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Thursday 29 June 2017

Aural Pleasure: Danny Noir

Posted in: Music
By - 27th June 2012

Danny Noir
After burning up the floor at Wellington dance party Homolicious 1986, DJ Danny Noir takes us on a tour of the music he loves.

About Danny Noir

"Glossy tunes! Danny Noir is a DJ hot for melodic '80s Nu-Disco and rocky Indie Dance. He steps out with a polished construction of retro-futuristic synth pop, electro, and new-Italo. A bit of a two-timer, he also likes to get down and dirty with the screamers."

Favourite songs

I was a kid in the '80s, and went to my first school dances then. I remember rocking out with a skinny pink tie and big puffy white shirt with the collar up. My first tape was Tiffany. I thought she was so cool. I liked her upbeat electronic music, emotionally expressive voice, and the lyrics of escape and freedom in I Think We're Alone Now. After that I was sold on electronic music, and bought the synthesiser musician Jean Michel-Jarre's classic '70s electronic album Equinoxe. I came of age in the '90s on a diet of house and trance. I loved outdoor dance parties, and the house and trance at gay clubs in Christchurch. I love eighties revival, though. The eighties were bold, glamorous, and melodic. That's something I try and capture in the dance music I play, which cuts across the genres. And let's not forget how dance music of the 90s grew out of the 80s, with clubs like Hacienda, and massive music/social phenomena like the so called 'second summer of love' and acid house music.

My favourite tracks from the '80s include Man 2 Man with Male Stripper, and Do You Wanna Funk? I played these last Saturday night at Homolicious 1986, and people loved it! One stunning and very cool drag queen came up and asked me what it was, and said she had recollections of it from the underground gay scene in the UK. Totally gay music, but it has a hard edge that's very masculine and alternative. It's also really good, pioneering dance music. It shows the way electronic instruments - synthesizers, sequencers and drum machines - were starting to be used really effectively and very widely. I guess that underground edge and drive is what I like about Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax. And my god, have you seen the video? It's this amazing melange of leather/rubber queens, yuppies, togas, wild animals, cages, dancing, fighting, drag-queen DJs, and of course music, lights and gay magic. Raw, wild and sexy.

I also appreciate some of the rappers. I think Nina Cherry is really important for me. She stands proud and staunch against any of the male rappers. Buffalo Stance has amazing lyrics, creating this impression of very cool women hanging tough and defying objectification in favour of style, love and being genuine:

"Who's looking good today?
Who's looking good in every way?
No style rookie
You better watch don't mess with me
....No moneyman can win my love
It's sweetness that I'm thinking of.
We always hang in a Buffalo Stance
We do the dive every time we dance
I'll give you love baby not romance
I'll make a move nothing left to chance "

Danny Noir at Homolicious 1986

And then there are the AMAZING drag divas and people playing with gender in wonderful ways. This includes the inimitable, talented Divine (RIP), and drag- Pete Burns in Dead Or Alive. Divine of course worked with the great indie film maker John Waters, who is so so clever and funny.

And the other divas are good too. I love Bananarama, Cyndi Lauper, and Madonna. Well known for a very good reason! I watched Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan again recently, and she was way cooler and edgier than she is now. There, I said it! I love Get into the Groove, and Holiday. Watch the music videos for those and you'll see what I mean. And did you know Cyndi Lauper had a rockabilly band before she became a pop icon? They were called Blue Angel, and I often play their stuff at my parties. They're great.

Italo Disco's lovely too, which was Europe's answer to Stock, Aitken Waterman. Masses of the stuff, some of it exceptionally good dance music. Sometimes it has sad lyrics in charmingly broken English, set to music that tugs at the heart-strings. I joined the Italo Disco craze a few years ago, along with many other DJs and music producers. The Guardian had a good article on it a few years back:

But every decade since the '70s has incredible dance music to choose from. Now I listen to and play a lot of music that's inspired by the '80s and by Italo Disco, but also traces its roots to the '90s. It's mostly Nu-Disco, Indie Dance, and non-minimal, vocal house music (without veering into the sordid arena of 'handbag house' too often!). This ranges from early 2000s electroclash (the very best of DMX Krew, Fischerspooner, Le Tigre, Peaches, etc.), to newer stuff by the likes of Parallels, La Roux, Gossip, Marsheaux, and The Outrunners. I highly recommend you give them a listen (you will have heard La Roux and Gossip), or come hear this and more at my next gig. I'm not sure when or what that will be, but follow me or subscribe to me on Facebook to stay tuned: (facebook) (soundcloud)


The crowd at Homolicious 1986

Homolicious 1986

By the way, I had a such a good time mixing tunes for y'all at Homolicious 1986! Thanks to Aaron and Andy, Ellie Kat (whose shows were hot!), and the many wonderful dancers, groovers, and stylers. I really enjoyed working with VJ Rayzordoll too - who wove incredible video magic with glammed up images of pride marches, lions, fluffy cats flying through space in triangles, and Carmen Rupe (RIP). There were so many wonderful cozzies, moves and complements. You're all gorgeous and wonderful. Aaron and Andy have Homolicious 96 coming up, so look out for that too. - 27th June 2012

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