AUD210 Week 1: Electronic Music Genre
EDM, or Electronic Dance Music, is an umbrella term that covers several different genres. This includes House music, Drum & Base, Techno, Trance, and many others. But it doesn’t stop there. Even these genres can be spilt into further sub-genres. Undoubtedly, by the time I’ve posted this blog there will be even newer sub-sub-genres on the scene.
You hear many different stories about the origins of EDM, be it the underground gay clubs of 1980’s Paris, or the answer to the UK’s 2 AM lockout laws of the same time. Whatever the origin, it was born deep underground, and it stayed there for some time, even after it had started to permeate and influence the main stream. Regardless of the genre, EDM can generally be recognised by its prominent kick, its thick bass, and its looping, repetitive melodies. Most material slowly builds up tension over the course of a song to what is called ‘the drop’. This is the part of the song that, if done correctly, brings the audience to a climatic frenzy, releasing the tension and allowing the beat to fully ‘drop’. The repetitive nature of EDM would later be replicated by other more mainstream genres like disco, hip-hop, and eventually pop. To the early proprietors of EDM, the idea that it would ever be mainstream or seen as popular music would likely sound insane. But EDM by its very nature breaks all rules. No need for a verse, a chorus, a vocal line. Just a beat, just a big fat beat. The D in EDM is the clue to the success of it. It’s not there to make you cry, or laugh, or tap your toe. It is made for you to dance, and dance hard. The DJ’s who perform this music to live audiences seamlessly transition from one track to another without stopping. This means the crowd never needs to stop dancing. Prior to this, when a song ended there would be a pause or silence before the next one began. This gave the audience time to come back to reality, and loose their mojo. EDM allows the listener to get lost in it for enormous amounts of time, just feeling that thumping beat throughout their body as they sweat and dance in a semi-ritualistic, almost tribal manner. It taps us in to a very ancient, human psyche. Dancing to endless, repetitive drumming is one of the oldest known relationships between humans and music. I believe that EDM takes us back there.