Dance, Dance Revolution

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Australian dance acts are taking over the airwaves and becoming a part of a more prominent Australian music presence on the world stage.

According to Andrew Cotman, co-owner of dance music blog Stoney Road, many emerging dance artists are coming out of Australia and are having worldwide success.

“New sounds, projects, people, labels, agents, managers and more are fuelling a healthy Australian dance ecosystem. More music than ever is making its way overseas and our brand of electronic heard not only by a local audience but a global one,” Mr Cotman said.

Mr Cotman said acts such as Flume, Tommy Trash, Cosmo’s Midnight and The Kite String Tangle are the best Australia has on offer right now.

“Australia has always owned its own sound, much like a lot of different countries around the world. Even if it’s an attempt to mirror overseas scenes there’s still an environmental factor,” he said.

On the local scene, Wollongong is producing many up-and-coming DJs, including Christopher Barker, who is a part of the Parkside DJs who perform regularly at the Hotel Illawarra.

“With Parkside and the other gigs I’ve done, we’ve really tried to bring something new to the city and present a stack of awesome Australian DJs that have never toured before. So tapping into the underground Sydney/Melbourne scene,” Mr Barker said.

Mr Barker, also the editor of Zephyr Magazine, which pushes for emerging artists, said Wollongong crowds love the different varieties of dance music Parkside performs.

“We are really lucky with Parkside to have a very open crowd who manage to dance to whatever we throw at them… I’m really grateful we can go beyond what is expected of dance music and get a bit weird without having everyone leave the dance floor,” Mr Barker said.

Mr Cotman said the dominance of Australian dance music is the culmination of a decade of Aussie artists who have developed a unique sound and attracted wide audiences.

“The scene now in its form is the collective kick ass amalgamation of what Australia had to offer 10 years ago. So – Ajax, The Presets, Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts, Van She, Lost Valentino’s, Muscles… have all played a part in kick starting today’s scene many years ago. Electronic dance music is the new Rock n Roll,” Mr Cotman said.

As for the future of Aussie dance music, Mr Barker said it will become mainstream on the international scene.

“I think Australian dance music will only get better as time progresses and the next generation comes in without seeing electronic music as a ‘fringe’ genre. With acts like Disclosure, dance music is becoming pop again so I look forward to seeing where that goes,” he said.

By Kelsey Sutor


Video by Joseph Smith


by Lucy Dean

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