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genres, subgenres, labels, blah blah blah

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a while back, me, krish and a few others went to this kick drum techno party at which jambi was spinning. . .anyways, this girl dj before him was putting down some hella weird shit, remember that cookie monster song that was playing? "c is for cooookie. . . "

anyways, this is her event, at the black cat! i love that place (but i think it's moved from it's old location) and she calls her music "intelligent big beat", "happy charm fool music", and "sesame street disco". . . kekeke


DJ night - Variety Is the Spice of Life


funky breakbeat, HCFDM, and more

with Christine Moritz

10 pm to 1 am

all ages - FREE

@ THE BLACK CAT Backstage (adjacent to the Red Room)


1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC (at 14th and S)

"Variety Is the Spice of Life," the name of Christine Moritz's

long-running radio show on WMUC 88.1 FM, is also her musical

philosophy. As she takes the decks at the Black Cat, expect to hear

downtempo, intelligent big beat, Happy Charm Fool Dance Music, and

perhaps even some Sesame Street disco--a little bit of this, a little

bit of that.


"Variety Is the Spice of Life" (http://www.varietyisthespice.com)

on WMUC 88.1 FM (College Park, MD) (http://www.wmuc.umd.edu)

and via RealAudio (see http://www.varietyisthespice.com/real.html)

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this is what she wrote when someone asked about "intelligent big beat", hcfm, and sesame street disco:

"Intelligent big beat" is a term I coined several months ago (unless somebody else beat me to it and I just don't know about it) to describe the sounds of Mint Royale, the Wiseguys, Ursula 1000, Los Chicharrons, etc. It seems like people often use "intelligent" in dance-music terminology as a sort of code word for "gentle," and what I call "intelligent big beat" is like what used to be called big beat, but not quite so aggressive.

As for Happy Charm Fool Dance Music, I think I'll quote from the Introduction page of my website--where, it seems, I should probably add a description of "intelligent big beat" to supplement my existing description of funky breakbeat:


(from http://www.varietyisthespice.com)

Coined by Yasuharu Konishi of Pizzicato Five, "Happy Charm Fool Dance

Music" might be more accurately expressed in English as "happy charming foolish dance music." The "happy" element is self-explanatory, the "charm" element includes things that endear the song to the listener, and "fool" element encompasses conscious silliness. Light and playful in tone, HCFDM songs tend to be fast in tempo and often involve keyboards. While most HCFDM comes out of Japan and Germany, home to the HCFDM-oriented Escalator and Bungalow record labels respectively, New York-based Ursula 1000, Low-Fi Generator, and the Amsterdam-based duo Arling and Cameron fall into the HCFDM category. Low-Fi Generator, whose songs appear on the Bungalow compilations RO 3003 and Spielkreis 03, has released two albums on Germany's Normal Records; the latter one, Pop-Up Cola, is quintessential HCFDM.


Happy Charm Fool Dance Music and big beat have a similar sense of humor and fondness for wacky samples. HCFDM tends to be more deliberately silly and is less beat-focused. In Japan, the two are usually grouped together as two related genres. For example, the Kyoto- and Kobe-based record store Jet Set Records has a section on big beat/HCFDM new releases (http://www.jetsetrecords.net/cgi-bin/base.cgi?M=N&G=BH).

While most HCFDM proper isn't especially well known in the U.S., one song with a bit of an HCFDM feeling that probably everyone on this list has heard is Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice." The crazy, fun-loving horn sound certainly isn't present in all Happy Charm Fool Dance Music (although given that HCFDM is influenced by 1960s music, especially lounge/bossa nova and French pop, it's not uncommon to hear that kind of sound), but is typical of its sense of fun.

For what it's worth, the HCFDM I was playing at the Black Cat around 10 pm on Saturday (I was guest-DJ'ing at the Bliss event there, with one set from 9:30 to 10:45 and another from 1 to 2) inspired a group of people to start breakdancing--much to my surprise, as I didn't expect there to be any dancing at that early hour.

As for Sesame Street disco... if you haven't heard the fantastic "Sesame Street Fever," a circa 1978 release on Children's Records of America, your life is not yet complete.

There's a link to the great cover art for the album and to some sound samples on the following, a website dedicated to Sesame Street disco: http://www.sesameseventies.com/sesamestreetfever.html.

I think that covers it for the time being...


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Hey Scratch!

Are you going to this? Black Cat is right around the corner from my house so I may have to swing by and check it out for a minute! Even though I'm supposed to be laying low this weekend! :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by scratchapella

puhaha. . . i wish i could, i really like the black cat and rarely get to heard edm there but i've got to take a break this weekend, my body's saying no, marathon raving just aint my thang anymore. . .:(

Heh heh - you're getting old! :D

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