What is the Underground & why dance music culture is more important now than ever ?

by Yugen Sill

Why is dance music important in today’s world & is it still relevant ? Humans since the birth of time have been captivated by sounds. People created rhythms through methods such as clapping & the earliest discovered instruments are over 40,000 years old. 

Why does something so steeped in our history persist to this day ? Music has the unique characteristic that it allows for bonding between humans and is an escape from the mundane nature of everyday existence.

In fact, music & dance will forever be interwoven. Dance was used as a form of communication by our ancestors. People were able to express & release their emotions through the movement of their bodies. Music’s ties to the ritual nature of religion has cemented it into our cultural psyche. 

God is a dj

For these reasons people dancing together will always continue as there is an innate need for humans to share a communal bond and humans to release their stresses through music. As the power of religion has waned around the world, some people believe the nightclub & the DJ have filled that void. 

For example, the Faithless track – God is a DJ has the lyrics – ‘This is my church this is where I heal my hurt’.  

Dance music in the modern sense as we know it has always come from the underground, the marginalized. From the embers of Disco – House & Techno emerged in Chicago, New York & Detroit. This scene, our scene, was predominantly black & LGBTQ. It presented a place for people regardless of race, social class, gender and sexual orientation to feel free, feel equal.

Why has this culture translated all over the globe that started in small clubs and dingy warehouses to become a global phenomenon ? It is that music is a universal language. The fact that dance music often has little to no vocals, means language isn’t a barrier to access it. From my own experiences having spent hundreds of hours on dancefloors around the world including Europe, North America, Asia & Australasia, the reason the scene has flourished is that humans around the world are all in fact the same. The label’s society likes to place on us aren’t relevant on the dancefloor, it is you and the rhythm & the crowd. In reality you are merging with the crowd to form a giant, moving entity. 

Where this is particularly true is in underground clubs. There is no division based on wealth. There is no VIP, no us & them. There is only one. It is a place where people who often don’t see each other in society can interact, can learn & appreciate each other and foster greater tolerance for each other.

Therefore underground dance music can be a force for positive societal change of both the individual and a breeding ground for like-minded people to come together to tackle some of societies greatest issues such as war, income inequality and climate change. For these reasons we will never ‘Lose Dancing.’

Yugen Sill