Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Various Artists, Afterdark, New York City

“Afterdark: New York City” is the first in a series of two disc collections of House music.  Each volume in the series features House as played by DJs who are associated with afterdarkdifferent cities with each DJ getting a disc to strut his or her stuff.   After spending a lot of time recently delving into the roots of contemporary dance music in the 1970s and ’80s I thought “Afterdark” would be a great way to check out current dance music from all over the world.  So, I bought the first volume in the series. 

Then I listened to it.  Yikes!  What happened to House music?  Just as James Bond turned into Pussy Galore when Sean Connery was replaced by Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, House seems to have changed from the raw live-wire excitement of Larry Levan and early Frankie Knuckles to this stuff from DJs Jon Cutler and Osunlade.  You could describe this music as “polite”, or “tame” – you could also call it “boring”.  Think the most bland and innocuous of smooth jazz with the addition of a four-on-the-floor drum machine stuck in the “on” position.  Ugh.  Of the two DJs here, Osunlade is about as interesting and exciting as elevator music with Cutler being marginally more edgy, emphasis on marginally.  Nicky Siano used to talk about making his dancers scream at the Gallery.  Cutler, and especially Osunlade, seem to be striving for yawns.  One thing they share with Siano is that they achieve their aims.

The Afterdark volumes come in ostentatiously produced little hardcover CD booklets.  On the back of the package is written “The Afterdark series delivers you blissfully hip sounds from the major capitals of cool from around the world.”  Blissfully hip!  Major cool!  That’s what I want to be!  If this sounds good to you, check “Afterdark” out, you just may dig it.  If nothing else, it won’t disturb you at nap time. 


07/25/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews


  1. […] Various Artists, Rock the Disco A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a dance compilation called “Afterdark, New York City” which is to dance music what Kenny G was to jazz.  Dance music is supposed to make you want to, […]

    Pingback by Review: Various Artists, Rock the Disco « Tuned In To Music | 08/07/2007 | Reply

  2. i laughed my ass off….and yes i think house should make yoy want to dance…it lacks the rawness…Osunlade tries to pull this act of making deep spiritual music but its wack…Masters at work did some major underground raw stuff back in the nineties, now …not so much.Peace

    Comment by Jenga | 01/09/2009 | Reply

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