Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"At Once Idiotic and Utterly Mesmerizing"
April 1, 2008 10:51 AM   Subscribe

The hippest of today's French youth can't get enough of Tecktonik--a dance (YT), cultural movement and apparent marketing ploy (in French), Tecktonic is a style of dance characterized by its lack of footwork and embrace of various ridiculous arm gestures. Coupled with a strong fashion sense (in French) involving copious amounts of neon, pseudo (or full-on) mullet haircuts and jeans that could be painted on, Tecktonik is a dance craze that, since its birth in 2000 at a Parisian nightclub, has only increased in popularity.

I can tell you're entranced! Why not give it a try yourself? After you've practiced some of those fly moves, you can dance along to some of the big Tecktonik singles. Finally, be sure and check out the official site
for Tecktonik™-endorsed live music, official CDs and much, much more!
posted by nonmerci (84 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
deez is how vee danse in zee fyooture.
posted by gnutron at 11:03 AM on April 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


Some U.S. rave kids from 1994 called - they want their moves back.
posted by ChrisLee at 11:03 AM on April 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Youtube Yelle remix -- less advertising, more neon sneaker action. I saw this last weekend and just couldn't stop replaying it. Actually, I think it's not so much "idiotic" as "ridiculous." And fun.
posted by ourobouros at 11:03 AM on April 1, 2008


That is soooo TECK y'all!
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 11:04 AM on April 1, 2008


This is a really elaborate April Fool's joke, right? Right?
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:08 AM on April 1, 2008


im down
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 11:08 AM on April 1, 2008


After checking out the linked photos and Youtube video, I can't say that Tecktonik is any more or less ridiculous than any other dance fad in the past thirty years.

Still though. Neon pants and mullets? Seriously? Qu'est-ce que c'est, ca?
posted by xbonesgt at 11:10 AM on April 1, 2008


The kids must be all hopped up on jenkem or something.
posted by Flashman at 11:12 AM on April 1, 2008


Headline: "Tecktonik activity registers -10 on the victor scale."

But it does look fun. At least until I accidentally punch someone in the face and upend a tray of drinks.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:12 AM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I dont know...I'll stick with the French B-Boys, at least that stuff takes talent.
posted by vacapinta at 11:12 AM on April 1, 2008


Bah... today's music ain't got the same soul...
posted by KokuRyu at 11:13 AM on April 1, 2008


Reminds me of the Napolean Dynamite dance.
posted by spiderskull at 11:14 AM on April 1, 2008


Metafilter: at once idiotic and utterly mesmerizing?
posted by xbonesgt at 11:18 AM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


So the 80's are officially back then? Is it okay to to like Michael Mann films now? Is heavy metal coming back? Will rap be good again?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:21 AM on April 1, 2008


I'm pretty sure this is the post eighties revival. But things move so quickly these days, maybe it's even post eighties revival retro. Or a forerunner to the new post eighties revival? Who can tell? Not me, I'm getting old. I used to throw my limbs in the air to Prodigy's "Charly".
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:31 AM on April 1, 2008


Looks pretty aerobic, probably beats all the American kids sitting and drooling in front of their playstations. Approved.
posted by fungible at 11:31 AM on April 1, 2008


Hey, did that guy just say rings are cool?
posted by hellphish at 11:35 AM on April 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yay! My first post has a kinda/sorta seal-of-approval. :)
posted by nonmerci at 11:38 AM on April 1, 2008


So the 80's are officially back then? Is it okay to to like Michael Mann films now? Is heavy metal coming back? Will rap be good again?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:21 AM on April 1 [+] [!]


hah, really? 80s are so back that they're passe again. now you have to wait for it all over again, just to watch ghostbusters 2 without irony. sux, i know.
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 11:39 AM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is still my favourite video when it comes to new dance crazes on tape, though.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:40 AM on April 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I saw this recently on the streets of France and was planning an FPP. Too late I guess.

One of the best I have seen is Mely who is part of Mafia Electro some of whom are featured in the "I Know" video by Dynamic Rockers, filmed at the Trocadero, Paris.

Some of the Techtonik dancing is breathtaking, some of it is cheesy. It really helps to see it in person with a crowd - it's exciting and cannot fail to put a smile on the faces of those watching. Infectious.
posted by fire&wings at 11:45 AM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Really kind of cool.

Im surprised that the Snark Patrol seized on the dance moves instead of going after the mullet.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:46 AM on April 1, 2008


I saw this recently on the streets of France and was planning an FPP. Too late I guess.

One of the best I have seen is Mely who is part of Mafia Electro some of whom are featured in the "I Know" video by Dynamic Rockers, filmed at the Trocadero, Paris.

Some of the Techtonik dancing is breathtaking, some of it is cheesy. It really helps to see it in person with a crowd - it's exciting and cannot fail to put a smile on the faces of those watching. Infectious.
posted by fire&wings at 11:45 AM on April 1 [+] [!]


Yeah, I've been in France since September and this has been consistently on the news/in the streets/fucking everywhere. It's kind of viral at this point and as such I was pretty surprised it hadn't been mentioned on MeFi before. After reading the post on the Guardian, seemed like good a time as any to introduce the hivemind to its charm.
posted by nonmerci at 11:47 AM on April 1, 2008


NOW IS THE TIME ON SPROCKETS WHEN WE DANCE.
posted by iamabot at 11:49 AM on April 1, 2008


OH GOD THEIR OUTFITS MATCH MY BACKGROUND COLOR

disables javascript
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:49 AM on April 1, 2008


How hip can you be if you're doing a dance featured on a video posted in November of 2006?
posted by Dave Faris at 11:50 AM on April 1, 2008


Youtube Yelle remix -- less advertising, more neon sneaker action. I saw this last weekend and just couldn't stop replaying it. Actually, I think it's not so much "idiotic" as "ridiculous." And fun.
posted by ourobouros at 11:03 AM on April 1 [+] [!]


I chose DailyMotion because of the hi-res--and I agree, fabulous song. Another good one by Yelle is her new song, "Je veux te voir" which I find utterly infectious.
posted by nonmerci at 11:51 AM on April 1, 2008


How hip can you be if you're doing a dance featured on a video posted in November of 2006?
posted by Dave Faris at 11:50 AM on April 1 [+] [!]


The dance has been around since 2000. However, it's been in the press recently and seems to be sort of continually blowing up. Not sure when it will be deemed passé, but now is certainly too soon. ;)
posted by nonmerci at 11:52 AM on April 1, 2008


Im surprised that the Snark Patrol seized on the dance moves instead of going after the mullet.

One thing at a time, Senor Cardgage.
posted by adamrice at 12:04 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Looks like they're having a right laugh. I wish I'd summoned the energy to go clubbing when I was in France last week, now. (God knows what the rural Charente-Maritime kids' take on this would've been - they mostly seem to be still actually in the 80s, fashionwise, rather than reviving it.)

ChrisLee wrote: Some U.S. rave kids from 1994 called - they want their moves back.

And they have some UK rave kids from 1989 on hold.

Also, I know we're not supposed to say stuff like this any more, but: Yelle is a very pretty lady.
posted by jack_mo at 12:13 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


soundofsuburbia, bless you for the Jumpen Style!!! flashback.
posted by Kloryne at 12:15 PM on April 1, 2008


Okay. But there's always a little risk involved in claiming that the new is really the same as the old.
posted by washburn at 12:19 PM on April 1, 2008


Were you in La Rochelle, jack_mo? I'm in Poitou-Charentes right now myself, though I have to say that here in Poitiers it's not as big as it is in larger cities.
posted by nonmerci at 12:20 PM on April 1, 2008


As a heterosexual female, I'd just like to say that Yelle is fucking hot.
posted by nonmerci at 12:21 PM on April 1, 2008


Tecktonik--a dance (YT), cultural movement and apparent marketing ploy (in French), Tecktonic is a style of dance characterized by its lack of footwork and embrace of various ridiculous arm gestures. Coupled with a strong fashion sense (in French) involving copious amounts of neon, pseudo (or full-on) mullet haircuts and jeans that could be painted on drugs.
posted by shmegegge at 12:21 PM on April 1, 2008


Im surprised that the Snark Patrol seized on the dance moves instead of going after the mullet.

Here you go:

Handsome.
posted by chococat at 12:30 PM on April 1, 2008


Is this anything like the Japanese 'Para para' another dance which depends on arm movements but little footwork? In that context para para is a line dance, but I noticed that there's a bit of parallel evoloution.
posted by Phalene at 12:30 PM on April 1, 2008


jack_mo wrote:

And they have some UK rave kids from 1989 on hold.

Touche.
posted by ChrisLee at 12:34 PM on April 1, 2008


Technoviking does this while walking.
posted by Sailormom at 12:38 PM on April 1, 2008


I'll never understand the Japanese.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:39 PM on April 1, 2008


Some U.S. rave kids from 1994 called - they want their moves back.

Seriously. The first 2 youtube hits I got could have been any kid in the Baltimore rave scene in the early 90's. This is news now?
posted by overhauser at 12:41 PM on April 1, 2008


These kids apparently mourn the fact that they missed 1985. How is this at all different from the early 80s? Nothing is different, except we didn't know how to dance any better.

Yeah, I remember that feeling that my generation invented everything too.
posted by eatdonuts at 12:41 PM on April 1, 2008


Big fish little fish cardboard box
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:42 PM on April 1, 2008


"Another good one by Yelle is her new song, "Je veux te voir" which I find utterly infectious."
Mmmh. Maybe now would be a good time to, you know, bring up the lyrics.

"Je veux te voir
Dans un film pornographique
En action avec ta bite
Forme potatoes ou bien frites
Pour tout savoir
Sur ton anatomie
Sur ton cousin Teki
Et vos accessoires fétiches"

"i want to see you
in a porn movie
using your dick
shaped like potatoe wedges or french fries
to know everything
about your body
and your cousin Teki
And your favorite sextoys"

I shall add that the song is about Cuizinier, one of the MCs of TTC, a french shock-hip-hop, err, thing. (Like, really really misogynistic).
posted by vivelame at 12:43 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is news now?

Eh, what's the harm? If a bunch of kids want to cut their hair and call these spastic moves dancing, hooray for them.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:49 PM on April 1, 2008


FWIW, I lucked into the Paris Technoparade last September, and can say that a) the dancing was a blast to watch, and b) the crowd was happy, peaceful, funny, gorgeous, diverse, and generally a complete gas to be around. If that was a slice of the "cultural movement," then I'm encouraged. Many photos to be found on Flickr.
posted by mrettig at 12:53 PM on April 1, 2008


People are silly in France also. Film at 11.
posted by dammitjim at 12:58 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


If a bunch of kids want to cut their hair and call these spastic moves dancing, hooray for them.

You'd better smile if you say that to Technoviking.
posted by pracowity at 1:02 PM on April 1, 2008


Tecktonik is indeed everywhere in France, it's in no way cool though. It perhaps used to be cool half a decade ago, but now the mainstream is finally catching on in a slightly take the piss way. An anecdote to demonstrate: one of my friends who's teaching English in primary schools couldn't do 'heads-shoulders-knees and toes' with one of his classes anymore, because all of his ten-year old pupils would always start 'tecktoniking'. Ten year olds are rarely at the cutting edge.
posted by greytape at 1:08 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


are rat-tails back? Cause that would be cool.
posted by empath at 1:08 PM on April 1, 2008


No, I don't think it's cool in the hipster sense, but I'd argue that (also anecdotally, and based on what I've noticed) it is definitely cool in the adolescent and even 20-something demographic.
posted by nonmerci at 1:12 PM on April 1, 2008


I feel just about old enough to start wearing those utility-fishing vest things that many middle-aged Italian men wear.
posted by everichon at 1:18 PM on April 1, 2008


"Hey, Martha Graham, Martha Graham!" -- Wesley Snipes to Woody Harrelson as the latter finishes warm-up stretches in White Men Can't Dance Jump
posted by skyper at 1:19 PM on April 1, 2008


And people are beating up the emo kids?
posted by VicNebulous at 1:21 PM on April 1, 2008


nonmerci wrote: Were you in La Rochelle, jack_mo? I'm in Poitou-Charentes right now myself, though I have to say that here in Poitiers it's not as big as it is in larger cities.

Out in the sticks, near St. Jean d'Angely. (The local club, formerly known as the Acropolis, now the Full Moon, used to be a total hoot: tractors parked outside, massive kick-offs when the local gypsies tried to get in, etc.. Going by the posters I saw, it fancies itself as a hip young Tecktonik joint nowadays.)

shmegegge wrote: drugs.

Not enough, by the looks of it. Didn't spot a single gurn.
posted by jack_mo at 1:29 PM on April 1, 2008


Funnily enough, I've heard about that club, even though I live in Poitiers. Apparently it's a pretty rollickin' place to be...for my part, a dance club in the middle of nowhere just sounds kind of surreal or creepy. I'm not really sure which.

As for the scene here, I'd say it's surprisingly limited, though I did walk by a group of what seemed to be 16-year-olds entirely decked out in the Tecktonic gear. Seems more of a 'cool high-school student' thing here, though I think that changes in Paris and other European cities (like some German ones as seen in tilllate.com).
posted by nonmerci at 1:41 PM on April 1, 2008


Ah, les whacky kids Francais. Departez ma pelouse!
posted by unSane at 2:05 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


What kind of Tek are these kids on?
posted by AdamFlybot at 2:10 PM on April 1, 2008


This is hardly new. I remember seeing versions of it in this French video from 1996, and these guys were much better at it.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 2:30 PM on April 1, 2008


No, dancing with arm movement isn't new, Kraftmatic, nor is hip-hop. Stylistically, the dancing in the video you linked and the dancing in the vast array of Tecktonic videos out on the internet don't share much in common. Add to that the whole trademark concept and you've got something far newer than mid 90's. I mean, Techtonik doesn't claim to be a brand new style of dancing, more like a brand new combination of dance styles set to a specific kind of music.

Unfortunately I couldn't find more on the trademark case and how exactly they were able to win it. I found one article on Le Monde but as I'm not a subscriber I wasn't allowed access to it (archives). Other than that info seemed limited.
posted by nonmerci at 2:40 PM on April 1, 2008


a dance club in the middle of nowhere just sounds kind of surreal or creepy

It's both! Might be worth a trip, if only for novelty value. If you do go, and just to make this the most peculiar conversation I've ever had on MetaFilter: should you have any trouble getting in, ask for Ulrik, and tell him you've been drinking with Thierry at the Bar St. Julien.

People do seem to travel pretty far to get to pretty rubbish clubs in that area - a few years back, I met folk at a gay night in St. Jean (a surprising find in itself!) who'd come all the way from La Rochelle, Poitiers, Cognac, etc. They were all rubbish dancers too, come to think of it.
posted by jack_mo at 2:40 PM on April 1, 2008


You're claiming it was "born" in a Paris club in 2000, nonmerci, but clearly its roots are older. The dancing in the Tek videos I just watched seem very close to the moves by a few of the performers in in the video I linked. I'm sure there are plenty more videos from the same era with similar moves -- I remember seeing kids dancing like this at raves in LA in 1991. Tek is simply another iteration of a dance style that's been evolving for years, and it's really not much of a departure at that. Only the music is a bit different.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 3:08 PM on April 1, 2008


This is still my favourite video when it comes to new dance crazes on tape, though.

soundofsuburbia, I wish I could favorite that about a hundred more times. How awesome would it be to look out your front window one evening and see that?
posted by LeeJay at 3:17 PM on April 1, 2008


Completely not awesome. I'm pretty sure the guy who looked out his window and saw that was the originator of the phrase "get off my lawn."
posted by Dave Faris at 3:42 PM on April 1, 2008


Completely not awesome. I'm pretty sure the guy who looked out his window and saw that was the originator of the phrase "get off my lawn."

Heh, probably so. I'd still like to see it. They should take it on the road. Just show up, dance and then leave. I'm all for random goofiness.
posted by LeeJay at 4:11 PM on April 1, 2008


That's funny, I just saw that Yelle girl on MTV. Apparently she's the "Artist of the Week," which means they show little clips of her almost constantly.
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 4:16 PM on April 1, 2008


I laughed like an idiot at "Je veux te voir".
posted by Wolof at 4:27 PM on April 1, 2008


So, who's going to be the first to video themselves combining Jump Style with Tecktonik to form a new dance? My money's on the Welsh.
posted by jack_mo at 4:28 PM on April 1, 2008


And they all scoffed at David Brent...
posted by h00py at 6:11 PM on April 1, 2008


"I wish I'd summoned the energy to go clubbing when I was in France last week".
Yeah if you want to get punched in the face by some hyper-active teens.
posted by Student of Man at 8:32 PM on April 1, 2008


Damn, nonmerci, that Je Veux Te Voir is one hell of a track.
posted by incomple at 8:38 PM on April 1, 2008


For even more enjoyment, watch one of these with the sound turned off.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:39 PM on April 1, 2008


nonmerci: finally a chance to put my Le Monde subscription to good use!

From what I understand, the trademark originates with monthly "Tecktonik Killer" parties organized at Metropolis (in Rungis, Val-de-Marne) since 2000. The organizers are apparently not directly connected with the dance craze, but they registered "tecktonic" and "TCK" as worldwide trademarks, signed a partnership with TF1, and now you have to use their official DJs and dancers if you want to use the name for a party.

According to the article, we can expect Tecktonic-brand Reeboks (see the Yelle video), hair gel and (you guessed it) Wii game!

I don't have time to develop, so here are the articles if anyone's interested. It's actually pretty interesting stuff, and it comes with the obligatory French sociologist's analysis:

Les agités de la Tecktonik (Jan 9, 2008)
Tecktonik (la danse) = Tck (la marque) (Jan 17, 2008)
posted by OutlawedYeomen at 9:16 PM on April 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not to sound dismissive of this particular phenomenon, but what comes to mind for me--which is along the lines of the discussion in the "sweded" thread--is the following:

1. Take copious amounts of American hipster fashion,
2. Alter it with bright patterns, tight pants, and colors that are a year away from being sold by American Apparel,
3. Attach a non-ironic mullet to the head,
4. Play high BPM French disco a la Stardust/Daft Punk (but at higher BPMs),
5. Add upper-body dance moves reminiscent of krumping,
6. Keep the lower body relatively static as an homage to classic French dance styles (where moving the hips is a no-no).

Wah lah: tecktonik. A mash-up subculture that is more than the sum of its parts.
posted by stannate at 10:36 PM on April 1, 2008


That's great music and deserves a loud dance hall and the dancing is totally fun and loose. I see the rave roots in the moves [someone mention neon], just tweaked to the music. I'm into it.

People, not mullets they're sportin', but more like faux hawks.
The dance step lessons with Wanek were pretty funny, because there were so many. Some of those French names for bands, 'Super Discount' make me laugh. The jumpstyle, looks like line dancing to me./
That Yelle remix video l liked.
posted by alicesshoe at 12:41 AM on April 2, 2008


What's really strange is that the trend is a winner with people form 12 years-old to 25 years-old.
posted by nicolin at 1:29 AM on April 2, 2008


You're claiming it was "born" in a Paris club in 2000, nonmerci, but clearly its roots are older. The dancing in the Tek videos I just watched seem very close to the moves by a few of the performers in in the video I linked. I'm sure there are plenty more videos from the same era with similar moves -- I remember seeing kids dancing like this at raves in LA in 1991. Tek is simply another iteration of a dance style that's been evolving for years, and it's really not much of a departure at that. Only the music is a bit different.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 3:08 PM on April 1 [+] [!]


I wish you would have read the post. :) I'm not claiming any such thing--its creators who successfully trademarked are the ones behind the claim.

Of course any dance movement or 'craze' has roots that go back further than when the new dance itself came about--no one is claiming the contrary. Regardless, the video you linked to showed dancers using arm movements in a way reminiscent of Tecktonik yet not at all in the same style. You seem to also be willfully ignoring the fact that the music Tecktonik dancers dance to is one of the fundamentals of the dance, so your mid-90s French hip-hop isn't at all in the same ball-park.
posted by nonmerci at 4:13 AM on April 2, 2008


I'm with stannate on this similarities to krumping - this looks like accessible krumping done by heavily fashion led students that attend those hacienda classics/faux seventies nights, who, at all costs I try to avoid.

Slightly worried by the fact that some of what they do, I also do in certain night clubs (a product of having little floor space in which to move). Though I swear I dont have a mullet. And I usually dress in black, blue or grey with the occasional white tshirt. Ok quite worried because I do a fair few of their movements. I swear next time I go out to dance I'm putting my hands in my pockets.

But, krumping is probably newer than this, certainly this predates Rize by a few years.

And try as I might, I just can get Jumpstyle to stick in any of the clubs I frequent
posted by 13twelve at 4:30 AM on April 2, 2008


Damn, I remember being called a 'graver' back when I used to dance sort of like this to Front 242 and the like back in the early/mid 90's... I thought I was just making it all up and having a good time, everyone else thought I was faking a seizure or trying to karate fight invisible spirits. Good times, good times.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:15 PM on April 2, 2008


I remember busting moves a lot like this twelve years ago at Mannequins on Cast Member nights at PI. THURSDAY NIGHT: DV8!

If anyone here understands any part of that previous paragraph, friend me so we can compare notes.
posted by britain at 2:17 PM on April 2, 2008


WTF!

This is KRUMPING for white people!!!!
posted by liza at 6:56 PM on April 2, 2008


Oh I totally remember this from last year in Paris. I "grew up" in the rave scenes in Ontario (Toronto, London, Windsor), Indiana (B-ton, Indianapolis) and Chicago, so I've always had this odd combination of jacking, liquid, and whatever crazy jumpstep stuff us Toronto kids did. This worked pretty well here in North America, but I always got odd looks in Paris. Then one day I saw some kids wearing "Tektonik Killers" t-shirts getting down in their own gangly way and it totally made sense. Of course, tektonik is the height of "bad"/"poor" taste (class implications included) in the minimal techno scene I was circulating in, so this was a bit of a stumbling block for me. Lots of "C'est...speciale" comments about my dancing.
posted by LMGM at 10:52 PM on April 2, 2008


Oh, and Yelle totally kicks my ass, especially that song she has about her remote-controlled vibrator (no video for that...yet). I was going to do a post about her insult song ("Je veux te voir"), TTC and Modeselektor, but there was a bunch of administrative roadblocks re: posting translations. Glad Yelle getting some coverage in the blue anyway!
posted by LMGM at 10:54 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, I've got to show Je Veux Te Voir to my French class.
posted by Monochrome at 1:39 PM on April 3, 2008


« Older "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is invers...   |   Researchers at Newcastle Unive... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments