Dark, danceable music.
August 4, 2009 10:34 PM   Subscribe

Help me find some dark, danceable music.

I'm involved in throwing a party for a friend (partially inspired by this question) and have been put in charge of the playlist for the night. I'd like to support the theme (eerie, dark, zombie apocalypse, etc.), but at the same time keep folks on the dancefloor: think along the lines of "Ramalama (Bang, Bang)" by Roisin Murphy or "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz. Problem is, I can't think of many songs which fit both of these criteria. So, hivemind, could I trouble you for a few suggestions?
posted by Gotham to Media & Arts (36 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
Check out the new albums by Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing. Plenty of danceable tracks and plenty of darkness.
posted by felix betachat at 10:45 PM on August 4, 2009

Seconding Bauhaus...also Brian Eno, The Cramps, & The Damned. I could make playlist two days long with the stuff on my computer.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:48 PM on August 4, 2009

Whatever you pick, make sure you include Sex Dwarf by Soft Cell. One of my favorite songs of all time and it's good to dance to.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:50 PM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

In addition to what The World Famous said, how about some Clan of Xymox?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:54 PM on August 4, 2009

Seconding She Wants Revenge. "I Don't Wanna Fall in Love" is particularly danceable.
posted by CrystalDave at 10:59 PM on August 4, 2009

I recommend checking out The Faint and Abney Park.
posted by Caduceus at 11:02 PM on August 4, 2009

Lab 4 (esp: Dingaling, Contact London)
Snog (esp: Shop, Corporate Slave)
posted by pompomtom at 11:15 PM on August 4, 2009

Oh, and Severed Heads, of course (esp: Dead Eyes Opened).
posted by pompomtom at 11:16 PM on August 4, 2009

~Haunted Soul~ by Trance Control.
posted by Muirwylde at 11:33 PM on August 4, 2009

Sisters of Mercy! "This Corrosion" or "Lucretia My Reflection" in particular.
posted by Skot at 12:06 AM on August 5, 2009

Death From Above 1979 made some pretty fucked up "dance punk" music, like this and this.
posted by martens at 12:21 AM on August 5, 2009

Some definitely dark and definitely danceable dubstep recommendations:

Bar 9:
Murda Sound

The Bug:

Benga & Coki:


Cockney Thug

posted by ageispolis at 12:29 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Blue Monday (by New Order) is my favorite song ever, in the world. I believe it to be both danceable and dark.
posted by crinklebat at 12:34 AM on August 5, 2009

Definitely Ladytron.
posted by paradoxflow at 1:00 AM on August 5, 2009

Google for "Dark 80's". I've a folder on the MP3 player for just such things... Nth TWF, Bauhaus was the first thing that hit my mind. Souxie and the Banshee's example, kiss them for me. Dead Can Dance. Pretty Polly.
001- Tones on Tail - Go!.mp3
002- The Sisters Of Mercy - Alice (Burnt Master).mp3
003- Bauhaus - She's In Parties.mp3
004- The Cure - Primary.mp3
005- Siouxsie - Happy House.mp3
006- Depeche Mode - Fly On The Windscreen.mp3
007- Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart.mp3
008- The Neon Judgement - Chinese Black.mp3
009- Trisomie 21 - The Last Song.mp3
010- Love And Rockets - No Big Deal.mp3
011- Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead.mp3
012- The Cure - One Hundred Years.mp3
013- Nine Inch Nails - Head Like A Hole.mp3
014- Ministry - So What.mp3
015- The Sisters Of Mercy - Temple Of Love (Extended) Burnt Master.mp3
016- The Cure - Play For Today.mp3
017- Jesus And Mary Chain - Head On.mp3
018- Sonic Youth - Kool Thing.mp3
019- Joy Division - She's Lost Control.mp3
020- Joy Division - Transmission.mp3
021- Siouxsie - Arabian Knights.mp3
022- Sisterhood - Giving Ground.mp3
023- Bauhaus - Ziggy Stardust.mp3
024- Pop Will Eat Itself - DOS Dedos Mis Amigos.mp3
025- Ministry - Thieves.mp3
026- Nine Inch Nails - Sin.mp3
027- Fad Gadget - Collapsing.mp3
028- Depeche Mode - Flexible.mp3
029- Peter Murphy - Cuts You Up.mp3
030- Siouxsie - Spellbound (Extended).mp3
031- Violent Femmes - Add It Up.mp3
032- Sonic Youth - Dirty Boots.mp3
033- Jesus And Mary Chain - Sidewalking (Extended).mp3
034- Love And Rockets - Kundalini.mp3
035- The Smiths - What Difference Does It Make.mp3
036- Love And Rockets - Ball Of Confusion.mp3
037- Pixies - Alec Eiffel.mp3
038- Violent Femmes - Gone Daddy Gone.mp3
039- Killing Joke - Love Like Blood.mp3
040- Alien Sex Fiend - I Walk The Line.mp3
041- Love And Rockets - The Mirror People.mp3
042- Skinny Puppy - Assimilate.mp3
043- Nine Inch Nails - That's What I Get.mp3
044- Bauhaus - Slice Of Life.mp3
045- The Cure - All I Want.mp3
046- Siouxsie - Christine.mp3
047- Love And Rockets - It Could Be Sunshine.mp3
048- The Smiths - How Soon Is Now.mp3
049- Bauhaus - Third Uncle.mp3
050- The Cure - Shake Dog Shake.mp3
051- Depeche Mode - New Life.mp3
052- Ministry - Burning Inside.mp3
053- Nine Inch Nails - Terrible Lie.mp3
054- The Cure - Prayers For Rain.mp3
055- Siouxsie - Red Light.mp3
056- The Sisters Of Mercy - Lights.mp3
057- Sisters Of Mercy - Dominion.mp3
058- The Cure - A Night Like This.mp3
059- The Sisters Of Mercy - Lucretia.mp3
060- The Cult - Rain.mp3
061- The Chameleons UK- Up The Down Escalator.mp3
062- Bauhaus - Telegram Sam.mp3
063- The Sisters Of Mercy - Heartland.mp3
064- Siouxsie - Cities In Dust.mp3
065- Human Fly - The Cramps.mp3
066- Ministry - Stigmata.mp3
067- The Cure - Fascination Street (Extended).mp3
068- Virgin Prunes - Pagan Love Song.mp3
069- Bauhaus - Stigmata Martyr.mp3
070- Skinny Puppy - Dig It.mp3
071- P.I.L. - Rise.mp3
072- The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary.mp3
073- Christian Death - This Is Heresy (Edit).mp3
074- The Cure - The Snakepit.mp3
075- The Sisters Of Mercy - 1959.mp3
076- Love And Rockets - No New Tale To Tell.mp3
077- The Chameleons - Don't Fall.mp3
078- The Sisters Of Mercy - Gimme Shelter.mp3
079- Trisomie 21 - La Fete Triste.mp3
080- Multicoloured Shades - Teen Sex Transfusion.mp3
081- Virgin Prunes - Baby Turns Blue.mp3
082- Clan of Xymox - A Day.mp3
083- The Chameleons UK - Swamp Thing.mp3
084- Depeche Mode - Lie To Me.mp3
085- Siouxsie - Peek-A-Boo!.mp3
086- The Sisters Of Mercy - Walk Away.mp3
087- Depeche Mode - Something To Do (Metal Mix).mp3
088- Depeche Mode - Blasphemous Rumors.mp3
089- Front 242 - Headhunter.mp3
090- The Cure - The Funeral Party.mp3
091- P.I.L. - This Is not a Lovesong.mp3
092- The Sisters Of Mercy - Marian.mp3
093- The Cure - Faith.mp3
094- Tones on Tail - Shakes (Performance).mp3
095- The Pixies - Where Is My Mind.mp3
096- The Neon Judgement - Miss Brown.mp3
097- Sisters Of Mercy - This Corrosion.mp3
098- Nitzer Ebb - Join in the Chant.mp3
099- The Cure - Just One Kiss.mp3
100- Billy Idol - Rebel Yell.mp3
101- The Cure - The Holy Hour.mp3
102- Bauhaus - Silent Hedges.mp3
103- The Sisterhood - Rain From Heaven.mp3
posted by zengargoyle at 1:21 AM on August 5, 2009 [4 favorites]

Depeche Mode - John the Revelator (sorry, links to an unofficial video that's rather politically preachy, but the sound quality is good)

Depeche Mode - I Feel Loved

The Presets - Are You The One

Darren Hayes - I Like the Way
posted by Nattie at 2:37 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding a group Nattie mentioned. Go for The Presets - an Australian dance group. Their whole catalogue fits your description perfectly. Start with My People. Sounds like a delightful dance anthem, but was actually written in response to how the Aussie gvt locks up immigrants in detention centres.
posted by chronic sublime at 3:21 AM on August 5, 2009

Sisters of Mercy: Adrenochrome, Floorshow, Alice, Temple of Love (I prefer the older version released on the Some Girls Wander compilation rather than the dreadful wailing '92 version...)

Shriekback - Nemesis, Hammerheads.

99 Red Balloons is a bit on the cheesy synth-pop side, but is definitely apocalyptic.

Pet Shop Boys - It's A Sin, the original cut of Suburbia.

Rob Zombie - Dragula, Living Dead Girl.

Dead Kennedys: Kill the Poor, Holiday in Cambodia.

Wild Boys (again, like 99 Red Balloons, may be a touch poppy for you).

Big Pig - Breakaway.

Echo and the Bunnymen - The Killing Moon.

Killing Joke - Love Like Blood.

Soft Cell's Tainted Love.

Big Country - Where the Rose is Sown.

Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus, Enjoy the Silence.

Headless Chickens - George.

Rammstien - Stripped.

Faithless - Mass Destruction.

The Mockers - One Black Friday. Poppy.
posted by rodgerd at 4:05 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Don't forget "A Forest" by The Cure.
posted by saladin at 4:21 AM on August 5, 2009

Anything by Cabaret Voltaire, particularly I Want You.
posted by mia_farrow at 4:55 AM on August 5, 2009

Now I'm Feeling Zombified by Alien Sex Fiend. Not that danceable, but it is a zombie party.
World Destruction from Time Zone with
posted by shothotbot at 5:04 AM on August 5, 2009

re: cabaret voltaire--basically anything off of '...the arm of the lord.' contains lots of charles manson samples admist dark, dancable music.
posted by lester at 5:55 AM on August 5, 2009

Rob Zombie's entire American Made Music to Strip By album would be a treasure to you. I recommend How to Make a Monster and Living Dead Girl.

Also, for some moody, slow to medium paced dancing, check out the Exile album by Gary Newman. Yes, the "Cars" guy.
posted by terrierhead at 7:08 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Pretty much anything by VNV Nation will be great for this. For dancing, legion, epicentre, fearless, darkangel, and praise the fallen are all recommended.
posted by bfranklin at 7:27 AM on August 5, 2009

Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand" isn't fast-paced "danceable", but it's got a groove to it.

Tom Wait's "Jockey Full of Bourbon" is a little faster paced. And if you wanna have some slow dancing, try "Tango 'Til They're Sore". It just SOUNDS like the last dance at a dive bar when everyone's had this crazy night and you practically need to be carried home and you are going to have the MOTHER of all hangovers in the morning.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 AM on August 5, 2009

(Disclaimer: I am by no means a music snob, and am probably hilariously out of touch with what's cool in music, so take this with a grain of salt.) I can't remember how I found this site years ago, but I turn to it whenever I need dance mixes of any sort: Theta States. Some of the stuff is the antithesis of dark, but there is definitely some dark stuff there (Monastic Deathcore). I don't personally find the really experimental dark stuff that danceable, but could be good for the beginnings or ends of the party. I also haven't downloaded the latest mixes, so they may be more suited to your needs. After a quick spin through my iPod, my first suggestion would be Nothing Always Happens, but poke around and maybe you'll find something.
posted by sa3z at 7:56 AM on August 5, 2009

Snakeskin - Music for the Lost is kind of a Dark Wave / Dance crossover, very nice in little doses.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 8:23 AM on August 5, 2009

The Knife.. Girls Night Out (huh, this a drum and bass cut really, never thought of that before), Marble House

Maybe Goldfrapp? Ride a White Horse. (but, actually, don't ride the White Horse.) Ooh la la.

Chromatics are a really great band that do this dark italo electro disco thing.. In the City, Hands In the Dark

French group Zombie Zombie.. even without the brilliant video manages to be v creepy

Bat for Lashes Daniel

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Heads Will Roll

Massive Attack get kind of creepy. Butterfly Caught
posted by citron at 8:27 AM on August 5, 2009

The Creatures
Fishbone - party at ground zero

A bunch of stuff Rodney Bingenheimer played/plays on Rodney on the ROQ
posted by Sophie1 at 9:25 AM on August 5, 2009

Zombie action= danceable trance music with dark themes.

e.g. Infected mushroom ""Dracul" , "None of this is Real". Koxbox "A major problem in australia".
posted by lalochezia at 9:41 AM on August 5, 2009

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Zombie
posted by ageispolis at 10:05 AM on August 5, 2009

Scorn's Ellipsis is a pretty safe bet, I think.
posted by soplerfo at 11:31 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Underworld - dubnobasswithmyheadman seems perfect for what you need.
posted by arcticseal at 11:41 AM on August 5, 2009

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's Satan Said Dance

Dark and creepy, kind of out of control, but very danceable imo.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:20 PM on August 5, 2009

unholy crap! has nobody mentioned My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult: A Daisy Chain 4 Satan yet?!??

(good to see so many people with such excellent taste in music here - i know almost every single song mentioned here like the back of my hand. the rest i'll be sure to look up)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:20 PM on August 5, 2009

I like the song They Are Night Zombies by Sufjan Stevens. I keep meaning to read the wiki entry on the album it's from or buy the whole album but haven't gotten around to it yet.
posted by SebastianKnight at 12:09 PM on August 6, 2009

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