EDM After The Drop

I’m not one to complain about EDM – it’s sort of like complaining about the weather on Mars to me – and SFX’s troubles just give me a headache, so I usually avoid posting here about either. But this article on NPR regarding the intertwined futures of the two is a great read.

This section gave me a giggle, and seriously makes some sense:

Few acts today stand with one foot in SFX’s world and another in the underground, says Marea Stamper, who DJs and produces music as the Black Madonna and works as a creative director and talent buyer at Chicago club Smart Bar. “It’s like comparing Kiss to the Clash,” she observes. “They’re just not related.”

[Music journalist Philip] Sherburne agrees with Stamper’s comparison between SFX-scale acts and vintage pop-metal bands. “Just sonically, Avicii or mainstream EDM sounds to me like Van Halen’s ‘Jump,'” Sherburne says. “It’s the same synthesizers; it’s the same pleasure centers. You could say that Alesso is Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi took metal or hard rock and aimed it squarely at a very mainstream, middle-American public. That’s exactly the same thing: These artists have taken what was once a subculture and redesigned it along a pop format. I don’t know the economics of hair metal, but it seems to me pretty clear that [with EDM] we’re in the era of the Wingers and the Whitesnakes.”

Drew Daniel of Matmos and Soft Pink Truth is also perceptive and a bit nostalgic:

“There were always limits and doubts that I had about the utopian ambitions of the rave era, but there was still a feeling that raving could mean cutting ties to business as usual,” Daniel says. “It’s epitomized in that kind of hilarious gatefold drawing inside one of those early Prodigy LPs.”

The artwork for the 1994 album Music for the Jilted Generation shows a long-haired raver cutting a bridge that connects the toxic, heavily policed city to an idyllic meadow.

“That exemplifies this idea that radical forms of dance music could also lead to radical forms of creating community,” Daniel says. “There’s always been a spectrum, so I don’t want to say there used to be a good thing and now there’s a terrible thing — that’s overly simplified.”

Be sure to check out the full article.

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