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Alternative Dance

Alternative Dance marries the underground sensibility and melodic song structure of alternative and indie rock with the electronic beats, synths and/or samples, and club orientation of post-disco dance music. While many pop-based alternative artists have experimented with dance and/or electronic music over the years, alternative dance goes a step beyond flirtation, drawing on club culture for inspiration and making it an indispensable part of the overall sound. Although alternative dance music doesn't seem out of place at a dance club, it also works just as effectively outside of that environment, because of its pop accessibility and willingness to incorporate other styles of music. Those qualities put a more human face on alternative dance, as opposed to the more mechanized feel of much standard club/dance music; as a result, the performers are much more closely identified with their music, which often possesses a signature style, texture, or fusion of specific musical elements. Many alternative dance artists are British, owing to the greater prominence of the U.K.'s club and rave scenes in underground musical culture -- their creative fertility helped stimulate more musical experimentation. New Order was the first alternative dance group, pioneering the style with their 1982-83 recordings, which fused icy, gloomy post-punk with Kraftwerk-style synth-pop. In addition to alternative rock, alternative dance was most heavily influenced by synth-pop, acid house, and trip-hop; each of those movements helped spawn a corresponding cachet of alternative dance artists, and had a major impact on Britain's late-'80s Madchester scene, as well as the pop crossover success of several indie-oriented trip-hop artists during the '90s.

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