'd far rather give it everything I've got for 3-3.5 minutes or even just 2.5 minutes if it's a really fast but short track than trudge on for more than 5 minutes. Isn't it a lazy way for the DJ to fill the time in? What's the name of that really long track? The one with something about 'Chicago' in the lyrics. And how long is it?
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Southern Jiver
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I know what you mean. Sweet Home Chicago by The Blues Brothers is 7 minutes 43 seconds. Another one that is too long is Fever by Sarah Vaughn which is over 7 minutes long.
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DJ Andy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Southern Jiver wrote:
Yes, I know what you mean. Sweet Home Chicago by The Blues Brothers is 7 minutes 43 seconds. Another one that is too long is Fever by Sarah Vaughn which is over 7 minutes long.


Just for info, the original Sarah Vaughan version of Fever is 2.46 mins long (and incidentally is a great cha-cha!)
Possibly the version SJ is referring to is the Adam Freeland remix, but the version I play is 4.38 mins long.

BTW, I don't regard playing a requested track such as 'Now I Can Dance' by Tina Arena (5.54 mins) as being lazy (even though I think it does drag on a bit). It's called responding to your 'customers'! Smile

Perhaps SJ can defend that particular tune's advantages, as I seem to recall that he said he liked it! Razz
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Southern Jiver
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Andy, what a memory, it is one of my favourites still. I don't have a problem with a track that's 5 minutes long as long as it's not too repetitive and better yet, tells a story while providing a good beat to dance to. However, my version of Tina Arena's track is only 3 minutes and 18 seconds long.
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DJ Andy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Southern Jiver wrote:
... my version of Tina Arena's track is only 3 minutes and 18 seconds long.


I'd certainly be happier about playing that version! Laughing

Any chance of a copy sometime please? Wink
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Southern Jiver
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, sorry, I read it wrong. It was 318 seconds which is 5 minutes and 18 seconds...my bad.
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Andy McGregor
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DJ Andy wrote:
BTW, I don't regard playing a requested track such as 'Now I Can Dance' by Tina Arena (5.54 mins) as being lazy (even though I think it does drag on a bit). It's called responding to your 'customers'! Smile
I find this track is a real floor filler. But you need to choose you moment to play it.

Another track where I believe the longer version outshines the short is Havana by Kenny G - it's over 7 mins long. If I play it I mostly play the short version. But occasionally I play the long one late in the evening if it feels right and the dancers seem to be in the right mood - it's one of those tracks which often gets someone asking "what was that track? I loved it". Do I play it because I'm lazy? No, I play it because I want to dance to it.
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Bungle
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy McGregor wrote:
Do I play it because I'm lazy? No, I play it because I want to dance to it.


Maybe I'm lazy for not wanting to dance 7 minutes non-stop to the same track. Embarassed

There's another track I've heard being played. I think it's over 10 or 12 minutes long, no idea of the name though.

If I can make it to a weekender this year I might try and get a 'sack the DJ slot'. It'll probably be absolute carnage because I'll be tempted to play tracks like Jerry Lee Lewis-Great Balls of Fire. That's a track that would definately get my bum off the seat, you've got to be quick though as I think it's only about 2.5 minutes long. What *would* the MJ dancers make of that?
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DJ Andy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bungle wrote:


....I'll be tempted to play tracks like Jerry Lee Lewis-Great Balls of Fire. That's a track that would definately get my bum off the seat, you've got to be quick though as I think it's only about 2.5 minutes long.


1min 51 secs to be precise! Smile
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