This started out being a silly moment in techno post. But it’s grown into something far more important. Something that trend watchers and marketeers around the world have to pay heed to.
It started with this clip from Malaysia:
A few things things I noted:
1.These Malaysian guys seem to have a fresh new dance style that’s evolved purely from playing Dance Dance Revolution
2. It sounds like the music they’re playing is a hard level of Dance Dance Revolution
3. There is no Dance Dance Revolution machine in sight
4. The clip has had nearly a million views!
But the I noticed that I’d opened up some odd portal to a new dimension of music, dance and culture! And I found a bunch of videos that seemed to talk about Hardstyle, Hardjump and Jumpstyle. 3 slightly different parts of seemingly the same subculture. I’m not going to try to explain what the bits are because I’ll get it wrong and one day a Jumpstyle fan might find this page and make me look like a tit ;-)
And the more I looked and watched. The more I realised that I’ve discovered the Parkour of the noughties. All that free running is so over. And you need loads of fancy buildings to jump off. And its dangerous. And it doesn’t have a music scene attached to it.
And you don’t have to be out and about to do it. Look Jumpstyle at home:
But you can also do it with a friend and it becomes Duojump. Now they really do look like 2 skilled DDR players… Or is it like a Gabba Riverdance…
And you can do it with 3 people!
Or if you’ve got a few mates you can all do it together!
And it appears they’re teaching it in schools – to groups of kids!
It’s become so big it’s spawned it’s own remixes and stuff – check Jumpstyle Borat:
So now you’re tuned into the latest global youth craze you’ll be wanting a how-to guide right? Of course, YouTube can provide (thanks to Patrick Jumpen, one of the stars of Jumpstyle):
And for those of you who are more into studying from the sidelines don’t forget to check Wikipedia – the page on Jumpstyle is the most informative. It has a list of different sub-styles as well as some useful links to some of the top dudes in the scene.
But of course, like any great trend, there are the nay-sayers, those who want to kill a beautiful thing before big brands have sponsored it and generated reveue out of it. Boo to them. Sites like http://www.fuckjumpstyle.com/ are demanding the end of jumpstyle. How could they. Well they say:
We all know it. Jumpstyle sucks. At the beginning it was fun, but now it’s just too commercial. I know it, you know it.
Jumpstyle begun in Belgium. The dance is now known in almost whole Europe. Now, it’s trying to take over whole America. Do you want to stop jumpstyle to take over America? Do you want jumpstyle to die? Do you think jumpstyle is too commercial? Do you think: FUCK JUMPSTYLE!?
God damn. It’s sold out before I even started!
I’d love to do a documentary on the whole scene. If I could make films. Of course some of my comments above are a bit tongue in cheek. But if you hunt around YouTube you’ll see stacks of clips with millions and millions of views. It’s a very real scene, which lots of kids (in parts of Europe and Asia mainly by the looks of it) seem to be totally into. So who am I to say it’s a silly moment in techno?
Or does everyone in the world know about Jumpstyle and I’m the last one to hear? Damn I hope not…