A Guide to Dance Music in Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’

Beyoncé’s new album “The Renaissance” Consciously steeped in the history of dance music, it has brilliantly embraced decades of samples and sounds: ’70s disco Donna Summer and Chic, Jamaica’s dancehall, Internet speed hyperpop. She chose collaborators, references, and even specific keyboard sounds that evoke memories of the club grounds while making her own statement in the 21st century. Here are some of the sources that celebrate it, and explore their significance.

The second and third clips of the album, “relaxing” And the “Alien Superstar”, Featured novelist written and produced by Chicago-born DJ and house music producer Dijon honey. “Cozy” also includes a writing credit for Curtis Alan Jones, better known as Cajmere or Green Velvet – one of Chicago House music’s biggest producers.

This place is the key here. Chicago is the birthplace of house music, and Chicago house, in particular, often moves with a very pronounced swing, accentuated by choppy bass patterns that jump an octave. The usual example is . “No Way Back” by Adonis, From 1986, the bus line “relaxing” He plays like his heart. The song is almost memorially recognizable as the early Chicago house without seeming mere homage.

on me “Alien Superstar”, Rhythm of the hook (“I’m so classy for this world / Forever I’m that girl”) attributed to the interpolation of Wright Said Farid’s smashing modernity of the dance floor “I’m very sexy.” Taylor Swift borrowed the same part (also with credit) from her 2017 track “Look What You Made Me Do,” and Drake sampled from the 1992 song “Way Too Sexy” from 2021.

There is another direct callback running her palm: The bass line is instantly recognizable as a descendant of Bernard Edwards’ monster Check “Good Times” 1 in 1979, and Edwards’ partner in Chic, Nile Rodgers, is credited with writing and playing guitars here. (On bass and drums: Raphael Sadek.) As Ken Barnes noted in his nautical notes, “The Disco Years Vol. 4: Lost in Music”, a compilation on Rhino Records, Chic rewriting became a kind of national pastime during the early ’80s, not least across early hip-hop and post-disco R&B. This version of one, two, three (rest) I owe many “Good Times” writings such as the original: Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Joy” and von mason “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll,” for example.

“energy” It features writing and production from Skrillex, one of the stars of the EDM festival during the early 2000s known for his projections – dramatic buildups turning into a new beat – but since his heyday, he’s worked largely behind the scenes. (See 2015 smashing of Justin Bieber “Where are you now,” which he made along with Diplo.) “Power” seems to run on wires; It’s taut minimalism, with looser layers of sub-bass tones.

The song also has writing credits for Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, the songwriting and production duo Neptunes, known for their work with a wide range of singers and rappers beginning in the 1990s. On Thursday, prior to the release of “Renaissance,” singer-songwriter Kellys spoke out on social media, saying the credits were to a sample of one of her songs (which turned out to be an interpolation of the song “Milkshake” from 2003), and that she didn’t allow it to be used. Kelis was not a recognized writer or producer on most of the early albums she made with the Neptunes, and she had no credits on “Milkshake”. in 2020 interview with the Guardian She said she signed a deal with the duo when she was “too young and too dumb to review it again.”

A similar situation arose with the title track of the album, “break my soul” He owes his credit to Korg’s central idea from the Robin S. pop-house song “Show Me Love.” But whether her samples from the 1992 remix were initially unclear, and in the first week of the song’s release, shift credits. (The latest version says Beyoncé’s song “contains the elements of ‘Show Me Love.’) The afterlife for Robin S.’s song was powerful: Her edge featured in Brooklyn AceMo’s 2019 producer. “where are they ???” Featuring John FM, which became a major underground dance anthem before and during the pandemic, as well as in recent editions of Charli XCX And the Daddy Yankee.

Another key to “Break My Soul” is the shouting of warnings (“Free your chin!”) by New Orleans artist Bounce Big Freedia, who was previously cast by Beyoncé in “Formation” (2016). Bounce is a New Orleans-born style of dance music that is surprisingly fast, intense bass and heavy on call and response; A twerking appeared in response.

Beyoncé is back in the late ’90s again Plastic off the couch. While the bulk of the song is a lush digital ode, there is a moment in the coda that can come from a “glitch” in demo electronica, in which the end of the vocal playback, heavily dubbed, is rendered for deliberate audible modulation. It’s annoying but mostly funny — an audible wink to the listener, one aspect of modern high-tech pop productions exposed. (For an example from the ’90s, see Oval . album 94diskont,or aggregation “Clicks + Cuts”, Released in 2000.)

Classic disco asserts itself halfway to the album. Virgo’s groove Features layers of undulating, complex percussion and bass that update Quincy Jones’ production work with Michael Jackson – a kind of accompanying piece for Daft Punk “Be lucky.” “moves,” The following track, includes a feature of Grace Jones – The disco kings, just in case anyone wonders where Beyoncé comes from.

Just as marked in “Movement” – and more explicitly in “America Has a Problem” – is the crowded low end known in the dance world as “Race Bass”. The term is a reference to the 1988 record, “I just want another chance” by Reeseone of several nicknames used by Kevin Saunderson, one of the first producers to be identified with Detroit techno in the mid-1980s.

In the same way that “Chicago House” refers not only to the style and place of its birth but also to the sound of its swaying octave-jumping, “Detroit Techno” tends to indicate attention to detail and a turbulent aura of invention. The foggy low end of “Just Want Other Chance” was often reworked by London bass styles such as woodland, drum, bass, UK garage and dubstep – what writer Simon Reynolds called “a continuum of black British music.” Urban areas that took root in pirate london radio.

Beyoncé’s use of Reese’s heavy, wavy dress in “Move” and “America Has a Problem” locates the album in the black dance music series. The song “Trouble” also begins with orchestral stabs, such as “Afrika Bambaataa” and the prominent electronic rap track by the band Soulsonic Force. Planet Rock — or even more appropriate than the title and lyric theme, Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm of the Nation.”

“hot” It features Beyoncé driving the new dance form on a heavy block groove. At the end of the song, she mentions tapping the tracks with her fingers on the MPC, an instrument designed by Roger Lin and arriving in 1988. The MPC, made by Akai, is not played with a keyboard, but instead contains a grid box of pads that shoots different sounds, and has become A widespread configuration and performance tool.

“thick” Sounds like something that would have been pervasive all over dubstep dance floors in the days before Skrillex, when the bloated bass and changing tempo of the subgenre was primarily a boycott of British producers. The song’s writing and production credits certainly include an artist influenced by these musicians: Chauncey Hollis Jr., aka Hit-Boy, who produced Dubstep blow On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne (2011).

plasticine sounds “thick” segue into denser synthetics “It’s all on your mind,” Co-produce it AG Cook, the main mind behind the London label and artistic computer music collective, which arrived in the mid-2010s with a sound built on elegant exaggeration: tones that weren’t loud in the way of instrumental music, but deliberately loud. (Sufithe producer known as the cheerful hyperpop who died in 2021, came from that camp.) “All Up” is a futuristic robo-pop, with a sub-bass line that seems to sink under the speakers rather than emit them.

“pure/honey” Next to the latter, another beast of sub-bass: Part One, driven by a bad kick drum, is a surprising approximation of techno at its strongest, or perhaps its most “pure”. ‘Honey’ comes in at the 2:11 mark, a disco-bulb groove with feathery horns reminiscent of early sylvester. The track is played in part from a subtitled sample of Kevin Aviance “Feeling” – One of the main recordings in a strange house subgenre known as “The Whore’s Tracks”.

last track of the album, “summer renaissance” It features Beyoncé singing, “It’s so good, it’s so good, it’s so good, it’s so good” on very familiar vocals—yes, the ending insinuates Donna Summer “I feel love,” The 1977 disco hit with the backdrop of all the mixing and pulsing rhythm that foresaw the futuristic sound of dance music. But the key phrase from the song “I Feel Love” seems to be played on a Korg keyboard that proves “Break My Soul,” subtly linking two eras together into a third.