Dance music's Where Are They Now?
Fri 18th Jun, 2010 Featuresin
Ever wondered what became of those dance music identities who were once inescapable? Us too. With Jamiroquai’s bizarre cup noodle endorsement popping up this week, we thought it high time to ask the question – where are they now?
Jamiroquai might be as ‘90s as three quarter pants, but there are people who still dig them. We’ve barely heard a peep from Jay Kay and his carousel of band members since 2005’s Dynamite, an album that didn’t quite deliver on its title. Now the limber frontman has turned up in an unlikely role – spruiking cup noodles in Japan. Apparently the jingle dubbed over the Virtual Insanity lyrics translates as, “I am hungry, I am hungry, I like Cup Noodle, I don’t need other one.” See if it makes you hungry too. Oh, apparently Jamiroquai is also making a new album.
Once the golden child of Australian electro, Muscles famously crashed and burned following some spectacular rants against Modular Recordings – his own label. So where is he now? Well, after going acoustic and doing some dubious DJ tours of the country, Muscles is currently laying low, popping up every now and then to post some fantasy-mixtapes on his Tumblr and tweet about his return to recording. Will we ever see it happen? Who the hell knows.
Scottish rogue Mylo started a minor revolution with his breakout album Destroy Rock & Roll in 2004, touring it for several years after. While the man has given little indication of a follow-up in the six years since, he still pops up to Drop The Pressure with the occasional DJ set. We can only hope the extended break has allowed him time to polish his mixing skills.
Enjoying the obscure honour of being ‘the world’s tallest DJ’ for a short time, Italian house dude Spiller is about as one-hit-wondrous as they come. His saturated single of 2000 Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love) was responsible for introducing the world to Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and has been on Rage rotation ever since. Actually…was anyone actually wondering where this guy has gone?
The biggest ‘Where Are They Now?’ question of the decade, The Avalanches have been missing in action since they delivered one of the best Australian albums ever, Since I Left You. That was ten years ago. In the time since, we’ve been repeatedly told a new record is almost ready, with the most recent teaser earlier this month. We wouldn’t care if there wasn’t every chance it’ll be another classic. We’re also not holding our breath.
Casual observers may be wondering what became of the steady supply of jackin’ gear from California’s Joey Youngman. House heads have had to get used to the fact that the man is now pursuing a new sound as Wolfgang Gartner. It has proved a savvy choice, too, but club kids expecting to see an insouciant 20-something German with an interesting haircut may be surprised.
“I’ve never been to I’ve never been to the USA, I’m a slave on a minimum wage, Detroit, New York and L.A, but I’m stuck in the U.K!” Ah, the sound of 2002. Italian crew Planet Funk did good business with its twin hits Chase The Sun and Who Said (Stuck In The UK), but later releases have failed to repeat the formula. The group released a cash-grab singles collection last year, so the inspiration doesn’t appear to be free-flowing.
If you’re wondering why Jurassic Five hasn’t popped up on a festival bill in a while, you may have missed the under-the-radar announcement of their break-up in 2007. The group didn’t make much of a fuss about the end of J5 after 15 years of service, with Chali 2na doing his own thing and Zaakir and Mark 7 banding together for Portable Payback. Considering they had already lost the towering production skills of Cut Chemist the year previous, it was probably not a bad time to bow out.
Remember Hide U? The crossover drum & bass hit propelled Bristol outfit Kosheen into the charts and onto the Boiler Room bill at Big Day Out in 2002. While you’d be forgiven for thinking they disappeared not long after that, they’ve kept at it – with a fourth album due in 2010. It may yield another floor-filler in the Hide U mould, but in the meantime you can content yourself with the evergreen anthem.
Lovers of progressive breaks will still have a place in their hearts for Nubreed. In the early 2000s, the trio did big things for Australian dance music alongside the likes of Andy Page, Phil K and Luke Chable, propelled by a storming live show. It all came to an end in 2006, but its members haven’t faded away. Danny Bonnici in particular is still a stalwart of the Melbourne scene. Viva la Nubreed!
If you attended festivals at the start of the decade, you would’ve cut sick to Gerling. The much-loved three-piece with the insane live show has been sorely missed, which explains the online petitions to resurrect them. Frontman Darren Cross still knows how to bring the (sweaty) party as The E.L.F. and it is the year for reunions, so we are holding out hope.
We want to know who has dropped off your radar? Maybe other ITMers can help locate the M.I.A. acts…