Reynolds on nu-dancehall:
dancehall’s kind of the default desperation option for the mainstream and hipsterati alike, isn’ t it? It bubbles on pretty much same level of greatness year in year in out, and folks tune into when they’ve got no other options and the springs of vibe have run dry…
Well, yeah. It makes MTV more listenable down the gym. It’s nice to have some OK dancehall rhythms in the charts. But of course we “real reggae fans” (why does this remind me of recidivist Neil Young fans?) are weary and wary of the chart’s suck ’em in and spit ’em out production line recuperation.
So what? It’s just a sign of dance music’s shrinking market, driven by changing demographics if I remember my Monitor report correctly. First dance got mixed up with r’n’b to expand its market, now its dancehall. You can tell how desperate the dance music industry is by how good Trevor Nelson’s show sounds. No more is Soul Nation wall to wall sugar-pop faux-soul; now he can mix in rougher sounds (he’s been championing “the reggae sound” all this year) and grab more audience on the back of dance’s increasing ecumenism. The house and techno audiences are shrinking and being mixed with the r’n’b audience and Nelson’s a winner in this situation. (Did you know he used to be a door to door salesman, or should that be in-home representative, for pensions and financial services? The boy knows how to grab an opportunity.)
What next? Country?