Is America killing dance music?

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It’s been a turbulent couple of weeks for DJs in the US. Last Monday, plenty of feathers were ruffled when house hero Mark Farina alleged he’d been kicked off the decks by a “table service crowd”. Then just a few days later, Calvin Harris declared that he’d got the boot for declining to spin hip-hop and, uh, tween sensation Carly Rae Jepsen. Of course, those are just two – perhaps isolated – incidents. But considering them in the grander scheme of the EDM explosion in the States over the past few months, you’ve got to wonder: what is America doing to dance music?

The USA might very well be buying into dance music big time – quite literally if you look at last week’s announcement that Robert Sillerman is re-entering the live music market with a whopping $US1 billion to spend on ‘EDM’ focused acquisitions.

However, there are still plenty of dissenters when it comes to North America’s open-armed embrace of club culture. If you count yourself as one of the doubters as to how much value Guetta, Tiesto and co are bringing to the worldwide scene, and you reckon that Mark Farina being kicked off the decks at Marquee in Las Vegas represents our culture’s absolute lowest point – there’s no need to worry because you’re not alone: that ol’ favorite of New York’s business elite The Wall Street Journal has got your back.

In a diatribe that could have been lifted directly from the fiery comments underneath of one of ITM’s infamous Skrillex stories, the Dow Jones publication wept well-coiffed tears all over its tailored business slacks, due to the fact that what was “once almost exclusively an underground movement” is now “embraced by a mainstream pop audience”, and even worse, “feels meek and calculated”, with the “complex rhythms and synthesized orchestrations” that we all love so dearly now playing second fiddle to “pop and hip-hop vocals”. Gasp.

The controversial allegations keep coming; apparently the symptoms are most evident, “especially when it’s spun at high-energy festivals” (with explicit reference given to the Las Vegas leg of the Electric Daisy Carnival (which ITM happened to be on the ground covering over the weekend). This was followed by the pearler of an accusation: that “there’s also a growing sense that some newcomers to giant EDM festivals… still prefer songs they’ve heard on the radio to on-the-spot DJ mash-ups or the varying forms of EDM known as house”. Hot diggity! And don’t try and tell ITM you’ve never uttered those exact words yourself, ‘cause we don’t believe you.

Continuing to brand the radio-friendly work of Guetta and Calvin Harris as “cliché-riddled, white-bread house that don’t represent the best of the genre,” the Wall Street rag makes the worrying prediction that, “as EDM and its related events continue to grow, an audience may be developing that wants nothing more than predictable, middling entertainment.”

Wall Street Journal, we didn’t know you cared. Stay tuned for Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s expose on how Avicii’s live show represents nothing more than flashy style over substance.

Comments

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Jeanica

Jeanica said on the 13th Jun, 2012

So well written and very spot on.

Heist9000

Heist9000 said on the 13th Jun, 2012

King Unique is making perfect sense. Guetta is just trying to justify selling out.

Dance music needs the combination of accessibility and edge to have greatness. You wouldn't want a cake that's all icing and you wouldn't want a cake with no sugar.

Junior

Junior said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Angy, love your work! I'm in the US right now and have just been at EDC in Vegas. Having worked in the scene for 12 years it really is astonishing to witness the explosion that's happening here. The sheer scale of everything blows your mind. Musically it's easy to dismiss it as cheesy, and for the most part it is. But I also was encouraged to see a massive crowd at the DnB & Defkon stages and you could just see the sense of discovery amongst the crowd who had never heard music like it. Everyone gets into the music somewhere, and Guetta, Afrowhack etc are funnelling new fans into dance music which can only be a good thing. Some will get bored and move on, but others will refine their tastes and go deeper into the scene. That's got to be a good thing for the industry.

srljb

srljb said on the 13th Jun, 2012

It was 20 years ago last weekend that I promoted my first event (having been lighting and audio guy at a couple of years of warehouse and grimy underground car-parks raves).

I've seen every incarnation of success and shrinkage in the various genre splits, commercialisations and optimisms of the 'scenes'.

From my POV, America will have it's spin that will drive huge commercial success for some and great underground creativity for others (who find ways to appeal to smaller discerning crowds seeking innovation and experimentation).

It's evolution not revolution. And while I never want to listen to the Black Eyed Peas I would rather festivals, radio station, clubs and websites playing and promoting ANY dance music, than having to suffer more nostalgic rock/pop torture filling stadiums and airwaves.

David Guetta

David Guetta said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Hey don’t get me wrong im the first to admit that I dig listening to relentless 23 minute tracks of the same hi hat at 730 am in a cold Berlin sex cauldron with a bunch of bears shitting on each others chests. But I just cant see me making the same cash as I do now if I played that stuff. Mans gotta put a hot meal on the table



of his private jet.

kane2188

kane2188 said on the 13th Jun, 2012

remember the days when you could go to a festival and not hear the same song twice...

Digitalgrub

Digitalgrub said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Guess the main concern by older EDM fans is that you've got more clubs/festivals playing shit music since it's so bankable. Still, you can always head to the better stages/better clubs to hear good music right?

However, what about acts like the Crystal Method? Weren't they playing stadiums in the 90's in the USA?

Maybe this will be like the rise of disco - expect an 'EDM sucks' campagin soon...

achidley

achidley said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Having experienced Ultra Music Festival in Miami and Coachella this year, and also growing up with amazing festivals like Earthcore back in the early 2000's, i can see both sides of the coin.
The scale of these MEGA festivals can only be experienced in person and the diverse tallent that plays on the side stages alongside the main acts allow exposure to more "underground" music.

I enjoy both..

cowabunga

cowabunga said on the 13th Jun, 2012

its so depressing seeing what sander van doorn has turned into. he used to offer something so different and interesting.

Marky

Marky said on the 13th Jun, 2012

One of the best articles I've read on ITM. Great job. And interesting times. I definitely miss the days of epic sets where the "journey" or progression was more important than the hits. Maybe the massive popularisation of cheesy shit will re-create an underground scene where substance is more important than style. Just like the old days.

joshforrest

joshforrest said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Sounds like the right time for the Presets to relaunch Apocolyso in the states......

Ztriumph

Ztriumph said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Excuse me DAVID GUETTA? Now isn't that the Epitome of selling out? like the whole world didnt know already

JerichoChe

JerichoChe said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Beautifully written article. To the point and well articulated! That being said, I couldn't agree with you more. Being a DJ in the states, I see that pop-culture snobby-ness that comes hand in hand with those that come out to events/festivals that have come "above ground" (so to speak). It's a HUGE insult to have a 19 year old come up to the booth and ask, "Can you play some better music?", or to have a team of beer guzzling idiots wander up and ask for some "Flo-Rida" in the middle of a lounge/house/breaks set. Kids in America have no tact. They're an increasingly spineless generation mixed with a odd sense of entitlement who have no idea what they want, but will hit you with a bat to get it. Since they refuse to make decisions for themselves, the media makes those decisions for them and the people that are in the areas of the arts and aren't recognized by a media mogul (and apparently even those at the top of the music food chain recognized by labels etc...) are subject to egregious commentary and actions by a borderline ignorant generation.

JerichoChe

JerichoChe said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Beautifully written article. To the point and well articulated! That being said, I couldn't agree with you more. Being a DJ in the states, I see that pop-culture snobby-ness that comes hand in hand with those that come out to events/festivals that have come "above ground" (so to speak). It's a HUGE insult to have a 19 year old come up to the booth and ask, "Can you play some better music?", or to have a team of beer guzzling idiots wander up and ask for some "Flo-Rida" in the middle of a lounge/house/breaks set. Kids in America have no tact. They're an increasingly spineless generation mixed with a odd sense of entitlement who have no idea what they want, but will hit you with a bat to get it. Since they refuse to make decisions for themselves, the media makes those decisions for them and the people that are in the areas of the arts and aren't recognized by a media mogul (and apparently even those at the top of the music food chain recognized by labels etc...) are subject to egregious commentary and actions by a borderline ignorant generation

JerichoChe

JerichoChe said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Beautifully written article. To the point and well articulated! That being said, I couldn't agree with you more. Being a DJ in the states, I see that pop-culture snobby-ness that comes hand in hand with those that come out to events/festivals that have come "above ground" (so to speak). It's a HUGE insult to have a 19 year old come up to the booth and ask, "Can you play some better music?", or to have a team of beer guzzling idiots wander up and ask for some "Flo-Rida" in the middle of a lounge/house/breaks set. Kids in America have no tact. They're an increasingly spineless generation mixed with a odd sense of entitlement who have no idea what they want, but will hit you with a bat to get it. Since they refuse to make decisions for themselves, the media makes those decisions for them and the people that are in the areas of the arts and aren't recognized by a media mogul (and apparently even those at the top of the music food chain recognized by labels etc...) are subject to egregious commentary and actions by a borderline ignorant generation

scorpionpete

scorpionpete said on the 13th Jun, 2012

2 words for the haters: Detroit & Chicago

sweethunter

sweethunter said on the 13th Jun, 2012

NICE!!!
I wrote a similar article about 2 years back. Its really sad that the scene was kind of small with people who loved the music. Now, i really don't know what people are looking for when it comes to music. they don't care about people like Mark Farina. I don't think america is killing JUST edm though. Seriously, i turn on the radio and hear hundreds of songs that are less than amusing. Its sad. America is killing music itself. You seriously think the music we listen to on the radio is genuinely good? nooooo. . . If anything i think that there are certain DJs who are kind of killing the scene. I don't know if this DJ is doing it intentionally or anything but Im sure at least 1 person can agree that David Guetta is simply selling out. Since he's associated as being a DJ, i think that brings more attention to EDM and the crowds are so difficult to break. IT really is a shame that the talentless gobs are ruining the music industry by letting auto tune do all the work. its the same with the EDM scene. What constitutes a DJ? Because now, i feel like there are just people who can supposedly say they're a "DJ"because they download from a free computer program any idiot with a computer can download online. I don't mean to badmouth anyone but i love this scene. i have the utmost respect for the djs who kind of started an EDM revolution. But I'm very hopeful. EDM has blown up but its always going to be there. The old school house-heads, the trance fanatics, the TRUE supporters of the scene will always be there. Clearly, many have jumped on the bandwagon but i wouldn't worry about them ruining our scene. Our scene is always going to be there just like it always has. Its so funny because i remember my friends and i used to complain and wish that the EDM music scene was bigger. now that it is, we see how crappy its becoming. GREAT STORY MAN!!!

mlirosi

mlirosi said on the 13th Jun, 2012

junior is right...if only 1% of the typical EDC crowd dig deeper and find a true love than its a success...people worshiping pop/edm can have its positives

relapse

relapse said on the 13th Jun, 2012

David Guetta - "Mans gotta put a hot meal on the table" - your a joke. Djs like you are good to have around because you draw the crappy crowds away from the talented DJs, so I can enjoy quality music in piece. like flies to a turd. Greed greed and nothing but greed is responsible for this mass produced McMusic and DJs like Guetta are the Ronalds. Nothin but a clown pushing the play button on his auto-timed McCD-player.

alexdas77

alexdas77 said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Great article indeed. With the current level of saturation, I think the EDM stint in the states will be a short lived fad. All of these people will jump between bandwagons and the remainder will be the audience that was there before it blew up.

Funkedub

Funkedub said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Why do we level the blame on the USA?

This shit is happening everywhere and Aussies are just as equally to blame.

David Guetta

David Guetta said on the 13th Jun, 2012

To Relapse.

McMusic? Ha ha. You know what they call my music in France? Royal Cheese. Boom! Sorry my music makes you Grimace but it seems YOUR’RE missing the joke. Piece out brother XoXo

http://partylegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/David-Guetta-Grammy-630x420_scalewidth_6301-590x393.png

Moko

Moko said on the 13th Jun, 2012

Fucking good read!!!!!

khas

khas said on the 14th Jun, 2012

David Guetta Y U NO CONTINUE TROLL! :-(

pumbz

pumbz said on the 14th Jun, 2012

Welcome to America, give us everything so we can destroy it completely...except movies. Fuck knuckles.... keep your hands off my trance artists... destroy everyone else though :)

tgray

tgray said on the 14th Jun, 2012

It depends on what side of the EMD genre we are talking about. I think that CDJ's spinning house music isn't what the north american scene is all about. Sure there is a lot of crap dubstep coming out of america, but there has been a prominent electronic music scene here for a while. The promising side of the american electronic scene (in my opinion) comes from producers, not DJ's. If you are being asked to play a certain song by the crowd it may be because you are playing a bunch of songs that aren't yours to begin with. Look at Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Gramatik, Bassnectar... ect. Sure they may do a remix every now and again, but they are playing music they took the time to create. I am not hating on house music, but if that is the EDM you are saying is being destroyed, then you are looking in the wrong place.

minaharker

minaharker said on the 14th Jun, 2012

As an American living in Europe, and having gone to many parties and events, I would have say, a reserved no, because there has not been a scene in the states to the extent there is in the EU. But anything interesting or original seems to die a horrible death in the US. Just my opinion, so one can disagree with me, but it seems that even the US DJs tend to prefer to play in Europe simply because the states are still too uptight about dancing in general, which means we're still shaking off the puritanical cobwebs.

fivegrand

fivegrand said on the 14th Jun, 2012

I agree with the larger points the article is touching on. But it seems disingenuous to blame the States, when the culture of crap club music was spawned in Europe, and there's probably just as much money and support for there and here in Oz too. You put these Swedish House guys on (never heard their stuff; don't need to) they pull thousands here in Oz too - didn't they tour here last year? It might be because I'm older, but when I go to clubs or festivals here or anywhere, most of the music sounds like commercial crap to me, and the kids go apeshit for it anyway. And that's been the case for years, well before this Vegas stuff. I've been around for a while, and, sorry, even some of the acts posited as the "good guys" here, like Oakenfold, Digweed and Carl Cox are still pretty commercial sounding to me. I heard Judge Jules play in Abu Dhabi last year and it was shit - it might as well have been the jukebox at as strip club. But anyway I never did like festivals, so maybe I'm not the target reader here. I come from the generation of "a basement, a red light and a feeling." Give me Doc Martin or David Alvarado or Mark Farina - those are my superstars, not these other cats. So, wanna blame me for trying to keep it underground? I never was interested in the radio or the charts or TV or whatever, not only with music but with everything. Love how they try to blame the underground for how bad the commercial stuff is! How does that work??

fivegrand

fivegrand said on the 14th Jun, 2012

Not to outright dis Coxy and Digweed. They believe in the music, they work hard, and I believe Carl when he says he'd never sell out. There's definitely a huge difference between their stuff and this new level of commericals tuff. I just was never into that big festival sound, even when it's more thoughtful - nor the trance stuff that Oakenfold kicks. Anyway, the reader who pointed out Chicago and Detroit is right. Thank you. Drives me insane when people mistakenly give the UK the credit for inventing the stuff. (Though they deserve respect for supporting it of course.) Americans innovated underground dance music in the first place, and will continue to look after it (even if they have to hide in basements to do it).

Stace the Mace

Stace the Mace said on the 14th Jun, 2012

One of the best articles I've read on here. Period.

Stace the Mace

Stace the Mace said on the 14th Jun, 2012

One of the best articles I've read on here. Period.

I Love the CUBs

I Love the CUBs said on the 14th Jun, 2012

Being American (but living in Australia now) I completely agree Angy! Everyone seems to just be jumping on the bandwagon because EDM and festivals are now the cool thing to do... yet when I listened to EDM in high school I was considered the weird one.

Bruno from Burwood

Bruno from Burwood said on the 14th Jun, 2012

America is in many ways the spiritual home of modern dance music. This does not mean that dance music (i.e. house or techno) had anything that could even be loosely referred to as a presence in mainstream American culture.

They have finally caught on to the commercial appeal of the various and disgusting bastardizations of dance music by people like Guetta, Tiesto and Skrillex. The damage was already well and truely done.

The dutch have been doing unmentionable things to dance music for the best part of 15 years. I mean, seriously, stadium trance is about as far removed from the spirit of underground dance music as you can get.



DANCINGDI

DANCINGDI said on the 14th Jun, 2012

Good article, I worry that the kids will think this is all there is. :(

Hotpinkleopard

Hotpinkleopard said on the 14th Jun, 2012

Fantastic article! As someone who grew up in a ballet school in a tiny town, DJs like Geutta were gateways to a world I had no idea existed.

Don't discount the massive boom of small transformative festival culture happening just under the radar in the US. For every Coachella that has lost its way there are several festivals giving innovative new artists a chance to grow their following. I danced my booty off at this year's Lightning in a Bottle to some amazingly crafted sets.

We all fear the Hot Topicization of our beloved underground. The unfortunate thing is as long as we are being creative and making cool stuff, people will want to be as cool as us. And can you blame them? The ones out for money will do their thing, we get bored of hearing what we're hearing, create something more amazing, the cycle starts over. The underground lives on :)

ToMaZo

ToMaZo said on the 14th Jun, 2012

fucking LOL at David Guetta's comment about the german sex cauldron, had me in tears.

ToMaZo

ToMaZo said on the 14th Jun, 2012

fucking LOL at David Guetta's comment about the german sex cauldron, had me in tears.

Tang_

Tang_ said on the 14th Jun, 2012

Nice article. I've completely given up on asking people about their dance music tastes, unless I know they know more than Levels.

Thegirl79

Thegirl79 said on the 14th Jun, 2012

Where do you think house music came from?

minimal_damage

minimal_damage said on the 14th Jun, 2012

definition of cool....something that is fresh and new...once it is embraced by the masses it becomes a fad. once it becomes a fad ...it becomes something marketable. once it becomes marketable...people want to cash in...once people cash in....it all becomes...well, uncool...this is the cycle of life...or at least the music industry....deep respect to all them dj's keeping it real and keeping it fresh, keeping it underground.... continuously re-birthing all that's cool.

jayar

jayar said on the 14th Jun, 2012

Needs moar about Skrillex raping bass music

2greendollars

2greendollars said on the 14th Jun, 2012

hello, is that really david guetta? I mean, I'm not Dj 2greendollars but obviously am part of his marketing and management. By the way, interesting article. Guetta Music sells!!. You "hear" about tiesto etc. but they really DONT earn all that money personally. Otherwise, the $500,000 invoices we send out for our shows would mean the DJ "earns" a half million for his gigs, when we really have to pay for freight of 3 shipping containers of equipment and 82 performing/non-performing staff. so the Dj gets only a little of that.

TJAY

TJAY said on the 14th Jun, 2012

Great article. And I can't agree with Guetta's argument, and it's a common one not restricted to dance music.

Look any any style of music, hell look at anything...the most popular, the one that caters to the masses is based on a formula - the most popular.

Listen to any commercial radio station, whether it's country or old gold classics and the formula is evident.

Read the Herald Sun, watch ACA or Today Tonight and again the formula is there; feed the masses.

Really fans of the DJs at festivals don't want 2 hour sets. There's a reason as much as I wanted to see Tenaglia once in my life I didn't go to his festival show...it was 2 hours.

I can DJ for 2 hours in my bedroom and sound alright. I sure as hell won't be moved like a proper set from the best over several hours.

IMHO the festival demand came from a combination of artists becoming popular therefore charging a fortune therefore promoters needing to load the bill to make their own fortune vs paying the bills, blah blah blah and the circle goes on.

If I go to a festival or concert to see a band I want to hear their hits. There's a reason I haven't been to a 'modern' dance festival with 2 hour (or less) brackets and it's because 1. They're not their hits and 2. It's not long enough.

I'd love nothing more for more people to love EDM, I spread the word as much as I can, but Guetta, et al are wrong. We're not trying to keep it for outselves.

We're just trying to get the masses to understand what we love doesn't sound like the cheese ridden, formulaic, vomit worthy, autotuned crap that is being sold as dance music.

We love dance music. Music that makes us want to dance. Not block our ears and cringe in horror. Or laugh out loud.

Oli-G

Oli-G said on the 14th Jun, 2012

lol..crap there is so much I could say on this topic.. It's not the undergrounds fault though, for some reason it just draws a lot of close minded people suprisingly, with quite incredibly narrow tastes some times.

elaine31347

elaine31347 said on the 14th Jun, 2012

If you read the whole article it refers to the year 2005 when minimal entered the EDM scene. That year I heard Sasha and Digweed spinning minimal at Mansion during WMC and the set was horrible. Everyone started doing minimal and the for me it was a huge turn off...Progressive House will always be the foundation of good EDM; yet I have heard it is almost impossible to find good Prog House tracks from beatport from which good DJ sets are made. Then came Tech House...sorry, but minimal and tech house should be the salt and pepper to a good set, not the whole meal. For me, another turn off. Breaks have become "dark, dirty and nasty" lacking any melody but consisting of a driving bass overlayed with hard sound bites. Still, Sandra Collins and Sasha have maintained there own special style of Prog House, using elements of minimal, tech house and progressive breaks creating sets that take a person on creative musical journeys. They don't spin top 10 hits and yet they fill stadiums all over the world...
June 14, 2012

Shall

Shall said on the 14th Jun, 2012

There will always be a disconcerting idealism by passionate, well-enriched EDM followers that mainstream, publicised and well-promoted, media absorbed acts including David Guetta, Afrojack and co have actually made a negative impact on EDM - Especially in the USA. However I still feel that these mass-produced excuses for innovation in the Electronic Dance music scene, have in a general sense, actually have had a prolific positive impact though. Especially for the wider audience and the wider community.

EDM as a 'societal cult', generally has been able to educate the masses, that people that enjoy electronic dance music aren't all drug enhanced zombies and that people can still enjoy this once aptly named 'rave' music without illegal substances for the most part. Instead we're passionate, embracing music lovers who love to enjoy the party atmosphere and importantly we love and live by our music.

I once heard that Raves and major-scaled dance music events were originally indefinitely outlawed in California and other states across the USA. To now think that Electric Daisy Carnival, Electric Zoo and Ultra are some of the largest dance music events in the world and nightclubs in the major cities of U.S.A are seeing yet another revival (IbisWorld, 2012) - In summation, this means even more choice for those dance music lovers. That surely can only hold U.S.A in a good stead for the future. Seeing trance legends Cosmic Gate in a club in Washington D.C a couple of years ago for a lot less than in Sydney was also a prime example of that. Oh and I absolutely loved Ultra last year by the way, even though I didn't visit the main-stage on any of the three days - I didn't really see the need when all my favourite artists were still performing on the supporting stages.

Illustrated by this article alone, the influential power of the media has once again been a driving force in the dismay of making up people's minds for them - It must be wrong! The internet tells me it is wrong to like David Guetta, so it must be wrong! Every opinionated critic seems to develop a biased opinion of what is good, what is not so good and what might be good if 20,000 other people on a social media website say it's good.

But still here's my opinion, because my opinion counts to myself (even if it may not count to a single other person!). Yes that Justin guy with his new dub-step track may be considered to be not so good for EDM in general. But maybe it will hit over 26 million views on Youtube and it might also have over 9500 different videos posted on Youtube alone just like David Guetta's "When Love Takes Over" (Youtube, 2012) and when it does, a fair proportion of the population will think it's really good! Even though I might not.

Would this again be a bad thing? Should I be worried that other people may actually enjoy this music that I would personally rate as tripe. I would still hope though that's the beauty of music as a form of art. Even though I would dare to contemplating comparing young Justin to a musical genius like Mozart. The same essence is still present, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Sometimes beauty that is considered by some also comes in the most ugliest of packages and sounds as well. But please don't tell Skrillex that - Even though it's probably most unlikely that my own lonely arrogant opinion doesn't stop him from producing music that is currently abundantly enjoyed by the masses. Oh by the way Skrillex, where is the drop?

Heck let Madonna prance around during Avicii's set on-stage at Ultra, let Paris Hilton try to mix tracks and play with her knobs. She's pretty good so I hear..Heck even let David Guetta be shown on Seven's Sunrise fiddling around with some knobs whilst the glazed over faces of Aunty May and Nanna Brown are sitting back enjoying their morning 'cuppa'.

Heck even let Lil John on the main stage of Ultra to shout out some profanities. Because for some appalling reason that appeals to the masses as well. Just keep him far, far away say (Say the furthest stage away) from the real stewards of the dance music scene, the true creative artists, those who continue to develop and maintain respect 20 years on in the scene, those artists, that long time EDM pluralists would so easily be able to identify.

That's still the amazing realisation though. There is still the multitude of different EDM genres out there and even increasingly the over-abundance of different producers (turn toured DJ's/live music acts) expressing themselves and their own personal tastes with their different sounds.

I've always believed that as an Individual you need to make up your own mind of what you like to enjoy! Experience the music and scene the way you want to experience it. Don't let yourself become another fatality of following the masses or being lead astray by the masses just because it's either unpopular to be popular or popular to be unpopular.

Again Mr Guetta, Mr Afrojack, keep doing what you are doing - people enjoy it so it seems. Just make sure that I'll still always be able to see my favourite artist and listen to my favourite tracks whenever I can.

Skrillex, once again though I ask.... Where is the drop?

taboodaisy

taboodaisy said on the 14th Jun, 2012

Fascinating article.. the prediction is almost spot on.. but there needs to be change or we will die off and we have made a struggle to get to this point and get the respect we deserve.

Its a Time Capsule and its been open.. lets not seal it up again.

tonysantiago

tonysantiago said on the 14th Jun, 2012

SPOT ON with this article. Here's the problem in a nutshell.

Despite Internet streams, social networks and digital media players, there is still some sort of "fascination" with terrestrial FM radio. In America unfortunately, thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a radio corporation can own up to 5 FM stations in a given market. With that you kill the competition of the markets and "corporate" steps in to market what THEY feel is dance music which in THEIR eyes is Rihanna, Pit Bull, Flo Rida, Chris Brown...you get the point. Add TO the fact that we only have 5 PURE dance stations in the US, (2 commercial), that does NOT help.

For core fans such as ourselves we know better, but corporate doesn't care to serve us figuring there's no money in doing so. So they put on THEIR brand (which is also based on the influence of the big labels) and throw that onto Top 40/CHR since they feel that's what can "sell" and not want to go deeper. People that are "bandwaggoners" jump into that corporate "brainwashing" based on what they hear and are stuck in terms of opening more because they're NOT hearing more.

That's why this is boggling my mind because EDM is RISING so much in the states yet corporate radio has NO idea on how to approach it. In the mindset of a 55 year old CEO, techno is really BOOMING; let's get Carly Rae Jepsen and Adele in there!

TONY SANTIAGO/Coordinator, New York Dance Music Coalition

deep audio

deep audio said on the 14th Jun, 2012

F**K Vegas!

You want REAL MUSIC head to BERLIN!

lawlietskyy

lawlietskyy said on the 14th Jun, 2012

The problem with the 1% of commercial fans who go to underground will be they will have the mentality of a commercial douche who just wants to see a tracklist played ... There's a life motto Americans need to learn ... Don't move to the music, let the music move you.

Either that or get Osama back so he can finish what he started.

limitedtimeonly

limitedtimeonly said on the 14th Jun, 2012

What a great article. Thank you.

technoterrorist

technoterrorist said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Great article, thank you Angy. It's a sad state of affairs and in the long run everyone loses......

wilson1910

wilson1910 said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Love these articals angy

Mickstah

Mickstah said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Another great article Angy, awesome work!

mojo-jojo

mojo-jojo said on the 15th Jun, 2012

NIce article. I actually searched in wikipedia for stampede as Pete Tong suggested, fantastic visual.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Herdwick_Stampede.jpg

djpractice

djpractice said on the 15th Jun, 2012

I can answer the question in the title with just one word - "yes" ;)

Luckily we live in Australia were we "Might" be able to be a little different!

djpractice

djpractice said on the 15th Jun, 2012

*where we "Might" be able to be a little different

pottle

pottle said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Yes America is destroying EDM, one once pioneering EDM artist at a time. Call it the lure of big paychecks, who could say no?
But "an audience may be developing that wants nothing more than predictable, middling entertainment.%u201D - as far as I'm aware, this audience isn't 'developing' but something that has always existed in the post high-school/pre-career phase of young clubkids, myself included. I've always been a music snob and proud to be slightly ahead of the curve and the one who always brings the music to parties. But people always demand predictability in the masses, whether it was Michael Gray, Justin Timberlake or Fragma etc. The problem now is that the mainstream trend is lacking real soul. You can argue the hits of the above artists singing about miracles, senoritas and the weekend doesn't really dig deep, but it somehow feels a lot more comfortable than singing about getting drunk, having hangovers, throwing up, having shots and well... "wobbling"....?

thechunk

thechunk said on the 15th Jun, 2012

id have to agree to some point that we love to hate, but the balance between underground & true to the music and selling out seems to be a super fine line.
as others have said though, i it mean me listening(occasionally with my less musically inclined friends) to cheesy house or trance vs pop/rock/rnb sign the the F up any day!

Deepchild

Deepchild said on the 15th Jun, 2012

advise those quick to judge take a little time to visit/tour/play/listen to all that America continues to offer. Just sayin'.

hippos03

hippos03 said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Like everything that becomes popular, soon it won't be. Then we can enjoy our music in deafening peace :)

YossarianIsSane

YossarianIsSane said on the 15th Jun, 2012

Who cares? Same shit, different decade. 5 years everybody was derping about dance being overwhelmed by mainstream-pandering shit in Australia. 10 years ago it was the UK that it went 'mainstream'.

Oh no! Mainstream shit sucks the soul out of it, blah blah blah fucking blah. Some people want to keep their "art" underground and exclusive, yet the scene moves on. Go away. Fuck off. Complain about something not completely retarded. In the words of Caprica Six: All of this has happened before and will happen again.

YossarianIsSane

YossarianIsSane said on the 15th Jun, 2012

So much butthurt here about shit that's been happening forever.

rubbishtalk

rubbishtalk said on the 18th Jun, 2012

Well written indeed!
The US commercialisation of dance music just means more money is being thrown at DJ/producers to create more cheesy McDonalds-esque music for the masses.
When will people wake up to themselves that half the goons are hardly doing anything, hiding behind some big visual LED show with lazers and getting paid zillions? They must all be laughing all the way to the bank.
On the otherhand, whenever something becomes this big and horrible, there's bound to be a backlash... and the underground and good music will start coming back.

buffed

buffed said on the 19th Jun, 2012

This 'so-called' explosion of EDM is exaggerated. I've been the to the states twice in the last three years and EDM is vurtually non-existant in the whole scheme of things. Vegas is dominated by R'nB and hip hop........you have to understand that most visitors to Vegas are youngsters from L.A and L.A is dominated by RnB and hip hop..........that's what the crowds want so EDM will never go down well in vegas.

Two festivals and a couple of chart hits by David Guetta doesn't translates to an 'explosion' IMO

antonbanks

antonbanks said on the 19th Jun, 2012

Great article! Just know that there are still a few of us here in the US who haven't scummed to the drivel being passed on top 40 radio.

RGB Parade

RGB Parade said on the 20th Jun, 2012

The US is big place...

dancetothis

dancetothis said on the 20th Jun, 2012

the whole hip hop/trance thing has destroyed dance music... Now all you need is a slight R&B flava and a trance sample from 1984 and your in business. The day you tell me that beiber has dropped a dubstep track is the day I say bring back live bands..

rubbishtalk

rubbishtalk said on the 21st Jun, 2012

Still, Sandra Collins and Sasha have maintained there own special style of Prog House, using elements of minimal, tech house and progressive breaks creating sets that take a person on creative musical journeys. They don't spin top 10 hits and yet they fill stadiums all over the world...
June 14, 2012

The problem though is that Sasha never filled stadiums and even less so now. Big rooms- yes, but never stadiums.
And now he'd be lucky to fill 2,000 cap room.
He's amazing but has been pushed to the side by this horrible music...
Hopefully the backlash will arrive soon... which it seems to be reading all the comments on this article and people will start appreciating great DJs like Sasha again

Acperience 1

Acperience 1 said on the 21st Jun, 2012



It hasn't gone anywhere

jamwildway

jamwildway said on the 22nd Jun, 2012

USA invented house, how can they kill it??

jplewis01

jplewis01 said on the 24th Jun, 2012

The last sentence so nails what must be done in order to get back to where house needs to be. The trouble is that all too quickly Guetta remixes of Rihanna songs WILL be the new house for everyone, not just most of America. Not content with totally effing up the pop scene, the major labels and corporations like clear channel are dumbing down the underground scene to the lowest common denominator and cranking out endless soundalike radio plays of the same sounds marketing it and the next new craze. In a very real sense, they are choking the very life out of the scene.. Maybe we need a new "Disco Sucks" revolution to get Dance music back underground and following its true path and off the road to pop mainstream? In response to the original question... Hell yes its killing it and it Truly DOES SUCK!!!!

SunsofGhill

SunsofGhill said on the 24th Jun, 2012

I'd say Calvin Harris has pretty much manouvered himself into a situation where he is being asked to play pop music by releasing bland, generic pop music with a 4/4 beat. Acceptable in the 80s was quirky but everything else has been utterly turgid.

Niusda

Niusda said on the 24th Jun, 2012

tl;dr
yes, america did ruin some of it... like dubstep and uk bass.

SANDSHREW

SANDSHREW said on the 25th Jun, 2012

DON'T TALK ABOUT HO-OH

AllintheMind

AllintheMind said on the 26th Jun, 2012

Agreed 100%. But we are living in a time where there are almost more djs than punters. Its become very competitive, and the problem with competitive is that one loses touch with creativity. We are seeing a phenomenon that tends to happen with all genres of music. Maybe if djs and producers did not have this ridiculous elevated status, and were simply music nerds in the corner, it just might be a story with a different ending... :)

AllintheMind

AllintheMind said on the 26th Jun, 2012

PS While this is a generalization and not true of everyone, I have found that truly creative people tend to be introspective and do not really like the limelight. They prefer to focus on making music as opposed to the huge amount of self promotion necessary to even get a foot in the door.

Original_Beats

Original_Beats said on the 27th Jun, 2012

Interesting Article, ok it's already been said but but big respect goes out to where it all started, Chicago, New York, Detroit , and guys like Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Moby, BT, Joey Beltram , UR, Masters at Work etc the whole scene would have never have been possible without them.

I think the title of this article should have been ' Is the commercialization of dance music killing it ? ' instead, because it's a now a western world phenomenon. I went to a few ' Dance music Festivals " in Aus and soon realised they are nothing like what I experienced at Raves and Dance Parties back in 90's, that was a special time that will never be replaced, that's not to say I didn't have a bit of fun at one of them, but you wouldn't catch me dead having anything to do with skrillex, so anything he had to do with, I avoided.

I also feel once the 90's passed with each year of the 00's passing by dance music lost it's soul ( in terms of the sound ), not even talking about cash here, and the 90's sound is where the most creativity and soul in the music occurred, and yeah Guetta's point about people saying they wanted to keep the music to themselves ?, that was not the case for me, for me, as a music lover, it was about the sound, if a DJ I loved changed direction, and I no longer liked the sound for example sasha going to minimal, I didn't get into it anymore, it had nothing to do with me thinking, man this guy has sold out or is very successful and he now sucks !?

Thankfully there are some DJ's and producers out there still producing and mixing the real shit, I tend to head to an intimate club with my select fave DJ's for that, and masses will hit Guetta ( although I don't mind one or two of his tunes I don't think he's worth seeing live )

There is also a difference between listenable and commercial, some DJ's have gone off the listenable track to go more underground where others have sold out to be way to commercial or tried to change their style to suit a younger crowd, I think a DJ can still be listenable and underground with cool tunes that are not to off the mark, listenable, or danceable, uplifting yet still not cheesy.

AllintheMind

AllintheMind said on the 28th Jun, 2012

Original_Beats, I liked what you said, and I agree. But I really think the time has come to get rid of this stupid elevated status of djs and producers. It is really nice to make something creative and uplift people, but it doesn't make you the next messiah. Get rid of the ego and bring back the heart, because the simple fact is the two things cannot exist together.

Original_Beats

Original_Beats said on the 28th Jun, 2012

Well on a personal level I never gave the DJ's and producers a god like status, I just liked certain DJ's that have dedicated their life to the art, if I met them in person I would say " I really like your work ", and not kiss their arse.

Make me a messiah ?, WTF are you talking about ?, I am not a messiah, just a music lover with an opinion. As far as the ego thing goes, I would say that the new rockstar commercial DJ's and producers are fueling that fire a lot more than the old school or underground DJ's.

Sneji

Sneji said on the 1st Aug, 2012

Bit late on this, but Carl Cox is talking out his arse. I saw him at Space in Ibiza a week ago and he played Levels. Not a "hit-player"? Righto.

ArmySniperDan

ArmySniperDan said on the 1st Sep, 2012

that's because most of the people who listen to hip hop and pop music have an IQ of below 40 and people like David Guetta pander to them