Underrated: Electroclash

It's hard not to look back on the Electroclash scene of 2001 and 2002 without thinking about the people who liked it: preening, pretentious adrogonoids with angular hair, dayglo clothes and ambiguous incomes. Nathan Barley meets, well, no one really. People it's very difficult to like. Except, aren't all youth movements inherently irritating if you're on the outside? Just think of the scorn that must have been poured on the New Romantics in the early 80's, only later for them to be clutched to the nations bosom (admittedly after a little toning down on the eyeliner). Secondly, is this image even accurate? I used to go to Electroclash clubs all the time, and neither me nor my mates ever daubed ourselves in rediculously overpriced clothes that were designed to look like binliners covered in crisp packets, and I don't remember seeing that many people who did. The unfortunate result of this is that we forget the music, as if it was an after thought or a soundtrack to a fashion show of fools. By doing this we are overlooking some of the best and most influential dance music of the last 10 years.

It's easy to forget how much electroclash changed everything in dance music. As Kiran Sande explains in his recent Fact magazine article:

"It reconciled electronic and rock sensibilities, but with a sense of cabaret glamour a million miles away from the lager-fuelled indie-dance frippery of The Chemical Brothers. It was, more than anything, performance art – naturally attracting androgynous, stage-hungry figureheads like Fischerspooner and Peaches. In the UK electroclash restored character, confrontation and individuality to the rave after almost a decade of shallow “Cheers, nice one” camaraderie."

The main result of this sea change in attitude was that dance music became fun again. It had songs, ones you could sing along with while you danced (Sunglasses at Night, Deceptacon, Seventeen) as well as bangers (Silver Screen Shower Scene, Fuck The Pain Away, La La Land). This influence hasn't gone away, and dance music has been much more playful, experimental and extrovert ever since. Electroclash acted as a catalyst that begat Erol Alkan, Justice, Crookers, Hot Chip, and for better or worse, made Lady Gaga possible.

Mostly though, it gave us some cracking tunes. Here are some of my favourites, and for more see the Fact magazine top 20, it's a pretty good selection.

Felix Da Housecat - Silver Screen Shower Scene

Black Strobe - Me and Madonna

Green Velvet - La La Land

Tiga - Hot In Herre

Le Tigre - Deceptacon (DFA Remix)

Felix da Housecat - What Does It Feel Like (Royksopp Remix)

Soulwax - No Fun / Push It

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