Today we have a special treat: a guest post! It’s been a minute since we’ve had one of these, but fellow Full Sail University graduate, Marketing expert and electronic music Enthusiast Kate Stephenson takes us on a brief historic trip with some classic electronic music. Expect more posts in the near future from out friend Kate!
Flashing lights, illuminated dance floors, movement to music in colorful outfits: a weekend night out for the average millennial hipster is the first thing that comes to my mind. But this is a scene from 1969 — Disco had just given birth to what we now know as Electronic Dance Music (EDM). Music was coming alive in the fusion of electronic instruments with bass drums, fast beats, and acoustic orchestras. This auditory sensation has steamrolled into genres now known as techno and house: dance music.
A few of my EDM experiences, as I am sure are similar to others, have been primarily within a nightclub setting – over the top bass, barely-there outfits, and (yes, I hate to admit it) fist pumping. And one thing that any EDM partier can observe these days is the average party goer ‘letting loose’ with drugs – i.e. Molly. Such fads have been on the scene since the early 90’s with the culmination of candy ravers and warehouse parties.
That being said, what if I told you that you do not need to be on drugs to appreciate EDM? There is much more to electronic music than what we see with today’s faddish scene: the landscape of EDM is so much broader than what it’s given credit for. EDM isn’t simply Dub Step or Techno; its genre ranges from House, Trance, and Electro to Acid Jazz, Minimal and Eurobeat.
EDM is breadth taking. It’s arousing. It has a depth of soul. One song that reflects the potency of electronic music, and captured my interest in EDM at a young age, is “Seven Cities” by Solarstone. Released in 1999, “Seven Cities” has a powerful component of storytelling – there is a build up, a turning point, and a conclusion. This song has such an ability to mesmerize a crowd that Armin Van Buuren as well as other well-known EDM artists continues to remix the track and it has often been performed during sets.
Groundbreaking songs such as “Seven Cities” have propelled the EDM industry to more than just a ‘dance scene’ and created a stepping-stone for emerging indie electronic artists. EDM is truly an emotional escapade that has induced laughter, enlightenment, and enjoyment for me, and I look forward to sharing unique songs and artists that showcase the vast range of electronic music.
One of the things that is most interesting to me about the final song from 2011’s Watch The Throne album is the note that it leaves the album on. One would think that an ideal ending to arguably the best, most talked about and yet most polarizing Hip Hop album of that year, with it’s grandiose tales of the luxurious life being experienced by Hip Hop 1 percenters Jay-Z and Kanye West, would end on a more triumphant note, or at least with the Frank Ocean-featured “Made In America”, just to wrap things up in a nice little package for the listener. But instead, Jay and ‘Ye take a left turn and leave us with a tale steeped in ego, betrayal, hurt feelings, lost innocence and lost brotherhood experienced in an industry where all of the former is unfortunately the norm. “Why I Love You” comes at the end of an album filled with constant arrogant rapper braggadocio, a level that no one besides Jay and Kanye have experienced, but also having poignant moments of father-to-son advice (“New Day”) the questioning of organized religion (“No Church In The Wild”) and the curious combination of the celebratory and the somber (“Murder to Excellence”). But “Why I Love You” stands on it’s own, filled with enough intrigue and dramatic flair to be a scene in a Godfather movie. The Throne clearly wanted to go for the avant-garde throughout the album, but with a sample from “I Love You So” by French house/synth pop duo Cassius, “Why I Love You” delves slightly into Euro dubstep to give the track a more atmospheric and emotional feel. This is a song that sounds as if it could be featured in Hollywood motion picture trailer. Personally, I believe that the song could have been used as background music for the dissolution in the relationship between Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale at the end of Season 3 on The Wire. A powerful statement from one of the best from 2011.