DJ Mineh Ishida

West Coast Swing Music – Late Night Edition

Late Night Swing Music

Photo by rmlowe | Creative Commons

I am a firm believer in late night west coast swing music.  Whether contemporary or blues, I firmly believe that late at night, the music and dancing should change.  Where the tempo drops, the dancing gets a little closer, and the west coast swing begins to explore partnership and connection in new sultry ways.

In order for this to happen, the music needs to change.  It needs to be music that inspires dancers to move a little slower and get a little closer.  In “West Coast Swing Music – Late Night Edition” I will periodically be posting the hottest and steamiest songs I run across for your late night dancing pleasure.

In this installment, I’ve found a contemporary song that just makes me want to west coast swing with that special partner.  The one that you had great connection with earlier in the evening, but the song was just too fast.  You wanted to explore that dance chemistry further. you wanted to extend that stretch, linger on your compression, and take 12 counts to do a basic side pass.  You were cursing under your breath that the song was a safe 110 BPM.  You didn’t want safe.. you wanted to play.  This song, makes me want to find that partner.. the one that makes me want to play.

The song is “Schiller ft. Colbie Caillat – You”  It starts with such disturbing dischord.  The harmonies are off. It gives such a dangerous and Bjork like feel.  Slowly, She comes in tune with the music.  That progression from dischord to harmony creates such a sweet moment… Where the beat kicks in and all of a sudden, goosebumps everywhere.  When partnered, this feeling is intensified as the dancing will feel wrong at first.. then magically come together, enhancing the partnerships that can survive the tumult of being brought together into harmony.

The hard driving rhythm structure underneath has such a progressive build.  Layer upon layer of ambient electronica.  Think Enya meets the Tron soundtrack, with Colbie Caillat riding the melody on top.  More and more layers.  Later in the song, she even harmonizes with herself, and you can hear her singing two distinct lines at the climax before suddenly fading out at the end.  This is a sensual song that builds to exquisite climax.

Traditionalists, be warned.  This is not swing as you know it. Marvin Gaye, Popa Chubby, Lighthouse Family and Maroon 5 will still have their place in late night west coast swing, but this is something different.  The beat does not swing.  It is slow at 95 BPM.  This song is not suitable for beginners.  The beats are non-traditional for west coast swing, and there is no swing rhythm.  The rhythm instrumentation changes frequently, and there are segments where the uptick disappears, leaving a beginner hunting for the up and down beat.   But for those of you who can appreciate this kind of contemporary music, I would wager you’ll have a delicious dance experience.

For the rest of you, who prefer more traditional music, stay tuned.  Next installment, I’ll be looking at a nice sexy blues song

About the Author:

DJ Mineh Ishida is a west coast swing DJ living in Tampa, FL. He founded in 2012 and is passionate about contributing to the West Coast Swing community through DJing and his work with this website. You can Find more information about DJ Mineh on the About Page. For booking Inquiries, please use this Contact Form.

  • brendan smith

    Great song!

  • Pamela Stergios

    I like the passion of the song – but it’s not resolving to my ears. Maybe I would need to listen to it a few more times. I like the line “all i need, is you” – it’s a beautiful melody but the following line does not resolve or harmonize with it. I’m not sure if I’m using the technically correct musical term. 

    • djmineh

      Thanks for sharing Pam!  This song is going to be a love or hate proposition for most people.  Its very different from everything else we dance to.  I would never play it before 3am.  This is a song for tired and sweaty people who have been dancing all night.  As for resolving, I’m not sure what you mean.  When I listen to it, once I get through the initial dischord, I really enjoy the song.  I hope we can dance to it sometime?

  • westcoast2

    I am a little confused.  West Coast Swing is a Swing dance yet you say this particular piece of music does not swing and the beats are ‘non traditional’.   So why is it suitable for  WCS and what does ‘Non Traditional Beats'” mean?   Nice song though. 

    • djmineh

      Its actually a topic of much debate in the West coast swing community.  There are always those who say that music that doesn’t swing isn’t suitable for west coast swing, yet much of the music we dance to anymore doesn’t swing.   The dance has changed for better or worse, and while it is still often desirable to have a swing or shuffle rhythm in music, it’s no longer a requirement.  If you look at many of the songs we dance to, especially much of the contemporary music, it would absolutely be inappropriate for the dance as it was many years ago, but by today’s rendition of the dance, it is now acceptable in some locales.  As I firmly believe in easy to dance music that is more standard rhythm structures for my sets, I feel that latenight dancing is a playground of sorts.  It’s a place where DJs and dancers get the opportunity to break some of the rules and explore things that we definitely wouldn’t during our normal sets.  That said, I like this song, and I think at 4am, I would enjoy dancing to it.   If I ever play it before latenight, please kick me out of the DJ booth. =)

  • Katie Fallon

    Cool song, Mineh! I can’t wait to listen to this in the future.