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Electronic Dance Music Is Taking Over

November 20, 2012

(Datsik’s set at Coachella 2012)

In the past couple years raving, electronic artists and music have connected two major scenes in the music industry; Electronic Dance Music and pop music culture.   Raving and electronic music have both been around since the early 1990’s, but the once more underground scene has taken a large step into the spotlight of pop music culture. Artists such as Skrillex, Avicci, Calvin Harris, and countless others, have formed a strong relationship between electronic dance music and pop music culture.

When you think about raving, the highlights of the underground rave culture reflect on the PLUR lifestyle ( Peace Love Unity Respect), kandi (plastic beaded bracelets very common at raves), and overall openness to new things and different beliefs. The artists that drove the culture were the spinning DJ’s who kept EDM fans dancing early into the morning.

Jonathon Castro, CEO and Cinematographer of Jon Zombie Productions, attends multiple EDM events to film his own recap videos of shows. He has filmed at larger events such as Wobbleland to smaller weekly events like EPR around San Francisco.

(Wobbleland Recap: One of Jon Zombie’s More Popular Films)

“Several artists in the past 5 years have really brought electronic music out into the spotlight. Heavy hitters like David Guetta, Benny Benassi, Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia and Avicci.,” said Castro. “These artists have remixed top chart hitting tracks that have really done well in the music markets and are played everywhere from commercials to department stores across America.”

From only a couple years ago, the EDM industry has expanded and grown, reaching out to new audiences and creating hundred of thousands of new fans across the world. Once smaller events are now selling out within hours of tickets going on sale. Electric Daisy Carnival, an annual EDM festival  had over 300,000 attendees this past June, while in 2008 there were only 65,000 attendees,  according to insomniac.com.

(Electric Daisy Carnival 2012)

“In the end I think what brings people to these events are their love for the music.” Said Castro.

The EDM industry has gained a large following, especially in a large number of aspiring DJs. The challenge to be the best and get your tracks noticed is just as dog eat dog as trying to form an acting career in Hollywood. However, despite the small chance of making it, thousands of young artists have thrown themselves into the industry headfirst. Those who make it quickly become leaders in the EDM culture.

Aspiring DJ Joey Guigliemo loves the feeling he gets when he produces a track or sees the reactions of fans when hearing a new song. Guigliemo, otherwise known as King Kesh, thinks the overall rave experience is what is making electronic dance music and culture more attractive.

(On The Rise DJ Duo Fista Cuffs)

“The idea of a rave is so that you can experience the music to its greatest ability,” Guigliemo said. “It like going to theatre, it allows you to get the full throttle feeling of the lights, loud bass thumping speakers, sweat, heat and the energy from everyone else around you.”

Although many agree that the energy in electronic dance music and its events has increased tremendously, some argue that the genre leap from underground to mainstream has its consequences.

“The rave community wasn’t as mainstream and big as it is now.” Said Yasanni Martinez, a 20-year-old college student who attends various EDM shows throughout San Francisco and southern California. Martinez reflects on raving and EDM culture before it got popular.

“No one cares about the PLUR or the kandi or the whole idea of going to make friends and loving everyone anymore, it’s not about that, its more about partying and listening to mainstream artists.” She said.

(Weekly EDM show EPR)

However, despite the changes and any critiques long time fans may have, EDM culture is still quickly growing. From across the country to across the world, electronic dance music shows and artists are becoming exceedingly popular. From the unique music to the atmosphere at such events, people are attracted to what EDM has to offer.

“I like the vibes,” said Martinez. “It’s not like any other music festival that you would go to.”

As the rave attitudes and good vibes become contagious, it can easily be said that electronic dance music is making a come back. This time, instead of remaining in the music industry as an underground counter culture, EDM is making a big comeback as a part of more mainstream pop culture.

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