EDM as a genre and a culture has earned the same recognition as any other category of music, and its producers work just as hard as any conventional musician. The criticisms issued by Dan Chinitz last week in The Badger Herald’s ArtsEtc section betray a grievous misunderstanding of EDM as an art form and a cultural phenomenon.
EDM as an art form
The idea musicians who produce using computers instead of guitars are somehow less legitimate and less skilled is uninformed. Society does not give value to art by the number of chords a guitarist plays, the amount of breath a singer uses or the number of brushstrokes a painter employs.
It’s easy to say DJs have no talent, that anyone could do what they do. Many argue all EDM requires is math, a good music selection and, of course, showmanship, but that’s not what gives them the right to go on stage and call themselves an artist. It’s what they do locked away in their bedroom that makes them special.
As I or anyone who’s ever tried to produce can tell you, making electronic music is far less intuitive than any conventional instrument. Artists like University of Wisconsin’s own Melvv may spend anywhere from seven to 40 hours on a single song. The process requires an artist to compose a small symphony while also inventing novel sounds.
Freshman DJ Melvv boasts millions of Soundcloud listens, shows no signs of slowing downMost college-bound students don’t start their academic careers with 30,000 Soundcloud followers. Jeffrey Melvin, also known as Melvv, is an Read…
Artists like Porter Robinson, Robert Delong and Slow Magic, not content with a simple DJ set, have found inventive ways to take a more active role in their performances. New artists will likely do the same. But for the majority of artists who work hard behind the scenes to produce beautiful music, they deserve your respect just as much as any other band.
With deep-rooted lyricism, barrage of instruments, Robert DeLong gives ‘one-man band’ new meaningWhile Electronic Dance Music has long stirred controversy about its musical legitimacy, Los Angeles based dance-pop artist Robert DeLong breaks that Read…
EDM as a culture
Having attended concerts across the country, one can find a diverse group of people in attendance — drag queens, yuppies, black, brown, blue — EDM accepts and attracts them all.
The sea of white college kids found at Liquid is an outlier and indicative of the diversity at this university and the general homogeneity of the state of Wisconsin.
Madison’s EDM culture is sadly underdeveloped, with a scarcity of glovers and other performers that feed off its live performances, but EDM locally and nationally does not suffer from any problems that cannot also be found within other genre subcultures.
Despite cramped venue, The Chainsmokers take Madison through the roofFitting EDM juggernaut The Chainsmokers’ artillery-like tour setup into Madison’s cramped Liquid nightclub is not the easiest stunt to pull. But Read…
Mainstream culture continues to adopt the sights and sounds once found only in the darkest corners of underground night clubs. But more than drugs and drops, this genre has always been about acceptance of heart and mind. It just also happens to be incredibly fun.