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Is America killing dance music?

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Is America killing dance music?
Great article angy
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So well written and very spot on.
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Is America killing dance music?
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.
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Is America killing dance music?
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.
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Is America killing dance music?
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.
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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.
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Last edited by David Guetta: 13-Jun-12 at 12:17pm

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Is America killing dance music?
great article
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Is America killing dance music?
remember the days when you could go to a festival and not hear the same song twice...
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wow!
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Is America killing dance music?
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...
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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..
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its so depressing seeing what sander van doorn has turned into. he used to offer something so different and interesting.
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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.
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Sounds like the right time for the Presets to relaunch Apocolyso in the states......
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Excuse me DAVID GUETTA? Now isn't that the Epitome of selling out? like the whole world didnt know already
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Is America killing dance music?
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.
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Is America killing dance music?
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
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Is America killing dance music?
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
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Is America killing dance music?
2 words for the haters: Detroit & Chicago
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Is America killing dance music?
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!!!
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Is America killing dance music?
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
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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.
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Is America killing dance music?
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.
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Is America killing dance music?
Why do we level the blame on the USA?

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

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Last edited by David Guetta: 14-Jun-12 at 08:47am

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Fucking good read!!!!!
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Is America killing dance music?
David Guetta Y U NO CONTINUE TROLL! :-(
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Is America killing dance music?
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 :)
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Is America killing dance music?
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.
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Yep
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Is America killing dance music?
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.
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Is America killing dance music?
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??
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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).
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Is America killing dance music?
One of the best articles I've read on here. Period.
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One of the best articles I've read on here. Period.
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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.
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Is America killing dance music?
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.



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Good article, I worry that the kids will think this is all there is. :(
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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 :)
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fucking LOL at David Guetta's comment about the german sex cauldron, had me in tears.
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fucking LOL at David Guetta's comment about the german sex cauldron, had me in tears.
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Nice article. I've completely given up on asking people about their dance music tastes, unless I know they know more than Levels.
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Where do you think house music came from?
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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.
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Needs moar about Skrillex raping bass music
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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
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Is America killing dance music?
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?
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