“The Electric Ride is that feeling that you need,” DJ Wayne Ski tells me when I ask him what kind of music goes into his show. Wayne Ski’s referral to the necessity of the music I listen to makes me chuckle. In some ways he is right. We all need a little Electronica in our lives.
There is something both fresh and nostalgic about Electronica. It is a genre of music that you can relate to almost anywhere in the world. Whether it is one of the massive clubs you have been to in London’s East End, a beach party you attended while backpacking through Eastern Europe or Australia, or if it reminds you of that hometown bar only a few dared go to in the middle of nowhere America, everyone of us associates Electronica/Dance music to something. Not that I am able to fully articulate what DJ Wayne Ski means when he says it is “a feeling I need;” but I can speculate. Music is meant to be both a part of the present and remind us of a bit of the past. For the listeners of this station, Electric Ride provides that perfect balance.
“This show takes after the mid to late 90s underground house music scene,” Wayne Ski explains. “It is like those old late night college radio sounds we all used to listen to, rather replayed or fresh, mixed in with today’s best Electronica sounds. It’s music inspired by legendary DJs like Louie Vega, David Morales, Kenny Dope, DJ Spinna, and Frankie Knuckles, just to name a few.”
Electronica and Dance music have taken a lot of heat in North America over the years. Why this is, I can only hypothesize. Perhaps it is because we like to think of ourselves more rooted in a folk tradition that helped to define our culture in a time when America lacked such a thing. What it means to be “American” is a topic of continuous debate amongst scholars and professors all across this country still to this day. Sticking close to the music that originated from this side of the Atlantic seems to somehow, incorrectly, better define who we are as Americans. As a result, the sounds of Electronica are often sidelines as Euro-trash and not worthy of mainstream airplay.
Wayne Ski dispels that myth. Being American is about feeling good and celebrating. Just listen to what he has to say about it during one of his breaks: “We gonna vibe out. We gonna have a good time. We gonna celebrate. If you know what a celebration is; it is what it is. This is what the Electric Ride is about—where music makes you feel good. Right? Where music makes you feel good.”
The Electric Ride is a program that exists to help you find your own feel-good groove, and stay there. Let everything else go. Forget about life’s problems and listen to the music. This is the tradition of American music, whether it is the Blues, Jazz, Country, or even Rock n’ Roll, which is a fusion of them all. It’s about finding your groove, gathering what’s around you, and settling in for the ride: “I put the show together according to the groove I’m in. I gather the records together, load them into Scratchlive, buckle my seat belt, and the rest is history.”
Yes—his history. Our history.
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– Kory French