Strange things happen

ih_packshot.jpg This is strange – I’m listening to house music and I like it.

Yes, I know some of the tracks on this complilation are now 15 years old and so I can’t pretend I’m actually moving with the times. In fact I suspect that the marketing men at Warner were aiming this compilation exactly at people like me because any serious dance music follower would have these singles gathering dust somewhere.

But I really do like a lot of this stuff even though there was a time when I belonged firmly in the if it aint got guitars then it aint a song brigade and laughed at friends who had declared the death of rock music.

So what’s changed? It’s not nostalgia because I never took ecstacy and waved my arms about to Voodoo Ray and I never attended warehouse raves. I still listen to bands playing rock, but I think 9pm by ATB is great and I always liked stuff by Robert Miles and William Orbit.

What prompted me to spend a tenner on this three CD compilation was a conversation in a bar with one of my bosses. He asked what I thought of the house-disco stuff being played and I said I quite liked it. But would you listen to it at home? he asked. Nah, I said, you listen to this stuff in bars and clubs not your front room.

But why? Does house music really sound worse when you are working, or in the car or just sat at home? So I bought the CD and I’ve had it on since. It’s brilliant background music while your surfing the web, great when your on the motorway and my daughter doesn’t demand I turn it off the stereo (try the Icicle Works or Julian Cope with a five year old – there is no chance).

I suppose the real reason why I am enjoying this is that while I have paid next to no attention to the development of house music, most of these tracks have been buzzing away in the background throughout the past decade in various locations.

Unlike with punk or indie there is no story to most of the artists, no real personalities to recall but I think those of us who mocked the arrival of techno and house have to admit that it has become the soundtrack to so much of our lives. We won’t be singing along to Underworld at our 40th birthday parties but there is a fair chance that we will be dancing to them.