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90s-slow-jams

Monday 20th June / posted by Osric Powell

How slow can Perth go?

I continue to be intrigued by the Perth nightlife scene. There is no shortage of uptempo music, driven by a seemingly insatiable appetite for the the 125+ bpm booze fuelled nightclub dynamic.

Here in Perth, the Slow Jam scene is either non-existent or very underground because I have yet to see it featured during a club night. So it was with some trepidation that I decided to host a Slow Jam special on RTR FM’s Black & Blue radio show.

Slow Jams (or Soul ballads if you’re old school) used to be the cornerstone and signature moment for bringing a club night in London to a close. You and your partner would use the opportunity for some discreet dancefloor intimacy and in so doing, bring a pleasant evening at the club to an end.

In the UK soul club scene this was always viewed as a routine aspect of the evening’s DJ entertainment and an important part of the flirting process whether you were single or not.

You could argue that the lack of a Slow Jam aspect to club nights (or in radio play) is an indicator of underdevelopment in the market. Perhaps there just isn’t any demand, after all, asking a lady for a dance to a Slow Jam tune with romantically inspired lyrics and sensual beats is a statement in itself.

I started the Slow Jam hour with Only U – a track from the wonderful Teedra Moses album Cognac & Conversation. It’s a slow burning teaser of a track with the most delicate vocals and supremely laden soft beats – something to set the tone and absolutely melt into.

The rest of the hour saw me journey through a range of Slow Jam classics from artists including Anita Baker, Alexander O’Neal and Midnight Star before closing the show with soul legend Isaac Hayes.

It left me pondering whether clubbing in Perth ought to embrace the concept of slowing down the evening and finishing in style rather than what feels like a concerted effort to abruptly shut things down and create a sudden exit from the venue. Not only would you have calmer, more relaxed people spilling out onto the streets (which can only be a good thing no?) but you would have also created a more memorable experience for the Perth clubber.

Just a thought.

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