Friday, June 29, 2012

What's Happening to EDM? Deadmau5 Takes a Stand

With EDM blowing up in popularity, that paves the road to the future with endless possibilities. And as in life, the most crucial moments are when opportunities such as this one are presented. How that opportunity is responded to determines its future.
The youth of today is being polluted by Reality TV, the "Pseudo American Dream," and the lets get fucked up, fuck her, her friend and her friends sister, booty bouncin, party party party, meaningless, soulless, "fuck it" attitude. Is the opportunity at hand is being utilized for good? Is it being used to embrace the soul? Or is it being wasted to further the meaningless existence of human life?  The "fuck it" attitude is pouring over into all aspects of life, and in regards to EDM -- its ripping the heart out by polluting the electronic music databases with tasteless, unoriginal, tweaked, bells whistles and other annoying sounds that Diplo seems to be so fond of topped with senseless lyrics. Where's the originality? Where's the experimental, expressive, nature it began with? Where's the soul? What's happening to EDM?

There has been sudden influx of djs and producers sprouting up in bedrooms across the world as EDM gains the attention of today's youth. It's great that so many young people are out there experimenting with music production and finding ways to express themselves -- but what is being expressed is alarming. Aside from the poorly put together arrangements and tracks lacking any formula whatsoever, the more disappointing truth is what tracks are becoming so popular and why.

There are always a few that remain or that will continue to rise above, but they have become the minority. Its become a difficult task to find that truly beautiful track. It takes hours sifting through the sewage to find that gem. When its presented, the response is often disappointing. Why? It seems as if the most recent addition to the EDM crowds aka bandwagon fans, are becoming less interested in the soul and more interested in something that remixes some pop idol they're crazy about. According to Deadmau5, "David Guetta has two iPods and a mixer and he just plays tracks – like, 'Here's one with Akon, check it out!'," he says. Really dude? What the hell?

That's not to say that remixing can't be done tastefully. A few artists are truly gifted at remixing. They do it with respect for the artist their sampling. For instance, Avicii, really gets the blood flowing. When he remixed Pretty Lights' Finally Moving track, renamed Levels, it brought flavor back to the track which many of us hadn't listened to in quite some time. Truth be told, these bandwagon fans, don't even realize its a remix. They'll swear up and down that Avicii wrote that track. Its a common mistake and its comical, because their uneducated about that piece of music's history and its evolution.

Pretty Lights aka Derek Smith didn't write the words either -- he just sampled them on a track he made. Years after that production, Avicii remixed Derek's piece, the lyrics he sampled, and reinvented it in his own way. He did it beautifully, but then something terrible happened. Flo Rida steals it and in no time it hits the top of the charts on Itunes. Shortly after, its one of the seven songs they had on loop on every hip hop and pop radio station. Neither of the previous artists got a second of their tracks played on public radio. And as mentioned before, the process repeats itself, but this time its worse, bandwagon fans are mistakenly giving Flo Rida the credit for the hard work of two very talented people who I dare say aren't even known by them.

Bandwagon Fan 1: Have you heard that Flo Rida song, Finally Moving? Dude its so fresh and unlike anything I've ever heard before. That's my shit yo!

Bandwagon Fan 2: Yeah.... he adds that flo in the Flo Rida.

Guy Eavesdropping aka ME: Fucking idiots.
Deadmau5 aka Joel Zimmerman has had enough and is speaking his mind. He claims that he's constantly rejecting offers from pop acts. He made the following statement in an article of Rolling Stone Magazine:
All too often, there’s an influx of 'big names' that would get thrown around the label from time to time and of course, they fly off the table and out the fuckin door faster than they hit my desk," the producer wrote. "Do you want to do a track with big name X, remix huge pop act Y, etc. etc. No. I fucking don’t. I really REALLY don’t."
Deadmau5 went on to explain that while he has enjoyed working with the Foo Fighters, Cypress Hill and Flipside, he has no interest in creating music that will "have some fucking dipshit blab about lookin sexy, poppin bottles, 'dropping bass,' or ANYTHING club related."

A few months ago, in Miami for Ultra Fest, Madonna was privileged by having the opportunity to introduce previously mentioned up-incoming producer, Avicii. This moment was an opportunity to reach out to more people than Avicii probably ever could and she decides to shout, "How many people in this crowd have seen Molly?"

In disgust, Deadmau5 responds,
"You're a role model to 100's of millions," Deadmau5 wrote. "EDM could use your positive influence, not 'molly' talk.[...]"You want to be 'hip' and 'cool' and 'funky grandma'?," says Zimmerman. "Fine. It's not my place to say you're irrelevant. If you're gonna come into my world, at least do it with a little more dignity. I understand she has millions more fans, and is way more successful than I'll ever be. But it's like talking about slavery at a fucking blues concert. It's inappropriate."
Madonna insisted that she does not "support drug use" and clarified that her comment was in fact a reference to the song "Have You Seen Molly" by Cedric Gervais," who she almost collaborated with on her new album, MDNA. (The album title is, of course, another nod to MDMA.) What a load of horseshit.

Bandwagon Fan 1: Where's the Molly? I totally have to be rolling my balls off for Skrillex!
Bandwagon Fan 2: OMG Skrill-blah-Skrill-BlahBlahBlah-SKRILLEX!!!!! I love Skrillex! Whahwhwahahwhwhaw! 
Bandwagon Fan 3: Fuck Skrillex, I just need more molly.

Deadmau5 is one of few that has made me proud because finally someone with some clout is standing up and attempting refocus our attention. Where's the dignity and respect for the music? No one can deny that illicit drugs are a part of the industry, but they're a part of every industry. It certainly is not what the music was about. The new kids on the block have no appreciation for the art and are all about listening to some clubtunes while getting blitzed out their mind to Skrillex. EDM was started to get people moving. That's why its called Electronic DANCE Music, not Electronic DRUG Music. Its unfortunate that these bandwagon scenesters have made Skrillex the face of Dubstep and are representing him poorly. I hear Skrillex and I want to dance like an idiot. He's an amazing artist and his reptiles growls, screams, and unique bass drops rattle every bone in the body. He deserves a lot of the credit for everything that's been happening in the past year. The man won three Grammy's in a category that didn't even exist in 2010.

What's to become of EDM is hard to know? Continuing in the direction its been going lately feels a lot like watching a love one with terminal cancer. It was full of life, and can return to that, but it will require a major change. If not the tumor will grow, spread, and what we once knew will no longer exist. Deadmau5 can't be the only one to stand up to make that happen. Although being on the cover of Rolling Stone is a good start.


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