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The minimal-tech house scene got huge over the last couple of years.
Monday, February 01, 2016 19:05

The need for introduction might seem irrelevant, since almost anyone under the age of 40 believes to know what EDM is.

he problem is, EDM has become such a huge complex phenomenon, that describing it with white and black is almost impossible, yet many music fans and journalists are putting it into one of these boxes. The last drop in the glass for me to lay down these words was an article on Electronic Beats titled "Does playing vinyl legitimize EDM DJs?"

In order two answer this question, first of all, we have to be crystal about what EDM is. Contrary to the popular belief EDM is not just BigRoom House and Trap. EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music, which covers anything from Synthwave to Dub-Techno. Drum and Bass, Jungle, Goa-Trance and Splittercore are no different as they all fall under the same umbrella. So where all this confusion came from?

You can't say that a Transporter is a VW,
but a Polo is not
It's simple, people like to believe what they hear, rather than doing a bit of research into the field. So I did. EDM emerged around 2010 when electronic music had really made its foothold in North America. As our friends on the far side of the ocean are really good at marketing, they quickly came up with a bare bones, simple as hell, refers to all expression. They took three words, electronic, dance and music and they put the first three letters together, creating EDM. As more and more people got exposed to the new sound, it is not surprising that they were attracted to the simplest and most energizing music. Some producers have learned quickly how to roll out tons massive electro house filled build-ups and colossal drops. As the complexity of the music stopped here, it was easy to digest and it became the top seller. Naturally, millions of newcomers knew only this part of the electronic scene, so they referred to it as EDM, while experienced junkies called genres by their name. As the power of the festival bangers drew more and more people into the scene, those who liked it for being different, for being a refuge, started to back out. In the process of backing out it was important to point out a common enemy that is responsible for flooding the scene with commercialism and other unwanted "aspects". EDM was the target of choice, due to all what I've described above. As both the commercial mass and the deep culture had its own misinterpretation, EDM has become one of the most wrongly used expressions of all time.

Of course, we might say, that if many people use it that way, we should keep it like that, but if you know all Volkswagen models as VW (veedub, for those who are not familiar with the North American expression) a Sirocco would remain a Sirocco and an Amarok will still be an Amarok. You can't say that a Transporter is a VW, but a Polo is not. A Volkswagen Polo is just as much of a Volkswagen as an LT35.

Jumping back to the article "Does playing vinyl legitimize EDM DJs?" now we see that the second part of the question is wrongly put. It should read "Does playing vinyl legitimize BIgRoom DJs?" From my point of view DJing is long gone in its original interpretation. The term remained connoted to the activity of throwing parties, but riding two vinyl's to play a continuous mix of music is like racing vintage cars. It's fun and it shows a great deal of passion but it's dated, just as none of today's race car series have cars equipped with fully manual gearboxes or skinny tires. Moreover beat-matching is must have of DJing, but it is not what is taking the art forward. Regardless the fact that mastering beatmatching with vinyl takes the most time, at the end, as Genesis P. Orridge of the former industrial band Throbbing Gristle put it "You can make two bits of plastic go at the same speed... so..."

Why on earth shall the ability to be able to play vinyl be the signature that you're a good DJ? Maybe one put in more practice and knows the tunes better, but that doesn't mean that someone who is using a single laptop and a four channel mixer can't make a better party than the vinyl junkie. DJing is much more than that. If you can make your audience feel good, than you're a good DJ, but nothing more. But if you can make your audience feel something that they never felt before, than and only then you shall call yourself an artist. Marilyn Manson once was asked to define art and all he said, that it has to be a question mark.

DJing has long gone as it wasTo go back to BigRoom house a bit, how would a genre that is basically doing the same thing for over six years now can be artistic? One could use anything from vinyl's to tape recorders to play s gig, but as long as BigRoom is BigRoom with the epic build-ups, sweet / cheesy vocals and banging drops, nothing will legitimize it as art. Ever. BigRoom is a result of the evolution of the industry, but it is a mere tool to fill huge venues with regular Joe's. Not to mention that it needs shitloads of marketing to do that. So to recap loud and clear what we have here, BigRoom House and commercial Electro Trap is no art by any means, but these two should never be mistaken for EDM.

Written by Kado

Published by: The MPill Magazine Also posted on:

TAGS: EDM, djing, vinyl
Before you start feeling hip, this track is almost a year old and Noisey have already tired to ruin it.
A society halfway morphed into a cyborg, spreading its tentacles around Earth