How “Others” View EDM and the Rave Scene

Let me start by saying I know many ravers that have their priorities straight and have lives outside the rave scene including myself. I’ve met many individuals at music festivals who have great professions and also work hard at what they do. These people also enjoy partying even more on weekends. We all have that inner party animal inside of us as I always like to refer it to my cousin who is still trying to figure out what EDM means to me and why I always go to these EDM events. According to my cousin, “I should grow up and focus on more important things in life.”

I feel part of my cousin’s view and many others who don’t understand EDM and raving associate it with doing drugs. What led people to think that all we like to do is get together, listen to music, dance, talk and do drugs? This isn’t Burning Man we’re talking about here! The media would have us believe that all ravers go to festivals to do drugs, but that is simply not true because not all ravers do drugs! There are many ravers out there that go to events sober and primarily go to express their love for music through dancing. I’ve told my cousin to try it before knocking it knowing that I’d get him to understand if he saw it for himself vs. me attempting to explain it to him.

Local shows are great where I get to see my favorite DJ in a more chill environment, but I’d rather take my cousin to a music festival. I feel there would be more to show and the first impression would be a great one. I still believe PLUR exists and that there are no strangers, only friends that you have not yet met. I remember my first festival, but I was also young too, and more open-minded toward things. I’ve mentioned that the main idea would be to go for the music, vibes, and even network with others. I know I won’t be able to avoid him seeing people doing drugs, half naked girls that give you the impression that they are easy (which they are not), or the hardcore raver who goes all out on an outfit that just fits the typical raver stereotypes circulating today’s EDM scene. All in all the positive experience would outweigh the negatives and may change how one views the EDM Scene.

EDM Festivals You Have to Attend at Least Once

Shambhala

Shambhala first began in 1998 and has swelled to a four-day music festival that welcomes 10,000 unique guests to the Salmo River Ranch in British Columbia, Canada. Bass music fans will find sanctuary at Shambhala, where the likes of Ghastly, Caspa & Rusko, Andy C, and What, So Not have appeared. One of the centerpieces of Shambhala is its Artisan Market that features over 40 vendors. Shambhala also boats over 18 food vendors and free water refill stations. Shambhala also recruits volunteers, called Shambassadors and Ankors, to support attendees and provide helpful information. Treat yourself to a myriad of camping options and immerse yourself in the community of Shambhala.

Electric Forest

Every year for the last six years, the faithful descend on the Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury Michigan every summer for a camping and music experience like no other. Acts that have been on past lineups include The String Cheese Incident, Tiesto, Pretty Lights, Above and Beyond, Richie Hawtin, Bassnectar, Porter Robinson, and Moby. Since 2012, Electric Forest has operated Electric Forest’s Music in Schools Program that supports local music education. Electric Forest also wishes to empower women through the creation of the Her Forest Women’s Program, stimulate minds through the Brainery Workshop program, and open the floor to performers to practice their craft.

Holy Ship

Holy Ship will take you out to sea with the best electronic music representatives on not one but two weekends. Fare includes accommodations, meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), non-carbonated beverages, and access to a health and fitness center. Holy Ship adventurers will also be treated to amenities like pools, a full-service spa and salon, a casino, and an internet cafe. In addition to performances on board, there are also beach parties which will take place on Great Stirrup Cay, a private island off Norway.

Movement Electronic Music Festival

Movement celebrates house and techno every year in downtown Detroit. A family-friendly festival, Movement honors the Detroit music legacy and spans three days of fun, music, and community building activities. Movement is special for a number of reasons, one of them being the Movement Studio. Movement’s Technology area allows several companies to showcase their products and give hands-on demonstrations. Some of the companies that have signed up to participate are Allen & Heath, Xone, and Roland. Music fans with mature tastes should consider traveling to Detroit, the heart of the underground dance music scene.

Imagine Festival

Imagine Festival is an aquatic themed music festival that had its inaugural event in 2014. The festival bills itself as an aquatic fairytale. Organizers erect the festival city of Imaginarium where the festival explorer can engage in flow arts, yoga, and meditation; arrest his or her senses by circus acts, art installations; hydrate in a splash pool, scream in delight on amusement rides, and enlighten the ears. Last year acts like The Disco Biscuits, Nero, Zeds Dead, Borgore, Showtek, Robbie Rivera, and Cosmic Gate were on the lineup.

The Popular EDM Sub-Genres

Humankind and its relation with music is a nutrient to our body, we cannot live without it. The relationship with music goes way back, as far as we can define ourselves. But now, for the time being, we are going to stick to this new and modern music art form “EDM” which has evolved much faster and gained popularity at an astonishing rate.

The term “EDM” has been bugging a lot of us for a while now. The world really needs to know that EDM is much more than a big name DJ playing on the Ultra main stage. We are now going to dive straight in and going to talk about the popular sub-genres in EDM.

TRAP: Trap is one of the most popular sub-genres as the majority of EDM lovers enjoy listening to it. Categorized by its Hip-Hop influence and sound almost synonymous with rap, has been dominating dance floors throughout the world when producers added rhythmic drops, rap vocals, and 808 bass sound to create such monster sound.

Dubstep:  Dubstep is second on the list of popular sub-genres of EDM. Dubstep is known to be tightly coiled with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, occasional vocals, and clipped samples.  There have been debates about Dubstep being dead but “Skrillex” revolutionized this somewhat new sub-genre and came all the way to the top simply by making people listen to the tracks by reinventing the style. To settle this argument of Dubstep being dead, we simply need to look at the fact that its second most popular after Trap. Notable sub-genre under Dubstep are Brostep, Luvstep, and thugstep.

House:  Third in the list goes to House. It is truly an American, as it grew in Chicago in 1980s. It is considered to be the most “Human” sounding music of all genres and because of its catchy tunes, is mostly used in top 20 mixes. Notable sub-genres are deep house, progressive house,  tech house, electro house and tribal house.

Trance: What else Germans gave to the world apart from cars and heavy machinery? It’s trance music. Born in the 1990s in Germany, Trance has become very popular. It is usually known for repetitiously build up and breaking down huge melodies.  It has always been popular since its inception, but in its native land, it’s entirely a different beast.  Notable sub-genres are vocal trance, tech trance, progressive trance.

Drum & Bass: Drum & Bass is one of the most intense, misunderstood sounds within EDM. Its seeds were sown in London but now have branches all over. It has been said that there is nothing more flexible and artistic than Drum & Bass. Pendulum, Noisia, Sub-Focus are popular artists that have made it to the top under this genre. Notable Subgenres are Drumstep, Liquid funk, Neurofunk.

The other sub-genres on the list include Progressive followed by electro rock, industrial, downtempo and the list is never ending. The most important thing to keep in mind is that since there are so many sub-genres within EDM that many of them are emerging and evolving each day. Having said that, we decide who we are, what we like and what we listen to, as our taste in music keeps on changing.

Tchami’s Prophecy Tour Coming to a City near You

Calling all Tchami lovers, you’re in luck your boy is finally going on tour in 2017! The Prophecy Tour which is his North America tour kicks off in Orlando, FL Feb 2nd with special guest Mercer. Tickets can be bought on tchami-prophecy.com

Who really is the world’s number 1 DJ?

This year has to be the worse year for voting, Trump gets into power, Brexit happens and Garrix becomes the number 1 DJ. Is he really the number 1 DJ though?

Analysis

The “Number 1 DJ” would mean that we are only observing the ability to be a Disc Jockey which is mixing, crowd enjoyment of music and technique. A quick look at the stats would indicate that 36% voted for Music Style, 28% for DJ Skill and 24% Production Ability. There was another 6% for showmanship and the last 3% for popularity. This means only 28% of people voted for what the award is literally for.

The top 3 of the poll is Martin Garrix who is hugely popular in America; as is Hardwell and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. There will be a few followers in Europe who will cement a DJs place in the top 10. The music that they produce will also play a major part in helping build their reputation. The reason why Garrix is number 1 is the most votes in the competition came from the USA, his tracks are more mainstream, and he is moving the “Garrix” brand to more pop music feel reach many more listeners in the mainstream charts.

A drunken Hardwell has already admitted on stage at a gig that the Poll is rubbish. He then said Atmosfearz was a much better producer than him and wouldn’t sell himself out to win Polls. Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike must have been one of the worse DJ’s I have ever seen live; they seriously need to shut up and just play the music much like a few other DJs.

Let’s move swiftly on to the next big surprise of the poll, Daft Punk who are amazingly at number 72. In case people didn’t know, this poll was the year 2016. Daft Punk have not released any music since 2013 and only recently were featured in Weeknd’s album. They have also not appeared live since a TV Appearance for the Grammies in 2013 and before that, it was 6 years back during the 2007 tour. It is true they do DJ in underground clubs in France but not as Daft Punk; they do this on a low-key appearance where you probably wouldn’t know it was one of them. Voting for Daft Punk was like voting for Harambe as a write in.

My last nail in the coffin of this joke of an award is the worthy candidates outside the top 10. Above and Beyond at number 47 who are arguably one of the most respected acts in dance music. They produce music, tour live, bring through and promote talented DJs/Producers. If you were an unknown producer, then get a slot on Above and Beyond Group Therapy and you will be an instant hit. Eric Prydz is my number 1 DJ of 2016. I am not a major fan of his music however what I respect about him is the quiet way he goes about his sets, his mixing is great, and the experience was unreal. Every set he has played has blown people away in 2016. The positions of some DJs are jokes such as Paul van Dyk, AngerFist, Nicky Romero, Jack U, Carl Cox and then we have some of our DJ’s that are not even there such as Kutski, Gareth Emery, Fat Boy Slim, Duke Dumont and Bryan Kearney…. SMH.

The poll isn’t an accurate reflection of who the number 1 DJ is. The poll will never be able to define just who truly is the number 1 DJ. Trying to argue who the number 1 DJ is impossible. Do you go off fan base? Record sales? The number of gigs? Fees paid? The best theory to apply to the pole is “Opinions are liked assholes, everyone has one.” In the end, there isn’t a number 1 DJ of the world; the poll is just a publicity stunt designed to get people talking and give DJ Mag a bit of boost in viewing numbers.

The Technological Future of Music Festivals

Music festivals are nothing new and go far back in time than any of us can remember. I have attended music festivals as early as Ultra Music Festival in 2006. I can tell you a lot has changed since then which also includes a lot of the technologies used within the festival grounds.

Ticketing

Everything today works alongside computers from everything being digital from scanning tickets off your mobile device to just scanning a chip built into a wristband. Sure beats the good old days where you had to hold on to a ticket hoping you didn’t lose it on day one. I feel these upgrades were only made to keep fake tickets at a low.

Livestreaming

This is HUGE! Back in the day if you didn’t go, you just missed out. The only way you got to see what happened was basically through your friend’s recordings on their camera…. yes you heard that right CAMERA! If they happened to be rolling balls, chances were video quality was at a low with all the jumping and fingers all over that lens with no care of how that recording was coming along. Live streaming has brought many to watch from home at HD quality. Many of these top festivals like Tomorrowland, Ultra and Coachella have been able to show everything from top performances to the festival crowd which makes you feel that you’re there all in the action (feeling that festival breeze).

Stages

From the pyrotechnics to cool stage designs and led lighting we can all say a lot of improvements have been made which goes with the music festival experience. Remember that awesome main stage at EDCLV this past year? That alone cost 3 million dollars to build! Festival organizers have made it a big priority to include visuals to stage designs since it has been a growing trend at all EDM Events.

With so much change these past ten years it makes you think what are the next decade going to be like for music festivals.

Top NYE Events to Attend

Decadence NYE in Denver, Colorado | December 30-December 31, 2016

Decadence, in conjunction with AEG Live and Live Nation, invites you to indulge in dancefloor debauchery at the Colorado Convention Center. Eric Prydz, The Chainsmokers, Tiesto, Snails, Keys N Krates, Disclosure, and Bassnectar are some of the artists providing the ultimate soundtrack to your New Year’s celebration.

countdown-nye

Countdown NYE in San Bernardino, California | December 30-December 31, 2016

Travel to Southern California to be treated to the hottest acts in electronic dance music across three stages at Countdown NYE. Insomniac is no stranger to throwing events and will not shy away from providing the best in interactive art, complete with three-dimensional structures, glow in the dark visual feats, and LED delights.
Lights All Night Lights All Night in Dallas, Texas | December 30-December 31, 2016

Lights All Night is returning to Dallas Market Hall for two evenings of insanity. If you are new to Uber, use promo code DalLan16 for up to $10 off your first two rides. Sign up at https://get.uber.com/go/DALLAN16. LAN runs from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am. Arrive early to get the most out of your nights.

Fire in the Sky

Fire In The Sky III: New Year’s Eve in Atlanta, Georgia | December 31, 2016

Cast off the old and begin anew at Fire in the Sky. Art and music will forge a holy union at this new year’s eve celebration. Four stages will be curated for your viewing pleasure and fire performers are invited to showcase their talents. Heady Shed will be on site to nourish bodies, and Funktion One sound will be at the Incendia Stage to titillate ears.

Resolution NYE
Resolution: New Year’s Eve in Seattle Washington | December 31, 2016
If you don’t keep any of your resolutions for the new year, keep one and head to Seattle for Resolution, thrown by United States of Consciousness. Above and Beyond, Tritonal, Brillz, Delta Heavy, Slushii, Party Favor Adventure Club, and Yellow Claw are some of the acts slated to entertain. Free water stations, ATMs, bars for 21+, and food and beverage stands will be available for your enjoyment.

Snowta NYE Snowta NYE Festival in Minneapolis, Minnesota | December 31, 2016
Join your fellow Minnesotans at the inaugural Snowta, featuring Big Gigantic, Infected Mushroom, Waka Flocka Flame, Tipper, and many more at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Split Rock Studios will be lending a hand to create art installations for New Year’s Eve. Two massive halls will be transformed into a winter playland, complete with rides, interactive art galleries, a skate park, and other surprises.

Iris NYE with Rusko

Iris NYE with Rusko in Atlanta, Georgia | December 31, 2016

Looking to give yourself over to bass? Look no further than Iris Present’s New Year’s Eve party with Rusko. In addition to Rusko, there will be a $1000 cash balloon drop, free NYE party favors, free toasts, and free giveaways. Experience Four different atmospheres with full production.

Music Festival to Build Stage out of Recyclable Materials

Pune, India: The 10th edition of Sunburn Music Festival will have its main stage built out of recyclable material. Sunburn, the four-day music festival will kick off on December 28th and have cool names for each of the stages like District 808, Monstercat, Ray Ban, Shaan & Friends, Soma Project and Vinal Ambulance.

Sunburn Music Festival like every year will have big names like Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, KSHMR and much more!

Check out the full lineup below:

Sunburn Music Festiva
Sunburn Music Festival

Music Festivals Are Actually on the Rise

Is the era of music festivals coming to an end? I don’t think so! Yes, I’m aware of all the cancellations of big name festivals these past few years, but along the way, there’s been room for new music festivals like Okeechobee art & music festival (debuted in March of 2016), Insomniac’s new festival called Middlelands ( coming May 2017), EDC Japan ( coming April 2017) and much more.

What I’ve also noticed is that many of us are too focused on the bigger markets shifting and not seeing outside the box with smaller cities getting back on the map hosting music festivals with an all-around lineup with impressive names.

EDM DJ Kaskade says the festival scene is on the rise and far from dead in this latest interview!