I’m not going to begin this with a nice introduction. Rather, I’ll just get to the point. Its appalling, its sad, its frustrating and its painful. Something I, and many many other electronic music enthusiasts, hold so dear to our hearts, is being butchered and sold in pieces to the masses who can’t tell shit from Shinola! Its an epidemic and it inadvertently leaves us “old-timers” angry.
Music is just music, so why not enjoy it and leave all the anger aside, you say? Well, when music ceases to be music and becomes a mere vessel for corporate greed and posers/imposters corrupt the scene with all sorts of disgusting stuff, the anger just doesn’t want to be left aside. Each week, the charts are inundated with piles of steaming dog shit that hordes of morons lap up like Jesus bread, which in turn encourages even the guys who’ve done so much better in the past to contribute their few ounces to the pile. Its a vicious circle of grim.
From being a Friday night regular at some of the hottest trance nights in Europe to being stuck with the budding EDM scene in India, a lot has changed in my musical life. Now, don’t get me wrong. Its great that dance music is finally a thing in India, but, the problem is, its merely a lamer reflection of the pathetic scene in the US. Same shit, different place. There’s just no soul in it, no connect, no silent conversations among total strangers about some incredible moment within a track. I’ve had tears, goosebumps, total blackouts, more times than I can care to count, on the dance floor. I’ve seen a lot of fellow fans fall to the floor in submission after they had nothing more they could signal or shout or express, like they’ve just had the strongest cocaine shot in the world from thin air! That’s what its about. That’s the music doing all the talking and dealing. Not once, ever, had I seen a DJ pick up the mic and scream “put your hands up” or some crap in the middle of a build-up. That’s just retarded beyond comprehension! Not shocking that its led many to call it Electronic Douche Music..
Just a few years ago, the best trance night in London was a very un-posh, industrial looking club with nothing more than a DJ booth, a dancefloor, a bar, a standard sound system and a few lights. But what happened in that little space, every Friday night, was pretty darn special. It was the music. That was all that mattered. Almost each person inside that room for those 6 or 7 hours, was there just for the music. Some of the biggest (and most respected) names in dance music started their DJ careers in that very room. And no, I’m not talking about the massive douchebags of today you might be thinking of.
Having said all of that, my bone is not with the EDM fans of today as no one can blame them for not knowing what real dance music actually is. They just haven’t seen it. I wouldn’t even say they haven’t known better, as “better” would mean I’m comparing the music of those years to the music of now. It just can’t be compared. It was dance music. Now its just pop music, a majority of which seems to have been produced by the same guy, on the same day, in the same mood. That Daleri mashup? Yeah, sums it all up pretty effectively.
My bone is with the industry itself. Its become this massive money-spinning business that’s churning out “music” that’s no better than mass-produced consumer durables in factories all over Asia. Music is not a commodity. People need to make money, of course they do, but good artists were making money even before this whole EDM blow-up. Gigs were packed with fans in the thousands in those years too. But the music was honest. The artists were real. Their art was real. A small percentage of today’s top names are still doing the real thing and that’s about the only hope there is for the scene right now before it returns to the underground and cleans itself.
If you’re an electronic music fan and got into the scene recently, do yourself a favour and go listen to some of the stuff prior to 2009. Save yourself from the “charts” and dig up some lesser known stuff. You’d be amazed at what you’ve been missing out on! Ask someone who’s been into this for more than a couple years to point you in the right direction. Its not just music from those years, there’s a lot of music being made right now that still has that soul in it. There are more than a few producers who are still making amazing stuff that is far detached from the “EDM” you know. Look beyond the quarter-mil-a-gig guys and there’s gold lying out there waiting to touch your ears. Don’t be fooled by the feverish hoarding and ridiculously hyped up names that are nothing more than poster boys/girls of corporate marketing. Don’t put your music in the grocery bag. Put it somewhere closer to your heart.
Thanks for bearing with me..
Some great reads on this issue:
EDM – the worst thing that has ever happened to electronic dance music?
THE GREAT EDM DEBATE
EDM is the new American bubble
Some ugly truth behind the hyped up smoke screens:
PRODUCER FACTORY: THE LOWEST REACHED POINT IN EDM SO FAR
Some byproducts of the EDM business:
EDM Culture Bears Fashion Fruit