I’ve been around dance music for about 3 years and have been a professional blogger (people other than my friends read my posts) for little over a year. I may think I’ve been exposed to all the music and talent out there, but I haven’t. In fact, I’ve probably heard only 1% of it all at best. However, from the countless shows and festivals I’ve gone to, and the unprecedented amounts of music I’ve listened to, I am beginning to notice an issue within several aspects of the “EDM” world. A strong enough issue for which prompted me to address it in a blog post. Note than this is an editorial which means this is solely my opinion. Some people will agree with me while others may voice their disagreement. Please keep calm and read on…
Fun Fact: I absolutely hated dance music 3 years ago and back; “house” music as I viewed it as. I didn’t understand it. Mainly because it was so “different” from the traditional (rock, alternative, hip-hop, etc.) genres I’ve heard my entire life. The sudden realization that I was not only listening to, but enjoying this type of music is what I am currently seeing with this present-day EDM boom. However, not so much enjoyment for which motivated them to make their own music blog like myself (thank God for that…)
This exponential increase in the interest level of all things related to EDM (music, shows, festivals, and so on…) is of course a positive thing. People you thought would never make it out to a live DJ act are blasting pictures to their social media sharing their memorable experiences. Those same people are counting down the days to when tickets go on sale for an upcoming show or festival. The excitement and motivation are great, right?
Not so much. These EDM “weenies” as I like to call them fail to fully appreciate the most important element of the scene – the music. If I were to ask an EDM weenie to name 5 songs they heard at their recent show, they would struggle. This also goes for naming 5 DJs/producers (both of which are identical to them…) other than the blatant mainstream talents of Avicii, Tiesto, Skrillex, and so forth. I feel like going to these shows is just the “thing” to do nowadays and just another place to get inebriated and experiment with mind-altering drugs. I went to last year’s Electric Zoo Festival 110% sober for the entire 3 days and had one of the best experiences of my life. That’s how it should be with everyone but that is and won’t ever be the case.
Unfortuantely, there is another piece to this growing issue and that rests in the hands of DJs and producers. The prices of show and festivals are continuing to soar but the quality is suffering. A recent example is Swedish House Mafia and how they ended their long and “scene-changing” tenure by playing an almost identical set to the one they played throughout their entire “One Last Tour.” I love the group to death but you call that a finale? Give your beloved fans something to talk about for years to come and play some different songs (i.e. other than “Greyhound,” “Calling,” “Don’t You Worry Child,” “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” remix, and “Reload” which were played in practically ever show; awesome tracks, but to hear them over and over again?) I may seem like a troll for saying this, but it’s the brutal truth.
The overlying issue digs into the actual productions themselves. Moer and more tracks, whether an original or remix, are containing similar elements to pre-existing ones wether it be their past work or others. Fans are noticing it too.Take a look for yourself at Youtube or SoundCloud comments (prime recent example: Firebeatz’ “Gangster“). The level of creativity has significantly decreased. If I had a quarter for every time I hear the same vocal kick (“1234,” “HIT IT,” or “Make Some Noise”), I’d be able to stop Pitbull from ruining every electronic track he touches. It seems as though producers are not wiling to take risks anymore. There’s not much innovation either. I feel like it’s a race to produce as many “bangers” as possible so they can get a handsome check from Beatport or iTunes. Yes, these “bangers” will of course make everyone go nuts on the dance floor, myself included, but they’re nothing we haven’t heard before.
My words may seem as though I’m bashing on the scene but I’m not (clearly not If I blog about it every single day). I just wanted to share my honest opinion and express my current views. I don’t want to see the “EDM” scene become a phase and be replaced by some other genre in the years to come. This won’t happen if we, the fans, develop a full appreciation for the music and scene as a whole. Moreover, it won’t happen if producers push for unique and innovative styles of prodcuing music; something that is noticeably different, but in a good way. A slight refreshioning is in order; only time will tell how everything pans out.
Feel free to post your voice the comments below, whether you agree or disagree as I’m interested in hearing both sides.
P.S. the title photo is Mark Zuckerberg (yes, the creator of Facebook) spotted at some rave. The photo went viral a few weeks ago. Don’t ask me who the DJ is though…