Opinion
By James Pavel

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has raged back with shinier lights than ever before, ushering in a culture of the most shallow and vain creatures to ever represent fans of popular music.

The music itself is groundbreaking if you focus solely on the creations of DeadMau5 and Skrillex. They have revolutionized the genre, and along with a handful of other near-household names, have made DJ shows one of the most glorified tickets on the concert market.

As with any mass trend that develops, a culture forms. Goth culture, hipster culture and hip-hop culture are all planted in the dark and moist soil of music.

The civilization that EDM has cultivated is one of little substance, shallow thought and complete buffoonery.

EDM is life-altering. Well at least that’s what virtually anyone between the ages 15 and 30 will tell you. Unlike other fans of music, there is no casual nod or humble acknowledgement that, yes; they are indeed a fan of rock music, or blues music or metal music. If you are a fan of EDM, you behave as though it is the vortex of everything that is important and that anything that has not been swallowed up by this musical Kraken is deemed archaic and dull.

While The Rollin’ Stones and Jack White are models that immediately come to mind when one discusses rock n’ roll on a general level, Pauly D from Jersey Shore and random douche bag from across the apartment hallway come to mind when EDM tragically comes up in conversation.

The EDM scene is dominated less by the architects of the sound and more by the characters that rejoice in its spastic noises.

No musical scene is more about being seen by others than enjoying what is being presented than EDM. While one is treated to seeing Beyoncé up close at a pop show, or Muse at a rock venue, there is actually very little to observe at a dance party. The lights and visuals are astonishing, but one would hope that they could never compare to actually seeing a live, human performer in the flesh. Dance shows are structured around the individual present. The ridiculous outfits, the drugs that have altered hundreds of perceptions and the complicated dance moves are what the concert tickets are purchased for.

There are little to no lyrics contained in an EDM song. This makes sense because the show is focused on the self-absorbed fan. If megalomaniac “fan” had to memorize lyrics, sing four verses and a refrain along with thousands of other mere mortals, the attention would no longer rest solely on their naked shoulders.

Anyone can claim EDM as their favourite because such little is demanded in exchange.

To be a true fan of Oasis, one would hopefully recite the lyrics of “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” verbatim. To show one’s affection for Jay-Z, you put your diamond in the air and pledge allegiance to the ROC.

Yet EDM is available to the masses free of effort, allowing the self-obsessed to claim false loyalty to the temple of Dance.

Millions have discovered that EDM is a celebration of the individual, and not a group gathering of fans paying tribute to a band or artist that has moved them all in such startling fashion.

It is the social-media generation finding yet another outlet to demonstrate how astonishing they truly are, thereby ignoring the talents of professional musicians in favour of drooling in a mirror of vanity.

EDM has allowed pop and rap to incorporate its sound and has been torqued by the likes of Ke$ha and Justin Bieber as the scene continues to steamroll any competition. Nobody can cry foul, because there is no true “face” of EDM.

It has no concrete identity because the artist or group performing is not the star of the show. They are merely the backdrop to a mass self-absorption spectacle that allows anyone to participate as long as their ego is sufficiently massive and they can withstand blaring music and shuttering lights.

It is not the music that is tedious or irritating, but only the egotistical culture that surrounds its pulsating rhythms.

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