Electronic Dance Music growing within popular culture
Views 11 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 10 - 23 - 2018 | By: Lawrence Eady
Peace, love, unity, respect. These four words, when banded together, stand as the motto for individuals, or ravers as they are more commonly known, who spend their weekends in the middle of the desert, the center of a raceway, or any other spot where a music festival decides to plant its massive stages, beautifully painted flashing lights, and pulsing electronic sounds heard from every direction. The modern rave, as a specifically electronic-based music festival is called, has grown quite exponentially since its dawn in America, having first been held at none other than Knott’s Berry Farm. How has this come to be, and what has built the foundation for this rising scene that pulled in a crowd of over 400,000 at one of the scene’s largest events, Electric Daisy Carnival, held in Las Vegas this past summer?
The success of this event, and others like it, is attributed to the electronic dance music, or EDM, that it has been founded on. Electronic music is a synthetically created manipulation of sounds by electronic instruments known as synthesizers. Layered together along with other live instruments such as pianos and percussions, the resulting sound is a unique blend of man and nature, with a creative limit as large or as small as the mind controlling the computer. While the genre’s origins can be traced back as far as to the discovery of the creation and manipulation of a sound wave, its popular culture debut was as the original theme song for the widely popular show “Doctor Who” in 1963, created by one of the very few electronic artists at the time, Delia Derbyshire.
A hop, skip, and a jump away from that moment, we find ourselves in the mind of an American DJ, known as Frankie Knuckles, living in Chicago in the 1980’s. The sound of electronic music breathed life into his creative mind, and he formed the foundation of one of the largest genres of electronic music that we know today as ‘house music’. Its idea is simple, a kick drum hitting on every beat of the track, but its creative expanse is endless. Since that moment, house music spread to Los Angeles, and kicked off a series of underground raves held in abandoned warehouses and small night clubs, bringing the sound more into the public eye. As the music industry grew in LA, so did EDM.
Jumping forward a couple more decades, the expanse of the genre grew so exponentially, it begun to spill over into everything surrounding it. In 2010, pop/rap artist extraordinaire Flo Rida collaborated with DJ David Guetta to create the dance floor sensation ‘Club Can’t Handle Me’. In 2012, electronic artist Skrillex was hired to score the film ‘Spring Breakers’. Finally, in 2018, 39 of the top 100 albums sold were listed under the EDM genre.
This is truly a monumental genre of music, as the over 146 million tickets to raves sold in 2017 represent, and it is only getting bigger. Due to it’s ever-increasing expansion of creativity, electronic dance music continues to explore new territory. From the beautiful melodic nostalgia of Jai Wolf’s ‘Kindred Spirits’, to the intense rock-heavy bangers of Kayzo’s ‘Overload’, there is truly something for everyone to be found in this rising tide.