[Disclaimer: The views presented in the article are that of the author and not ScoopWhoop.]
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, one essential characteristic of music is that there's some kind of order to it. EDM is ordered, so EDM is music. So let's get this out of our systems: EDM is music but it's trash.
Okay, before you pull out your headphones and lower the volume of the ever-annoying bass heavy noise that Guetta or Skrillex try and pass off as music, please hear me out. Imagine a 'cool' south Delhi club on a Saturday evening. What are the things you can be sure of finding in that place?
A small enclosure full of sweaty people who are high on everything except life and volume so high that it makes your heart pound like a Rockstar after a show.
We like long buildups and disappointing drops.
'EDM' is the acronym for 'Electronic Dance Music'. You already knew that, right? But what you didn't know was the fact that nobody tends to talk about it literally. It has been reduced to a few sounds put together without any lyrics or emotions attached.
From the weirdest techno to the most desi music, everything we've been dancing to over the last few years can be termed as EDM. If it only meant electronic dance music, but it doesn’t. It's more of a marketing gimmick and has almost nothing to do with music itself.
EDM is a very specific kind of electronic dance music. Or best, to a certain way of marketing it.
Big stars of EDM don't share many common music elements. Except that they all sound quite easy, slightly cheesy, and extremely put-your-hands-up-gestureish. And it’s easier to remember the guy behind the booth or the weird mouse mask than actually remember the artists for their abilities.
We often berate the new trend of Bollywood music that depends more on gimmicks than on actual quality of the songs. Yo Yo Honey Singh and Baadshah can be seen as the main perpetrators of the same. This trend was first introduced by the rising EDM wave where jealousy became one of the key talking points of the culture.
If you base your marketing campaign around a person who seems successful and is riding nice vehicles and going to great parties, it's highly likely that the youngsters will start looking up to you. And that is what is happening right now.
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.
It's also very formulaic in approach. They are all the same song. There have been quite a few viral videos about the same topic. Here is a famous video that tried syncing several songs by the same EDM artist.
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 the EDM genre and that's what makes it problematic.
You need instruments to play music, not a frickin pen drive.
The difference between EDM and the other genres is this: it didn't just depend on having a club base following. EDM is targeted towards a specific kind of audience and they tend to love it. That's what makes it popular. The herd mentality of our generation has resulted in the popularity of EDM.
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 'artist' do something weird or 'cool' around the booth.
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Rolling Stone, the magazine's Italian edition commissioned a video spot "Rocker vs DJ" that takes aim squarely at EDM calling it "electronic noises you try to pass off as music and labeling DJs "criminals with a license to shoot shit into our eardrums".
This is how you can type out any piece of garbage that some refer to as EDM:
*add cheesy lyrics*
Snare snare snare snare snare snare
It can also be meaningless noise. It's all in the attitude taken toward it by the composer. Maybe it's just my bias against the new age hipster movement that calls for such taste in music, but I find it repelling. It's annoying and honestly, it doesn't make a lot of sense.
I like my music where the artist puts in his hard-work and thoughts and successfully provides us a concoction of sorts that mesmerise millions across the globe. That's music. Not this pen-drive driven bullshit.
[Author's Note: I do understand that music is subjective and therefore, I am stating MY opinions on the subject. If you disagree with it, great. If you agree with it, well... welcome to the club.]