It’s hard to know what good dance music actually is, because dance music is such a broad thing. It covers everything and anything intended to make you dance rather than jump, from Skrillex to Prince.
I guess, in some ways, it would then seem obvious – if dance music is intended to make you dance, then good dance music is music which makes you dance. But it’s probably not as simple as that. If you break up ‘making’ you dance into ‘making you’ (i.e. forcing) and ‘making you want to‘ dance, it becomes clear that the standard for good dance music is higher than you might think. Most of today’s dance – with its melodieless 4/4 beats, relying on the influence of substances on listeners to save it – falls beneath this standard. Go by The Chemical Brothers does not, because it actually bothers with a melody. It realises that just because many of tis listeners will be in a state where they will appreciate anything does not mean they won’t appreciate some things more than others.
And this distinction, made so obvious when placing The Chemical Brothers against their latter day rivals, is important because of this difference in effects on listeners. Why not give them more, no matter how much they are enjoying it?