After having a few weeks to reflect on another amazing trip to Miami, I feel like I am forced a bit to talk about the state of electronic dance music in the US.
While basking in the South Beach sun, listening to some the most amazing underground sounds, I think I read three different articles claiming that EDM has finally hit the big time. This is not a foreign concept to me. When I started off listening to Orbital, The Shamen and 808 State I think in my naiveté, I wished that there would be a wider acceptance of dance music. That someday these electronic messages from above would change music as we see it. In a fashion it has, but I feel somehow the dream has gone terribly wrong. Instead of EDM taking over popular music it feels as if popular music invaded EDM.
Now I am not saying that electronic dance music is no longer underground. I just feel that what has gone into mainstream American music, dubstep, electro-house, etc., feels more like a top 40 pop formula then an evolution of music. Maybe this is not a problem with dance music itself but more a problem with American culture and the recording industry and radio. That of course is a whole blog post for another time.
While in Miami we got to stop in at Ultra, the biggest EDM festival in the south east. On one stage you had the very inspiration for all electronic dance music, Kraftwerk. Which after 40 something plus years their live show was nothing short of magic! Their enigmatic ways of creating electronic machine music still hypnotize a crowd and left me awestruck. Across the park at the main stage Skrillex had a some obscene amount of kids fist pumping to his latest pop hit and left me wondering where the link between these two lies?
I guess it’s very easy to become nihilistic about it all. But I am not discouraged. There is still tons of great music coming out all the time. And maybe just maybe the backlash to all of these pop distractions will be an even greater evolution of underground dance. Will my dream of people running around in jet packs and listening to bubbling electronic melodies over futuristic rythyms come true any time soon? Who knows maybe thats for a future generation to decide, for now I’ll just keep playing my records and jackin’ my laptop and see where the future takes me.by