Give Me Dynamite (Manovski Mix Edit)
Give Me Dynamite (Manovski Mix Edit) is available at:
Italy/Los Angeles, U.S.A.
15th December, 2016
THE last couple of reviews has seen me feature two…
female artists with a fair bit in common. Aside from being flame-haired and young; they both have acting/modelling connections and a similarly alluring and tempting brand of music. Natalie Gray is a British artist I am excited about but am equally curious about U.S. Dance artist Ginny Vee. I’ll come to her very soon but, first, wanted to take a good look at L.A. and those who betray expectations and follow their own course. It is hardly surprising look at Ginny Vee and realising she is a model. It is not a sexist observation or me being ‘male’: she is incredibly striking and has those perfect features. Why I bring it up is because many, upon seeing her, might reduce her to component parts. There are a lot of very beautiful women in music who are overlooked and patronised because of their looks. Taken less seriously and assumed to be insignificant: there is an attitude in music, and society, that needs stamping out – something I will talk about more soon. Ginny Vee (I’ll use her full name throughout) has that film star look and is a classic, elegant beauty; someone who, on her single artwork, has a serious and in-command look. She is not the usual made-up, all-smiles Pop star one can find beaming dementedly from the cover of their latest album. There is a tendency, as has been the case for years, to market and sell a certain type of artist. They tend to be female, very beautiful and eminently malleable. Almost tools for marketing men and big record labels: often talent is secondary to sexuality; the sex element sells and it is all about looks and images. Ginny Vee is signed to Sony, again, I’ll come to that, which is a label who could be accused of such practices. I will not put them under the bus but there are similar-sized labels who deal exclusively with the cheaper end of the spectrum. Ginny Vee is not someone who conforms to those ideals and commands. She is a model and gorgeous woman but it is someone who is dedicating herself to music.
That is the first thing I wanted to shine a light on: artists who have other careers and are told to get a ‘secure job’. That rather condescending phrase is something I have heard myself – when explaining my desires to pursue music journalist full-time. Ginny Vee has modelled and travelled around the country but been told (by wary parents) to get a ‘proper job’ as it were. After that consultation, she has decided to go into music: perhaps as uncertain and unpredictable as any career you can name. There is something fascinating and dream-like about Ginny Vee. She has that film icon sort of lifestyle. I may be over-glamorising things but the image of living in L.A. and working in modelling is something many envy and chase. Maybe the romance and perfection of the job is exaggerated: the reality is a lot more pragmatic and far less appealing than many would understand. It is perfectly sensible Ginny Vee has decided to put that sort of life on the back-burner and leap into a much more fulfilling and less demeaning industry. I mention this subject because, in a way, a lot of modern female artists are music-models: produced and made to look a certain way and corralled like livestock. Ginny Vee is someone who balks against that and is one of the strongest and most determined artists I have come across recently. I mentioned the artwork for her latest single: she is standing tall and not taking ‘no’ for an answer. Los Angeles is back under my radar but for a different reason than previous occasions. I will crack on with talk about Dance music and the differences between the decades but wanted to shine a light on the U.S. city and the artists/sounds coming through this year. Thanks to L.A. Weekly – http://www.laweekly.com/music/10-la-artists-to-watch-in-2017-7794572 – for their tips and expert predications. I will return to Ginny Vee and her musical exploration but want to look at BOYO. Their hipster/exclamation name suggests something loud and brash. Rising from the dust of Bobby T. and the Slackers; BOYO – not sure what it is an acronym for – is Robert Tilden’s project. The melodic sensibilities of new E.P., Machines, steps away from the Psych.-Pop foundations and provides more tenderness and Elliot Smith-like songs – the band summon images of From a Basement on the Hill throughout.
Elijah Ocean moved from Maine to L.A. to follow music and find opportunities. Having spent a couple of less-than-happy years in Brooklyn – not quite the right area for his blend of Country – Los Angeles has proved a more hospitable and safe space. His late-‘60s Laurel Canyon Country vibes have seduced crowds from Needles through to Malibu – that looks set to broaden as we head through this year. Lawrence Grey, conversely, shows the swathes of variation and contrasts L.A. provides. Closer in sound to Ginny Vee than others: his sweaty blends of warehouse Dance and midnight-moonlight soundtrack that blasts heads and ensures full-on, busted-speaker rampages. What is unique about Grey is the way he creates the dystopian, snarling sounds. Weirdly, he recorded songs reel-to-reel and soaked the tapes in starch (stay with me); he left them to ‘mature’ in the L.A. sun for a couple of weeks and, that corroded, damaged result is what you hear. The resultant malformed beast is maladjusted and uncouth yet strangely graceful: a cocktail blend of dark, smoky liquor and fruity, creamy flavours. You would not think that mixture would be palatable: far from it, as with Grey, you get an artist willing to take risks and own every one of them. Speaking on no-nonsense artists; Natia is a hybrid of all sorts of artists. In the same way Lawrence Grey is a Guantanamo Bay of animal-costumed trips and head-fu*ks: Natia has the drug-addled spirit of Danny Brown and Wu Tang Clan at their most violent and vivid. Toss in some Eminem-themed perverse-poetry and you are some way to explaining the Inglewood man. There is a West Coast melodic sensibility – the words and vocal delivery definitely feel like they come from Brooklyn or Boston – but you have that balance and light where required. He is someone who will be building on past successes and ensuring many eyes are cast his way.
If you thought L.A. was all about Pop and softer sounds; the small selection of 2017 promises have shown you cannot predict anyone. Ginny Vee fits very well into that culture: on paper, you think you have her figured yet that music begs to differ. Upset is another Los Angeles artist, or team should I say, that brings together former members of Hole, Vivian Girls; Slutever and Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez employees. The combination is strangely solid and natural. The feral and accelerated pace of ’76 is the band’s ten-inch, eight-song L.P. that brings Punk and humour together. You get good-time vibes but a definite authority of Punk and Alternative – hardly surprising given the experience of each member. That provides a window into 2017 L.A. and the types of artists making strides. It will be interesting to see how Ginny Vee progresses but I feel she could have a very busy year ahead. Her brand of Dance music fits well in the city and, like many of her peers, can get people jumping from the back-alley clubs of downtown L.A. and the vibrant beaches of Malibu. Going back to my original point: that desire to take music up and bring her experience to the forms quite a bold move. Modelling is not a secure job but seems a lot easier (maybe I’m naïve) than music. Rather perfectly, a lot of the skills and discipline one needs for modelling goes into the music fi Ginny Vee. Give Me Dynmaite (Manovski Mix Edit) has that sexy and direct performance but there is so much nuance and work going on between the notes. If you are familiar with Steve Manovski (who mixes this track): he co-produced Sigala’s Give Me Your Love. Aside from the similar titles – each song could be a call-and-response seduction from a male-female perspective – there are threads in common and a definite shared motive. The tracks have a very modem aesthetic but hark to the classic avenues of House and late-1980s – early-‘90s Dance. Before I look at past Dance and cast Ginny Vee there; it seems modern Dance music is not quite as endangered as once I feared. In previous reviews, I have waxed lyrical about the ‘classic’ era for Dance – from around about ’86 to ‘99/’01, roughly – and the fact modern equivalency is far from equal. Current Dance and House is a much more direct and simple. It has been a while since I’ve been faced with a Dance artist so it is good to be back!
I am not down on modern Dance but feel Ginny Vee is a slight breath of fresh air. She is someone who brings back some of the nuance – sorry to keep throwing that word around – and sophistications of bygone House with the appeal and universal allure of legendary Dance. Steve Manovski gives Give Me Dynamite, befitting of the title, a certain sexuality and raw edge; by and large, it is not as one-dimensional and unsophisticated as her peers. I think one of the problems with some Dance music is the way music is changing in general. There is a lot of reliance on technology and hi-tech equipment: a lot of the D.I.Y. music tends to occur in other genres. Dance, in a lot of ways, is glossy and polished – certainly when it comes to the chart-bound stuff. You get producers laying it on thick and whitewashing tracks to the hill; stripping it of any emotion and soul and reducing it to a disposable and shallow thing. Maybe that is what many club-goers want: something that suits their inebriated minds and gets the floors bouncing, nothing more than that. The trouble is this, thought: the best dance music was never meant to accentuate drunkenness and that Club 18-30 debauchery: it was intended to get people unified and lift the spirits – without the need to neck alcohol and get wasted. Maybe the club scene has changed (since the 1980s) but there is an over-reliance on the cheap and easy form of Dance: asinine lyrics and generic beats; overly-processed performances and a complete lack of sophistication. As I type this, rather wonderfully, Jump Around has come on the radio. House of Pain’s 1990s gem showed what a vibrancy and excitement there was in the air back then. I’ll bring similar songs into the mix in the next section but that sort of proves a point: back then, music was aimed at the masses and had that charm and quality. Now, there are fewer and fewer examples of Dance artists designing music for everyone.
Luckily, Ginny Vee, teaming with a savvy producer, has created a song that sits on the quality side of the fence. Whilst not as strong or memorable as the finest Dance of the past – it does not set out to have that sort of sound – it is one of those songs that crosses party lines and brings in the undecided voters. My current playlists are not overflowing with Dance/House tracks (from modern acts) so I am always sceptical and trepidation-filled when approaching a contemporary Dance artist. Fortunately, Ginny Vee exudes personality and ability throughout Give Me Dynamite, Back at the end of April, I actually reviewed Give Me Your Love and was impressed by what I heard. Sigala hooked-up with John Newman to create something summery, rousing and impossible-to-ignore. Nile Rodgers’ partial production and guitar work added extra lustre and quality to the song. Both songs, Give Me Dynamite and Give Me Your Love, subvert expectations and sprinkle in elements of past Dance glory. I have gone on a bit in this section so, before I move things on, wanted to look at the evolution of Dance/House and European music and the scene there – finishing by talking about mood and colour in music (and its importance). I mentioned a certain House of Pain song that, the second I heard that introduction, took me back to the 1990s. A better time for many, and music indeed, it is being commemorated here on BBC Radio 6 Music on Friday – well, 1994 is for sure. I grew up listening to the tail-end of Dance and House in the 1980s. You had songs like Funky Cold Madina (Tone Loc) and Buffalo Stance (Neneh Cherry); there was Back to Life (Soul II Soul) and all manner of wonderful colourful and vivacious jams. What defines those songs, and the era in general, is the sense of unification and humanity. Dance was designed to get people thinking about the wider world and spirituality; there was a sense of importance and addressing issues that strayed away from the mainstream.
Buffalo Stance refers to models and photographers (‘buffalos’) that have that ‘stance’ – almost animal-like and dazed. There is an innocence and fun, and whilst some of the music is dated, the overall feeling is one of joy and hope. Pop into the 1990s and you have those bangers. On the ‘darker’ side of the coin; there was Acid-House and Jungle beasts like The Prodigy taking you into the underground, guerrilla-like and tooled-up. The intelligence and genius in their finest moments – sampling and pushing the boundaries – inspired a generation of producers and D.J.s. Faithless, Massive Attack and Portishead brought you into a murky world (part of the Bristol Trip-Hop scene in that decade) with jittery synths., strange moves and some of the biggest anthems of the period. On the ‘lighter’ side, one could find those evocative jams we all know and love. Take a trip through Groove Is in the Heart – featured on Deee-Lite’s 1990 masterpiece, World Clique. Rhythm is a Dancer is one of those classic anthems; Rozalla’s Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good) is an enduring song whilst Baby D’s Let Me Be Your Fantasy could easily mix it in the current Dance scene. Toss in more dated, but equally striking songs like The Key, The Secret (Urban Cookie Collective) and you have a semblance of the 1990s’ Dance scene. I bring this to show just how Dance has changed in the last couple of decades. Although Ginny Vee might be more inspired by the likes of Sigala and Rudimental; one feels there are influences of 1980s/’90s Dance in her current smash. Give Me Dynamite seems to blend little drips of classic House with some of the more mainstream Dance sounds of that period. I will come to the European Dance scene but wanted to compare Ginny Vee’s song – very much in the House oeuvre – with the best House tracks ever.
Your Love is, perhaps, one of the finest House tracks ever. Frankie Knuckles, referred to as a godfather of House, hailed from Chicago (the mecca of House) took Jamie Principle’s track and gave it a more direct version. Arpeggiated synths. and across seven-and-a-half-minutes you get heartfelt, pure love with a floor-filling testament. The song has been much-covered but none got close to the House classic. Fingers Inc. and their standout, Mystery of Love, is one of those songs that demands you get onto the floor and move. It is a mid-‘80s classic that is seductive and romantic but has plenty of atmosphere. Raze’s Break 4 Love goes beyond the sex-track that is/was synonymous back in the day: its subject matter does, as name suggests, makes room in the diary for some sheet-rustling action. Its much-sampled bass and lines mix with obscure sampling (the orgasmic moan in the song is soured from Airplane!). It shows the marriage of producers and subject matter can make a belter; thinking outside the box and going beyond expectations. That is, to me, what great House music is all about? Consider Chime (by Orbital) for instance. The ambient-room chill-out is spacey and sweet-leaf enough to have you relaxed and horizontal, yet, there is enough sassiness, beat and come-hither cocksureness to get people on the dancefloors, gyrating and throwing shapes about. If House of the ‘80s and ‘90s was defined by a certain physicality and sexuality: Good Life is something that has more in common with the Dance anthems of the time. It is unapologetically upbeat and positive; Kevin Saunderson’s maestro touch and his House-Pop splicing brought ‘80s synths. into a 1990s banger – complete with sultry, hypnotic Paris Grey vocals. The House and Dance music of the ‘80s and ‘90s was, to me, at the very peak of its powers. I bring these cast studies in because there are exhibits of the classic House mantra being weaved through Ginny Vee’s Give Me Dynamite. Aside from the cattle-herding simplicity of mainstream Dance; artists like her evoke memories of the House and Dance scene back then – showing the form has not evolved beyond the point of recognition. The D.N.A. remains and without the phenomenal legacy laid down back then; there would not be such a busy and varied Dance scene now. Sure, there is a distinct and gradual down-arc in terms of scope and quality: modern Dance and House is a lot less experimental and inventive as the forefathers. Perhaps there is less room to explore or market demands have changed. In a time when we all need to hang on to hope and a perspective of optimism – tracks like Give Me Dynamite is much-needed and crucial.
Right, I shall get to Ginny Vee’s current song very soon but something about her interests me: the way she is integrating with the European music scene. I forgot to mention a couple of things in my L.A. section. Ginny Vee travelled there to pursue acting work. Talk of ‘secure jobs’ and I guess going to Los Angeles and trying to make it as an actor is as unsure and (big a) gamble as it gets. Whilst in the city, no doubt, she would have been turned onto the Dance music coming from Europe. Disco Wax: Sony Music snapped her very soon after she was spotted by former L.A. producer Christian DeWaldwen. He set her up with Vanni Giorgilli and Pete Chiesa at Mind the Floor. If L.A. was a base for Ginny Vee, it is her European heritage that perhaps her music more than American roots. She is Italian-born so is naturally attuned to the styles and flavours of European House music. If America seemed tempting in regards acting and modelling – and the lively, multifarious music out there – it is the legacy and reputation of European Dance music that enforces moments like Give Me Dynamite. I have waned and discussed the changing skin of Dance/House from the 1980s but it is interesting seeing the differences between modern-day British and European Dance. I find, with many areas of society, nations like Italy and Holland are much more liberal, sensible and open – certainly Holland! After Ginny Vee spent time in L.A., she made a break from her covers-group Bella Ma Bella and worked alongside some of Italy’s finest Dance producers. Right now, in the Italian Dance music charts, the likes of The Chainsmokers, Clean Bandits and Zedd are filling up the high spots. If their charts are filled with British/American sounds, I feel their producers and D.J.s are not as reliant on our scene as one would imagine. There is something about European Dance that has that extra sense of magic and passion in it. Italy, unsurprisingly, is a nation synonymous with passion: you hear that with artists like Ginny Vee and producers such as Vanni Giorgilli.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sara Santirocco
I am not surprised our heroine has been keen to join forces with Italian producers and get her sounds out into the European market. Give Me Dynamite recently made its way to the Amsterdam Dance Event and got that all-important Sony recognition. I feel, if you are Dance-House artists, getting settled in Europe is essential. That sojourn to Amsterdam has opened Ginny Vee’s music to a whole new audience. Not only has the festival experience been invaluable: others on that bill will look her way and be keen to collaborate (one would assume). Like all the best House music in the ‘golden era’ – magic happens when you have a producer (the RIGHT producer) take a song on and add their stamp on it. Give Me Dynamite is a Manovski Mix Edit and draws Ginny Vee’s singular talent with the expertise and knowledge of Steve Manovski. Ginny Vee comes from Italy so has an understanding of the market there. She has crossed into other countries and got a full scope of how European and British tastes differ. Sure, British Dance acts vibe from what is happening on the continent but I tend to find there is a much more insular scene than once was. In the past, artists would source inspiration from across the waters and other genres. A lot of modern Dance/House is fed through laptops and machine so not as proactive when it comes to reflecting European and International tastes. I have reviewed a lot of British Dance and, by and large, feel it could so with a little more invention, colour and mood-blend. Too much of it is rigid, overly-emotionless and machine-like. Dance music should get all people together and elicit something deep-down and soulful. The finest Dance transcends time and location and get into the global consciousness. There is some great modern Dance but I find it is limited and does not have the ability to survive down the years. Ginny Vee, was she British, might be in the same boat, but, as it is, she has a much more broad-minded approach to music and has helped craft something widescreen and populist at the same time.
How much of Ginny Vee’s own words and ideas go into the song – whether producers have taken it over – I am not sure; yet her inimitable, passionate tones elevate the song above the realms of chart fodder: a song that can score British clubs and make its way back to L.A. What I love about it (Give Me Dynamite) is the employment of colours and different emotions. If a lot of Dance is either too prurient/single-minded; the other camp is somewhat synonymous with a sterile, clinical sound. Whilst Give Me Dynamite does have a sense of directness and tradition (aimed at getting sweating clubers going) there is an element of colour and vivacity that really appeals to me. All the finest and most interesting Dance/House tunes had that dynamic. Whilst Ginny Vee’s current smash might take a bit of time to convert those who have turned away from modern Dance (like me); there is plenty to impress and applaud in Give Me Dynamite. It is as explosive and demanding as its title but has depths and repeatability. Whether it is fully embraced by British audiences, or remains rooted in Europe, has yet to be seen but know there will be plenty of stations here that will play it. Having that time in L.A. – the kind of music that is favoured there – Ginny Vee will know how to aim her song at American audiences. She has a great set of supporters behind her and excellent production values. Her songwriting and vocals get into the heart and draw you into the song. Those are commodities hard to find in any style of music – let alone the rather restricted areas of Dance. It seems like I am on a downer in regards modern Dance but am someone who remembers the quality there was back then and measures current sounds against it. As the summer is looming, we are all looking for songs that bring the sound and evoke heat. You get measures and lashings of that with Give Me Dynamite.
Like a lot of artists I review; I look back at their career and see how they have progressed the last couple of years or so. With Ginny Vee, Give Me Dynamite is, perhaps, her most relevant work yet – it is her strongest, in my view. Before then, she has been busy and ensured she covered a lot of ground. In terms of output, there were a lot of cover versions that gave Ginny Vee a chance to show just how malleable and flexible she is as a performer. Writing’s on the Wall and When We Were Young – by Sam Smith and Adele respectively – are two modern songs that are adapted and reinvented in Ginny Vee’s hands. They contain strands of the original but are revitalised and repurposed; ensuring they reach a larger audience and given that extra ingredient the originals were missing. The same can be said for Glory Box (Portishead) which, although covered by others, never done the same way as when Ginny Vee tackled it. I feel these songs and moments were starting-blocks and a young artist exploring different genres and adapting songs for her own means. Give Me Dynamite is that important step forward that suggests more original material is just around the corner. It is the strongest thing Ginny Vee has created and signals a new stage in her career. I would love to see more songs like this and maybe a full-length record in the coming months.
The opening moments of Give Me Dynamite provide indication of what is to come. The claws are out and the heroine is not backing down. Ginny Vee’s voice that a very precise and sweet nature but carries determination and plenty of strength. She is backed by racing electronics and beats that mixes the modern-day dancefloors and a sprinkling of 1980s/’90s Dance. Maybe she has backed down in the past but is now ready and prepared. Perhaps overlooked in life or a bit timid: this is the moment to forget all of that and just go for it. If the lyrical sentiments have a whiff of familiarity, the way they are presented is never cliché or routine. It seems, as things progress, the song reflects love and a current relationship. Ginny Vee is not giving up on things and does not want to hate the guy. Maybe there have been problems in the past and disagreements but the heroine just wants things to be better. The ‘dynamite’ that is being referred to could, in some people’s minds, reflect something quite sexual but, essentially, it is a spirit and kick that is much-needed. The song, right from the start, is designed to get people moving and created a hook. Give Me Dynamite does that and ensures it lodges in the mind right from the off. Away from the simple effectiveness of the lyrics; the composition throws in different percussion ideas and choppy electronics. It keeps the song fresh and engaging and means it never sound formulaic and uninspired. The production – thanks to that Manovski remix – bridges commercial appeal and the underground faithful. It is strong and dominating but has just enough gloss to capture the imaginations of the charts. Whether you see great Dance music as something that should stay in the underground – and hark back to the glory day – or modernised and accessible, you have the best of both worlds here.
As things progress, you are compelled by the story and the real truth behind those lyrics. The heroine does not want things to stop and implores her sweetheart to keep going. Maybe there is something more ‘direct’ and bedroom-based in regards the song – that one night and release that is needed. In my mind, and maybe over-thinking it, I was looking at a bond that had survived some hurdles but was back at its best. The proclamations and decelerations being laid out are not to be overlooked: they are consistently spiked and pressed to ensure the listener understands their meaning. In Ginny Vee, you have no ordinary, hired vocalist that often soundtracks those kind of Dance songs. Even at the mid-way point, she has run through a range of emotions and showed how strong she is. In a way, she reminds me of Sophie Ellis-Bextor and her collaboration with Spiller (on the classic track, Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love). Ginny Vee has that same vocal style that mixes pluminess and a British sensibility with romantic and breezy tones. It is rare to see if modern Dance – a lot of singers favour power over any sort of emotion and technique. Getting more into the song, as the seconds tick, I was wondering whether things are so straightforward. Maybe the relationship, whatever its state, is not so great and there is some recrimination. The word ‘hate’ is thrown around quite liberally so I wonder if that relationship is over or the heroine is trying to forget mistakes of the past. That dynamite figure and idea could refer to an explosion of emotion and expression that is needed – getting those words out and saying what’s on your mind. I had assumed it was a lustful/romantic rush but, as things get deeper, my mind is changed. I hear a lot of anger and directness in the delivery, but there is some obliqueness in the lyrics.
Too many modern Dance tracks are simple and leave little openness for interpretation and guessing. I suppose that is the way the market is developing: people want something easy and consumable without having to think too much. Give Me Dynamite effortlessly pleases those who want a direct rush and song that hits straight away but there is that nuance and other side that is quite complex. That will give the Dance faithful something to chew on and be pleased about. That chorus is so hooky and earworm-y you will replay it and keep coming back for more. In that sense, it is perfectly primed for radio and the needs of the modern club-goer. The song has a lot of summery vibes and warmth that makes it just-right for the beaches and summer festivals. I wonder how Give Me Dynamite will be employed and what life it will take throughout this year. It is a big and brash banger that has already received a lot of love across social media and music-sharing platforms. It is no surprise as it mixes different decades and genres of Dance but has that contemporary sheen that ensures it gets right into the brain. I guess that is what you want from a Dance song: it needs to make an impression but ensure you want to hear it again. Thanks to the fantastic remix and production values it does that; Ginny Vee is a commanding and effective heroine whose voice gives the song gravitas, directness and plenty of mystery. It is a great performance and marks her out for future success. If you need a song that beats away the winter blues and lodges in the memory – this is the one for you!
This is the stage of a review when I usually predict what an artist is up to and where they are headed. In physical terms, I am not sure whether Ginny Vee is back in Italy at the present or still in L.A. Both have appeal and lure but one feels she will find herself in the U.S. in the long-term. I mention this because it appears there are more opportunities out there. The great thing about Give Me Dynamite, like a great car or cuisine, is it has the right mix of ingredients and craft. You have that Northern European Dance sound and European helm together with sensations and sensations of L.A. beaches. Many reviewers have been lending their thoughts to the song – I am a bit late to the pool party! – and described it in differing terms. It is clear you get tropical-bang and poolside bliss; sun-soaked sensations and cocktail-demanding cool. It is a rapturous blend of elliptical highs and lacking inhibitions – where you are willing to down a couple of cocktails and let the night take you where it may. Manovksi takes Ginny Vee’s solid and captivating vocal and provides a club-ready, instant feel. That is not to say it has been watered-down and given a vasectomy. In fact, there is that just-so balance of radio-friendly sounds and raw highs – just enough to get Dance aficionados nodding their heads in approval. I’ll come back to L.A. and Europe but know, with summer looming, there will be demand out there. The fact Give Me Dynamite was released at the end of last year, seems like an odd anomaly. A song that beckons sun and yearns for the summer might make more sense (arriving) in, say, spring. Maybe the song was just too good to keep back for a few months. Regardless, the track is out there and surely will be included in many summertime Dance compilations and D.J. sets. With any other act – Pop or Rock band for instant – you have their tour dates and they announce where they’ll be. When it comes to Dance/House singers, there is less visibility in that respect.
They have a lot of under-the-radar gigs and tend to play a lot of dates in more intimate club settings. I am not sure whether Ginny Vee is back at the festivals this year: maybe another trip to Amsterdam or a bit of work around Italy, Germany or France? I can well see U.S. dates and demands; British audiences and festivals are recruiting; so I would not be surprised to see Ginny Vee over here. I hope she does come and brings Give Me Dynamite along with her. Again, I am unsure whether we are hearing a standalone single or there is word of an E.P. coming up. As summer is almost upon us (getting slowly there) one imagines a whole raft of Dance acts are preparing their brightest, warmest tracks for public approval. I would like to see a Ginny Vee E.P. rock-up around about June/July: maybe bring producers Vanni Giorgilli, Pete Chiesa and Steve Manovski. Manovski is from Australia so has those ties with the artists over there and upcoming Dance acts like Flume. Working with Sigala, he knows the best British talent emerging so crosses continents and nations. Linking with Ginny Vee gives him a sense of Italian music and L.A. suggestions; extending into Holland and other parts of Europe. Bringing European producers together with Ginny Vee and Manovski would give any E.P. a cross-continental, multicultural feel that’s hard to beat. The summer is going to be one of the most important for music in a long time. Reacting to the tribulations and trials of 2016: there is a consensus things need to better and humans should bandy-together. Against the ride of division and separation; now, we are in a position where music, in all its many forms, can repair cracks (to a degree). I feel the best uplifting music will resonate most with people. In that sense, Dance music has an important role to play. Ginny Vee understands this and has created a song readymade for packed beaches and enticing tavernas; the inner-city clubs and blaring car stereos. I am fascinated seeing where she goes and what the next year holds. If she continues down this road, I know increased popularity and attention will see her music played more widely in the U.K. That acting/modelling background not only provided her emotional and physical skills required in music – projection and providing something real and urgent – but the desire to focus her mind. She is where she wants to be and doing what she needs to do.
It is no accident Ginny Vee has garnered such an army of fans. Her Twitter numbers (followers) exceed fifty-three-thousand and the figures on Facebook are similarly impressive. Her Pop uplift and Dance cores have spoken to a lot of people and attracted swathes of love. You get the best elements of Pop – the energy and positive vibes – together with Dance pulses and innovative little touches. Ready and rousing for the club-dwellers; soothing and sweet to draw beach-goers into the fold – a song that opens its arms to people and beckons them in. The lyric video to Give Me Dynamite, as you can see, is full of smile, colours and fizz. It gets you in a better mood and noticeably lifts the spirits. I opened by looking at how Dance and House has developed through the years. If Dance is synonymous with Chicago – the best tracks coming from the U.S. and U.K. – the best Dance music from the 1980s and ‘90s is a bit more varied. From Holland’s Deee-Lite to Brits Soul II Soul; Germans Snap! And their equally brilliant European neighbours – roots and influences that have stayed in Europe and inspired the new breed coming through. I feel Dance music peaked in the mid-‘90s but continued strong until the beginning of this century. By the late-‘90s and early years of the ’00; one-off jewels like ATB’s 9 P.M. (Till I Come) exploded from Germany whereas Bombfunk MC’s’ Freestyler put Finnish Dance/Electronic on the masses. Spiller, a Dutch producer and D.J. joined with Sophie Ellis-Bextor on the sensational Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love). In this period (the late-‘90s and early-‘00s) European Dance music showed it had stamina and was bringing something different to the new century. If European tastes continued the great work of the British/American stalwarts of the ‘80s and ‘90s; the House and Dance movement has changed drastically by the middle of the ‘00s. There are far fewer of those blissful, classic cuts that can go down in music legend. What we are finding is a much more commercial sound emerging. Of course, the underground sees renegades and warriors lay down phat beats and slamming bangers every night.
The stuff favoured by charts/mainstream radio has too much gloss and processed vocals; the tendency to be generic and lyrically narrow – songs about heartbreak and asinine representations of feel-good spirit and the need to party. In a way, it is perfectly suitable for a particular location and person: teenager/young-20s clubbers who want to get a bit pissed and find something simple and easy to remember. Back then, way back, there was a sophistication and intelligence designed at different audiences. Those sweeping, dramatic anthems like Unfinished Sympathy (Massive Attack) are almost extinct now. Maybe it is all down to time and zeitgeist trends. In the 1990s and ‘80s, tastes were different and Dance music was starting to take shape and get going. With the passing of time, it has to modernised and shape in accordance to the world around it. I would like to see more of those ‘90s-esque anthems and sensational club gems. Consider something like Groove Is in the Heart and how idiosyncratic and strange it sounds now. Back then (1990), it was not so far-fetched and alien. Maybe I am set in my ways and unable to accept modern Dance but I long to hear a revival of the House and Dance songs we celebrated back then. That is not to say modern alternatives are inferior – or not hugely so. Music has seen some much-needed progressions – cost-effective ways of making home-made music; digital platforms making it easier to access a whole manner of songs; genres pushing on and new styles being discovered – but some have not been so welcomed. I am one of those people who criticised chart music for obvious reasons: a lot of the music is created to be marketable and commercial. Ginny Vee’s music puts me back, to an extent, to that classic time for Dance music. Certainty, the European scene that was resurgent and busy at the end of the 1990s. Ginny Vee has spent time performing and modelling in L.A. but realised her future is in music. Hailing from Italy, and having a stronger connection with the country, she has the romance and passion of her home country but must have taken a lot from Los Angeles and the music occurring there.
I’ll complete by urging everyone to keep an open mind and look at Dance music beyond the remits of the charts. The European market is producing some interesting songs right now. Naturally, Europe adopts a lot of British Dance music but their own artists are showing they have the talent and determination to bring back some of those classic House/Dance strands. Ginny Vee’s Bring Me Dynamite has tingling and energised piano lines; edgy, evocative synths. and some of the freshest vocals around. Consciously or not, there is a little nod to the chefs who cooked up tremendous House music in the 1980s and ‘90s. In 2017, the weather is starting to change and a hopefulness in the air. We all deserve music that gets into our souls and makes us smile. It does not have to portray an important and deep message: something that involves people and gives the body something to get excited about. Ginny Vee provides that in spade-loads and looks set to make a mark this year. Let’s hope there is more music from her and some big festival plans. There are enough pains and problems in the world that are weighing us all down. That is bringing storm clouds and plenty of rain. Celebratory, positive music like Bring Me Dynamite is just the sort of thing we need to…
BRING the sunshine back in.
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