Dance music is something we all experience in one form or another whether we are dedicated club enthusiasts or ironically enjoy a Hive night out occasionally, and the genre is becoming increasingly self-reflexive as it evolves and increases inclusivity. Features spoke to the university’s Dance Music Society’s president, Alex Steven to find out more about the health of the art form in the city.
Steven talks about the “ever-expanding scene in Scotland”; it seems that dance music is unstoppable in its popularity – “We have grown to become one of the largest societies of this type in the UK”.
The Dance Music Society encourage participation as well as appreciation, running workshops for those interested in learning the skill: “we have multiple stations equipped with different types of DJ gear, from basic controllers through to CDJs and digital vinyl systems (DVS) – our more experienced DJs are always on hand to help you get started!”
Integral to the society’s engagement are Edinburgh’s club venues, where they offer their services as resident DJs. Of the Scottish dance music scene in general, Steven is optimistic: “a lot more dance music [is] making its way into the mainstream.” He also draws attention to Edinburgh’s electronic music events such as the techno celebration of FLY Open Air Festival in Princes Street Gardens.
For those who are curious about learning to DJ, Steven advises to “get your hands on a cheap controller […] and look up some YouTube tutorials first then show us your stuff!”
When asked about the increasing popularity of vinyl and analogue technologies he responds by saying that, “Vinyl never went away for the dance music scene, it was simply joined by more digital formats; look through mixes from the last 20 or so years and you will still find a plethora of DJs using vinyl […] As far as dance music is concerned, there is a good proportion of people who still believe analogue is better, whether it be synths or DJ equipment, so it’s really down to individual preference.”
It is probably fair to say that most students need little coaxing to go out and experience dance music culture, but if you are interested, “turn up to one of our club nights or get in contact with us through our [Facebook] page”.
Image: Edinburgh University Dance Music Society