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Move that butt, with some banging music from Noncompliant – it’s what makes you human

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that … jacky thing. Noncompliant’s latest remix embodies a certain sound that makes the tuchas move. And hey, evolution is on her side.

“The secret is in the booty,” says Noncompliant. Her approach to production and digging through tracks is finding something that puts that butt in motion – hard but funky.

It’s worth hearing that in action. I certainly felt it all over again at Tresor this month as Noncompliant came to town, and it’s in her productions, too. Lisa’s a regular source of inspiration to me and thus this site, but it’s worth paying special attention to this release, as it’s been a while and this one … bangs. With video:

Grab the release from Bandcamp:

Let’s talk about the booty for a second, now that she’s brought it up.

I’ve had butts on the brain lately, and not in only a sort of Sir Mix-a-Lot way. Music is connected to the body – part of why the tendency of certain snobby academic composers to reject “beat-based music” is so absurd. (I went to grad school, so I met a lot of those people.) So, first, there is research into the connection between perception of music and stimulation to the motor portions of your brain. You know this already with or without a study, but here’s an example of various studies exploring the phenomenon:

Why do we tap our feet to a musical beat? [Science Daily abstract; original research is in Journal of New Music Research]

That is, it’s safe to assume all music is about physical sensation (via vibration) and connection to motor movements (as rhythm stimulates those bits of your brain and makes you want to move). That shouldn’t have to mean four on the floor – whether you’re talking techno with a bit more funk or something with complex polyrhythms, rhythmic variety itself is a wonderful thing. (Back to those dust-covered academics, I would argue this means you should dance around to Elliot Carter and Fernyhough – and they might even make a nice antidote to the conformity of dance music genres.)

I hesitate to bring it up as this is one of the science facts that generally launches into a clickbait set of gluteus maximus exercises. But… uh, however, it is equally relevant that the way our ass cheeks look is also an outcome of human evolution. The circumstances and sequence are a matter of some debate, but current research consensus seems to conclude that the butt evolved because of our upright posture (rather than the other way around), in case you’re interested in the chicken/egg – standing/butt cheek question:

The morphology of the gluteus maximus during human evolution: Prerequisite or consequence of the upright bipedal posture? [SpringerLink excerpt abstract; Human Evolution article from 2002]

Gizmodo in 2018 did a great overview from different researchers of why butts are important. And it could indeed give you some added incentive to get up and move around and dance, whether you’re into techno or noise.

Why Do We Have Butts?

Now, no matter how many glute repetitions you’ve been doing, you’re not meant to just stand around showing off your chiseled ass. The history of dance all around the world is deeply connected to the pelvis and its motion – and how that impacts motion in the rest of the body. It’s true of music in my Arabic ancestry, like the belly dance. One of the world’s oldest dances, it was originally performed by men, not women – meaning, boys, you cannot use your lack of child-bearing hips as an excuse for standing rigidly by the bar. There’s no question that the groove in today’s electronic music genres has a deep connection to Afro-American and Latin American experience – and if you’ve ever worked with a West African dance teacher, for instance, you’ve had that feeling of loosening your hips and feeling a connection to the Earth.

But again, I suspect we have a pretty skewed vision of what western European dance culture has been, too. Most piano students know that Chopin’s Mazurkas were based on a Polish folk dance, but few would know what that looks like. I was once seated on a plane next to a musician and baroque dance researcher all the way from Amsterdam to Lima, and she lamented the completely made-up line dances from BBC and Hollywood. That means we’re probably ignorant of the kinetic elements even in the concert music tradition.

Bottom line (uff, I really didn’t mean to do that) — yes, moving the booty is essential to music. There are many ways to feel that, but I’ll just close with more of Noncompliant’s unique angle on making our butts move around. Here’s a recording from Radio Quantica, released in advance of an appearance in Colombia:

And for more, check Currents – a new (alpha) service that supports both DJs and producers, in all the ways that mainstream streaming services don’t. (I’ll write about that soon separately.)

https://open.currents.fm/c/noncompliant

Hot jams from 2019:

https://open.currents.fm/post/FdAPGLQT5KeYfQfHKCNm

303+808+909 = 2020 mix:

https://open.currents.fm/c/noncompliant

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