As Electronic Music begins to come into its role in mainstream music, people have been questioning its status as “Underground”. It’s nice to still think about it in that light, but it’s incorrect. You can’t call a genre that has been around for fifteen, twenty, or some even thirty years old now, underground. There’s a big difference between under-appreciated and undiscovered. The reality is that there’s one driving force behind the growth of Electronic music, Technology.
Before 1998 you were stuck with whatever styles of music that your local radio station decided to play. The local record stores catered to the local DJs, who probably preordered copies of new stuff, and on occasion the store owner would maybe buy one or two extras to put out. That’s a big maybe. People would go to the store and see that as the selection. Nothing else. Your musical tastes, what you played, depended highly on your surrounding environment. The internet completely changed all of that. You weren’t just stuck with that popular style and an occasional gem in the rubble. This was an insane opportunity for people who mixed, because they could download and explore from every side of a genre, and without the need to drop a couple of thousand on a good vinyl or c.d. collection. (Yes kids, we used to pay for CD’s)
People weren’t unfamiliar with the concept of electronic music. Cartoons depicted the future with a fully digital soundtrack. If anybody heard a song from any style of Electronic Dance Music, there was this agreed consensus to call it Techno.
There were the successes of Portishead, who brought the idea of a DJ as an essential part of a band, to indie markets. Nu Metal was the first time generic unappreciative markets saw their inclusion of DJs. Everybody who grew up on MTV Rap and Rock saw these two styles combine and wanted to be a part of it. I do remember Hip-Hop DJ’s playing with bands. (Sugar Ray, Limp Bizkit… I really don’t want to list anymore) Radio was playing more and more DJ edits and mixes late at night. Lasgo, Amber, Armand Van Helden.
Then consumer brands started coming with things like CD burners in PCs, CDJs, mixers, the whole format changed. People didn’t have to carry around 55 pounds of vinyl. Really, it was the iPod that I remember convincing people to change over, and then it just evolved from that. Everybody who had an iPod could rock a party out with their badass playlist. We started losing the romantic endeavor of making a mixtape for somebody you just met. It was like showing them a piece of your soul, without having to be gushy about it. Now in my opinion, it was those playlists that lead to the death of the album. That’s for all genres. In the late 90’s, 60-80 albums were released a week. Now, anywhere from 170-300 albums are released a day. Companies care more about the single than the album. Two and three hour extended mixes were replaced with weekly podcasts. The album became of thing of the past. A great album, a thing of legend from a generation gone by.
Electronic styles of music are mainstream now because they’re readily available. That’s the answer to that question. You don’t have to dig through crates or attend shifty warehouse gigs. Press a few buttons, scroll around, and you got hundreds of noises at your beckon. Mainstream is just an old surfer term for the best section of the current to ride the waves. I think that’s fitting enough.
This Week In Music
Honestly, not sure what to take serious anymore. People want to be underground, but it’s more like they want to bury themselves alive with closed off mentalities of what’s good and what’s not. I’m not one who cares about the traditional measure of success, which is money. If somebody has to keep saying they’re underground, then they’re probably not. Anyways, EIGHT FREE DOWNLOADS THIS WEEK!!!
Kastle & Amtrac – Hyperspace
For the most part, I tend to really enjoy Deep House. I find that the mark of a good Deep House track is its ability to draw elements from its root-genres. This track has plenty of elements, Spacey House, Trance-y vocals, warrants to Detroit Disco and Chicago Acid. It’s a great representation of the genre.
Kanye West – Deep Slaves Mercy (Someonehad2doit Edit)
I never thought slavery could be a club hit, but here it is. Modern dance music feel, big room effects, mainstream enough to not scare the crowd. This is for your fist pumper, fitted hat crowd. Personally, I think the production is great. It’s difficult to make a track that can be played at a Trap night, or a Hip-Hop night, or a regular club night for that matter.
Klatch – Back 2 Reality
Little confession here, I remember really liking the original song when I was younger. Then I saw the music video twelve years later, and I’m not sure what it was about. Anyways, I really like this song. Its Deep, it’s House, it’s slightly Disco, but only because of the vocal.
DJ Snake ft. Lil Jon – Turn Down for What (El Dusty Cumbia Remix)
Yes you read right, Cumbia. If you’re not from around the same area as me, you may ask; “What’s Cumbia?” It’s basically all the music at played at Quinceañera’s, where people bring beer instead of presents to birthday parties. If that’s your crowd, this that hawt new shit right here Mijo. Once that tuba comes in, you don’t even know how I get. Then that accordion, Pinchi Marde!!!! Just watch out for the falling pieces of lead from when the Pistoleros fire wildly into the sky.
Klever – So Ghetto
Something I love is when the words Ghetto, Move, or Booty are used on a track. Not a fan of the exit sequence, but it’s still a solid set track.
Phoenix – Listomania (Parrad Remix)
This is an indie treasure that’s cherished by many. Luckily this remix not only does it justice, but also makes a more causal mix deeper and textured. It never gets overcomplicated and supports the original framework of the song. It’s beautiful and harmonious, with sections of power and art. Play this for those hipster parties; if you don’t want to get criticized on Swarm.
DJ 4B ft. Donna Goudeau – Hold It Down POP
Let’s get ratchet. You know I love to throw that Trap shit out of nowhere. Right now, our legally blind lady dude is what’s hot in the streets. That and the Aaliyah Lifetime now. You can stick this next to that Kanye remix, you’ll get the mob throwing elbows in no time. Use with caution. Free Donna Goudeau.
Shkedul & Aucan – Trade
This is my official “Track of the Week”. What is this? Acid or Techno? Well whatever it is, I’m all about it this week. Bring on all the Reason flying siren 145 effects and distant whispering voices. Y’all know I love when it gets Dark and Dancey.
Next Week: Song Selection
Raul Chacon is a self-aware douchebag, who only listens to bands you’ve probably never heard of. His years of writing for literary reviews and magazines, lead him to a couple of scholarships for his work, which he quickly squandered by moving to Austin and going to shows six days a week(instead of class). Eventually, he became a touring security guard and witnessed hundreds of shows and dozens of festivals firsthand. He would tell you how many shows he’s been to; but there’s too many holes in his brain at this point.
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