Boogie (genre)

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Not to be confused with Boogie rock or Boogie-woogie.

Boogie (sometimes called post-disco)[1][2][3] is a rhythm and blues genre of electronic dance music with close ties to the post-disco style, that first emerged in the United States during the late 1970s to mid-1980s. The sound of boogie defined by bridging acoustic and electronic musical instruments with emphasis on vocals and miscellaneous effects later evolved into electro and house music.[4][5][6][7][8]


Boogie, following the example of post-disco, lacks the four-on-the-floor beat (however there are examples of exceptions where some tracks will include the four-on-the-floor beat), which is a "traditional" rhythm of disco music,[9] has a strong accent on the second and fourth beats and generally is located in the 110 to 116 beats-per-minute range.[2] Aside from applying certain technological and promotional aspects of new wave music and having been fairly exposed to its subgenre synthpop, boogie is, however, R&B-rooted[10] and predominantly draws from funk music. Other influences from a completely different music landscape include jazz.[6] Typical boogie track can be characterized by mid-tempo rhythm, prominent use of slap bass (electric—in the early 1980s—and/or synthetic—mid-1980s onwards), loud clapping sound, melodic chords and, obviously, synthesizers.[4][5][11][12]

The term, coined by British DJs Norman Jay and Dez Parkes, is nowadays used on eBay to refer a specific form of early-1980s dance music of African-American origin.[4]


1920s–1930s: etymology[edit]

The first documented use of the word boogie is dated back to 1929.[nb 1] Boogie, as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is an occasion for dancing to the strongly rhythmic rock music that encourage people to dance.[13] Earliest association of the word boogie was with blues and later rock and roll and rockabilly genres.

1970s–1980s: current meaning[edit]

For more details on this topic, see post-disco.

In the 1970s, the term was revitalized for disco and later post-disco subcultures. The term "boogie" was used in London to describe a form of African-American dance/funk music from the 1980s. The name boogie tended to be used as, although essentially used to describe disco records, the word disco had gained bad connotations by the early 1980s.

Originally the word boogie could be found in 1970s funk and disco records, most notably "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey and "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth Wind and Fire,[2] but 1980s tracks like "Give Me the Night" (George Benson, 1980), "Boogie's Gonna Get Ya" (Rafael Cameron, 1981), "I'm in Love" (Evelyn "Champagne" King, 1981), "You're the One for Me" (D. Train, 1981), "Don't Make Me Wait" (Peech Boys, 1982) or "Break Dancin' – Electric Boogie" (West Street Mob, 1984) helped define the musical style of boogie.[3][4]

Throughout the 1980s, various New York City-based boogie groups began experimenting with the dub-infused bass which anticipated the sounds of house. One of these groups was Peech Boys, followed by D. Train, Vicky D, and Sharon Redd. While some record producers, such as François Kevorkian and Larry Levan, were polishing and extending the limits of urban-oriented boogie, others like Arthur Baker and John "Jellybean" Benitez drew their influences from European and Japanese technopop music. The latter approach paved the way for electro, and subsequently, freestyle music.[14]

Boogie had a popular following within London's underground scene, often based around nightclubs and club DJs due to a lack of mainstream radio support. Boogie records were mostly imported from the United States and were sometimes regarded as "electro-funk" or "disco-funk".[3]

1980s: evolution of electro[edit]

The instrument that built electro, the Roland TR-808 drum machine.
Main article: Electro (music)

Among electro-boogie (later shortened to electro) pioneers include Zapp,[15] D. Train,[16] Sinnamon and other post-disco/boogie musicians; especially those influenced by new wave and synthpop acts like Human League or Gary Numan, combined with the R&B sound of Herbie Hancock and George Clinton.[16] As the electronic progression continued, acoustic instruments such as bass guitar were replaced by Japanese-made synthesizers and most notably by iconic drum machines like Roland TR-808. Early uses of this drum machine include several Yellow Magic Orchestra tracks in 1980–1981, the 1982 track "Planet Rock" by Afrikaa Bambaataa, and the 1982 song "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye.[17]

About electro origins, Greg Wilson argues:

2000s–2010s: revitalization[edit]

Much later in the 2000s (decade) and early 2010s, indietronica groups and artists such as James Pants, Juice Aleem, Sa-Ra Creative Partners are being influenced by the sounds of boogie and 1980s electronic music in general.[18][19][20]

Chromeo, a Canadian duo, published a boogie-oriented album called She's in Control in 2004.[21] Dâm-Funk is another boogie-influenced artist hailing from Los Angeles. He published an album called Toeachizown in 2009.[22]

Various Myspace and blogosphere musical acts publish boogie- and electro-influenced indie music on their blogs.

Other scenes[edit]


A still-undocumented boogie scene happened in Rio de Janeiro, where R&B, funk and disco were warmly welcome. Acts like Banda Black Rio and producers Lincoln Olivetti and Robson Jorge tried mixing those North American sounds—they were influenced by Quincy Jones's productions and artists like Seawind, The Brothers Johnson and the Doobie Brothers—with samba and African Brazilian sounds. The first boogie tracks were cut for soap opera soundtracks and, little by little, mainstream artists like Rita Lee and Guilherme Arantes started to flirt with boogie. As synthesizers and up-to-date recording equipment were very expensive due to market reserve policies, only a limited number of artists had access to the best facilities and there was no underground or independent scene.

A significant Brazilian boogie artist is Marcos Valle.[23] He lived for five years in Los Angeles and worked with Leon Ware and Chicago. Deeply influenced by disco and boogie, he returned to Brazil in late 1980 and released the upbeat album Vontade de rever você, inspired "on the dancefloors of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Barra beaches". Two years later Valle released "Estrelar", another celebration of Carioca mood, followed by a whole boogie album, Marcos Valle (1983), and another notable single: "Bicicleta" (1984). Aside from Valle, other prominent Rio Boogie artists were Sandra de Sa, Emilio Santiago, Jon Lucien (who was living in Rio at the time), Almir Ricardi and actor Mário Gomes (who recorded "O dono da bola" as the theme song for a character he was playing at a soap opera). Lincoln Olivetti and Robson Jorge's mostly-instrumental LP from 1982 is another example.


American and British boogie and/or at some point boogie-influenced artists include:

International artists include:

Contemporary artists influenced by boogie include:


Year Album Label
2004 VA – Masterpiece Volume 1 - The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection PTG Records
2005 VA – Masterpiece Volume 2 - The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection PTG Records
2006 VA – Masterpiece Volume 3 - The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection PTG Records
2006 VA – The Ultimate Italian Disco Funk Collection - Volume 1 PTG Records
2007 VA – Masterpiece Volume 4 - The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection PTG Records
2007 VA – Masterpiece Volume 5 - The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection PTG Records
2008 VA – Masterpiece Volume 6 - The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection PTG Records
2008 VA – Masterpiece Volume 7 - The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection PTG Records
2008 VA – Masterpiece Volume 8 - The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection PTG Records
2009 VA – Disco Giants 6 PTG Records
2010 VA – Boogie's Gonna Getcha: '80s New York Boogie BackBeats

[relevant? ]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary states that the term was used as early as 1913.


  1. ^ "DJ Spinna: The Boogie Back: Post Disco Club Jams (by Andrew Martin)". Popmatters. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  2. ^ a b c Reynolds, Simon (2011-05-03). "Name it on the 'boogie' – the genre tag that won't sit still (2011)". The Guardian. London. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Electro Funk Roots: The Building Blocks of Boogie (history)". Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d Serwer, Jesse (2009) XLR8R: Jesse Serwer in an interview with Dam-Funk. Retrieved on 2-2-2010.
  5. ^ a b "Explore music...Genre: Post-disco". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  6. ^ a b Depuydt, Francis. "Boogie, Funk & Modern Soul from the 80s". Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Beatport launches nu disco / indie dance genre page" (Press release). Beatport. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2008-08-08. Beatport is launching a new landing page, dedicated solely to the genres of "nu disco" and "indie dance". ... Nu Disco is everything that springs from the late ′70s and early ′80s (electronic) disco, boogie, cosmic, Balearic and Italo disco continuum... 
  9. ^ Shapiro, Peter. (2000) Modulations: a History of Electronic Music: Throbbing Words on Sound, London: Distributed Art Publishers, ISBN 1-891024-06-X, p. 40
  10. ^ "Various Artists—Disco Discharge: Disco Boogie". Rovi Corp. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  11. ^ ""Back to the Future: Dam-Funk in Wax Poetics" by Danny Holloway". Stones Throw. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 
  12. ^ Cateforis, Theo (2011). Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s. The University of Michigan Press. p. 10. ISBN 9780472034703. 
  13. ^ "Term "Boogie" on Merriam-Webster". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  14. ^ Reynolds, Simon (July 16, 1999). Generation ecstasy: into the world of techno and rave culture. Taylor & Francis. p. 35. ISBN 0-415-92373-5. "The band's -Peech Boys- ambient-tinged post-disco epics like "Don't Make Me Wait" and "Life is Something Special" are notable for their cavernous reverberance and dub-deep bass. Peech Boys were on the cutting edge of the early-1980s New York electro-funk sound like D-Train, Vicky D, Rocker's Revenge, Frances [sic] Joli, and Sharon Redd, labels like West End and Prelude, and producers like Arthur Baker, Francois Kevorkian, and John "Jellybean" Benitez. 
  15. ^ Vibe. 6: 84. August 1999.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ a b c "Electro-Funk > WHAT DID IT ALL MEAN ?". Greg Wilson on Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  17. ^ "Slaves to the rhythm". CBC News. November 28, 2008. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  18. ^ - Features - James Pants. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  19. ^ Stone Throw Records - Website - James Pants. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  20. ^ David, Drake (January 6, 2011). "Tensnake - In The House". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  21. ^ Juzwiak, Rich (2004). "Reviews >>> Chromeo - She's In Control". CMJ New Music Monthly. 64 (120): 50. ISSN 1074-6978. 
  22. ^ MacPherson, Alex (2009-11-26). "Dam Funk - Toeachizown (review)". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  23. ^ Two fiery Brazilian boogie compilations explore the bumpin' sounds from Rio to São Paulo

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of boogie at Wiktionary