EDM sucks, but why? | Conductr

EDM sucks. But why?

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EDM sucks. But why?

EDM Sucks! But why? | Conductr Ableton Live Controller for iPad

EDM sucks. No big news. It’s been said thousands of times in the past 5 years. But does it really suck SO badly? Is it the music itself that annoys us? Or is its success?

Electronic Dance Music
Doesn’t mean electronic dance music.

“EDM” is the acronym for “Electronic Dance Music”. You already knew that, right? But the thing is, NOBODY thinks of EDM as electronic dance music. At least not solely nor literally.

If EDM really meant “electronic dance music” ONLY, we would talk about, let’s say, Donna Summer & Giorgio Moroder’s cold-as-ice cosmic-disco 1977 smash hit “I Feel Love” as avant la lettre EDM. And we don’t, do we?

If the word REALLY meant what it is supposed to mean, Fingers Inc., Jeff Mills, Phuture, or even Underground Resistance, to name just a few, would be EDM. But they are not.

Actually, from the noisiest, raspiest industrial techno to the most mellifluous, soulful deep house, almost everything we’ve been dancing to for the last three decades should be tagged as EDM. If it only meant electronic dance music. But it doesn’t.

EDM is mostly used as a referral to a very specific kind of electronic dance music. Or best, to a certain way of marketing it.

Strictly speaking, you can not even define EDM musically. You just can’t. Skrillex. Guetta. deadmau5: rock-fuelled, mid-range-obsessed brostep armageddon; mammoth-sized synthetic-silk progressive house; hyper-compressed epic electro-trance drama. None of them share many common music elements. Except that they all sound quite easy, slightly cheesy, extremely punchy and very, very BIG. And it’s easier to remember the guy behind the knobs’ face —or the Molly-wasted Mickey Mouse mask— than the music itself.

EDM is not as much a genre as its is a stardom. And THAT’s what really bothers most EDM haters.

The industry of jealousy
Face it: you’d like to be that guy

Most EDM videoclips remind me of those of the hair metal bands back in the eighties. As a teen, I could easily project all my hormone-driven party, booze and outrageousness’ wish on those videos where the whole focus were the supposedly everyday images of the bands members dealing with fame, luxury, girls and, yes, party, booze and outrageousness. Music was just a background. What really mattered was the lifestyle. The object of desire of the audience. The reason why all of us wanted to play in a band. It was not just about the music. Music was the medium to get things: sharp clothes, fast cars, suntanned big titted California girls and, again, lots of partying. Being successful in the music business meant being an untouchable, licensed-to-everything party animal. It was the ultimate worship of the rockstar, an obscene “look where I got and you never will” that we, pimpled idiots, loved to death. Everything was based on jealousy.

And jealousy is one of the main motivations on EDM’s marketing. As it has always been on the mainstream music plateau. Everybody loves success.

The ultimate reterritorialization
Stop moaning: things will never be the same again

Before social media and EDM, electronic dance music was faceless. Sure, you got your Ritchie Hawtin, your Fatboy Slim, your Tiësto. But they were the exceptions to the rule. No one cared too much about WHO did it, but about WHAT he/she did. Or WHERE he/she did it —labels used to be important, as a guarantee of a particular sound. It was all about the tracks.

No faces. No Instagram. No selfies. Even today, not many know what they danced to during the original UK rave scene era, circa 1988, when DJs played mysterious, nameless dubplates. There was a whole ethos based on anonymity. Anonymity was a statement, a sign of confrontation against mainstream music’s rules of marketing. Deliberate ignorance of who made the music we loved —or at least how he/she looked like— was, as some post-structuralists would put it, a deterritorialization of the leisure industry; a revolutionary occupation of a symbolic space originally conceived as a controlled environment for marketing.

All that ended with EDM. EDM is the ultimate reterritorialization. It is a ferocious, brutal appropriation of a collective imaginary conveniently adapted for massive consumption. It’s the electronic dance music mythos for your 14 years old nephew.

But who’s to blame? The artists? The music? None of them. Not directly, at least. EDM is the music industry forging ahead regardlessly. When there’s nothing much left to sell to a certain target, you got to move on and create a new market. Create a need. Today, EDM covers most contemporary teenagers’ needs without referring to music that even their parents like —pop, rock, hip-hop, r&b. It makes them feel different. It makes them feel themselves. It is all about identity. It is tribal marketing. Plain and simple.

Why EDM sucks
Some haters’ reasons

A lot about —and specially against— EDM has been said in the last four years since the whole phenomenon started (as some specialists have pointed, I’m taking Swedish House Mafia first public play of “One” at Ultra Fest on 2010 as the “official” big bang of EDM).

Some of the reasons used by longtime electronic music listeners have been already treated in this post. But let’s take a look to what the non-specialized media said. Like Rolling Stone’s Italian edition did on its polemic “Rocker vs. DJ” videoclip.

 

1. EDM is not real music

“Electronic noises you’re trying to pass off as music”. Wow, wow, wow! C’mon, REALLY? After 100 years of electronic music —starting, at least conceptually, with Italian (!) Futurist Luigi Russolo’s “The Art of Noises” manifesto in 1913— and you STILL think that way? Tizio, you got a problem. And it deals with having your ears on hibernation for no less than half a century. But do not worry; a clarifying post about the music/non-music issue is on the way. Please, subscribe to our newsletter.

2. EDM is drug-driven/drug-inviting

Yes, EDM is drug-driven and drug inviting. Just like most rave music has been since 1988. Just like Disco. Just like Rock music. Punk. Heavy Metal. Psychedelia. Reggae. Just like any other popular music socially related to youth, party, gigs and clubs. You name it. Welcome to the real world.

3. EDM sounds all the same

No, it doesn’t. Unless you have your ears on hibernation for no less than half a century (see point 1).
Anyway, let’s try it again.

Check this:

And then check this:

 

Do they sound the same to you? If they do, stop reading this and go to the otorhinolaryngologist. Urgently.

But hey, anything goes, so let me play the devil’s advocate. Let’s say that it sounds all the same. Actually, that’s what can be concluded after listening to the hilarious —and quite tendentious, I’d say— “Epic Mashleg” released half a year ago by Sweden’s Dahleri:


The mashup, featuring 16 different EDM tracks mixed in one single minute, is brilliant. And yes, it seems like they all sound the same. But couldn’t the same joke been done with 25 minimal techno gimmicks? Or 50 old school jungle tracks using the “Amen” break? Or 100 gabber hits? Yes, it could be done.

Once something is successful, shit happens and dozens of newcomer clones arise. That’s a pretty obvious market rule. It’s been happening for decades, both in the pop and the electronic music fields. They call it “trend”. You should know that. And, once more, so what? As someone wrote recently —sorry about the absence of credit: I honestly do not remember where I read it—, when talking about dance music’s value, “it’s not the shock of the NEW. It’s the shock of the NOW” that counts.

4. EDM is easy, cheesy and commercial

Yes, you can say that. Just like 90% of the music featured on the charts. It’s been like that since the music industry was created. What was Elvis but a cheesy, whitey-ass, middle-class take on rock’n’roll? EDM is a cheesy take on electronic dance music just like Blink 182 was to punk-rock. That’s the main difference between “underground” and “mainstream” music. It’s nothing new, not even in electronic dance music —note that I’m not using capital letters. What about the cheesy take on Hip-House that ruled the European music market in the 80s and 90s under the Europop tag? Italo-disco, anyone? Happy Hardcore? Trance? Progressive House? EDM is just another chapter in a long going story. What’s the main difference now? That it is happening in the States. And, although being the birthplace of House and Techno, the US has no commercial electronic dance music —no capitals, again— tradition. But it has a strong Hip-Hop and R&B market presence. So they should be used to electronic music —yes, surprise: most Hip-Hop and R&B ARE electronic music too!

The thing is that in the US most longtime electronic dance music listeners have been historically related to the underground. And we all know how you feel when your favorite flavor is edulcorated, commercially wrapped and sold to a much wider audience. It hurts. It hurts badly.

5. DJs are not musicians

That’s right, more or less. But who on Earth believes that partygoers give a damn about it? DJs have a goal: make people dance. And they do it pretty well. How many DJs think of themselves as “transcendent” art makers? Not many, I’m afraid. If you want art —as conceived under a 19th Century-minded view—, go to a museum. We’re talking about partying, here.

6. “No talent is required to perform Electronic Dance Music” (as read somewhere)

Oh, my! Again: REALLY? What are you expecting? Rick Wakeman playing for the dancefloor? Did you ever hear about punk? Where have you been for the last 40 years?

This kind of sentence reminds me of my mom when watching a Jackson Pollock painting says: “This could be done by a 3 year old”. As I use to reply when that happens: “Well, show me a 3 years old who makes Abstract Expressionism. I want to be his manager”.

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107 Comments

  1. Geddin 1 November, 2016 at 2:46 am - Reply

    I saw Tiesto play last night at “Freaky Deaky” and it was absolute garbage music. On top of that, all the underrage stupid retarded teens were raving and screaming their fucking heads off, pushing each other in closer and closer like meat packed in a can to get closer to the fucking stage. It took every ounce of my being not to punch some people, and I was standing on the outskirts. These people love this garbage music like heroin.

    On a positive note, I listened to Tiesto’s older trance and I liked it a lot.. his stuff last night tho.. fucking garbage, seems like a major sell-out..

  2. Mike 14 October, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Dance music has been around since day one. It’s not suppose to be complicated. It’s not a ballet music concert. That is complicated dance music. Only highly skilled people can dance to that. It hasn’t been any more or less popular than it ever has been or ever will be. Bass tapes dub step same thing. Music is emotion. If a new emotion evolved into existence. Then a new genre of music would come to be.

  3. Krazy Star 25 September, 2016 at 10:27 am - Reply

    EDM shows the world for what it is. No matter how bad things EDM brings us together in a loving peaceful way. EDC 20 was one of the best experiences ever. It’s been 3 months and I’m still living the peace love and unity in my daily life. I am EDM and edm does mean electric dance music. And yes frank Sinatra and Lois Armstrong are now part of it with electro swing. I guarantee 5+ years electro swing will be as popular as other genara of “EDM” electric dance music ☀️❤️

  4. Dangerous Beat 5 September, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    EDM is a shame for the entire electronic music. It all boils down to the industry of well-established sounds, extreme production and too much of bass. melodies are orgasmic, very simple and repeated in hundreds of tracks. In the past few years they “created” a billions of subgenres only because they put a lot of reverb on some sounds, a lot of bass, they put or removed one or two sounds and that’s it. Whoever asserts you that he can distinguish that subgenres, he’s full of shit. It all boils down to “I wanna be famous”. Kids blowing shit that all their idols produce their own music. No one is bothered by the fact that 20 authors have identical sound and identically arranged sounds. There are several music studios in the world that produce music for dozens of names. The only matter that is sold is the name. That hairy dildo that has no idea about the equipment and former prostitute with bare breasts are only cover around product.

  5. Ace 12 August, 2016 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Your justification for defending EDM is pretty lame. Here’s why EDM is NOT music for me:

    – It all DOES sound the same crap. You can’t pull out any 2 out of a million songs to prove that they sound different. It’s all (mostly) the same high bass + drop
    – There is no live performance. It’s just a DJ hiding behind a booth pushing play. While people like it, it is not a music performance
    – Am not going to a music show to watch the pyrotechnics. That’s an added bonus. Ever watched some of the Pink Floyd shows? The music was primary – the pyros were for added effect
    – Most of the songs are collaborations where the DJ uses another artist for the vocals. This artist is not even present at the DJ’s live shows so how the hell is it a complete performance? It’s like going to a Guns N Roses concert & having a computer churn out Axl’s vocals instead of him being there
    – Creating this ‘music’ requires technical knowledge of the MacBook and not of instruments like guitar, bass, drums etc. I know am generalising here but that’s the case with the majority of DJs. They are technicians and musicians.
    – Most of the ‘hit songs’ don’t even have lyrics. For e.g, I keep hearing that ‘Animals’ song on radio and I don’t understand the hype. It’s probably catchy but there’s no lyrics, the guy created a sound, copied & pasted it twice over and that’s a song. Like some dumbass compared it to hip-hop. Hip Hop has lyrics and a meaning that the artist is trying to convey. Not some fantasy.

    While I don’t dispute the fact that this genre is loved by partygoers across the world and makes a lot of commercial sense, I still don’t count it as music.

    • John 23 September, 2016 at 2:31 pm - Reply

      Ok. Just going to say that your opinion is quite uninformed. Deep house and Dubstep sound nothing alike. Jungle and electro house sound nothing alike. House music and hardstyle are also quite different. As are Trap and chillout or ambient or lounge. Like it or not, EDM is one of the most diverse genres in the market today, with disco, nu-disco, nu retro wave, dubstep, chillstep, downtempo, house music, ambient, etc.

      “Creating this “music” requires technical knowledge… not of instruments”
      Oh really??? Then why do many EDM producers use a midi keyboard or live recordings??? Like it or not, many of the songs we listen to in EDM are actually meticulously played out on a midi keyboard, unless the producer uses a live instrument, which is way more common than you think.

      “Most of the hit songs don’t have lyrics”
      Neither do most classical pieces, yet they are still being listened to today.

  6. Danika 16 July, 2016 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Even I hate edm its just like ring-in-tones how to get our music what we want

  7. Pepe 7 July, 2016 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    I hate the fuckin dusbtep,electro shit big room house and new pop bastards like Bieber,Selena Gomez,Nicky Minaj,Pitbull and others fuckin asholess.
    The music today is shit,all is absolute noise,nothing creative
    The new generation of music are for deaf..
    Long life the real music Rock n Roll,Reggae and blues the music of devil.

  8. SLY 9 June, 2016 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Compare 1998-2004 progressive house with todays EDM. If you like EDM more, you have a problem.

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  10. Red1676 22 May, 2016 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    ever since electronic music got popular again, the shit became nothing more then a marketing scheme. yeah, the other genres have drugs too, but most the artists were not public about it or counter cultures spawned to go against in. edm supports the use of drugs way more heavily then any other, hence why fest have pill limits. the music companies love that type of shit as its easy and cheap to market. the difference between edm and the other genres is this, it didnt just depend on having a club base following. punk/rock/metal has the benefit of all aged events as thats where it came from. rap/hiphop/reggae is in the same boat, but they could do it anywhere as they didnt always need a beat to rhyme what they were saying. tell me that last time where a edm promoter book a community hall for the sake of keeping it actually for the artists. hell, even advertising companies love this shit trend, its basically free to use. the thing about elvis and blink 182, they actually spoke more of a generation where music wasnt “just music.” edm is “just music” with many sounds but produced by the same “instrument.” live edm is as interesting as having a playlist of music, while having the sound guy dance around his booth on stage.

  11. Queued 14 May, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Wow. Reading the comments on this article throws out so much of a hate vibe, it’s crazy.

    This was a good article. I agreed with most, if not all, of the content. Nice one, Oriol.

    But to the commenters… The thing about music is, it is unquantifiable, it is indescribable. It is a medium meant to invoke feelings, inspire and motivate. It has no language. It cannot be restricted to a box of what we think it is.
    Our music tastes were always meant to change. What would our ancestors think of the music we listen to now, compared to Beethoven and Mozart and Schubert and the likes? Rock? Punk? Reggae? Metal? Compared to the soft strands of violin or the deep notes of the cello and the clarinets and the piano? Do you see something working here?

    Music will always evolve with time. Who are we to stop something in progress?

    And I disagree a 100% with the people here who say edm is just loops and shitty beats and stuff. All right, there will always be phonies in every field of work, and maybe there are people who don’t make great music. But edm is not all repetition and loops. Most of them consider it an art. As we all should–composing music is no mean feat. Maybe you’re listening to mainstream a bit too much. Have you tried the other less-famous edm labels? Have you heard of Monstercat? Trap Nation? Trap City? Maybe the lot of you need to dig deeper to see what these songs really are.

    To the ones shouting computerisation–please. Even Hans Zimmer uses computers to help compose.

    I’ll be honest–in the beginning, I really didn’t warm up to edm at all. To me, it felt boring. I couldn’t relate to it. And yes, I felt that all they were doing was taking four notes and repeating them over and over. But all you need to do is dig deeper and keep an open mind. Music is meant for the conveyance of stories and emotion. And there is beauty in everything, if you’re willing to see it.

    • Mike GForce 15 July, 2016 at 2:38 am - Reply

      And there you already go wrong:
      “…..it is unquantifiable, it is indescribable…”
      Beyond me where some people get this sort of ideas from. Even the people in the 17th century knew exactly how to describe their music. Since people learned to write down the notes and all information needed to figure out how a song, an entire symphony has to be played out, since this advent we know that music is describable. Yet I have no clue why music has to be quantifiable nor what you even dare saying there.
      You also believe that:
      “….it has no language…”
      It does have. Where do you think come all different cultural differences and preferences when it comes to music? Because different music speaks to different people. There is not one exact genre that could easily appeal to all people on this planet. And good so it is.
      Music itself can certainly not restricted to a box. But we can certainly draw clear lines between different genres so we know exactly what we mean/are talking about. This also allows us to exactly track down how music has changed over the course of time.
      I see no problems there. But people who are a bit lazy to think it straight through seem to want to soften the rules people like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, all the people in Indian music and also more traditional Chinese or Japanese music have come up with and established them well for future generations to come to have something to orient themselves.
      Sure music evolves. And with the exact knowledge we can have today we can see how it develops and also see where it comes from. Stop being a lazy person. Or if your interest is just that shallow, stop trying to build an opinion. It is useless and annoying at best.
      Don’t try to be a philosophy hippy.
      “Our music tastes were always meant to change” Really? Mine has made some turns and twists. But at the end of the day I know my music taste and it has not changed that much at all. Only some temporary hick ups as I learned about music I did not recognize before. But why even pressurize myself to change my taste only to appeal to the opinion of others? Not an option. And I listen to a wide range of music since my childhood with some genres I prefer always over the others, depending on my daily form and mood.
      “Music will always evolve with time. Who are we to stop something in progress?”
      Finally something I can agree on. Nobody stops a thing. But exact genres are needed to keep us knowing what we are talking about. Points to keep us orienting along the route of musical evolution.
      And to be honest, once more as it is normal with me, you can not warm up to something that does not exist.
      What does EDM mean?
      Electronic
      Dance
      Music
      Alright. It is meant to be music. I got this.
      Electronic. alright. Since it is not rock music or jazz and mostly done via electronic instruments and devices.
      Dance? I have never heard a proper dance tune from any of these EDM guys. Not one. I could dance to black metal even more proper and metal as such is not meant to be dance music at all. There I said it.
      EDM is just a useless umbrella term, barely useful as a one genre for all word. It really describes nothing relevant to music besides that it is electronic music. But there it ends.
      Like words like IDM (what is so intelligent about ‘intelligent dance music’ and how the hell do I dance to it? and what genres does that mean to combine or describe anyway?)
      Or EBM – electronic body music. so yeah. Music that has an electronic body. A lousy term for electronic music coined by lazy ass magazine producers to cash in and lead the clueless. Useless terms still existing, used by clueless people, making the development of new genres even trickier since every noob thinks he knows a bit or two.
      You can not imagine how deep I have been digging, which is why I always find my music at any time I need it. Don’t tell me. And don’t give us this lame and horribly abusive ‘open mind thing’. To open means your brain falls out at one point. And with EDM it happened.

      Greetings from Germany

  12. Mynameis.. 1 May, 2016 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Kick snare kick snare kick snare kick snare kick snare kick snare
    *add cheesy lyrics*
    Snare snare snare snare snare snare
    Snaresnaresnaresnaresnaresnaresnare
    Bass
    Rince and repeat

    • KamIsFam 20 June, 2016 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      If that’s your definition of EDM, you’ve obviously never heard the spectrum that is EDM… It seems you’ve only been exposed to generic Electro House and some big-hit Bigroom House. If you’ve ever heard and Glitch Hop, Trance, or Trap, your definition would make you seem foolish. Take Rainbow Road by Nanobii, for example. It’s not hard to point out someone who knows a whole 2% of what they are talking about. Also, not all EDM has lyrics, so how do you fit that into your equation?

  13. Deylo 1 April, 2016 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Hi guys. All of you who say EDM is crap, you are the typical rocker which is afraid of the exctinction of rock due to the massive increase of EDM listeners. As maybe rock does to you, EDM brings us together and makes us feel energyzed and willing to party till late. There’s no problem if you don’t like EDM, but please respect it, otherwise we would also say rock is a real sh** which only uses guitars and percussion.

    • bobo 13 May, 2016 at 4:34 am - Reply

      It’s geared towards “partiers” basically underage and grown up children who mostly know little about music and care less the “festivals” are campgrounds for these types with drugs (probably needed if you have to listen to hours of this garbage) and sex , yea just like rock festivals except without the talent.

      • Randomo 18 May, 2016 at 4:10 pm - Reply

        So basically Woodstock? Not that I am saying the musicians that played at Woodstock were untalented. As a matter of fact they are/were some of the most talented musicians of their age. The only difference you seem to be drawing between a rock festival and a rave is the level of skill the musician has. Frankly, I think that it is unfair to say that the musicians that perform EDM are unskilled as both you and most of the musicians at Woodstock probably would be unable to create what they do. I would also like to address your comment about EDM being “garbage”. There are lots of separate genres in EDM, and there are many musicians that create songs in each genre, admittedly some of them are terrible, but that doesn’t mean that all of them are! This applies to other types of music as well. For example, not every single rock band who published a song in, lets say, 1974, was great, and some were even downright terrible, but a few were excellent. I also think one of the reasons you believe that EDM and its subsequent genres are “garbage” is because its just not your kind of music, which is perfectly fine, but just remember that your taste in music is not the be all end all of musical definition. If I didn’t like classic rock and roll (not saying I don’t), and called it garbage, that doesn’t mean that Elvis Presley and Little Richard were terrible musicians and classic rock and roll is a terrible genre.

        I hope that you are willing to read my entire comment before responding (if you indeed do decide to respond). I would like to emphasize that I am NOT trying to force you into liking EDM and its separate genres, all I am asking is that you try to have a little bit more perspective when talking about EDM.

    • Mike GForce 15 July, 2016 at 2:15 am - Reply

      Hi Deylo

      Dude or dudette, listen up.
      Not every person who actually dismisses this EDM circus because of what it is has to be a rocker who fears for rock music to go extinct. Even jazz is still all around and doing well as for the people not interested in jazz they do not ruin it anymore.
      I already wrote a lengthy comment why I think this EDM cult plain and simple sucks, as it did back in my time when EDM was called RAVE. No big difference at all. All media hype circus and lots of people who have no guts to figure what genres of electronic music they like to listen to.
      EDM means this: Stupid umbrella term for lazy people as usual. In all seriousness there should be no EDM business.
      For one big turn down that happened around the 2009/2010 mark is when like ALL Wikipedia articles that have been about ‘electronic music’ were re-written, from than on featuring not the more appropriate term electronic music but all of a sudden electronic dance music. As if people always talked about EDM. But never have been that way. I wonder who controls this constant changes of those articles which is why Wikipedia has become sort of a mixed back when it comes to fact based things and knowledge.
      And this kind of officially supported laziness is inexcusable.
      For one, not all electronic music is meant for the crowds to dance to. Try dancing to some old-school GABBA, an even trashier version of hardcore techno. Tell me where the DANCE is in that. Or how do you dance to Eat Static’s ‘Dead Planet’. How do you dance to Psychedelic Trance? You do not dance. You also do not dance to D’n’B. Head bopping and fist pumping to the inspiration lacking music of a drooling David Guetta is not dancing at all.
      And I have been listening to a great lot of electronic music to actually know what I talk about. so do not give us this EDM bullshit please. It means nothing but new wave of rave music to me. Lived it yesterday, eschewed it, and gave a solid bomb drop down the sewers.
      Also the idea of a growth in EDM listeners is a silly assumption.
      Hip Hop has always been based on electronic music genres like house, R’n’B and more since the old broken disco, soul and funk vinyl did not deliver anymore. So the Hip Hop fans will not entirely be happy with you dragging them down the EDM road because their music is also heavy electronic genre based. And besides, one of the few proper genres to be labelled ‘electronic dance music’ is this -> Electro Swing. Yes. It is electronic music that is also meant for you to dance to as you normally would to swing music anyway. YAY! Call me when David Guetta revived electro swing since this has become a fast vanishing genre.
      And one more comes to my mind. The PET SHOP BOYS. Yes. This duo produces a wide range of electronic dance music. Since the freaking 80s. But since they blend many electronic music genres into each other they can be hardly nailed down to only a couple of genres. Again call me when David Guetta and the likes as AOKI reach this level of mastering electronic music. Even Scooter have always been better as your AOKIs will ever be, and Scooter is one of the most laughable acts in electronic music out there. A bit back to the PSB. The latest PSB album has tracks that combine long forgotten synth patterns from Jam & Spoon like tracks with melody sections from tracks like Moby’s Go and blend some normally lame 2000-/+ anthem trance into it. And they make it sound good while slapping some poppy lyrics all over it that actually mean something.
      But this is exactly not the music you are talking about. You talk about some proper EDM, which to your dismay does not exist. There is nothing proper about this media propelled EDM craze.
      The music is not proper, but lazy. I can not detect one trace of proper Techno, Trance, House (NO, Big Room House is not remotely house music at all, just another inflationary term with only hot air behind it and lots of dirty media steam) or D’n’B in this EDM thing. It is just a plain and simply construct of electronic sounds that don’t even try to be something worthy. The so called musicians in this EDM bubble don’t even try to care. Let alone the EDM fans who believe in genres like IDM.
      So let’s look into this IDM to make my speech more clear.
      I netelligent
      D ance
      M usic
      Intelligence? There is nothing remotely intelligent about it.
      Dance? I never could imagine how to dance to this, at least for all the examples in this supposedly existing genre.
      And of course it is supposed to be music.
      So how many times can people abuse the term dance only to hide the fact that dancing is not part of the party at all?
      But lazy people are happy with useless wannabe genre titles. Just they get something to rub their minds on. But that is it.
      At least Rock Music means something and is a proper genre name since under Rock Music you get a load of valid music characteristics, you know that stuff that actually helps to describe the type of music to someone without the nerdy need to tell how people there dress, how they behave or how they gaze onto their shoes. No, shoe gazes is for this matter not a valid genre.
      EDM?
      Not all music you can dance to is electronic.
      Not all electronic music is meant to dance to.
      Not all music that is either electronic or meant to dance to is considered music by many other people.
      By using this term properly, if you only would, you would dismiss so much music at once.
      Do you know how much DANCE MUSIC your EDM festival leaders dismiss?
      Do you know how many genres of electronic music your EDM festival leaders do not even consider to include as if they forgot in all their hyper party fun what those are (and I know I already mentioned something along that line some earlier).

      So in my conclusion I can not respect something that is nothing but a medial hyped crap fest of something I happily forgot as the 90s reached their end and I finally started to listen to some electronic music genres that followed useful genre descriptors and made sense.
      I hate EDM for being this fake rave circus and for people being EDM fans not recognizing the fraud they bought themselves into, even worse helping this fake hype to not leave that soon.
      As I said, at least rock music can be described properly. What instruments (like in the most fundamental rock music and as you can expand into more), how these instruments are used, what techniques, how the songs are sung, what themes are mostly presented etc. Really I mean this. Give me a hand full of proper EDM descriptors that convince anyone into believing it is one real genre or a worthy umbrella term for all electronic and all dance music genres. Ballet is also a dance music genre. But you should learn about that another day.

      Greetings from Germany

  14. Muze 31 January, 2016 at 9:27 am - Reply

    I’ve been writing all styles of music for over 30 years. EDM is the worst because the tonal and articulation are removed from the music. You seriously need serious study time rather than a degree to be able to set the sound settings. And that takes away from the writing process. Lack of bpm shifting and deep understanding of actual notes. Whenever anyone actually writes good decent electronic music it gets passed over. Like jazz in the 20’s vs jazz in the 40’s EM will improve its just going to take a lot of time and money, and that the world doesn’t have and people will ignore it.

  15. SoMaR 1 January, 2016 at 12:33 am - Reply

    Enema De Mierda ;=)

  16. Anonymous 21 December, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    EDM is bullshit music. Artists have no talent, no pitch recognition, no composing skills, no clue about musical syntax and harmony.

    They are merely techno savvy cons who can’t pull a guitar or a piano riff but still charge a lot of money for their “music”. Terrible music world for our future generation – no appreciation for art, just party and ugly EDM “bounce-bounce” music. FFS..

    • H Munster 8 January, 2016 at 6:39 pm - Reply

      Amen. While the article is perfectly logical and has some good points, it does not negate the fact that edm is absolute crap. It is unlistenable to anyone who has heard REAL music. Even hiphop, which i loathe, is closer to actual music.
      This craze is the runoff of greasy eurotrash guidoesque disco boys.

      • lol 30 March, 2016 at 11:28 am - Reply

        What the fuck is ‘real music’/’actual music’? Do you get to decide what music is or isn’t? Who the fuck are you? God? Is it only music if YOU like it?

        Saying that is like saying genetically modified food isn’t real food LOL

        • lul 8 May, 2016 at 6:22 am - Reply

          GM food isn’t real food though, Kappa

          • KamIsFam 20 June, 2016 at 1:30 pm

            How do you define food? Jesus, you’re incompetent… If you can eat it and your body pulls nutrients from it, and you then shit it out, that right there is food.

    • Vermis Auris 14 September, 2016 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Utter arse! Skrillex, is well known for the fact hes a very talented multi task nstrumentalist! Pfffffffft!

  17. David 26 November, 2015 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    EDM is simply a marketing term to make cheap, disposable music appeal to the masses.

    For those of us old enough to remember the ‘Superclub’ era of the 90’s (Gatecrasher, Ministry, etc..) it bares a striking resemblance to Trance.
    Just like slap bracelets, Tamagotchi and MC Hammer pants it’ll disappear as people move onto the next big thing.

    For those that genuinely enjoyed the music, they’ll discover the underground and it’ll be better for it.
    The others will continue to like whatever MTV dictates they should.

    • Oriol Rosell 30 November, 2015 at 10:17 am - Reply

      Hi David. Totally agree! Thanks for your comment.

      • Kendrickwallalla 29 December, 2015 at 10:51 am - Reply

        I don’t like the fact that you mentioned deadmau5 though.Dude has songs that do t sound commercial like like mike garbage.I remember by deadmau5 is awesome but opinions are like buttholes.Yeah but EDM sucks

        • JaketheDog 8 April, 2016 at 5:28 am - Reply

          Glad you pointed out Deadmau5’s versatility. “I Remember” is deep house.

  18. Master of chaos 26 November, 2015 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    LISTEN GUYZ

    EDM WS MEANT TO SUCK.THERE ARE SOME CORRECT FACTS BUT STILL….METAL WAS TO RULE THE WORLD OF MUSIC.EDM IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE ON EARTH.

    I WILL GIVE A DETAILED EXPLANATION AFTERWARDS

    • Oriol Rosell 30 November, 2015 at 10:19 am - Reply

      Yes, please!

  19. Matt 26 November, 2015 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    I’m not a fan of the “EDM” (a designation you correctly critique) music or the associated party culture. In my own first hand observation (I’ve been to many EDM shows/parties/raves), the performances are not safe places for women (amidst the “community” vibe is a lot of unchallenged predatory behavior), and the culture can be rather misogynistic and racist – notably so, even against the backdrop of a broader culture with those characteristics. That said, there are indeed other cultural sub-genres with similar problems.

    BUT…I don’t have to like it in order to see it as music. There are all kinds of music that aren’t my personal thing. There’s no reason for me to stop and verbally kick people who like any of it. It is music, and many people enjoy it.

    In a world that both increasingly complex and increasingly laid bare by global information access, you can find a very good reason to feel bad about just about anything, For that reason, I am inclined to sit back, encourage kind, respectful behavior, and do nothing to even attempt to disturb anyone’s enjoyment of their chosen music/entertainment/art.

    • Oriol Rosell 30 November, 2015 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Hi Matt. Really coon comment. Thanks!

  20. Biff Donut 23 November, 2015 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Simply put EDM is not about a person picking up an instrument (unless you delusionally think a turntable is one) and creating a song. Sorry, it’s like disco was in the ’70s. The few decent songs out of that genre did not offset how vacuous the narcissistic “movement” truly was. Now go download some Raveonettes and Allah-Las and support some bands in the now.

    • Oriol Rosell 23 November, 2015 at 12:28 pm - Reply

      Hey Biff,
      First of all, thanks for your comment. I do not agree with you: making music with a computer or a synth is a creative process just like making it with a guitar or a piano. It simply implies a different type of devices, call them instruments or not. Obviously, you can make crap with it… just like you can with guitars. And yes, the Raveonettes are great.

  21. Brian 10 November, 2015 at 12:15 am - Reply

    Oh man this was so well written. I for one cannot stand this EDM monster, but what can you do? I avoid it like the plague, but once in awhile, a horrible thing
    happens and I am forced to DJ for teens and I must play some as I try to not vomit.

    • Oriol Rosell 10 November, 2015 at 10:42 pm - Reply

      😉

  22. DrGoo 9 November, 2015 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    The funny part about the term “edm” is that all the controversy about what is and isn’t edm comes from a really weird demographic that kinda seems to over analyze everything.

    In General

    If you were to tell the 23 year old trap dj that some 90s uk track was edm, they would just be like “ok”

    If you told a 40 year old tech house dj the same thing you’d get a blog post about how you were wrong.

    It’s all music made electronically for people to dance. It wasn’t meant for this much scrutiny.

    • Oriol Rosell 10 November, 2015 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      Fair enough!

  23. Emre 21 October, 2015 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Great article Oriol! I’m a hater because I do not enjoy those tonalities, melodies they use. Saturated wobbly synths and always the same kind of snare fills before the drop…But tht’s technically speaking.
    The point you raised about the reterritorialization is spot on and I think that’s the main reason, real music lovers hate that trend! (I can’t/won’t call it music).
    It’s all about the DJ, the image and the lifestyle (same goes with modern hip-hop, it’s insipid and glorifies everything that is wrong with the world IMHO : Prostitution, all about the money and the luxury…).
    Sure it raises some jealousy for the real electronic music producers who can’t get the attention they deserve maybe, and it creates that identification with that lifestyle for younger ones…
    But that’s where the problem lies. I also identified with 50 cents and his lifestyle when I was younger, we all buy into it at some point in our lives…But I wonder, those parents that take their kids to “One Direction” concerts, or the same parents who allow them to go to Tomorrowland…are in a large part responsible for these trends.

    I try to teach my kid the difference, maybe we do not have all the same priorities in education, but then again you can’t complain when marketers take a hold of their minds and fill them with garbage…My 2 cents on this being a producer and parent!

    • DrGoo 9 November, 2015 at 6:09 pm - Reply

      I don’t get how this would be a parental issue?
      The lifestyle that would be glorified by edm dj’s is typically normal guy worked really hard on music and now is a superstar.
      Out side of some drug references what is really so bad about it?
      If anything I’d teach my kid that you wanna work as hard as the edm guys.

      • aley 31 March, 2016 at 2:05 am - Reply

        hahahhhhahahah then your children are gonna be so called artists that don’t even give art as output , charge too much, produce easy ,generic , cheesy music tailored around a climax thats going to occur somewhere in the track that probably has a guy with a deep voice going 1 2 3 jump before the drop
        good luck teaching your kids how to con the uneducated children of the future :)

  24. My name is what 6 October, 2015 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    I don’t hate edm but I certainly hate it’s culture. Who am I? A prepubescent boy who loves trap and electro house . Many of your opinions are right . That’s the truth . But big house room of today is shitty . Atleast skrillex tried different genres but I hate bro step . It’s addicting but…… But if music producers took inspiration from genres like r and b and made meaningful music and not just random noises that they call electro house . I hate how boys of my age behave about edm though . Try to name a few “djs” like Dimitri vegas. And like Mike . I HATE THEM !!!!!! And david guetta makes shit IMO . I know my opinion may seem weird to some you need to take my age in consideration .

    • My name is what 6 October, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      Actually I wrote electro house instead of progressive house so forgive me

    • My name is what 6 October, 2015 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      My cousin thinks bro step is not edm and I think he’s right . But why blame some producers for all the neo hippies?

    • Emre 21 October, 2015 at 12:28 pm - Reply

      Smart kid 😉 !

      • My name is what 26 October, 2015 at 2:48 pm - Reply

        Thanks

  25. Zack 30 August, 2015 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    To me EDM is soley for the party scene. Plain and simple. It has no other place my life than on my party electronic music pandora station for whenever I’m throwing a huge get together where the majority of people wanna hear shit like wubby the wub wub skrillex and the stormin mormon kaskade; somethin to grind to y’know? No one wants to hear my actual favorites. They just want a simple bass line with a few drops and punchy synths. Not phife dawg or Gramatik, which is shocking to me but the bitter truth. You’ll never get to hear that type of good stuff in clubs anymore, unless it’s a “club remix” or a bastardized uptempo dance version. In sum edm is appropriate only for parties and clubs. I don’t listen to that in the car from work, at a family bbq, mowing the lawn or at the fucking gym. My god! Why does my gym only play edm!?

    • Oriol Rosell 10 September, 2015 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Hi Zack,
      yeah, gyms are the worst 😉

  26. tom healey 14 August, 2015 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    edm is a very irritating term and detest the music. i have always liked ‘proper electronic music’ and for me its the types of cunty little twerps that think theyre onto a revolution or something with their stupidly commercial massive cheesy fucking ‘edm’ – i hate the kids.. thats about it really. i could start on about the history of techno etc and how much i also hated the ninties and early 2000’s lead up to ‘edm’ .. that sandstorm track (the worst track ever made) and all the fuckwit dj’s that play big room house/dubstep/ brostep… but it would take a lifetime and annoy me so much id die from exhaustion.. fact is.. if you are a kid that goes to huge crappy raves that are driven by corporate funds, i hate you and all you live for.. i hate your friends.. i hate your apple products and i hate your sister… and as for the paris hilton style cunt clubber… massive hate. hater? yep.

    • Oriol Rosell 19 August, 2015 at 11:22 am - Reply

      :)

  27. Crystal Johnny 1 August, 2015 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    I’m a hardcore punk kid who loves all types of music. I could list arty bands from every genera and all of the things that make me an expert but lets leave it at this, i’ve seen thousands of artists and listened to thousands of others. I appreciate the article and if I loved EDM I would likely have written something similar but instead I can’t stand EDM and i’m about to tell you why.

    EDM in general appeals to douche bags and people who have spent more time doing drugs trying to forget their problems rather than growing and facing them. The false spirituality and friendships are affluent. How many date rapists are at any club on a given night? How many EDM friends are friends when they are sober? The rampant sexism mixed with the exploitative nature and bitchy attitude towards young party goers is an extreme turn off.
    Personally when i’m at an EDM show I feel like a character in an 80’s video game full of sweaty a-holes which cheap costumes and fake smiles.
    Repetitive sounds with obvious breaks mixed with soulless dancers of the spastic or slutty nature.
    Is there a place for EDM? of course the massive amount of fans can’t be wrong but in a world where Budweiser and McDonalds are national loves, majority seldom translates to quality.

    My hope is that the EDM “scene” will one day mature and that some of the zombies will have enough of their brains still in tact to emerge as leaders of their scene. In order to do this though they will need to diversify. More actual musicians DJing and mixing would be a great place to start if you combined a musicians timing and ear with venues or sub genres promoting strong women and acceptance of all then EDM might be onto something and gain the desired respect of the general music lover.

    It’s easy to attack any type of music, country, rock, punk, folk, hip hop, funk, soul, it really doesn’t matter. They all have big red targets on them but to those who hold them into their hearts the need to defend them will always be equality important. The major difference is that we can all see the good and bad in the genres except when it comes to EDM, we collectively can only see the bad. – Will the day come that KMFDM, Portis Head, and the Gorillaz will come to save your scene? I doubt it. it’s time for EDM to either grow up – or accept their fate as a bullshit,, douche-bag drug infected, mindless, soulless, scene of condemned.

    It may also be prudent to note that my wife loves EDM

    • Crystal Johnny 1 August, 2015 at 11:53 pm - Reply

      And I love this song by the Teddy Bears
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryXJKUnNXUY

      • Oriol Rosell 4 August, 2015 at 11:08 am - Reply

        😉

    • Oriol Rosell 4 August, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Thank you very much for your comment, Crystal Johnny. I completely agree with the sexist issue, although I’m afraid it’s not an EDM exclusive, unfortunately. When other drugs besides (pure) MDMA got into the dance music scene, everything changed for worst for women. I am not making any drug defense, but the fact is that amphetamine-based drugs, for instance, cause a very different effect on the male consumer than the “loved-up” rush of E. Simon Reynolds explains this change in a brilliant way on “Energy Flash”, one of the best books ever written about dance music.

    • Anonymous 10 August, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply
    • Anonymous 14 August, 2015 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Hello Captain Save A Ho,

      Since when did did raves become a “woman’s issue” LOL? That’s stupidiest shit I’ve ever heard. I can guarantee you those women made the choice to go in those skimpy clothes. That’s the reason they are called Hos. Last rave I went to had more women than men, some were barely wearing anything at all. Some were hot has hell too. Anyways why are you complaining about what those women wear? Perhaps you need to get laid

      The EDM culture is shit but not because of that. It’s shit due to all the drug use, faggots, new age hippies, furries, & social rejects that it attracts. If raves weren’t attracting society’s trash, I might give them a chance.

  28. realmusiqftw 19 June, 2015 at 12:12 am - Reply

    why is punk in the same sentence as em ? i feel like the writer secretly loves edm….

    punk has nothing to do with fake macbook music.

    • Oriol Rosell 26 June, 2015 at 11:10 am - Reply

      As far as I know —and believe me, I know a few things about it—, punk was mainly about making music without any technical restriction. You didn’t need any particular skill to make music. That was the point: anyone could do it. Remember the “here’s three chords, now go and form a band” thing? I think there are several similitudes between that idea and the “democratization” of music though digital technology.

  29. Anonymous 29 May, 2015 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Good article. As a EDM lover, I can agree with all of this. Big Room House & Dubstep makes me want to vomit. They all sound the same.

    When it comes towards EDM, I prefer deep house or progressive house. Listen to the EDM of 80s, 90s, & early 2000s, then compare then with stuff they play today. The old school EDM is definitely better.

    The only thing I really despise about ALL EDM is the “culture.” I hate raves & ravers. I worked at a rave once. NEVER AGAIN!

    I think ravers are a bunch of faggots. And they do drugs. I like other underground genres too (like hip hop), but let’s be honest, a hip hop party makes a rave party look like shit, & there aren’t as many wild stuff going on. Raves have no rules, & when I was working a rave, I saw things I wish I never saw—-butt-naked dudes, crossdressing queers, furries, bronies, hippies, & just about every kind of social reject you could imagine. I’m a nerd, but man, these people were LOSERS. I never had to worry about any of those things when I went to hip hop party. In hip hop parties, there’s the occational drug use too, but at least people keep their clothes on. Needless to say, I was traumatized by the insanity from the EDM culture & had to take a shower to wash the “filth” it left behind on me.

    If the EDM “culture” wasn’t full of drugs & homosexuals, I would have no problem with raves. I like EDM, but can’t stand the EDM culture. It is an abomination.

    I

    • Oriol Rosell 2 June, 2015 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      I understand your point of view, although I can not agree with your comments about homosexuality. If raves are not your type of thing, cool: ignore them. But live and let live, man.

      • Anonymous 10 August, 2015 at 9:08 am - Reply

        That’s kind of hard to do when (1) You have no choice but to work in a shit rave (I was working for a security company at the time when I went to my first rave) & (2) some perverted faggot on drugs in trying to touch you as your working. And don’t give me that “live & let live” crap when the fags can’t “live & let live” with other peoples’ with opposing views. Some people are against homosexuality for personal & religious reasons, & gays are just going to have to deal with it.

        • Oriol Rosell 10 August, 2015 at 12:09 pm - Reply

          I was once punched by a straight guy who was completely drunk. Therefore, all straights are violent alcoholics bastards.

          • Anonymous 14 August, 2015 at 10:08 am

            If you were doing something that you weren’t suppose to, then you deserved it.

          • Oriol Rosell 19 August, 2015 at 11:26 am

            So did you when a gay guy tried to touch you, right?

  30. Joao 19 March, 2015 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Man are seriously defending this beat loop, pattern repeting “music”?
    These people have no musical ideas. I suggest listen to some serious musicians.
    Examples (modern musicians, so you don’t complain about last century blablabla):

    – Chick Corea (jazz)
    – Bireli Lagrene (jazz)
    – Thom Yorke (alternative)
    – AVishai Cohen (bass player, world music/jazz)

    Honestly, listen to some tracks from these dudes, and tell me this EDM is not child play..
    I’m not trying to offend you, just want you to open your horizons.
    I have nothing against using electronics in music, i do enjoy Art of Noise, Herbie Hancock or Caravan Palace.

    The problem is, most of this electronic music is just bad..

    • Oriol Rosell 27 March, 2015 at 8:02 am - Reply

      Hi Joao,
      Thanks for your comment. If you want to get into really compositional complexity, I would suggest you to try Iannis Xenakis, Alban Berg or Iancu Dumitrescu. The thing is, we’re talking about dance music here. And, as I’m pretty sure you already know, it means music for people to dance to, meaning people with no contemporary or classical dance training. So, obviously, it has to be repetitive —nothing new, on the other hand: check out Steve Reich or Terry Riley— and simple, as it must work for everybody. Try djing Chick Corea at a rave…

  31. Alejandro 5 March, 2015 at 4:23 am - Reply

    Bravo!

    • Oriol Rosell 10 March, 2015 at 7:35 am - Reply

      ¡Gracias!

  32. Dance Maniac 1 December, 2014 at 6:05 am - Reply

    What leaves me cold about EDM is the lack of funk. It’s as if the music has been de-queered of any latino/gay/afro influence. It’s rhythmically anti-dance, a sound made for the shoulders and the head and not for the waist/hips. I find it sad that dancing has been reduced to a kick drum hitting the listener in the face instead of seducing and moving the thighs.

    Daft Punk – mostly responsible for people like Zedd – were always incredibly funky and soulful, Even Justice seem to be able to channel 70s funk and 80s R&B when required. But EDM removes any semblance of hypnotic Moroder basslines or beguiling Chicago house hi-hats. It’s flat midrange music where dynamic subtlety is replaced by predictable crescendi.

    It’s incredible to watch an entire culture of sexual experimentation, fashion and freaks become the soundtrack to a frat boy’s party. I guess sonner or later music genres stop being “danceable”. Little Richard was rock and roll – dance music always has an emphasis on the roll – but by the 70s the roll had been lost and rock became contemplative. That opened the door to disco. Even Detroit techno in the 80s was terribly funky – Derrick May being the best example – but if you go to a techno party in 2014, I can guarantee you the funk will be AWOL. Same for house – it’ stale. Hiphop in the 80s meant breakdancing. In the 90s it was about driving a car, smoking a spliff and nodding your head to the downtempo beat.

    EDM is electronic, but it’s not hip shaking music. Watch a clip of Zedd or Hardwell playing to a crowd – fans cheering like football aficionados at a rock show. It’s hierarchical, not communitarian. People are not dancing in a circle, lost in the groove. They’re taking pictures of a star. It’s not tribal and mind altering, it’s controlled exuberance. Ersatz ecstasy.

    Of course there is fun in the music. It’s effusive, brash, crass, predictable, popular, populist and everything cheap thrills should be. But I find little joy in it.

    I miss the funk! :(

    • Oriol Rosell 1 December, 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Dance Maniac,
      I do agree 100% with you. Actually, I think that the asexualization, progressive “whiteyfication” of electronic dance music is what helped it to go mainstream. It’s the same that happened with rock’n’roll. The mainstream needed a white Elvis.

    • Anonymous 14 August, 2015 at 10:36 am - Reply

      Go listen to House from the 90s & early 2000s. Plenty soulful funky beats you can dance your feet to

  33. Daniel FI 24 November, 2014 at 9:12 am - Reply

    I see all these assumptions about edm dying but trust me it will stay longer than any other genre. You only say its gonna die because you want it to. Electronic dance music is not only house, dubstep and trance it is also pop music remember that.

    • Oriol Rosell 25 November, 2014 at 9:13 am - Reply

      Hi Daniel,
      Thanks for your comment. I didn’t mean that EDM will die as a genre, but as a tag. I think it will evolve into several new sub-genres. Mainstream electronic music has always been there and always will.

      • Anonymous 14 August, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

        It already has

        It started with Disco in the 70s, evolved to Techno & Hip Hop in the 80s, then to House in the 90s, then to Trance & D&B in the 2000s, then to Dubstep & Big Room in the 2010s

  34. Dazed 31 October, 2014 at 6:46 am - Reply

    Nice article.

    I liked the way you presented a step by step analysis regarding several aspects that are relevant the scene.

    I realized that most of the music industry profit, the commercial stuff, is aimed at teens. Whether we like it or not, kids are the driving force for making/breaking a commercial artist. Take a look at big events like tomorrowland, or umf. The majority of people attending are from the 16 to 20 years old gap.

    This is where the marketing, social media, MTV brainwash work their wonders.

    Most of these people like this kind of music because they are told to. They know Avicii, Hardwell, all those big names because they are marketed and everybody is listening to their stuff. They hear this spoon fed stuff everywhere that they end up liking it. Remember the first time you had a beer in your life? Yeah, it’s like that.

    Ofc there’s also people that doesn’t like this stuff. And the two main reasons are because they are not into this genre of music, or/and, because they actually dig deeper in the electronic music scene and find more attractive stuff.

    Don’t get me wrong here, there was always been commercial music. Taking a look at 1999/2000 the commercial stuff was, if I recall, Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Modjo, just to name a few. This was commercial, but this had quality. Commercial stuff nowadays is so soulless, so… More of the same…

    Then we have the disinformation side. EDM stands for electronic dance music. So, like you said, be it house, deep house, techno, these are all EDM genres. The genre we’re talking here is big room (or big/main room “house”), or at least, this is how the promoters refer to it.

    Like when three guys decided to call themselves swedish house mafia and start releasing stuff that was no way near house. Then all of a suddent, kids went crazy with all of this “house music” stuff that in reality, has little or nothing to do with house music.

    Let’s face it. The commercial stuff, sounds all like the same.
    With the Skrillex/Avicii comparision you got a good counter-example to what I’m saying here. But the thing is that there aren’t many more.

    I understand that your article was from an “outsider” to the electronic scene perspective, like, from someone who’s not directly involved. I can be wrong here, this is just the feeling I had after reading the article.

    If you were, let’s say, a seasoned music producer who also happens to DJ pretty much around the world, when you listen to this kind of music you would be like:

    “This synth is from the Sylenth factory soundbank, the arpeggio sequence is from Nexus, the “Pryda Claps” are from the mutekki Vengeance Essential and the bass is from Massive. They didn’t even care change the patches.”

    Remember the music from the 90’s? Most of the tracks had that familiar feeling about the drums. Drum machines like the Roland TR series (the 909 is in vogue again nowadays), Alesis HR-16, and a few more were all the producers have to generate drum patterns. They did what they could with the limitations those machines had.
    Now, synths are the other way around. You can and should tweak stuff, or you end up sounding like this guy that has the same synths you have.
    And I’m not even talking about the track arrangement here.
    This is the main reason for the “they all sound like the same” affirmation, and at the end of the day, I feel forced to agree with that.

    On a personal level, what annoys me the most is that this hype affects me and I can’t seem to run away from it.

    Imagine how it would be if are a deep/tech house DJ who can’t stand this type of music but someone (we’re talking big promoters here) booked you to play at a large venue between two big room artists. You say, no way Jose but thank for your time, and the booking agency gets pissed off because they “lost” (by lost I mean they didn’t cash on your behalf) a large chunk of money. But that’s fine, you’re rock solid on their A&R so you get away with it.

    Till the same promoters pull the same stunt 5 months later to a similar venue with similar line up, but this time you have a two day gap between this event and another already booked gig with the flight taking 8 hours. This time you feel like, you have to say yes when all you want is to get back home from a one month and a half tour to spend some time with your family and get back into the studio to finish that remix for this artist you really like when the deadline for this project is in two weeks and you haven’t even opened the stems.

    All of this just to bring the promoters to the discussion. Ten years ago it was impossible to have, lets say, Richie Hawtin playing on the same night, at the same venue with an artist like Hardwell. Nowadays is perfectly normal. Nowadays is perfectly normal to have DJ’s like Dennis Ferrer being pulled of the booth because they aren’t playing beatport top 10 tracks.

    However the big/main room scene is definitely in it’s descending phase. We are starting to see artists like Deadmau5, Daft Punk, Hardwell, just to name a few, wanting to expand their horizons. Deep House and Techno will definitely take some bullets when these guys decide to jump boats and bring their legions of fans.

    To finish this text wall, I just wanted to say that there will most likely be error on this comment since English is not my native language. Also keep in mind, that this comment reflects my personal opinion about this subject. Nothing more, nothing less, for what it’s worth.

    And most important, I wanted to state that I really liked the article and will definitely check this site more often. I’m just trying to share some insight regarding stuff that happens behind the scenes.

    If I sounded too cocky or full of myself during this comment, that was not my intention when writing this.

    Keep it up.

    • Oriol Rosell 3 November, 2014 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Dazed,
      Thank you very much for your comment! Very, very interesting and with an enlightening insider’s point of view. Do not worry: you dodn’t sound cocky or anything. It is a brilliant text.
      As you suspect, I am not directly involved in electronic dance music at all (note that I’m not using capital letters!), although I do play electronic music.
      Again, thank you very much for your comment!

  35. Zander Hawkes 29 October, 2014 at 3:05 am - Reply

    Very. Very. Very. Very. Good. Article. Especially coming from someone who doesn’t like EDM. It hurts me, as an edm lover, to hear the arguments so many say against edm that aren’t real arguements. Like someone mentioned earlier, music is subjective. Like you mentioned in this article, it’s mainstream that’s one of the issues.
    I’ve played guitar for ten years, been in small bands locally, and had dreams of being a rockstar. I used to hate edm. Now I love it more than ever, and don’t see myself going back to the band way of life. But I still appreciate the indie and rock and roll. I just couldn’t see why others hated it so much.
    Thanks again.

    • Oriol Rosell 29 October, 2014 at 9:15 am - Reply

      Hi Zander,
      Wow, thank you very much for your kind words!

  36. Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin 18 October, 2014 at 1:46 am - Reply

    There are more important things than partying.

    • Oriol Rosell 21 October, 2014 at 10:09 am - Reply

      Definitely yes.

  37. Mike GForce 27 September, 2014 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Hi there.

    Nice article.
    I agree on lots of things you said.
    But I for myself have to admit – this EDM culture does suck plain and simple.
    I have been part of the rave music culture during the 90s. And to be honest it sucked already back then.
    I will try to give a clear perspective of mine why I think so, even being a warrior for electronic music for a long time.

    The EDM culture is pretty much todays rave culture.
    Some pieces of music you could dance to, to some you couldn’t even figure a pattern. I don’t think this has changed to either the better or worse.
    So what sucks?
    Back in my rave mahem days, rave culture was not exactly as pop as it is today. We have had our tunes and the rest of the world did not care. But over few years – from mid 90s to the late 90s and into the new millenium, rave music was all over the place too.
    And the more it went into that direction, the less inspiring it got. The music got lame because the tunes had to be redifined for an ever be bored audience.
    Yes. If music and the artists did not change the drift fast enough people got pink.
    It happened up to a time when people started to be confused to what electronic music genre is what. And it reflects even today. That irritation is still there. Even worse less people care.
    Give ’em their electronic music mess and let them move in any pattern they think it is dancing.
    Saw it yesterday, see it today.
    People are not there for the music, but for the rumors, the myths.
    Can you imagine how much we hated the kandy ravers? Can you imagine how much we would hate them today if we had to be there again? The same way.
    They are there. But as I said not for the music.
    They are just there to be seen. “Hey mommy, that dude with the blue paint in the face and that nasty green glow stick, that is me.”
    And what distracts even more from the music are the drugs.
    Hands down. People are there for the drug experience.
    I hear some people rebel against that: “But I never do drugs!”
    Right. These people also exist. But for most people it is about PARTY. And party is mostly about rolling and being on drugs (be it legal or illegal drugs). The music does not matter which is than that the music can be changed into anything – as long as it is electronic music and ‘somehow’ “danceable”.
    Raves and EDM festivals are just that: A massive invasion of an area by people going out of their daily mind to electronic music.
    So EDM fits indeed a little bit better because even heavy metal and rock music fans are raving.
    But with EDM it became more clear what it is about.
    The lamest part of the rave culture however is the ever occuring drug theme.
    Just when I thought it is over and people are enjoying the music for the sake of just that, I have to realise I have been thinking wrong.
    Just browse the vast space of the internet. It is everywhere. Even some DJs and producers tell me that drugs are part of it, that the music has been developed with drugs in mind – even the top acts are all about it.
    But I see the point, or at least I learned to accept it.
    It is true. No drugs, no electronic music as we know it today.
    Trance, especially Psytrance and Goa would not work. It is all neo spiritualism or shamanism. Without drugs pretty useless junk.
    Alien music, created to make your mind go boom beyond logical reasoning. And getting this sober is pretty tough. It can be done when one is highly affected by the music alone, but most are not.
    And who the hell is gonna dance all night long without the proper drive? Nobody.
    There lies another problem. Electronic music festivals or events are all about getting your butt covered in sweat or you are fake as heck.
    Constant restlessness. And what is the point of being burned out and standing in the middle of a raving crowd with no way to leave to refresh yourself? Exactly. So you are better prepared for some serious shit.
    I’m not even talking about the money aspect as I think that would be a problem to any kind of music scene. Everybody is jealous about the amount of music an artist can make, no matter what music he/she plays or sings along to.
    For me EDM culture is totally fake.
    Fake? Yes. It exists, the music, the DJs, the artists, all the raving people, the drugs. It is all real. What is fake is the whole thing as the music lacks any common ground.
    Am I saying it is not music? No.
    I say the music lacks cultural ground.
    Rave music and EDM ‘culture’ has no connection to daily life situations, no connection to peoples cultural background (And I’m not just talking about someone being from China so that makes it all being Chinese culture in there – so easy it is not). There are no connections to lifestyle and fashion. It is all about the sound and let’s not forget irritating light shows to accompany it.

    Go back to the 50s. I know lot of it is a little bit cheese too as we only have retro views as we speak now.
    But look deeper.
    It all was connected. The music was always mirroring the actual cultural image, the fashion, the lifestyle, the politics (in jazz especially though this became more vital during the 60s and 70s), even what people have been eating.
    And the music got reflected back into society. It was one.
    Even when it was thought to be rebellious – like the rock’n’roll or even jazz – it was all part of the society and over time it was even accepted by the elder people.
    Though it happened in the USA – which makes rock’n’roll, blues, country, jazz, swing etc All American music, even I can understand all of these connections and why the music is very good.
    That is why today and for quite some years already, lots of musicians, singer-songwriters, artists etc. are giving us great new albums that could have been coming from the past – without sounding lame or backwards.
    Can you imagine a Psytrance track about a chocolate cookie? But with more organic music styles it can happen and make sense too.
    Have some cookies and cream.

    As I said, EDM lacks any real connection. It is meant to get lost. But how lost does one have to get to be satisfied with reality otherwise?
    So lost that music has to be this kind of alien music, right? Right.
    So what else does suck?
    Modern popstars are tuning in.
    This never happened in the 90s.
    Popstars just did their thing, creating popmusic for the normal people listening to the radio or watching TV, buying normal popmusic albums.
    The rave was ours.
    Today popmusic sounds like it is all part of this EDM movement. One gigantic blob of music. And everyone is stearing the pot.
    I don’t bother to try to seperate underground and mainstream as I type this long thingy here.
    I never cared about that.
    But seeing popstars just jumping into this EDM thing as it was meant to be makes it alittle bit more lame than the rave stuff we have had in the 90s.
    Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe EDM is not the modern rave culture at all.
    Maybe the rave culture does not even……….NO.
    EDM is modern rave culture only with a more mainstream acceptance. This is why popstars can blend into this mess of EDM. Also the modern sound to popmusic is all electro, or most of it. Mix in some guitar riffs, play some notes on a piano – here we go.
    And in all of it I do miss some real connections to normal life.
    No matter what popstars are singing about. The way they package it and bring it to the masses, it lacks sense for reality.
    This is why I never liked Prince. All artsy-fartsy with ground lost under his feet.

    You can now ask me if I want to listen to other peoples hearts being broken, some chocolate cookies been eaten or about some lonely cowboys standing their man. Yes.
    If it comes all like it came from Elvis, Chuck Berry or as it comes from Imelda May, The Baseballs, Brian Setzer and many more, YES.
    The genre does matter and especially on what ground it was developed.
    As I repeat myself here, jazz, blues, country, rock’n’roll, rockabilly – all of it came from social ground, with real life in the background and real life in mind while it was created.
    Maybe some artists and singer-songwriters have been spiritually touched, but they never lost the ground under their feet (most of them kept it real while just having fun).
    I can not see this in EDM business. And I never saw it in rave business in the 90s.
    It is like cheap acting. EDM is all about acting – yet lacking the reality.
    I do wonder what EDM business tries to paint us for a picture.
    What is it about?

    I also often hear that PLUR thing. We have had the same problem. But forget about PLUR. That has been another marketing trick. Nobody transformed into a raver just for the PLUR thing.
    You have been a raver by nature or you haven’t been.
    So I furthermore wonder why I have been a raver myself – not. I actually know why I have been there, and I don’t like it the way it happened. I really do wish things have been different, never throwing me into this useless universe of music that was everlacking real cultural background.

    Remember the disco stuff? Even this has had cultural background. So today it doesn’t fit so much anymore as it basically has been swallowed up into this EDM phenomenon.

    Don’t worry. There are a lot of other genres or music scenes I could stomp into the ground too. But EDM is the thing to be in everyones face now and so it will be over the next years.

    I hope this is not too confusing the way I have written it.
    Thanks for reading.

    Mike

    • Oriol Rosell 30 September, 2014 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      Hi Mike,
      Wow… THAT was a real comment! Thank you very much for taking your time to express your opinion in such an intelligent and well documented way!
      I do agree with most of your views, although I must point out that, at least in Europe, there is a strong political conscience among the illegal rave scene, as it’s been articulated mostly by ex-anarcho punks and people involved in any kind of counterculture. But on the other hand, as you say, the drugs are always there, and most of the time it seems like the revolutionary speech is a mere excuse to get high.
      Again, thank you very much for taking your time to comment!

  38. Systemize 12 September, 2014 at 8:52 am - Reply

    I think you should have gone into more detail about the underground. I think it would have paid more mind to mention that the underground cares more about the sound, or art of it, rather than the image it gathers from media. Although you did write in good detail about the aspects and comercialism of EDM, i think you could have said more about how the underground is driving force behind many of the successfuly artists that are out there and their styles that they play wherever they may be. That “Daleri – Epic Mashleg” is a good example of how even mainstream artists can see the overused sounds and bpms that everyone is copying, but the lack of mention of how other styles (from the underground) are either leading or shaping the future of Electronic music is bothersome.

    • Oriol Rosell 12 September, 2014 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Yes, you’re right. I’ll try to write something about that soon. Thanks for your comment!

    • Anonymous 14 August, 2015 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Speaking as someone who has worked at a rave (& ended up regretting it), there are things that go on in those raves who don’t want to know about! I was purely disgusted by the freaks, furries, new age hippies, sodomites, & crossdressers I saw there. We had to arrest some people at the gig because people were trying to sneak in E into the venue were I worked. Once & awhile I saw some hot girls wearing skippy outfits—-now that I think about it, that’s the ONLY thing I really enjoyed from the rave.

      Anyways, I think this site pretty much sums up everything wrong with EDM culture:
      http://www.i-mockery.com/antirave/

      • Emre 21 October, 2015 at 11:54 am - Reply

        Ok we understood you hate faggots and furries and what not…No need to be offensive and affirm your bigotery over and over again.

        You’re the only narrowminded person here, yet you act like you’re a responsible one. Stay away from those people you hate so much…so stay away from here also, as we’re probably all faggots, furries, crossdressers, etc…

  39. snahkist 28 August, 2014 at 8:23 am - Reply

    music is a subjective affair. something is always going to suck to someone, somewhere. i don’t like edm. or house music, breakbeat, dubstep, techno, hardcore, drum & bass et al. i prefer more traditional forms of music. the fact that i don’t like it does not mean that it has no value. it means it does not belong to me. defending one’s taste in music (or any form of expression for that matter) from this perspective is, in a sense therefore, indefensible. you’re either preaching to the converted or appealing to deaf ears. perhaps the more pertinent question is, why do you need to defend something that you enjoy?

    • Conductr Team 28 August, 2014 at 9:13 am - Reply

      Hi Snakhist,
      I do totally agree with you. Personally, I don’t like EDM neither. But what worries me is the kind of reasoning that most critics are using. I just thought that a couple of things should be cleared.
      Thank you very much for your comment.

  40. Erick 21 July, 2014 at 3:26 am - Reply

    Do you really want to know what sucks? your website. Slow and ugly as hell1!!!

    • Oriol Rosell 22 July, 2014 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Hi Erick,
      We’re sorry the website design is not up to your standards. About it being a bit slowly: we’re constantly improving it.
      Thanks for your comment!

  41. Wencesalao Ciuro 10 July, 2014 at 6:06 am - Reply

    there’s a fucking kid called marla olmstead or so, she is an abstract expressionist at 3 yrs old, she sucks, pollock sucks too.

    • Oriol Rosell 11 July, 2014 at 7:51 am - Reply

      Hahahaha!

  42. kaley 12 June, 2014 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    I don’t think edm will fade that soon … i see it being around for a while

  43. Prasanna Kancherlapalli 27 May, 2014 at 1:50 am - Reply

    You’ve got a point, but EDM won’t last. At least not in the mainstream. Sure it’s popular at the moment, but I can guarantee that it will start to decline around the second half of this decade (around 2016 or 2017). Nothing remains popular forever, especially with how repetitive and nauseating mainstream music is nowadays. And even people in their 20s (like myself) hate todays mainstream music. Right now, the EDM movement is exactly the same as what disco was in the 70s. Eventually EDM will lose it’s mainstream appeal and fade into obscurity.

    • Oriol Rosell 27 May, 2014 at 2:59 pm - Reply

      Yes, I do agree: EDM as we know it will fade out at some point. But it will be replaced by something else, be it electronic or not. It’s pure market dynamics. Thanks for your comment!

      • andy 19 October, 2015 at 3:57 pm - Reply

        frankly I am a huge huge edm lover.i thinks most of you guys hate edm bcoz of its fast growth.however thaats not my point.edm is the best music genre(my opinion).1)edm is not just about noises and brash harsh sounds.just listen to avicii’s wake me up or stories album or alesso’s if I lose myself tonight remix or alesso heroes.i like skrillex too but not everyone understands his music so I am not gonna argue on that point.2)not everyone love it for the drugs.just watch any of the tomorrowland aftermovie’s from 2013,2014,2015.drugs are strictly banned at tomorrowland.then too just look at people’s energy as they dance to their favourite tracks(2013 aftermovie :GIPSY song).it gives them the energy nothing else can .3)ajust look at Swedish house mafia’s last UMF performance in 2013 at which they broke up.during the performance when they started playing teir most famous trackDONT YOU WORRY CHILD,at one point during the song SHM completely stopped playing the song onstage and the whole lyrics were sung by the ravers present ,screaming and tears streaming down their eyes.(u wont find the crying part in the video but its true)that’s some fucking love for THE MUSIC THEY LOVE AND WHICH CHANGED THE WAY OF THEIR LIVES.if u don’t cry while watching the DONT YOU WORRY CHILD VIDEO u r a senseless emotionless moronic robot.4)the djs u r trashing also produce music which is not so easy.and do u think they don’t do anything onstage,then just watch HARDWELL’s tomorrowland 2013 set and see how busy he is with the mixers.and if u think he is faking it u r morons.5)seriously give the old djs like tiesto,carl cox ,paul van dyk or paul oakenfold and many many more..some respect man.they have been through times no other musical genres artists have gone.they witnessed the whole HECK NO TO TECHNO and DISCO DEMOLITION NIGHTMARE movement but they stuck to the music they loved and now they are legends.6)the tomorrowland 2013 full madness tickets were sold out in FUCKING !) SECONDS.WITH AN ONLINE WAITING LIST OF 200k people.that is some love for their paradise.7)alest its better than those awful breakup songs from taylor swift or cheesy 1D songs.seriously those guys r famous just bcoz of their looks.(but few are good like OWL CITY.he was my favourite .atleast he writes meaningful songs.also ONEREPUBLIC AND SCRIPT). 8)lastly the EDM INDUSTRY IS A FUCKIN 6.2 BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY.HOW THE FUCK DO U EXPECT IT TO END?its gonna live forever.u just cant stand its overnight success while all other genres had to struggle.
        HOWEVER NOT EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS HOSE MUSIC ITS SPIRITUAL THING……………….

        • AWSprague 11 February, 2016 at 10:38 pm - Reply

          Dude don’t even try to argue that drugs are banned at festivals. Of course they are, I have been to dozens of music festivals and drugs are banned at all of them. Doesn’t mean people won’t bring them in and use them.

  44. dude 25 May, 2014 at 2:00 am - Reply

    Yes, hip-hop can count as electronic music, but NOT R&B. R&B died in the 70s when Stax records went out of business.

    • Oriol Rosell 27 May, 2014 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      Well, THAT R&B certainly died. But there’s THE OTHER R&B. Or at least, what they tag as “R&B” almost everywhere, from the Billboard hit parades to the Grammy awards categories. You know what I mean, right? Rihana, Aaliyah… More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_R%26B
      Thanks for your comment!

    • Anonymous 29 May, 2015 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      LOL Don’t even compare hip hop to EDM. They are not the same.
      Hip hop is much slower & has lyrics. The only thing hip hop has in common with EDM is a repetitive sample that loops throughout the whole song.

      • Oriol Rosell 2 June, 2015 at 5:06 pm - Reply

        Agree. Actually, that’s exactly what I’m saying: it is related to electronic dance music as it is also made basically with loops electronically layered.
        Thanks for your comment!

  45. kevin 2 April, 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Well said, well said indeed.

    • Oriol Rosell 27 May, 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      Thanks!

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