Listening to Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ References

Last weekend, I traveled to Toronto to see the North American premiere of Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour. I feel like a starry emoji (so many sparkles!) incarnate human, with a renewed appreciation for Renaissance, the loose, sprawling album Beyoncé released this time last year. Went home.

Beyoncé’s seventh studio album, Renaissance, is a sonic journey through the history of dance music, with a special focus on the genre’s black and queer pioneers. A perfect balance of many opposing forces is achieved. “Renaissance” is studied and referenced, yet maintains a pleasing lightness. The piece celebrates community and a kind of artistic diversity while centering Beyoncé’s idiosyncratic star power. The album contains some of Beyoncé’s strongest solo singles, but it plays like his DJ set in a row. Sometimes I get the urge to listen to a particular song, but find myself listening to the rest of the album as-is. Overall — again!

Witnessing Beyoncé perform some of these songs live allowed me to hear new elements of an album that already has nearly 4 billion plays. Part of that has to do with the way she contextualized “Renaissance” songs in the evolution of her own catalog (2008’s vampy, hard-hitting “Diva” is a propagation from Beyoncé’s future). ), she also said that the “Renaissance” arguably sits within the larger continuum of pop music, electronic sounds, and black and queer culture.

That’s the project I’d like to continue with today’s playlist, a kind of musical tour through the samples, references and influences I heard on “Renaissance”. Music journalist and electronic dance music scholar Michelangelo Matos greatly appreciated the wonderful writing he wrote for The Times shortly after the album’s release, which served as a listening guide for its many sound footnotes.

We hope you enjoy watching Beyoncé pay tribute to her Chicago mansion. Adonisrebound after 1,000 years big freediapulsating bass lease etc. I hope this playlist helps you listen to “Renaissance” for the first time, learn a little about electronic music history, or just be like Beyoncé or Grace his Jones. move.

Read while listening on Spotify.

One of the formative early classics of Chicago house (a localized subgenre of dance music that spread to the Windy City underground club scene in the mid-80s), Adonis’ 1986 track “No Way Back” , has menacing intensity and a dirty low end. It will prove to have a great influence…(listen on youtube)

…and “Renaissance”’s second track, “Cozy,” certainly has that influence. Producing and writing credits from his Chicago-born DJ and musician Honey Dijon also give this hypnotic track some house-music credibility. (listen on youtube)

Luxurious, timeless, transcendent – Chic’s glorious 1979 “Good Times” remains one of the most famous and most frequently referenced songs in dance music history. Bernard Edwards’ bassline is a beautiful one, given its own extended solo. (listen on youtube)

If Beyoncé intends to pay tribute to Chic the way she nostalgically misses this groovy disco era, then Nile Rodgers might as well join the track. “When I was called to play on this song, it was the most natural thing that ever happened to me,” said Rodgers. Said, won a Grammy Award when “Cuff It” won Best R&B Song. (Beyoncé was fashionably late) or. right now. ‘ And it was one take, I promise. ”(listen on youtube)

Powered by the unmistakable sound of the Korg M1 Organ 2, this 1992 hit is technically a remix of the little-heard 1990 song by Swedish producer StoneBridge. tracking By Robin Stone — Bringing house music into the mainstream in the early 90s, its heavily sampled keyboard riffs are still ubiquitous today. (listen on youtube)

Beyoncé first sampled Big Freedia, the Queen of the Bounce, on her 2016 hit “Formation.” She once again tapped into the New Orleans musician’s highly fiery energy on “Break My Soul,” which samples her 2014 single “Explode.” (listen on youtube)

A fresh, zapped and updated house homage to New Orleans bounce, the “Renaissance” leadoff single “Break My Soul” was a fitting introduction to the album’s dynamic and highly informative sound. (However, as reporter Rich Juswiak discovered when talking to Stonebridge and Robin S., that’s exactly what it is.) how Whether or not “Break My Soul” directly references “Show Me Love” is debatable. ) (listen on youtube)

The term “Reese Bass” derives from the dark, growling bass that rings at the foundation of Kevin Sanderson’s (as Reese) 1988 seminal Detroit techno track “Just Want Another Chance.” refers to the vocal range. Reese is so popular that there are now countless patches and presets that recreate Sanderson’s groundbreaking bass sound. (listen on youtube)

The most outrageous staging of the Renaissance World Tour is when Beyoncé performs the show live. He wears a custom Mugler bee costume and performs from behind his desk like a newscaster trying to brainwash the world. The Reese-influenced tone lends an eerie feel to the song and its live performance. (listen on youtube)

In the mid-to-late 2010s, experimental production collective PC Music pushed pop to its most frenetic and beautifully synthesized extremes, reveling in superficial sheen and outlandish ideas. British producer AG Cook was at the forefront of this wave (also known as hyperpop), with his strangely infectious “Beautiful” from the 2015 compilation PC Music Volume 1. symbolizes the unique sound of (listen on youtube)

Beyoncé achieves a certain hyperpop on this distorted earworm, co-produced by Cook herself. The instrumentation sounds like a malfunctioning computer program, but there’s a growing physicality to Beyoncé’s vocals that gives the song an interesting textural friction and keeps things in the realm of raw and blood. (listen on youtube)

Perhaps the most innovative and influential dance record of all time, I Feel Love is Giorgio Moroder’s heartfelt embrace of electronic music’s early, seemingly endless possibilities. Donna Summer plays the ghost in the machine, spreading ecstatic vocals and achieving a sort of cyborg bliss. (listen on youtube)

It’s risky business to refer to “I Feel Love,” which is as overtly iconic as Beyonce does here. But over four-and-a-half minutes of light falsetto and dizzying sass, she effectively makes her case for the importance of quoting “Summer.” that’s all The way the album ends like “Renaissance”. It’s the ultimate, inevitable conclusion, a fireworks display finale to this dizzying tour of dance music past, present and future. (listen on youtube)

release your sway,


Listen on Spotify. We will update this playlist with each new newsletter.

“Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Reference” tracklist
Track 1: Adonis “No Way Back”
Track 2: Beyonce “Cozy”
Track 3: Chic “Good Times”
Track 4: Beyoncé “Cuff It”
Track 5: Robin S. “Show Me Love”
Track 6: Big Freedia: “Explode”
Track 7: Beyonce “Break My Soul”
Track 8: Reese/Kevin Sanderson “Just Want Another Chance”
Track 9: Beyoncé “America Has a Problem”
Track 10: AG Cook “Beautiful”
Track 11: Beyoncé “All Up In Your Mind”
Track 12: Donna Summer “I Feel Love”
Track 13: Beyonce: “Summer Renaissance”

When it comes to dance floor anthems that consciously draw from the history of house music, I’m really looking for them. Troye Sivannew single from “Hurry up.” I don’t know if Song of the Summer still exists or if it ever really existed, but I’m still grateful he tried it.

“Rush” is one of the 11 new songs we recommend this week. playlist.Check out the full selection featuring tracks from billie eilish, Jamila Woods and Jilin, here.

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