Dance music doesn’t necessarily have to be about fast beats and hard grooves but it does have to have a certain infectiousness, contagion, an addictive quality to make it actually tick all the right boxes for the dance posse. And this is the fine line that the wonderfully named I’m Smoking Legal walks on Lifted, a song built from all the expected trappings of the clubland sound but done so in a way that replaces speed with sultry swagger, energy with elegance, excess with euphoria. Whilst many artists working in the same broad genres feel that they have to ramp everything up so that the sheer speed and intensity overwhelms the dance floor denizens,I’m Smoking Legal delivers something much defter, much more dynamic.
Sure, there are some wonderful payoffs, heightened moments of total abandonment but the beauty of the track is found in the journey to get there. As a wise man once said, “it is better to travel well than to arrive” and whilst the final destination offers some wonderfully heightened dance-fuelled sonics, it is the gentle builds, the subtle textures, the rolling soundscapes and the very spaciousness that gets us there that is the real joy.
It’s a song that works everywhere. A sun-fuelled, mid-afternoon festival set, where the aim is to build the excitement for what comes later. A headline slot at the most prestigious club in town where it will shine like a beacon in its desire to not follow existing templates. A chilled, early hours, after party soundtrack, a slow dance on the beach as the sun comes up.
I guess the problem with conforming to the rulebook is that you end unmaking music which has a definite purpose, not to mention a time and a place. Throw the rule book away and you can be all things to all people and choose your own place to fit in. Let’s just call this Exhibit A.