Friday, September 14, 2012

//SPCL: Electronic Dance Music Needs To Die

Legendary dance music hipster Simon Reynolds once brought to our attention the idea that breakbeat was responsible for the death of Dance Music. Let's examine that idea from the point of it not being a bad thing but of saving us all of the terrible drone-like hypnosis that is today's EDM.

I'm not a musicologist but I guess it was sometime around the 80s that dance music took new forms as electronic methods took whatever-little sophistication was left out of the equation and movements made it okay to enjoy near-absolute primativeness in drowned out hypnotic soundscapes. I.E. it was okay to lose yourself to a repetitive thumping beat with near-inorganic synthlines mascarading as melodies ontop of it. 

There's nothing bad about it. It was new, it was suggestive, it was sexual, it was raw and it was definitely human down to it's core- heartbeats and simple emotion. Up until that point, the bulk majority of music was made to drive people to think and experience the complexity of sounds to recreate senses, emotions or different states of minds. I mean...that's cool and all, but it's definitely not as cool as dance music. 

Many were suddenly proud to be a part of a new movement- the ravers. Youth with nothing better to do than to lose themselves in psychedelics and the 'anything goes, man!' mentality that was also enjoyed by the hippie generation before them. It was all radical but then the breakbeats came back. It was no longer packaged in the Hip hop roots it came from but now were by themselves disastrous and fierce. Fast drums, fluttering through your body, scrambling your mind and forcing your brain to evolve. 

That's where electronic music went- back into the avante garde with labels like Ninjatune and Warp making it cool to think with your electronic music again.

It was within this period I was indoctrinated into the world of electronic music. I enjoyed the hypnotic waves made through late 90s breakbeats and I enjoyed the electric volts that shot through me through drumnbass. Then around the 2000s, I totally dug deep into the Intelligent, ambient and downtempo sounds. Following Dubstep, I blacked out somewhere and here I am listening to this. 


What is it? It's hypnotic, it's remorseless, it's simplified and it makes no attempt at giving you space to think deeply about how you feel about this music. It's more abrasive and robotic than techno or any of it's children and the neo-ravers (ragers) accessorising this music act accordingly. And the worse part is that I can't find it in me to hate this music.

This monstrosity is the dwindled down form of states left over  from the primative ambiance enjoyed by Dubstep. Out have come people who were sort of forced to listen to metal and Rap music over the last decade and now allowed to grow into pill-poppers and cocaine-sniffers just waiting for the next Skrillex Tour to come their way. The economy is crap and our parents aren't really making it any better ...so why shouldn't we, right?

It's actually because of all this that E.D.M. needs to die for the moment. It's a form of masturbation that we can't afford right now. There is very little that's new about it, very little that brings upon new mental states and levels of awareness. There's a whole bunch of new sounds-capes being made in the underground that needs to be brought back out. Let's do that.

Also, guitars still sounds awesome.