Wednesday 20 November 2019

DVD reviews

Niall Byrne

There have been so many Harlem Shake videos made around the world in the past two weeks, it's frankly a shock I haven't accidentally wandered into the filming of one of them.

The backstory: Last summer, a New York electronic producer called Baauer released a track called Harlem Shake, the title of which was inspired by a dance move which featured in a lot of mid-1990s RnB and rap videos where the dancer's limbs looks like wobbling jelly (bit.ly/ogshake). Baauer's track became reasonably well-known over the last eight months or so until, at the start of February, the video meme based on it exploded.

The formula for the meme is simple, one person dances to the first half of the video in a public place while their co-conspirators nonchalantly get on with their day. Then, the beat drops and the video cuts to loads of people going nuts to the song.

It all started with vlogger Filthy Frank who made one in his college dorm room. From there it spread to offices, TV show studios, military academies, gigs and the top deck of a bus in Dublin. As of February 14, up to 40,000 different versions were uploaded to YouTube with a combined total of 173 million views.

It's impossible to keep track of all the different versions, but the Tumblr (harlem–shake.tumblr.com) features some of the best.

My personal favourites include the versions by T-Pain, the Sea World Trainers and their seals, Matt & Kim's live gig freakout, the Makers Studio widescreen office version and the Norwegian Army in the snow. The Dublin Bus version with the guy poring the Coke over himself has been the Irish highlight.

Baauer's track has jumped back up into iTunes downloads charts and his label say it's the the biggest thing they've ever released.

You may know it's over when your boss sends a mail around the office requesting mandatory attendance to "boost morale with a bit of fun on a Friday".

See Dayandnightmag.ie for our favourites.

Irish Independent

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