Dialogue Inc | Radio Show #23 | The Return

Dialogue Incorporated | The Return

Dialogue Incorporated Radio #23

compiled and mixed by Mister Joshua

Letter from the Editor

It feels a little ridiculous to lead in with another apology—my second apologetic intro in the only two newsletters I've managed to send out this year. But sometimes the winds of life get a bit blustery and command your attention. This year has been one of those. Writing has taken on a much greater role and unfortunately most of my words are going elsewhere—at least initially. Over the course of the last six months I've conducted interviews with the trendy: deadmau5 and Girl Talk; the legendary: Portishead and DJ Harvey; and, of course, those rising out of the underground: James Blake and Visionquest. I'm pretty proud of all this. Many of these chats will be included here. There's a new mix too, one that I actually completed months ago—so pardon the few, obviously dated inclusions. Some technical shifts sent us researching new servers, how to transfer our podcast along with it and alternative ways of hosting our sets. All that's completed now... Six months later. Whatevs, we're back, we're improved and we hope you still like us.

Where we're slacking in letting time pass, we're also remaining timely—with our ideas and our coverage anyway. This month, Spin magazine dedicated its entire issue to the surging electronic music scene. I'm happy to report that, in some sort of DJ-Music-Collective-Consciousness type of thing, I wrote a similar think piece about a month back. In it, I discussed how dance music in the '90s was an overpriced import and now its a freshly-packaged domestic—big, brash and full of bass. (Spin took a very similar angle—In another odd parallel, we both even cracked jokes about the VP and his R.A.V.E. act.) For someone that's worshipped dance beats for more than a decade, now truly feels like our time. And that's what I'd like to leave you with.

Let the Conversation begin.

—Joshua P. Ferguson

The Beat Goes On

Dance music in the U.S. is bigger than ever. Will it last?

by Joshua P. Ferguson

originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 09.07.11

During a recent visit with the fam, my 18-year-old brother wasted no time in firing up iTunes and sharing his newfound love of electronic-music club-fillers Pretty Lights, Skrillex and Rusko. I’ve been living and breathing this music for more than a decade now, but at his age, the closest I came to the rave world was DJ Shadow and the Prodigy’s “Firestarter” on CD single—remember those? 

Does this mean my brother is cooler than me? Eh, probably. But it is also a testament to how much house music’s thump, electro’s growl and dubstep’s bass whomp have pervaded popular culture. My brother’s taste actually puts him on the fringe of this dance-music surge when you consider that French superstar David Guetta is conjuring anthems for the Black Eyed Peas and his protégé Afrojack is doing the same for Chris Brown and Pitbull. 

This barrage of beats coming over the airwaves is matched by the rhythms frolicking forth from this summer’s festival speakers. Ultra and Electric Daisy Carnival are more successful than ever; the latter has expanded to dates in five cities. Here, Lollapalooza more than doubled the size of its DJ stage—all the better for dancing in the mud—and put the scene’s world-famous rodent on the main stage. Last weekend, Labor Day’s North Coast Festival all but gave over its entire lineup to rave-worthy acts including both Rusko and Guetta, a game plan it’s sure to maintain. 

Speaking of rave, we’ve seen this beat-driven hype before. In the ’90s, we got our first taste of electronic dance culture courtesy of big beat. The Chemical Brothers, Orbital and the pyromaniacs of my youth were supposedly destined to change the face of popular music forever. And while those acts and the candy-colored mega parties they headlined did make a permanent impact on the underground dance community, the biggest lasting impression was an Ecstasy backlash and a hangover. 

Dance music didn’t stick around last time for two reasons. First, as progressive as American ears can be, we weren’t ready for it. Record labels saw electronic music’s popularity in the U.K. and Europe, wanted to cash in on it here and imported sleek foreign acts to sell to us like Mini Coopers. When radio didn’t bite and sales didn’t spike, they abandoned it to warehouses and Midwestern cornfields. Second, with the exception of a few, most kids were in it for the drugs and not the music. The year 2003 saw the RAVE act, or Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy, and not just the corporate world but the government sent us to those cornfields. 

So what’s different this time? Not the drugs—sorry, Vice President Biden. The change here is that the music is being embraced wholesale, with fist-pumping arms. Homebred hit makers like Diplo are showing up in BlackBerry commercials, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy is a disco-loving demigod, the summer festival season is one big corporate-sponsored rave, and overseas stars like the Swedish House Mafia and Tiësto are getting upwards of six figures to turn our shores into a second home. Like my brother, the U.S.A. may be the younger sibling that’s late to the party, but we’re here now and we mean business. Which, of course, also means big business, and that’s a language all Americans understand.


MUSIC | Dialogue Incorporated #23 – The Return


Telefon Tel Aviv “The Sky is Black” – BPitch Control 
Myrkur “Why” – F4TMusic 
Koreless “4D” – Pictures Music 
Brackles + Shortstuff “Broken Harp” – Pollen 
Kito + Reija Lee “This City” (Asa and KOAN Sound remix) – Mad Decent 
Jamie Woon “Night Air” (Deadboy remix) – Numb3rs 
Zomby “Things Fall Apart” – 4AD 
Rusko “Everyday” – Mad Decent 
SBTRKT “Wildfire” – Young Turks 
Ellie Goulding “Your Song” (Blackmill remix) – CD-R 
Chrissy Murderbot “The Vibe is So Right” (Quadratic remix) – CD-R 
The Hundred in the Hands “Dressed in Dresden” – Warp 
Cults “Go Outside” – Columbia 
DJ Shadow “I’ve Been Trying” – Verve 
James Blake “The Wilhelm Scream” – Columbia 
Marina and the Diamonds “Obsessions” (oOoOO remix) – CD-R 
Nicolas Jaar “Keep Me There” – Circus Company 
Undisputed Truth “Big John is My Name” (From Nicky Siano’s the Gallery) – Soul Jazz 
The Naked and Famous “Young Blood” – Universal 
Cut Copy “Sun God” – Modular 
Art Department “Vampire Nightclub” – Crosstown Rebels 
Adele “Rolling in the Deep” (Cousin Cole remix) – CD-R 
Friendly Fires “Running Away” – XL 
Everything Everything “Photoshop Handsome” (Sunday Girl remix) – Geffen 
M.A.N.D.E.A.R. “Buddies” – Get Physical 
Creep “Days” – Young Turk 
Kate Simko “Flight into BA” – Hello? Repeat 
Robag Wruhme “Pnom Gobal” – Pampa 
Burial and Four Tet + Thom Yorke “Mirror” – Text 
Midland “Bring Joy” – Aus 
Kode9 “Love is the Drug” – Hyperdub 
Benoit and Sergio “Walk and Talk” – Visionquest 
Todd Terje “Ragysh” – Running Back 
Yelle “Safari Disco Club” – V2 
The Raveonettes “Forget That You’re Young” – Vice 
Darkness Falls “Hey!” – HFN :


WORDS | Dialogue Incorporated #23 – The Return

By the time the dense electronica of “The Sky Is Black” by Chicago’s own Telefon Tel Aviv closes things out I am more inclined to translate 'werkschau'—which means showcase—as labor of love, which is clearly what the BPitch Control family is all about.—Joshua P. Ferguson on BPitch Control's Werkschau compilation

To call this platinum blonde duo the Australia's answer to Katy B doesn't quite do it. They don't have half of the urban oomph that England's latest Diva does. But, when Keito and Reija Lee's label—Diplo's Mad Decent—say that this pair is injecting a much needed dose of pop into an aggro—and overly male dominated—dubstep scene, they're right.—Joshua P. Ferguson on Kito and Reija Lee

With soaring rave arpeggios, machine gun synths, video-game lasers blasts and booming breaks, “Everyday” boasts “the sun is shining everyday,” and it’s poised to be this summer’s anthem.—Joshua P. Ferguson on "Everyday" by Rusko 

If you tie yourself to just one genre, even if you’re amazing at it, there is going to come a time when people’s tastes change. It’s going to make it harder for you to make a living. I’ve really made an effort to make people associate my name with being able to expect any kind of music.—Chrissy Murderbot

for the first time since The Private Press I allowed myself the immersive work environment that my music needs. Having recently gone through six months of that, I realize that it’s essential that I find that.DJ Shadow 

All of the idiosyncrasy of black music, in the stuff that echoes it nowadays, has been warped into something that is quite homogenized and not interesting. To be grouped along with that is what I’m scared of the most.James Blake

I think of what I do now as more of what a visual collage artist does. It’s a different energy. This is definitely more suited to the way I process things.oOoOO

It’s not house, it’s not techno, it’s unlike any kind of downtempo we’ve heard recently, and the gusto it displays is only part of what makes it compelling. On this stream-of-consciousness recording, songs flow one into the next like one beautiful sonic tapestry of samples, drips, echoed guitars, minimal beats and cosmic wailing.—Joshua P. Ferguson on Jaar's  Space Is Only Noise

Disco and hip-hop and techno and house, all these things were really created by DJs. DJs have this incredible power because they can play anything from any era and from any place, to mix things up. That puts the history of musical evolution in their hands.DJ History author Frank Broughton

[Art Department's] best songs only flirt with the dark side. Set closer “I C U,” which is Art Department’s true shining moment, shows us the light at the end of the K hole. Its synth warmth and tribal drumming brighten the mood as Glasgow lets us know, “I see you wanting me now.—Joshua P. Ferguson on The Drawing Board by Art Department

These boys have cornered the market on Balearic indie dance, and with Pala they’ve confirmed that summer’s here in the best possible way.—Joshua P. Ferguson on Friendly Fires' Pala

It’s natural to put people into a box. If people want to call it minimal, okay. It’s not, but whatever.Kate Simko

The music on Thora Vukk was born in that same dark cyber world, but when Wruhme came along he brought the sun with him. It’s this beauty-and-the-beast quality that propels this release past his 2004 effort and puts it in the running for one of the stand-out minimalist albums of the year.—Joshua P. Ferguson on Robag Wruhme's Thora Vukk

We love slowing it down. It’s sexy. When we slow it down people start making out. Now we’re getting people coming up to us being like, I met my girlfriend or I met my boyfriend at a Wolf + Lamb or a Soul Clap show and now we’re in love. We’re like the Dr. Ruth of dance music.Soul Clap's Charlie Levine

Being onstage every night, it’s like a drug. When you’re back at home, you are happy because you can see your family and your friends, but it’s hard because you don’t feel the energy you had on tour.Yelle's Julie Budet

If you listen to Sigur Rós or Fever Ray, they have this melancholic sound. Maybe it’s because of the shitty weather here. I don’t know, but there’s a certain kind of Scandinavian blues sound that is a bit darker.—Darkness Falls producer Trentemoller


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