The return of house music

Spend enough time on the Beach and it can seem as if every sound system marches in lockstep. In 1999 it appeared that the music police were practically forcing every restaurant in town to play the Gipsy Kings -- and nothing else. Meanwhile the clubs were filled with trance's aural whitewash, leaving dancers searching for more soulful fare. Things only got worse the following year: Restaurateurs picked up on clubland's latest fad, trading their in-house flamenco for ear-shattering trance CDs spun on a never-ending loop. Fortunately diners no longer need to ask their waiters to hold the glow sticks. House music has returned from hibernation in all its jazzy, loose-limbed, Afrocentric glory, cropping up in both eateries and nightspots. How long this respite will last is anyone's guess. Local DJs and club owners have embraced the genre's driving bass lines and four-on-the-floor rhythms more out of novelty than a love for the music's own merits. Still, this is dance music. Best not to analyze too much -- shake it while you got it.


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