Manual to Dance is a playlist of Irish and global dance music made during the pandemic (released between April 2020-November 2021), selected by Kate Butler, a DJ with Dublin Digital Radio.
Manual to Dance
1.0 Build a sound system and get a set of decks.
1.1 Find a disused, well-ventilated indoor/outdoor building.
1.2 Tell everyone to come.
1.3 Mix the music by beat-matching records of a similar BPM, changing the pitch in order to get them to synchronise. Create an endless cycle of rhythmic music which can be a psychedelic experience for those in its spiral.
1.4 Get an MC to host and articulate the feeling.
1.5 Observe how the music sounds in the space that you are playing it in. Observe how the sound waves, especially the bass, are absorbed by the bodies around you.
1.7 Move your body in a way that feels good. You are dancing.
1.8 Communicate with the other dancers using your body in creative ways. Observe the musical entrainment, unusual in the animal kingdom, that is occurring all around you.
1.9 Find space to be free in your dance. Or get into the crush. Or do both, at different times.
1.10 Get down. Werk it. Wanna see you sweat.
All of the dance music on this tracklist was released between April 2020 and November 2021, so it is likely that all of it was made during the global COVID-19 pandemic. When listening to music, there may be a projection of our own feelings, but the emotional vibrations in the records selected here can also be a reflection: these musicians, they too experienced what you experienced over the past 20 months. Frustration, dissociation and temporal disorientation is expressed in this music. But other things can also be heard/experienced: release, catharsis, levity, transcendentalism.
There are stories behind each piece of music on the playlist, but one in particular seems to provide a metaphor for the extreme time dislocation that we’ve all been experiencing. In January 2021, Autechre released a remix of SOPHIE XEON’s BIPP. Originally released in 2013, BIPP was a new sound, with its sped-up vocal and minimal yet explosive beats. Autechre’s remix brought the vocal by Marcella Dvsi back to the original speed and put in place an undercarriage of classic slow groove techno. What they did in 2021 was to make a 2013 track sound like a 1990s track. Given Autechre’s artistic investment in experimentation and futurism, this seems a deliberate dance with time. In a tragic accident, 34 year old SOPHIE died just weeks later.
Humans, wherever you go, like to dance and make music to dance to. Ireland has its place in that global phenomenon: we have a lush, pulsating culture of dance music production. Each Irish track is marked with a green heart.
- RP Boo feat Afiya – Finally Here (Planet Mu, 2021)
- Bonaventure – Blue Goma (Bandcamp, 2021)
- Eomac – Portuguese Man O’War (Planet Mu, 2021) 💚
- Zora Jones – Low Orbit Ion Cannon (Fractal Fantasy, 2020)
- Prettybwoy - Brontides (Svbcvlt, 2021)
- Alyxis – Take (DIAxDEM, 2021) 💚
- SOPHIE (Autechre Mx) - BIPP (Numbers, 2021)
- Jana Rush & DJ Paypal – Just a Taste (Planet Mu 2021)
- Ellll – Housebreaker (First Second, 2021) 💚
- Nova Cheq – Meh, I know… (Hooversound, 2021)
- Nídia – Chef (Principe, 2020?)
- Sirr Tmo Sama – Make You Twerk (Bandcamp, 2020)
- Dark Mavis & Sohotsospicy – Glorified (Talamh Records, 2021) 💚
- Shygirl - Slime (NUXXE, 2020) 💚
- Calvo Music & DJ Glo 410 - Ga$ton Rasta (Nightslugs, 2021)
- Doubt – Soilse (Flood, 2021) 💚
- UNIIQU3 - Touch (Local Action, 2021)
- Nienna – She Who Weeps (Sesh FM, 2021) 💚
- DJ Manny – Signals in My Head (Planet Mu, 2021)
- Rory Sweeney – Crash (Trance Edit) (Bandcamp, 2020) 💚
- Of One - Mpc-Dd-6 (Frontend Synthetics, 2021) 💚
- Slikback – Klout (Byrd Out, 2021)
- Big Dope T, TT the Artist & Feadz – Ride it (SBF17) (Movel Traxx, 2021)
- Lila Tirando a Violeta & Lighght – Ritual for Rusting Metals (Houndstooth, 2021) 💚
- DJ Deeon – Living that TEKLIFE (Teklife, 2021)
- Loraine James – Change (Hyperdub, 2021)
- Charli XCX - Forever (Atlantic, 2020)
- Outl1er - Undertow (Bandcamp, 2021) 💚
- Gemma Dunleavy (Selky mix) - Return 💚