“Children” by Robert Miles
- Genre: Dream Trance/Techno
- Single Release Date: January 1995
- Album: “Dreamland“
Miles gave two inspirations for the writing of “Children”. One was as a response to photographs of child Yugoslav war victims that his father had brought home from a humanitarian mission in the former Yugoslavia; and the other, inspired by his career as a DJ, was to create a track to end DJ sets, intended to calm rave attendants prior to their driving home as a means to reduce car accident deaths.
“Children” is one of the pioneering tracks of Dream house, a genre of electronic dance music characterized by dream-like piano melodies, and a steady four-on-the-floor bass drum. The creation of dream house was a response to social pressures in Italy during the early 1990s: the growth of rave culture among young adults, and the ensuing popularity of nightclub attendance, had created a weekly trend of deaths due to car accidents as clubbers drove across the country overnight, falling asleep at the wheel from strenuous dancing as well as alcohol and drug use. In mid-1996, deaths due to this phenomenon, called strage del sabato sera (Saturday night slaughter) in Italy, were being estimated at around 2000 since the start of the decade. The move by DJs such as Miles to play slower, calming music to conclude a night’s set, as a means to counteract the fast-paced, repetitive tracks that preceded, was met with approval by authorities and parents of car crash victims.
Long before I even thought about why artists compose or write songs I used the album this track comes from to help me sleep at night. I found the rhythm and melodies calming and soothing. Strangely I also found it useful in the gym (many years ago!) to keep me focused and motivated either on cardio or weights, I guess the Techno side of it is still there despite the calming rhythms.
Robert Miles sadly died of pancreatic cancer in Ibiza, Spain, on 9 May 2017 at the age of 47.
Header image from 8Tracks.com