- Everyone already knows this track. Therefore this review becomes more about what it means than about what it is. For those hiding under a rock, this is Antony from Antony and the Johnsons singing a melancholic lite-disco number with strong radio appeal.
The Hercules Club Mix is the one here, jettisoning the more ‘70s vibe of the album mix for an ‘80s Chicago feel based around bass that surges like the tide, with Antony’s vocals floating frothily over it. It’s much closer to Hercules and Love Affairs previous releases without Anthony, and is the danciest track on the release (let's discount Frankie Knuckles’ fairly cheesy effort).
But getting down to the meat of the issue, this track is important because although DFA bands like LCD Soundsystem and the Rapture have had a lot of visibility with their rock/disco crossover sound for years, this is the first time that the softer, groovier (and, yes, more gay) side of nu-disco has been in the public eye.
This in turn is important because musical styles have souls, although not in the way most people use the word. The soul of rock is the energy and bloody-mindedness of youth. The soul of dance music is open-minded, inclusive hedonism. If dance music is about white kids on drugs, or wedge haircuts, or clicking sounds, it’s dead, because its soul is so much bigger than that.
Yes, ‘Blind’ is accessible, and that’s not a sin, it means it’s inclusive and that’s what dance music is about. And it also aims high, emotionally, making the singer’s feelings seem epic and important, which is important too because we’re not robots—we need more than a rhythm to make us want to dance. Vocals should exist to thrill and excite us with the limits of human emotion, and to do that you can’t hide behind restraint or subtlety, you need the courage to go all out. This is accessible, but it’s also new and ambitious and different, and it has quality.
Music is a culture that lives and has to be sustained. When something comes along that has quality and can reach a wide audience it feeds that culture by inspiring more people to take part. It’s important that things like Basshunter not be the only public face of dance music, but that people all over the world hear tunes played on the radio that inspire them with what dancing can could be about. Ultimately who gives a shit if some of the people involved come from a rock background? The world is already too ghettoised, let’s not build any more.
A1 Blind (Full Album Version)
A2 Blind (Instrumental)
B1 Blind (Hercules Club Mix)