My nightlife was born in dance clubs where electronic dance music – especially from European countries – was played, criticized, and downplayed. Dance clubs back in the time were a piece of home taken with you out on to the street. And there was hip-hop, heavy metal, pop rock and ballads.
What difference did it make when a string of percussive music mixed by a DJ was pumping up a broad range of emotions and increasing rates of blood circulation and breathing in our bodies? A lot. Actually much more than what the thick, massive sound Iron Maiden, Saxon, Mötley Crüe and Poison in the 80’s brought to my ears —though it was the music I spent hours listening to. Incomparably much more than what rapper James Todd Smith (LL Cool J) wanted to thrust into my ears with Mama “Said Knock You Out” in the early 90’s.
The Electronic Dance Music that DJs in my nightclubs got to drip in through intervals left by other popular hits that were considered “Dance Music”, appealed in me the desire to dance and drift away to the breakbeat.
When I listen to today’s DJs, -and I admire many of them- I definitely compare their productions to what I grew up with. Through my years, I have been exposed to Disco, House, Techno House, Rave, Acid House, Freetekno, Hardtek, New Beat EBM, Industrial, you name it. I have embraced everything from Cabaret Voltaire’s Dada-influenced performance art and experimentation with tape machines to mainstream chart hits and the prevalence of minimalism in sounds of all kinds of the biggest names in electronic music throughout the 2000s.
Today EDM revolution keeps rocking me off my feet. There’s a luxurious selection of producers now and the dawn of our millennium brought a new sound that is flush and flooded with cooler sounds. As to myself, I still like the old Deep-house beats, especially bass merged with glitch-techno methodology and everything Trance with its hypnotic and often repetitive feel.
The only thing opposing my senses will be to see EDM spiral farther away and become a terrible mainstream money-fueled monster. In 1996, trance music become a major force on the European club circuit and also made an impression on the UK club scene. Although trance remained popular both in clubs and commercially well into the first decade of our millennium, an inevitable backlash happened by 2002 where most trance music featured in the charts had become more commercial in nature and was not reflective of the music being played in underground trance clubs.
Trance has evolved into several distinct styles and influenced electro house and EDM styles into the mainstream once again. The Electronic Dance Music which is the buzzword of today’s dance community is hauled up to the highest standards thanks to all EDM festivals happening all across the planet every month. I think that thanks to Swedish House Mafia and a Trance resurgence in recent years, the boom in EDM has created renewed interest in dance music. But in fact, so much great music has emerged, I feel a burning desire to hit the “rewind” button on dance music to avoid seeing it dwindle down again.
I know it is bigger than anyone could have dreamed!
Electronic Dance Music festivals generally headline a lineup of Disc Jockeys who are worldwide famous in both their creations and on-stage performance. Deciding ultimately the best among the genre should rest upon considering the context of a live mix where the DJ can create a seamless selection of tracks by following a seamless transition between one song to another. Take a look at the best of our era’s best DJ’s here…