I was having a discussion the other day with a friend of mine. We were talking about the current state of Electronic Music, and how everyone seems to think they’re creating some big new thing. That’s not to say there aren’t some interesting new angles being taken on things, but nobody’s really reinventing the wheel so to speak. However, current promotional models would have you thinking that DJ Diggywiggle from Bug Tussle has created this magical new thing known as “Electro House.” No, seriously! He has! Just look at his unique new spin on the genre. Seriously, he’s chopping up random samples and inserting them into the track. Not only that, but he’s using this new method called “Sidechain Compression” to add dynamics to his work. This kid has chops!
Sounds like a complete wanker, right? Maybe, but not quite.
See, when my generation was coming up (3nd wave electronic, the children of ‘Techno’) we were brought up in a curatorial environment. We knew of Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan and Jeff Mills and Derrick May and Jesse Saunders and Lil Louis and so on. We understood the roots of House music came from The Warehouse in Chicago, and it’s New York counterpart was classic Garage, a smoother, more R&B driven variant. We knew of Jeff Mills and Juan Atkins as the Godfathers of Techno, and I mean REAL Techno. Trance basically evolved off the track “Age of Love” by, well, Age of Love. It wasn’t anything like the big saw-wavey epic trance of today’s dancefloors. There’s Breaks, Drum n Bass, chillout, etc. The possibilities are endless! Generally, we sought out whatever we could find and absolutely devoured what we could get our hands on. Basically, it was “Reach for the lasers. Safe as, mate.” It was all about Curation.
Wanna know what happened? We dropped the ball.
In our efforts to retain whatever cool quotient we had left, we failed to pay attention to those coming behind us. Therefore, they think EDM begins at Daft Punk. We all know that’s just not the case, but in our own selfishness, we failed to consider those behind us. We failed to create that atmosphere of curatorialism, so we biffed hard on the next generation. We failed to show them the roots. By our own hand of not caring about the next generation, we have instilled that same attitude of selfishness we exhibited.
So, to take that first step towards bridging the gap, here’s a little quiz I’ve put together to help stimulate those brain cells. Take it and let us know how you did in the comments.