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The evolution of international hi-NRG dance music can be traced from elements of the remnants of the eclectic energy of what was the end of the fashioned disco craze and the need to take the next music step. Dance music’s history, so often bashed by its critics for a lack of knowledge and a lack of passion, rose from the ashes to once again to write another chapter. With its “hands-in-the-air” excitement and a driving spirit clocking 130 beats per minute, a new genre was born.

Surrounded by the influences of the late and very great Patrick Cowley, Spanish fusionists Azul Y Negro and a variety of producers with bravado and hooks to match like New York’s Bobby Orlando and England’s Ian Anthony Stephens, Allan Coelho took a page from their book. Fusing his enthusiasm as a part-time DJ and a constant clubber, he wanted to take his weekend pop dreams playing in local bands and go to a different stage. “At first”, Coelho recalls, “we just wanted to be popular in our own community. The world stage is a dream. I don’t know if we really shot for the moon that early in the game”.

The community he speaks of consisted of thousands of young Portuguese immigrants who came to the Toronto area, searching for a new life as a part of the thriving industrial and cultural metropolis that Canada had become. Almost a half decade later, the West End of downtown Toronto remains a foundation where social clubs rule and church festivals are amongst the highlight of the calendar year.

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