Friday, July 27, 2007

Music Sounds Better With You

Song: Music Sounds Better With You
Artist: Stardust
Album: Music Sounds Better With You

In the world of dance music, specifically more techno/house beat-heavy song, it is rare that a track becomes officially a classic. Dance music can, actually mostly will, become dated in as fast as a year. L.A. Style’s birth-of-techno hit “James Brown is Dead” was mind-blowing in 1991 and seems almost childlike-goofy now. But, I am a huge advocate and supporter of dance music and will argue for its legitimacy in the over-all realm of music.

“Dance music” as we’ve come to know it really began with the birth of disco, possibly the most maligned genre to have come, gone, and come back again in pop history. During the 70’s disco was king, and due to garbage joke tracks like “Disco Duck” and the growing conservatism in the U.S., disco died. Now that dance music has officially come back and house, techno, and even modern day rap and R & B use elements of disco. It is important to go back and hear just how forward thinking and well… MODERN some of this now 30+ year-old music is. Without disco there would have been no New Wave, and I challenge anyone to listen to a track like Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and not be blown away by Giorgio Moroder’s production and damn near “from-the-future” vibe it has. Amazing, even today.

But I’m not really qualified to write a history of disco, I just really want to highlight a not so old, but old enough track that still sounds remarkably fresh. Stardust’s 1998 single “Music Sounds Better With You.” The only song that Stardust would do, it was the collaboration of French House pioneer Alan Braxe, vocalist Benjamin Diamond, and Thomas Bangalter, who would later become one half of Daft Punk. Diamond ended up releasing the amazing “Strange Attitude” LP which I can not recommend more, and then two years ago released the more pop oriented “Out of Myself” which I though was awful.

Braxe’s production work in the French House scene is by now legendary and all of his singles with partner Fred Falke were collected in 2005 on “The Upper Cuts” by Alan Braxe & Friends. It’s a great collection, perfect for a groovy lounge party… I highly recommend it. “Music Sounds Better With You” is thankfully included and is a must for any dance connoisseur… and those that love them. Also worth tracking down is a great mash-up called “Music Sounds Better on Holiday” which mixes in Madonna’s “Holiday” to dizzying ear candy heights. Put that on and watch any party be kicked up to ten. But you can’t touch the original.

Braxe is currently mostly on demand as a remixer (often working with Falke) and I highly recommend his re-working of Annie’s “Heartbeat” and Goldfrapp’s “Number 1” Hot.


The Michel Gondry directed video:

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