Saturday, 22 March 2014

The US Dumbing Down Of Rave Culture


Messer, a veteran of the idealistic PLUR (peace, love, unity, respect) oriented rave underground of the 90s, complains that the dance festivals offer a "packaged, containerised experience ... These events are all about raging hard, getting as fucked up as you can. Not necessarily even about dancing, just being a face in this giant extravaganza."

At the core of many of the complaints is the belief that these entertainment spectaculars are tyrannical in their inflexibility. "There's a lot of stuff that's preprogrammed," says Drew Best.
"The tracks in a Deadmau5 set precisely trigger the visual and lighting systems. All the imagery is absolutely on beat, and that beat is 128 bpm. If you see Deadmau5 several times in a row, you might see the same show." Earlier this year Deadmau5 incited a furore with his candid admission that everybody at his level basically presses "play" and his assertion that the true artistry comes into play in the recording studio beforehand, not on the stage.
In other words, he's a producer who chooses to publicly represent his sound in person, but not a DJ in the traditional sense: a selector who responds to the mood of the crowd.

EDM today has come a long way from the early days of house and techno, when sound was privileged over vision, an ethos enshrined in the title of the 1992 Madhouse compilation 'A Basement, a Red Light, and a Feeling'. In those murky, atmospheric clubs, the deejay booth was often tucked away in a corner rather than placed up on a stage:  

dancers weren't meant to all be looking in one direction, they were meant to get lost in music, and in the collective intimacy of the dancefloor.


Source / Full Article: Simon Reynolds at The Guardian


"For three nights in front of 60,000 people per show, the likes of Afrojack, Avicii, Skrillex, Tiesto, David Guetta, Fatboy Slim and Chase & Status tore into the audience with slick aural and visual assaults to rival the best in stadium rock," Pete Tong says.

However, this display of popularity won't have gone unnoticed by potentially damaging commercial interests, according to Tong: "Success inevitably attracts attention - and now numerous extremely wealthy individuals, big business and VC funds are eager to buy into the EDM action."

"If allowed to run riot with their corporate machinery, these same people will destroy the scene. Wikipedia the word 'stampede' and I think you'll get the picture."
He adds: "Dance music's history should come as a warning shot to all about selling the genre short and being seduced by chequebook-waving billionaires with no care or vision for the long-term game."

Source: DJ Pete Tong at Music Week