Ubiquitous Sandstorm
December 9, 2014 8:37 AM   Subscribe

How Darude's "Sandstorm" Became the EDM Track Everyone on the Web Knows
posted by josher71 (109 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't think I had ever heard that track before...
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:41 AM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I just stopped by to say that not "everyone" knows it....

well, I didn't....
posted by HuronBob at 8:42 AM on December 9, 2014


God no, I've never heard that before.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:44 AM on December 9, 2014


Lousy as I am with titles of songs I barely know, it took less than a second of YouTube to go "oh, that." I'm pretty sure it's the "there's a dance club in this movie, let's use this, and some strobes, and there will be a fight" song. I mean, Blade, right? Collateral? There must be others. I know I've heard this all over the place. Possibly also mortal kombat, but maybe not.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:47 AM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


... note to self: do NOT use the words "everyone", "nobody", "always", or "never" in a Metafilter FPP.
posted by HuronBob at 8:49 AM on December 9, 2014 [15 favorites]


Also do not use the acronym EDM.
posted by Caskeum at 8:51 AM on December 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


His analysis seems to rely on a perception that dance artists emerge from the ether to try to access and then fail in the US market, rather than, for example, there being thriving national and international music cultures outside the US. He also seems not to realise that the web is not solely a tool for promulgation of US culture and that other cultures can impact on the complex culture that develops there. This track reached the top 10 in nine European countries so had a decent profile, and I would guess is still known to more people in Europe than the US, giving it a decent base to be used for various web based initiatives that require electronic backing music.
posted by biffa at 8:53 AM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's a fairly generic and highly formulaic track, but when I first heard Sandstorm via Dance Dance Revolution (or a DDR emulator, I can't remember), I had no exposure to techno, trance, or similar synth-heavy electronic music whatsoever and it sounded pretty mindblowing at the time. I think it's not just the song that made that sound mainstream, it's the song that brought it to kids like me, i.e. nerds.

In general I think DDR broke down a lot of those high school social dichotomies, because if you liked it you were probably a video game/anime nerd but you were also doing a physical/aerobic activity and dancing to club music...

Also do not use the acronym EDM.

Better that than 'techno' to refer to every genre of synth-heavy dance music under the sun.
posted by capricorn at 8:55 AM on December 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


Also do not use the acronym EDM.

There's two kinds of people in the world:
1) people who say "EDM" to mean "Dance" and don't know Darude Sandstorm; and
2) Europeans.
posted by Thing at 8:55 AM on December 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


Mortal Kombat had its own stereotypically techno techno song. But it often stood side by side with Sandstorm and Robert Miles' Children in the soundtrack of that era of my life.

unst unst unst unst
posted by sparklemotion at 8:55 AM on December 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


Actually, I have to disagree with this characterization of Sandstorm in the article: "soaring, undeniable hook" - one of the few things that do make Sandstorm somewhat interesting is it doesn't have a lead line. The 'der der der'/'beep beep beep' whatever isn't actually a lead melody.
posted by capricorn at 8:58 AM on December 9, 2014


And here I was just listening to trap and accordion covers of Sandstorm last night.
posted by frimble at 9:00 AM on December 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Never heard that track before, either.
It's probably more accurate to say "Everyone, of a certain age, who frequented certain clubs, in certain cities, or frequented certain groups online, or had certain friends."
posted by Thorzdad at 9:02 AM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sandstorm was fucking inescapable in the SoCal rave scene in the late nineties, to the point that it became sort of a joke. Even if you went to an event where you could be reasonably confident that it wouldn't be played (a jungle or gabber event, for instance), you'd still hear some asshole blasting it from his car while you were in line.

I heard it being played from art cars twice at Burning Man this year. I'm choosing to believe that the perpetrators were doing so ironically, because the alternative is to despise/pity them.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:02 AM on December 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


"I have never heard of this," I thought, as I clicked on the link. Then I realized that I have heard it pretty much every time I hit the dance at a furry con. It may have been an ironic inclusion but hell, I'm pretty sure I danced my ass off to it.
posted by egypturnash at 9:02 AM on December 9, 2014


I had never heard of this song until I saw it repeatedly used as a joke response on reddit and had to look it up.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:03 AM on December 9, 2014


The 'der der der'/'beep beep beep' whatever isn't actually a lead melody.

What would you characterize it as?
posted by josher71 at 9:03 AM on December 9, 2014


The article doesn't talk about it, but this track is used for filler in webcasts all over the damn place. Fan cons, esports broadcasts, transitions in highlight reels on YouTube. Any time there's no other sound and something has to fill the gap it's doo doo doo doo, dee dee dee dee, doo doo doo doo.

At least it's not fucking dubstep.

Actually in some ways it's the perfect EDM. (EDM EDM EDM). It's self-similar, like a fractal, even 10 seconds is enough to identify it and associate to the whole song. Also it's deliciously ripe for reuse and parody.
posted by Nelson at 9:06 AM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Did I download it from mp3.com? Or Napster? Can't recall. I only found out about its meme status recently, which I found pleasing b/c it's been my example of "entry level trance" to play for rockists for, oh, about fourteen years now.

Using the EDM acronym to actually encompass all of decades of electronic music meant for dancing is kinda like describing every rocker dude from Elvis to now as "black metal."
posted by BrunoLatourFanclub at 9:07 AM on December 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also do not use the acronym EDM.


Why not? Everyone knows EDM.
posted by Mister_A at 9:08 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


What I most love about Sandstorm is how in the background you can hear Darude's bench creaking and him humming along to himself.
posted by Flashman at 9:09 AM on December 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Longread on Darude's "Sandstorm", of course this exists, thanks internet!

I've only ever heard it mentioned/played in ironic contexts in the past decade or so. Never knew that was specifically a reddit thing until now.
posted by naju at 9:10 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure it's the "there's a dance club in this movie, let's use this, and some strobes, and there will be a fight" song.

Not sure if joking. This isn't the song from Blade or Collateral (that was the equally [if not more so] ubiquitous Ready Steady Go by Paul Oakenfold) or even The Replacement Killers (nor xXx). Is there a Wikipedia list of Movie Shootouts in Dance Clubs? If not, there should be.

I have seen the "Darude - Sandstorm" joke on Reddit, but I had no idea I actually knew this song until this post (never bothered to look it up). I wonder where I heard it; I certainly don't go to dance clubs.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:15 AM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Keep the party going
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 9:15 AM on December 9, 2014


Well it was one of the things that killed off Gorden Brown's chances at the last election when versions of this video went viral in the UK.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:18 AM on December 9, 2014


Also do not use the acronym ... EDM.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:21 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]




came for the tub tunes version, im very pleased.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:22 AM on December 9, 2014


And here I was just listening to trap and accordion covers of Sandstorm last night.

Amazing how that accordion cover transforms it into something more reminiscent of a Snowstorm in Yakutsk.
posted by Kabanos at 9:23 AM on December 9, 2014


Steely-eyed Missle Man, actually, I could have sworn that was the music in the club scene in Collateral, to the point that I checked to see it on IMDB, and I was wrong. In that we call tissues Kleenex, or copiers Xerox machines, this song could easily be put in place with pretty much any fight scene in a club, replacing the original music, and I'm pretty sure nothing much would be lost.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:23 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why do I feel that this is even older than fifteen years? So much serotonin flood.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 9:24 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


As probably the only trance Dj on metafilter that was spinning when this track came out, it was an utterly massive crossover hit. Even people that didn't like trance liked it. It was also all over the radio at the time, which was remarkable for a track with no vocals. It was my go-to track for years when I was couldn't get anyone to dance.
posted by empath at 9:24 AM on December 9, 2014 [15 favorites]


Wow. Huh. In all those words, the article barely mentions that there's a meme, and never bothers to explain it. The author apparently has no idea why the song is "popular." The answer is that it isn't. It's a YouTube joke. The new Rickroll. Whenever someone in the comments asks "What was the song in this clip?" the answer they get is always -- regardless of what the song actually is -- Darude - Sandstorm. It is "popular" for the same reason Rick Astley was "popular" in 2007. People are tricked into playing it.

It's a shitty joke and a shittier song.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:26 AM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


This article is so good; thanks for posting it! I particularly love this bit:

One thing that nearly all of these songs have in common is a kind of compositional bluntness, and none more than "Sandstorm." They reveal themselves fully as soon as they begin, then wield their simple hooks like bludgeons, over and over, until the listener submits.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:28 AM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes! This song was played all the time at "Cosmic Bowling" night at the bowling alley my friends and I used to go to back around that time. I never knew its name. Thanks, OP!
posted by cadge at 9:29 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


holy shit yeah that is like the platonic ideal of a cosmic bowling night song
posted by Greg Nog at 9:31 AM on December 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


I remember it from cardio kickboxing classes.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:32 AM on December 9, 2014


I suspect the only EDM I know is this. Once my kid learned to play it on the cheap Casio, my life was ruined.

that IS considered EDM, right?
posted by HuronBob at 9:32 AM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


one of the few things that do make Sandstorm somewhat interesting is it doesn't have a lead line. The 'der der der'/'beep beep beep' whatever isn't actually a lead melody.

Um... what would you call the main motif of the song if not a lead line, hook, or melody?

Honestly, it got overplayed.. but I liked the song. Simple, direct, to the point; it was tech-trance (or acid trance, kinda) that made everyone suddenly go "oh wait, electronic music is actually kinda fun hey?"

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure Darude is exactly why we have Martin Garrix now so it's not exactly an unmixed bag. And seems like a good place to drop this. Mashup of a bunch of top 10 big room tracks from the last year or two. (Listen on for more hilariousness).

And hah, just had a flashback: Darude on Electric Circus (Friday night dance party show that used to be on MuchMusic) 'playing' 'live'... with a suspicious lack of cabling connecting his gear together. Hah.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:48 AM on December 9, 2014


I think the song sounds formulaic mostly in retrospect. Of course all dance music is formulaic by design, but sandstorm's climactic breakdown stood out at the time in terms of production quality and structure. It absolutely was not a joke track.
posted by empath at 9:49 AM on December 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Pandora has lyrics.
posted by mikurski at 9:51 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


djent for synthesizer
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:51 AM on December 9, 2014


I don't think I've heard this before, and I listen to a shit ton of electronic music. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Foosnark at 9:51 AM on December 9, 2014


IMDB only lists 9 movies with Sandstorm on the soundtrack. I haven't seen any of them which explains how I've never heard it before.
posted by octothorpe at 9:52 AM on December 9, 2014


Part of what makes trance trance is that songs generally do not have lead melodies. You generally have multiple synths which at times become leads and at other times get buried in the mix. The point is that a dancer trying to follow a particular melody will constantly lose track of it and forget where they are in the track. It helps people lose track of time and be in the moment.
posted by empath at 9:53 AM on December 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


No accounting for taste, but I think this track absolutely slays.
posted by josher71 at 9:55 AM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


The author apparently has no idea why the song is "popular." The answer is that it isn't.

It's a meme now, but like empath says, Sandstorm was genuinely popular when it came out and fairly inescapable if you had even a tangential interest in techno music. It wasn't a joke when it came out, it became a joke later thanks to its ubiquity. I was pretty young back then, but my brother listened to a lot of techno and dance music that I necessarily also listened to thanks to his control of the car stereo and the CD player at home, and Sandstorm popped up constantly in the livesets my brother downloaded from Napster and the like.
posted by yasaman at 9:56 AM on December 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


psst it's not techno
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:56 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


That "MLG Trap Remix" might be the single worst thing I've heard.
posted by desjardins at 9:58 AM on December 9, 2014


oh my god desjardins I am in awe
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:01 AM on December 9, 2014


The song also needs to be understood in the musical context of when it was created. There were a lot of similar songs released around the same time that were all played together.

And you also have to understand that there's a performative aspect to dance music, and the Sandstorm breakdown, particularly with the percussion was well suited for dancers to show off a bit to a rhythm that wasn't just non-stop oontz oontz oontz.

Here's superstar DJ paul van dyk playing it in 2000, around when the song was first released. Watch the crowd reaction. It was by no means a joke to anybody in the crowd in 2000. Watch the crowd reaction (starts at around 12:40)
posted by empath at 10:05 AM on December 9, 2014 [15 favorites]


Sandstorm appears to be the perfect match for seamless looping gifs.
posted by Kabanos at 10:07 AM on December 9, 2014


Yeah, I think you had to be at least legal drinking age in 1999 to appreciate the context of Sandstorm. I can see why it sounds boring and stupid to someone who's 25 now.
posted by desjardins at 10:08 AM on December 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Around 2003, a friend of mine decided to 'retire' Sandstorm. He took it to the club and took pictures of a bunch of djs and regulars posing with the record, and then made a compilation video of it to the tune of "Time Of Our Lives", ending with a shot of it burning in a trashcan. He bought another copy of the record a year later.
posted by empath at 10:11 AM on December 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


Oh my god that Voodoo & Serrano track! All the flashbacks. I can vividly remember being in the midst of a teeming sweaty mass of people when that drop hit and everyone just going bananas. And Nervous Breakdown was MY JAM HOLY GOD. Grant Plant used to come over a lot from the UK to spin where I worked and he'd spin it just for me!

empath can I just hire you to give me happy plurry flashbacks on a daily basis?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:15 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow that MLG Sand Storm is amazing and deserves to be emlinkened in this thread with a little "play" arrow. Go ahead; press it! Press it!
posted by Nelson at 10:16 AM on December 9, 2014


Wow. Huh. In all those words, the article barely mentions that there's a meme, and never bothers to explain it. The author apparently has no idea why the song is "popular." The answer is that it isn't. It's a YouTube joke. The new Rickroll. Whenever someone in the comments asks "What was the song in this clip?" the answer they get is always -- regardless of what the song actually is -- Darude - Sandstorm. It is "popular" for the same reason Rick Astley was "popular" in 2007. People are tricked into playing it.

This is actually not true. People used Sandstorm so much on compilation clips and twitch/mlg streams, and everyone asked what it was called so often that it became a joke. It got to the point that even if you had a stream muted, and someone asked what a song was called, you could guess that it was sandstorm. In other words, both streamers and people watching the stream liked the song so much that it became funny. Which is kind of the opposite of rick roll.
posted by empath at 10:17 AM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


empath can I just hire you to give me happy plurry flashbacks on a daily basis?

I think given a list of people's favorite dance records, I could name when they first tried ecstasy to the nearest month, and possibly what DJ was playing.
posted by empath at 10:21 AM on December 9, 2014 [18 favorites]


I did plenty of time at raves in the early 90's and I don't remember ever hearing this song in the wild, but I remember it being on crummy comps, and also in Dance Dance Revolution.

Also, Cowboy Sandstorm.
posted by Ennis Tennyone at 10:21 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I did plenty of time at raves in the early 90's and I don't remember ever hearing this song in the wild,

That's because it came out in 1999.
posted by empath at 10:22 AM on December 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


Hmmmmmmmmmmm... is five enough? :P

Nervous Breakdown
Halcyon & on & on
1998
Blue Skies
Heaven Scent
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:25 AM on December 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


I was too uncool to ever go out dancing for reals, but I remember this song from Dance Dance Revolution, too. DDR is basically my sole portal into dance music, and I sometimes wish someone would make a mix album for people like me, like, "If you liked Dam Dariram, Sandstorm, and Jam & Marmalade, you'll love this, too!"
posted by Andrhia at 10:25 AM on December 9, 2014


If you liked Dam Dariram, Sandstorm, and Jam & Marmalade, you'll love this, too!"

Judge Jules, Essential Mix 1998

Enjoy.
posted by empath at 10:30 AM on December 9, 2014 [5 favorites]




For those who maybe find this a little lacking, keep in mind that a good dj is layering songs live. You would often hear a track, ask what it was, go home and download it. And boom, dissatisfied. The layering of bassline from one song into highs of another is what "finished" a song at least for me. Tldr - these aren't songs they are materials to build music with. And played out, tired, cliche or not it was a great track when it came out.

Better living through chemistry
Collected ambient works volume 2
Endtroducing
Incunabula
Dubnobasswithmyhead or Second Toughest in the Infants

Go!
posted by envygreen at 10:56 AM on December 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


no, not everyone on the web knows this song. I sure don't! and what's so funny about that Amelia Bedelia character, anyway
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:03 AM on December 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Know Your Meme: Darude - "Sandstorm" -- also a detailed breakdown of the history of the song's (internet) popularity, with no mention of this as being played in (any particular) clubs.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:25 AM on December 9, 2014


The lyrics joke works better on genius.com: http://genius.com/Darude-sandstorm-lyrics
posted by stobor at 11:25 AM on December 9, 2014


Here's superstar DJ paul van dyk playing it in 2000 , around when the song was first released. Watch the crowd reaction. It was by no means a joke to anybody in the crowd in 2000. Watch the crowd reaction (starts at around 12:40)

Is it just me or is that a pretty sloppy transition?
posted by atoxyl at 11:30 AM on December 9, 2014


Didn't sound like a PVD transition at all--seemed to me like it was sloppy video editing.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:34 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


When I think of a "beep beep beep" song, I think of Josh Wink's Higher State of Consciousness. It was heavily overplayed in the late 90s (especially by my college roommates) but still managed to send a shiver down my spine.
posted by ikalliom at 11:42 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was considering that also - seems like a really stupid thing to do to a recording of a trance set!
posted by atoxyl at 11:42 AM on December 9, 2014


This is the only trance - or dance or whatever the genre is - song I know. My favorite music is all folks like Lyle Lovett. But I used to wonder if someone would pick up my ipod and wonder why I'd played Sandstorm, of all songs, hundreds of times more than any other.

The answer was that it was on every single mix that I taught spinning to, because there is no better song for making people sprint. None!
posted by ldthomps at 11:49 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also while the MLG one is a joke, there was definitely an unironic "trap" version of Sandstorm that actually got played out for a while. If there hasn't been an FPP about that whole phenomenon there probably should be. Honestly for e.g. Flosstradamus to make the connection between dubstep beats and Southern rap beats and their personal affection for hardstyle/hard trance (not half-time but in a similar BPM range) was pretty inspired. But the whole idea blew up so fast (and to do it poorly was so close to entry level for aspiring producers) that it became a cliche more or less immediately.
posted by atoxyl at 12:06 PM on December 9, 2014


We had so much fun dancing to Darude once upon a time; I'm kind of sad to learn that Sandstorm is now an ironic in-joke on reddit.
posted by kanewai at 12:20 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I really could've sworn it was a hilarious song back in 1999 too... weren't we laughing back then?
posted by naju at 12:22 PM on December 9, 2014


If memory serves, it only got laughed at after it did the mainstream crossover and all the rave-hipsters who were into it before it was cool suddenly hated it. Same as it ever was.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:24 PM on December 9, 2014


I must've been one of the bad guys then, haha! Oh well.

Other smash hit dance songs I laughed at in 1999:
Eiffel 65, "Blue"
Alice Deejay, "Better Off Alone"
posted by naju at 12:27 PM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


The answer is that it isn't. It's a YouTube joke. The new Rickroll. Whenever someone in the comments asks "What was the song in this clip?" the answer they get is always -- regardless of what the song actually is -- Darude - Sandstorm.

But it was popular. I remember asking somewhere (I thought it was on Ask, but couldn't find a link to back it up) what it was called sometime like 5-7 years ago because I felt like I'd heard it a bunch but never knew its name until I clicked on one of the answers and recognized it immediately.

I'm kind of sad to learn that Sandstorm is now an ironic in-joke on reddit.

Eh, other people's dickdom isn't your folly.
posted by psoas at 12:31 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I still unironically love Blue (except for its earworminess). And 9PM ('Til I Come), and Toca's Miracle, and basically all early Daft Punk, and Prodigy, and Scooter..
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:31 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


It was by no means a joke to anybody in the crowd in 2000.

And Rick Astley sold a lot of records in 1987.

Things change.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:42 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


. is five enough?

March 1999.
posted by empath at 12:48 PM on December 9, 2014


Close! October 1998
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:50 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Northern Exposure, which some bastard stole and it doesn't seem to be possible to replace.
Moby - Thousand
Little Fluffy Clouds
Orbital - Belfast

I'm old.
posted by hfnuala at 1:25 PM on December 9, 2014


My take on this is, as someone who has been into the rave scene and who still loves electronic music, is that Sandstorm is the electronic music song that even soccer moms will play in their minivans. It became that way due to its ubiquity in the early 2000's - at the time this song was a total banger and a massive, massive hit. When I was in highschool electronic music was definitely not really "the norm" but even the lacrosse guys were jamming to Sandstorm - in my life experience it is indeed the electronic music song that "everyone knows." As happens to anything that becomes popular, people feel the need to distinguish themselves intellectually by saying that it sucks or whatever. It doesn't suck. It is a good song and it is representative of a time period where electronic music was getting regular airplay on clearchannel top-40 stations. That was a big deal.

That being said it is a joke even amongst my peer group who loved it unironically back in the day - a few years ago we laughed until we cried after a buddy changed his ringtone to a MIDI version of Sandstorm. If you have been into electronic music since the mid 90s - this is funny.
posted by jnnla at 1:36 PM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh god FFFF, that list just flashed me back so hard that I think I spontaneously generated some beaded bracelets.
posted by flaterik at 2:18 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think given a list of people's favorite dance records, I could name when they first tried ecstasy to the nearest month, and possibly what DJ was playing.

OK let's do this. Embarrassing list below:

Cafe Del Mar - Energy 52
Insomnia - Faithless
Out of the Blue-System F
The Private Psychedelic Reel - the Chemical Brothers
Born Slippy - Underworld
posted by Pink Frost at 2:45 PM on December 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


THERE IS NOTHING EMBARRASSING ABOUT THAT LIST
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:55 PM on December 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


Were you the one who said that the Matt Darey mix of "1998" was "the exact moment before epic trance went too far?" I saw that here a while ago and always remember it.
posted by atoxyl at 3:21 PM on December 9, 2014


This is the track that will always be synonymous with Techno, for me.
Remember hearing it on New Year's Eve, in NYC, at the Limelight.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:22 PM on December 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


holy shit bashos_frog, that is filthy
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:29 PM on December 9, 2014


I am definitely not a dance music person, but have very clear memories of this track from rather drunken nights out during my study abroad semester as a 20-year old in Sheffield. I've always wanted to post an Ask question about "what is this track?" but had no idea how to identify it beyond "doot doot doot doot doot." So thanks for solving the question I never got around to figuring out how to word.
posted by mostly vowels at 3:31 PM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ha, you should've seen what was happening in the stairwell, fffm.
posted by bashos_frog at 3:36 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


great post, thanks
posted by rebent at 4:00 PM on December 9, 2014


bashos_frog - Euro techno in the house! Surprisingly that one was not on R&S, who were dominating the field in 1991. Beltram mix on Kiss FM NY from August that year. Big crash cymbals and claps were the order of the day! While we are in the NY area, a special mention for Nico - Darkstar, I still play that one regularly. Gratuitous acid techno! you can almost smell the smoke machine!

atoxyl - Is it just me or is that a pretty sloppy transition?

Yes, it's terrible! Not sure if Van Dyke could actually DJ. It's the kind of thing that would pull me right out of the moment, using empath's terminology. No excuse for that when playing trance, none at all.

Don't think I have ever listened to more than a couple of minutes of Sandstorm, but it was (is) everywhere so you don't have to choose to listen to it, it finds you.

The main riff in that Voodoo and Serano thing is just a cut up of Josh Wink Higher State of Conciousness, is it not? Reminds me of the ubiquity of Pump Panel cut ups.
posted by asok at 4:13 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is just for the hell of it, but I really like the mid-90s period when trance was really getting started and acid had kind of reached its logical extent and high point of intricacy and intensity. Goa trance (not 00s Psy!) being probably the high point of that.

Nostrum - Monastery
Man With No Name - Teleport
And this 11-minute beast, Pleiadians - Maia
posted by atoxyl at 4:50 PM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Couple more - I should do a post on classic Goa trance (before Psy got all formulaic!) I tell you what
posted by atoxyl at 4:57 PM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I made a short playlist of tracks I remember from that time - please feel free to suggest additions.

T99 - Anasthasia
Human Resource - Dominator
L.A. STYLE - James Brown Is Dead
Apotheosis - O Fortuna
Ramirez - Orgasmico
The Ultimate Seduction - House Nation
Praga Khan - Injected With A Poison
posted by bashos_frog at 5:19 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


9PM ('Til I Come)

Is it weird that this is the song my mind went to immediately after humming a bit of Sandstorm to myself when I first clicked on this thread. I was sad that I couldn't figure out what the fuck it was, but then there it was. (Maybe it's not..I think a song with some samples from it got radio play recently)

Back when I had a thumping system in my car, I listened to a lot of Sandstorm, Toca's Miracle, 9PM, Prodigy, Orbital, and even Erasure, among a whole whole lot of other techno. It wasn't until a couple of years later that I started to enjoy early-mid 90s hip hop. Somehow I do everything backwards.
posted by wierdo at 5:22 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I like this. It reminds me of baroque and/or minimalism - as the best electronic dance music often does.

But I'm still waiting to open my hit dance club playing nothing but remixes of Bach, Vivaldi, Phillip Glass and Steve Reich. And Daft Punk, of course - "Georgio" over and over and over again.
posted by jb at 5:31 PM on December 9, 2014


"It wasn't until a couple of years later that I started to enjoy early-mid 90s hip hop."

Funnily enough, the coffee place I hit this morning was playing '91-'92 era hip-hop. Pete Rock, Black Sheep, Tribe Called Quest, etc. And now this thread - major nostalgia day for me.
posted by bashos_frog at 5:33 PM on December 9, 2014


I've listened to almost every track linked in this thread. Great way to spend a night. Pretty sure I also heard Sandstorm first in DDR. Man, now I really wanna go play some DDR....
posted by cthuljew at 6:58 PM on December 9, 2014


Darude - Sandstorm (The song that everyone loves to hate)
posted by empath at 12:19 PM on January 17, 2008


I know I saw a post somewhere on how Darude basically wishes that he'd never put that track out.
couldn't find it on metafilter in 30 seconds of searching
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:59 PM on December 9, 2014


All this talk of Sandstorm immediately reminded me of Safri Duo - Played A-Live. Oh, the memories!
posted by gox3r at 8:37 PM on December 9, 2014


Spente le Stelle (a.k.a. that opera song), Don't call me Baby, Dive in the Pool, remixes of Music that went on all night long, and some song about ketamine that I never learned the name of (all I remember is a deep voice-over asking, Can I get a bump?). Along with Sandstorm, Toca's Miracle, and that bongo song!

Ok, empath, when was my first roll? Bonus points if you can name the "where" too!
posted by kanewai at 11:54 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sandstorm was fucking inescapable in the SoCal rave scene in the late nineties, to the point that it became sort of a joke.

Early-mid 90s Pennsylvania/Ohio the joke was "Hey Mr. DJ, do you have Move Any Mountain by The Shamen?"
"But of course!"
posted by rifflesby at 2:10 PM on December 10, 2014


This is of course some bean plating, but I think it's important to describe exactly why the joke came about on Twitch. Historically, lots of broadcasters on Twitch would play music over their gameplay. Partially because it was just how they played regardless, some because viewers liked it for the same reason listening to the radio is fun - it's a sort of hands off way of experiencing music, filtered by the broadcaster's particular tastes.

The problem was that when a song is playing, viewers had no way of knowing exactly what it was, like listening to the radio. Part of what makes Twitch special is that there's synchronous chat running next to the live broadcast, so requests to know "what song?" were constant and annoying. Pseudonymous internet chat being what it is, other people in the chat room were prone to lying and giving the wrong song name. It was not necessarily that Sandstorm was the dominant song on Twitch - but it became the dominant answer to the question "what song?" partly because it is a weird combination of iconic and totally unmemorable. Is it an archetypal representation of a genre that, because it doesn't have lyrics, can be harder to remember the name of.

So people trolling youtube with "Song name" or "what song" are really just re-enacting a practice that existed on Twitch for years. It has since somewhat died down, partially because Twitch now has a ContentId-like system that mutes recordings of broadcasts that have copyrighted music in them, so Sandstorm is played way less frequently. But regardless, it was never actually about the frequency of Sandstorm. It was enjoyed ironically and iconically on Twitch, but its time has now come and gone and what's left is the "what song?" meme even in contexts where it doesn't really make sense.
posted by heresiarch at 10:11 PM on December 10, 2014


You should just come round and play the vinyl bashos_frog! Here's one that fits in with the others you have posted: DJ PC - Insomniak (Even the URL is hardcore!)
Maybe Liasons D - Future FJP
Mr Monday - Future (Possibly the definition of Balearic. Fun, lighthearted, leftfield and funky.
I had 'James Brown is Still Alive', a kind of riposte to 'James Brown is Dead' that featured a sweary rap impugning the credentials of LA Style. Never go a chance to use it.

The beginning of the 90's were an epic time for dance music and I was spending all my spare time with it. Crash and Trax in Leeds, 4th Wave in Huddersfield, Depth Charge in York, Warp in Sheffield, Eastern Bloc and Vinyl Exchange in Manchester and Blackmarket, Rough Trade and others in London. It was what I did, when I wasn't at nightclubs. I didn't actually have a notebook, but some friends of mine really did take notebooks and pens into a techno night and stood by the DJ booth wearing anoraks. It was mostly a self referential joke, but they did take notes!

Being able to spot a tune coming into the mix before anyone else in the club was a useful skill with the advantage of getting the excitement level up before the drop so that it could result in a frenzy. Good if you like frenzies.

It was a busy time for dance music, rave was going mainstream, the big record labels were casting around trying to find a way to exploit the scene, and breakbeat, bass and beeps, techno, acid techno, trance, goa, deep house, funky house, balearic and electronica were all hugely popular underground. There are so many tunes to choose from! You could choose 20 from any of those genres. Amazingly, we can all enjoy some of them through the magic of the internet...

There were one hit wonders:
PBT - Just 4 U
D-Shake - Yaaah (Feel the Space)
Lloyd Owes Me a Packet - The Pounder
A large number of names that are still going were taking their first outings:
Underground Resistance - The Final Frontier
Prodigy - Charley Says
Evolution - Came Outa Nowhere (Sasha Mix)
C+C Music Factory - Gonna Make You Sweat
Orbital - Chime
Leftfield - Not Forgotten
Nightmares on Wax - Dextrous
My Bloody Valentine - Soon (Andy Weatherall Mix)
The Orb - Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld

and on, and on.

Obviously 'Golden Era' hip hop was in full swing, as well as the artists you listed there were records in 1991 from:
KMD - Mr Hood
Gang Starr - Step in the Arena
and many more.
posted by asok at 3:39 AM on December 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Sandstorm and Better Off Alone were basically the two electronic dance tracks that would ever get played somewhere mainstream in the '99-'01 time span. It always provoked this really funny mixture of emotions, where I would still get up and dance and ultimately have a good time, but was simultaneously a little exasperated and resigned about it. (I think at the time what I really wanted them to be playing was probably BT's Godspeed... don't judge. Later I would go on to be really into d&b, and probably also to be totally insufferable about it -- sorry people I knew then.)

Also nobody try to guess, I also didn't do any phenethylamines until like '03 or '04 like a total square and my formative one was 2CI anyway
posted by en forme de poire at 12:48 PM on December 11, 2014


« Older Norway is pretty   |   33 Million Things Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments