‘Children’ cost £150 to record. The song was Robert Miles ‘ most successful single, being certified Gold and Platinum in several countries and reaching number one in more than 12 countries. Robert 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.
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 trance 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.
Robert Miles died in Ibiza, Spain, on 9 May 2017 at the age of 47 after a 9-month battle with stage 4 metastatic cancer.