Simian Mobile Disco blast Aoki and co: "It's lowest common denominator stuff"

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It’s no secret that America’s “EDM” boom has been one big talking point lately. Between Deadmau5’s ongoing rants, uproar over respected names being booted off the decks in Vegas and our own recent in-depth look at whether America is killing dance music, there’s been no shortage of opinions on just what the USA’s embrace of all things electronic means for the scene at large. But just when you might be getting sick of the whole debate, another big dance name chips in their own $0.02 and gets us thinking again: this time, it’s the respected likes of Simian Mobile Disco.

In an interview with DIY at Barcelona’s Sonar Festival, the English duo expressed their own concerns over David Guetta and Skrillex’s position on the mainstage. “There’s a lot of talk about EDM and dance music going mainstream,” Jas Shaw’s measured assessment begins. “I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing for festivals, but I feel like it’s not that much of a new thing; you had the whole superstar DJ thing that came and went before.”

“My main issue with it is, I’ve heard people claim it’s a positive thing because there’s more people focused on electronic music, so for everyone else operating in that genre, those kids will get into more underground stuff and it’ll be a bigger pie for everyone,” James Ford chimes in. “That’s a nice positive way of spinning it. But the negative thing, especially in America where it’s more obvious than anywhere else, is that it pushes a different kind of dance music, and a different way of appreciating it. It’s more about a DJ on the stage, fist pumping, crowd surfing, throwing cakes in people’s faces”

Yep, that’s a dig at one Steve Aoki. “And it’s just, literally, lowest common denominator stuff,” Ford continues. “The thing that scares me is that it pushes just one way of appreciating dance music, and that’s as you would a rock concert, but for me that’s missing a lot of the point. The way a lot of European clubs and festivals operate, where the DJ isn’t necessarily the focus – he could be off in the corner somewhere – it’s more about the music and the communal experience, usually over a longer period of time as well. That’s a very different way of approaching it, and that’s my concern: that people will think [the US version] is what dance music is, and the norm of how it should be appreciated.” Sure, Simian Mobile Disco aren’t the first to express this concern – but nonetheless, it’s food for thought.


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jbgillet said on the 2nd Jul, 2012

Yeah well put ! Music for people with short attention spans.


angy said on the 2nd Jul, 2012

Farkin' LOL! There's something funny and absurd about Simian having a dig at some guy for throwing cake at people's faces...

David Guetta

David Guetta said on the 2nd Jul, 2012

But if my mates and I stop making music carnival rides and kebab vans will be silent the world over.

Wont someone think of the Carnies..


Deathspawner said on the 2nd Jul, 2012

"especially in America where it%u2019s more obvious than anywhere else, is that it pushes a different kind of dance music"

That's for sure. Not to mention music becomes a fad here, where people listen to it just because it's cool to (dubstep?). It's unfortunate, but it seems "US" is synonymous with "mainstream". You want to cater to the mainstream crowd to hit it big (a la Guetta and Tiesto), you gotta target America. It's why both of those artists and others sound so different today than they did just a couple of years ago. I used to always say the same thing as Shaw... that dance music growing on these shores would be a great thing. I need to take that back now. (I'm from Canada but our music market isn't too different.)

To be fair, dance tastes in America have always been quite a bit different than the rest of the world. The UK dance scene even sounds different than the AUS dance scene. It just so happens that the US has the worst scene of them all.


Saliki said on the 2nd Jul, 2012

@jbgillet - My thoughts exactly. But that's just generic pop music I guess, music for entertainment.


jamwildway said on the 2nd Jul, 2012

One hit song that is all


rdalt13 said on the 2nd Jul, 2012

aoki has always been like that though, its part of what made him cool before all these other wankers decided to do it too and ruin dance music for all of us


SANDSHREW said on the 3rd Jul, 2012



Morecowbell said on the 3rd Jul, 2012

The SMD boys are right, it's different music for a different demographic. But as long as the fans of the cake-throwers, stage-divers and r'n'b collaborators don't permeate deep into the more respected forms of dance music with the same throwaway attitudes that they show toward 'EDM', then no harm can be done.

And jamwildway, you continue to prove your ignorance.


rubbishtalk said on the 3rd Jul, 2012

Couldn't have said it better myself!
Not sure I entirely agree with you Morecowbell... I think it's a good thing for the scene if there are people who are introduced to electronic music through this lowest common denominator crap who actually decide to learn more about good electronic music... it makes the underground stronger


lawlietskyy said on the 4th Jul, 2012

I actually agree completely with morecowbell and @rubbishtalk - sure its great when these new people are introuduced to the more intricate genre's and underground sounds, the problem is that they don't come with open minds, they come in with certain expectations such as: "oh this DJ isn't playing anything i know, what a sh*t DJ / Night".


Tunage said on the 6th Jul, 2012

You know the drill:
1. Corny overblown lyric borderline ballad attempt
2. Tacky wind up (the one that sounds like a balloon squealing)
3. Big drop which is mostly just the kick
4. Repeat steps 1 - 3


User_260198 said on the 8th Jul, 2012

let them do what they want, for example at a festival who cares if swedish house mafia get main stage, i won't be there, ill be at a side stage watching apex twin, real recognise real as long as we stay true to dance music it will remain healthy