Dance Scene Highlights of 2023
As we approach the end of 2023, the dance scene has seen numerous noteworthy developments. Personally, Romy’s solo album release and her visit to Japan were significant highlights. Another major event was the success of Kylie Minogue’s latest album, “Tension,” echoing the triumph of “Disco” three years ago. Kylie’s enduring dance-pop style, consistent since her debut, is reaching new heights. The entire album is a manifestation of perfect dance-pop, characterized by a voice defying age and songs that are clever and sweet without being overwhelming or directionless. In December, the release of “Tension (The Extended Mixes)” will present extended versions of all the album’s tracks.
This year marked a notable achievement for Fred Again. While his noteworthy production contributions to Romy and various tracks were commendable, his solo performance at the Glastonbury Festival and extensive touring surpassed expectations, exhibiting a level of energy one might not have anticipated, especially considering his roots in Japan. Additionally, it’s intriguing to note that Barry Can’t Swim’s debut album, “When Will We Land?”, released last month, secured a position in the top ten of the UK National Charts. It appears that his unique ability to seamlessly integrate classical and Latin elements into contemporary dance beats might be gaining traction on the dance floor.
Certainly, there are numerous vibrant and intense local gatherings throughout the UK. I’m eager to witness the local music scene firsthand next year, an experience currently beyond my reach in Japan. Recently, Four Tet unveiled a live recording from a May party at Alexandra Palace in London. The recording encapsulates his two-hour performance authentically, featuring profound, psychedelic, and glistening electronic sounds and beats that appear to emanate from the recesses of our memories. It creates a sensation as if we are ensconced within a glass sphere, losing track of time, space, and even reality. I can’t help but wonder what it’s like to be amidst 10,000 people, all absorbed in this mesmerizing sound, losing themselves in the moment. Undoubtedly, this album stands at the forefront of dance and psychedelic music. The realm of dance beats, ranging from the heart of the pop scene to the depths of the alternative and experimental, continues to undergo dynamic changes and evolution on the dance floor this year.