Being someone who writes about dance music, as well as someone who loves the culture, I read a lot of articles and every so often, there are some that stick out in my mind. Thomas H Green penned one of these excellent pieces of writing for an issue of Mixmag last November - 'Slow dance: Why is dance music so slow and polite?'. Ultimately, it was a rally call for people like you and me, as well as the DJs and producers out there to get a grip and lose our mind in the way that dance music had always intended.
“A generation on, dance music is a bunch of online cottage industries run by nice, boring, professional guys, ready to cordially cut a business deal rather than cause a fuss, better versed in synch rights than boundary-pushing, spiritual inheritors of the old soul boy mantel. Sure, we need these people to make the whole thing tick, but we need some frothing-at-the-mouth, dangling-from-the-chandelier maniacal mavericks too.”
When these articles do make an impression, I have a habit of recalling them at events that may not seem related to many. This time, it was when watching Nathan Fake perform a live show to promote his latest album, 'Providence', at the Nottingham Contemporary one Wednesday evening. To get a feel for the evening, a full review on Leftlion can be read here.
While Nathan Fake may not be quite the 'dangling-from-the-chandelier maniacal maverick' that Thomas H Green was referring to, he portrayed an attitude that I think he'd most certainly approve of.
Playing live at 9:30pm in an art gallery on a Wednesday evening, he was bopping, head banging and grooving non-stop for the entirety of his midweek show - totally without any kind of self-consciousness to get in the way of his ‘getting down’. And really, in today’s self-aware society, this was wonderful to see (and quite infectious too!). Beyond this, the actual set was, again, exactly what I feel would make Thomas H Green smile.
“Fortunately there have always been those who wanted dance music to hammer at its own frontiers; those who understand that, at its best, it can be stark, minimalist psychedelia, or a thumping assault on the senses, or something ecstasy-fried and cosmically delicious. The best dance music often has a grain of punk intent in its DNA, faceless music uncomfortable intentionally cuddling up to blatant commerce.”
Playing a set featuring drones, contrasting sounds and organised electronic chaos, flitting between soundscapes and rhythmic beats effortlessly, I believe that Nathan Fake is one of these brave, bold artists – even without realising. With his sonic experimentation, he doesn’t stick to the norm, creating only what comes naturally to him.
And let’s be honest, if The Sky Was Pink can’t be described as ‘something ecstasy-fried and cosmically delicious’, then I don’t know what can…
A loose connection this may be, linking Nathan Fake’s art gallery gig and this standout Mixmag feature – but don’t you agree?