Historically, superstars have been created based on their draw. Fair enough, but beyond that, on the fringes, lies the talent that you remember forever. It used to be that fringe talent, while not necessarily making a financial killing, could sustain their careers and stood a great chance of making a social impact. Take Jimi Hendrix for instance, or The Grateful Dead. I am now speaking to the owners of EDM (who are acquiring/killing the indie scene), not the fans. That’s what they listen to.
Jimi Hendrix toured with The Monkees and was practically booed off stage. Still you would be hard pressed to find any kid today wearing a Monkees T-Shirt. Today’s festival scene is largely based on Grateful Dead concerts, but they never had a number one album. Truth exists on the fringes of hype, simply because more honesty and ingenuity are allowed. Your investments will not pay off if you destroy the indie subculture. Kill the roots, destroy the tree.
Now for the fans: The productive fringe of EDM is the “Global Bass” scene. It is an abundant region of music luminaries who have achieved “almost famous” status. Their efforts for the most part have fed the mainstream of EDM since before it was even called that. For every name you know there are several names you should know. If you have been paying attention, then you would be THRILLED to see Ragga Twins on a Skrillex track. This is an example of the mainstream giving back to its roots. To my utter dismay though, I see comments like: “What are these people even saying?” and “The vocals ruin the track.” It shows that many fans of this genre are even more out of touch than their grandparents. Maybe this is why Deadmau5 says he hates EDM. Maybe the music is not necessarily the problem. Many fans have become mindless drones—robots booing Hendrix and screaming for The Monkees…in 2014.
The ubiquity of dance music in today’s market might lead one to think that a revolution is taking place. It’s the sound of “today”. Our time is NOW! The problem with this line of thinking is that the hottest genres of the day do not speak for the generation. They speak for corporate profits. For my part in all this, I have no problem with corporate profits, but I would love to see some balance. I appreciate knowing that the lyrics to my favorite song are not the result of a product placement deal. When the sound palette and arrangement are exact copies of the next big hit, I feel cheated.
If you can’t tell the difference, you are not really a music fan. You are simply along for the ride. Whoever collects your money loves having you, but don’t be fooled. Under no circumstances will your “likes and dislikes” carry any significance beyond your ticket purchase. The “scenester”, caught unaware, is most likely to become a casualty of the scene, so when you find yourself overdosing on ketamine in the festival port-a-potty, these words will ring true. And do you think the resulting lawsuit will help or hurt the scene? Remember what I said about honesty? I honestly hope this last paragraph saves a few of you. All music is life. It will nourish your soul, not destroy it, but first you must wake up.
Cover photo credit: Jordan Shiraki
Written by MC Zulu.
Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of EDM.com.