Trap, EDM, dubstep, techno, electronica, etc… are probably not genres of music we hear all too often in Denton. They aren’t associated with the arms-crossed folk rock offshoot that you see at local venues. Likewise, the underground dance scene in Denton is perhaps so underground that it even goes by unnoticed by even the most in-tune Dentonite.
That leads us to a more important question, though. Do people even like to dance in this town? Or are we too cool, too hip, too busy for that mess? We’d like to think not, and we were able to catch up with a few friends in the DJ dance movement to get a better picture of what dancing Dentonites might (or might not be) looking for:
Andrew Miller (Star Party) and Joey Liechty (DJ Yeah Def) are just a few facilitators out of many in the local dance scene. We recently chatted them up and asked a few questions about the local dance scene. This is what they had to say...
WDDI: Is there still room for dance music in Denton? Like for real?
Miller: Yes, absolutely. I know there are plenty of people here to support the Denton dance scene, because there is a community of people here, and a lot of us just like to dance.
DJ Yeah Def: There is but I’d love to see Denton embrace a Beat/Experimental Electronic scene even more, yet I don’t know if there is any viability to that, but I think it’d be great. There's some great artists in the Lone Star State making excellent tunes that aren't getting the recognition they should be. I'd love to see a sister location to the venue Barcelona pop up on Fry St and just flip the whole script for Fry. If someone put a killer night club on Fry St that wasn't focused on drinking or darts, they'd come out like gangbusters.
Star Party used to be a cover band for Daft Punk, but now you guys are producing your own dance music and lights show. How does the lights play into the dancing when you guys perform?
Miller: We are heavily inspired by machines and lights, and although our inspiration comes from many genres of music, the combined audio visual experience that people have is just as important. We think that when lights and music are combined, it can facilitate an atmosphere where people lose themselves. It’s also more likely for people to dance when they lose their identity in some way. We also like to wear masks, because we like to give up our own identity for the night, in order to let people focus on the music and the experience.
Do the current clubs in Denton do a good job at facilitating dance music?
Miller: Yeah they actually do. They provide the space and the booze, and the rest is left up to us. It’s really fun, and we love putting on a show where people feel comfortable enough to dance.
Yeah Def: Denton has done it very well in some years, and struggled in others. I’d like to think we’re currently in an upswing. Hailey’s was my home for many years, and along with Gloves and Andy’s, I’ve had countless nights playing tunes and having masses of people come out to party. Denton has treated me very well. I feel honored to have an impact in people’s lives.
What are your hopes for the Denton dance scene in the future?
Miller: It would be nice to see all genres of music represented in this city. There is a limited variety as of yet, and I’m excited to see what happens as the city grows. I love that Mulberry Street Cantina just picked up salsa dancing, and I would also love to see more cultural diversity represented in dance.
Yeah Def: I’d like to see a club meet in a middle ground between the three Denton venue archetypes of “Dive Bar” / “Live Music Venue” / “Drinking Backyard.” I feel like a “Barcade” would do very well in Denton. I’m thinking a place to host touring DJs with an excellent sound system, but where you could also play a round of Mario Kart 64 to see who buys the next round.
Well there you have it. There's lots of dancing to be had, and some hope for the future of dance music in town. Let us know your ideas behind the Denton dance scene. Be sure to check out The Denton Dance Collective featuring revolving DJs on Thursday nights at Andys Bar. If you're feeling a little bit more a Latin flair, check out the salsa dancing that happens at Mulberry St. Cantina. You can view their schedule here. Heck, you can even take swing dancing lessons from the Denton Swing Dance Organization. They have classes on the first Saturday and third Friday at 109 Industrial. They teach more stuff, too. You can find out more info on their website.
If you would like to catch a Star Party’s show, or find out more about them you can check out their Facebook page.
Also, catch DJ Yeah Def for 80’s jams on Tuesday Nights at Rubber Gloves. Dance the night away, y'all.