’90s Club Essentials
After disco’s popularity waned in the early ’80s, dance music went underground, but it bounced back in the ’90s, kicking off a new golden age of club sounds with universal appeal. Much of that energy came from house and techno, as chart-smashing acts like Soul II Soul, Deee-Lite and Technotronic turned pumping chords, gospel-inspired vocals and other soulful staples into enduring, universally beloved anthems. In many ways, this renewed the popularity of disco’s spirit of liberation: Music with deep roots in America’s black and gay communities was suddenly topping charts across the U.S. and Europe. Those early crossovers paved the way for the mainstreaming of dance culture proper: The Prodigy and Chemical Brothers lured rock fans out of the mosh pit and into the clubs with their slyly aggressive tactics, while niche styles like trip-hop, big beat and even IDM made superstars out of artists like Massive Attack, Fatboy Slim and Aphex Twin.