Our work at RSS is deeply rooted in the idea that the dancefloor is home. Dancefloors are liberatory spaces of expression, emotion, social intimacy, and deep cultural meaning. The dancefloor welcomes all, includes all. Throughout our history, dancefloors have been an especially crucial space of exile for marginalized folks around the world. The dancefloor is a permissive and inclusive space, filled with the meeting and mixing of sound, people, and ideas. The dancefloor dissolves borders. It provides refuge. At the dance, you can be yourself, and unite with others as themselves, collectively feel joy, expel fear, alienation, and stress, and move…together.
The story of contemporary global club and dance music is the history of modern forced migration. From the advent of modern imperialism, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism, down through to contemporary manifestations of these violent forces, people experiencing displacement and exile all over the globe have created spaces of dance and music where soul and culture can survive, and people can heal and thrive.
To honor the special connection between the dancefloor, migration, belonging and home, we have created a set of tools for the dancefloor. These sounds, loops and sequences were created from the audio narratives produced with KRM’s “We Create” storytelling/art project.* These stories of life, migration, exile and belonging have been sampled, modulated, manipulated and remixed into a collection of rhythms, atmospherics, drum kits, instruments and short phrases that take on special meaning in the context of the dancefloor. While these sounds can be used to make any music, they are especially suited for producing House music; one of those fundamental rhythms in the DNA of dance music that has spread all over the globe and is bringing folks together through movement and sound. We hope that these voices go on to create new music, new space, and new life on dancefloors here and around the world.
House is home. Go make it.
*A million thanks to Kentucky Refugee Ministries for this opportunity to collaborate and share the stories and sounds of their beautiful community. For more information on their work visit kyrm.org.