Electronic Music: some people see it as preposterous noise, but to some, it is a lifestyle and a lifeblood. Elecronic music/EDM is a very misunderstood and stereotyped genre and surrounding music culture. People who do not understand it may link all kinds of stereotypes to it: certain types of clothing, repetitive sounds, dense crowds of people.
But the thing about electronic music that sets it apart is that anything goes. You can link certain things, sounds, clothing, people, or scenes to it all you want, and it will constantly defy these connotations because it is so incredibly inclusive in so many different ways.
The electronic music scene is not limited to a certain kind of music, people, or clothing; It is accepting of all different types. That’s why it’s so fluid and constantly changing, yet ever the same in its ability to be a haven for all breeds of music-lover.
It is the one kind of music where an artist doesn’t come on stage and simply perform their own songs, and maybe a few covers. In an electronic music show, artists play their own songs, plus much more. It is a unique type of show that allows the artists to be even more creative in their live performances, bringing in songs from any other artist they want and seamlessly integrating them into their shows. Artists can feel out each crowd and tailor the songs they play to who they are playing for. They can bring in oldies and goodies, newer popular songs, widely known singalong songs, new and exciting deep tracks, or any kind of different style they want, and weave them into their own set however they please to make it as interesting as they want. This gives DJ’s a specific type of freedom allowing them to really play whatever the heck they want – a massive privilege that some indeed abuse, but true artists tastefully make use of.
A live band couldn’t just weave other peoples’ songs into their show, and go in between their own songs and other favourites quickly and seamlessly. And that’s what makes electronic music so interesting. The DJ’s choices of songs in each set they play is a culmination of their own creative interests, the songs they produced, what they see as popular at the time, what they like, and what they think the crowd will enjoy. This makes each new set so exciting for anyone who watches it – seeing what each artist plays is always an unpredictable and exhilarating adventure that could surprise you at any time. When a song comes on that the crowd was excited for, or didn’t expect, it is always such an incredible moment.
Artists can mix sounds and samples in and out just to tease the crowd and foreshadow the next part of their set, which is always pretty unpredictable apart from a few base songs/vocals of theirs and songs within their genre.
Electronic music also has another important feature that a lot of other music does not have – the build up to an extra-dramatic drop. Electronic music shows are constantly building the energy up, releasing it, and then taking it down again just to bring it back up. Drops are just exhilarating. They are constantly exciting and overwhelming you with that ‘f**k yes’ feeling, prompting you to have a temporary out-of-body experience as our body moves whichever way it pleases to the first few bars of awesomeness.
This is constant across all different genres of electronic music. If you’re an electronic music lover like me, you may have read the line above and pictured a drop from a progressive house song, a trap song, a dubstep song, a deep or tech house song, a future bass song… who knows. That’s the thing about electronic music – there are so, SO many genres that are all so different that most people can find one that works best for them.
Electronic music doesn’t discriminate. There are dozens of very different genres within this broad umbrella genre and millions of people who live for each one. But the beauty in that situation is that they can all come together at festivals and shows, from all different walks of life, and get along with each other, brought together by the good vibes brought to you by music.
Now don’t get me wrong, nothing can beat the excitement of a live show, with real instruments, bands, and energy. But, this is another place where electronic music nay-sayers go wrong. Some may say that it lacks the talent of a true musician, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many edm producers are trained in multiple forms of classical music and instruments, but however are simply making use of modern technology by formulating melodies and songs on their computers as well as with instruments.
As I write this I can’t help but think of one of my previous bosses that called it ‘computer music’ and said that you ‘just have to press button number 23, right?” If you’re reading this I can only assume that you are not as ill-informed as he was, but I can’t disregard people like this. Like I said above, you must have a fantastic knowledge of music to be able to produce entire songs on a computer, a knowledge of many instruments, and of musical composition. It’s not computer music, it’s just different than what society has been used to for generations.
Nowadays as people go on about the ‘death of EDM’ and the rise of what is apparently called ‘post-edm,’ we are entering a new phase of the movement. The death of EDM doesn’t mean electronic music is dead. That’s silly. People will continue to use the technology available to them to make music… computers are the future, really. But this doesn’t mean instruments are becoming obsolete, either. The whole ‘buildup-hands up- drop” thing might have become a bit overdone and too saturated, but I’m sure people who never ‘got’ EDM will be happy to know about the new emerging genre called ‘post-edm.’
This genre is the best of both worlds; it’s a genre pioneered by talented musicians who use electronic components in their live shows. AKA, it’s a mixture of both live music and electronic music – think, having live instruments and live vocals throughout a set. This doesn’t take away artists’ freedom to be creative in their sets, but however, adds in that live component that some thought was missing.
So, EDM adapts… it’s not dead, it’s just currently changing form to fit the criteria of the modern market and world. As technology continues to advance, electronic production will continue to do the same. Whether you like it or not, it’s here to stay… may as well enjoy it 🙂