Dance music has gone mainstream, but it doesn’t have to sell out

From Dancing Astronaut:

Dance music has gone mainstream. There. I said it. Afrojack and David Guetta are all over the radio. Avicii “Levels” is in too many commercials to count. Flo Rida is rapping over “In My Mind.” I could go on and on, but there’s no denying that the influx of attention, money, and new fans has thrust a once “underground” genre into the national (and global) consciousness.

Here’s the thing though: This isn’t bad — it’s natural. It’s survival of the fittest. In the same way that people were clamoring for Lil Wayne and Kanye West tickets just a few years ago, now it’s all about snagging passes to Sensation, or EDC, or Electric Zoo, or any of the other hundred EDM events slated to go down in the next few months.

There is a bad thing happening now that EDM is so popular however: We’ve allowed the talent to get complacent. And that’s not cool.

The always outspoken Deadmau5 recently published a post to his Tumblr entitled “we all hit play.” If you read the entire piece (which you should if you care enough to read this one), you will appreciate his honesty and level-headedness about the realities of being a musician in 2012. He draws a fine line between the skills required for a live show and the skills required to be an actual producer, saying that “my ‘skills’ and other PRODUCERS skills shine where it needs to shine… in the goddamned studio, and on the fucking releases.” That’s the exact distinction that has needed to be made for some time now. It’s not a DJs job to make new tracks in front of a crowd — that’s borderline impossible — but it is a DJ’s job to take a crowd “on a roller coaster… and connect with them.”

”A DJ is a guy that comes into a room… scans it in… is like: ‘Okay. What do I need to do to get these people to go bananas?” – Sebastian Ingrosso

What worries me is not that DJs are simply “pressing play,” but that they’re pressing play on the same tracks in the same order night after night after night. There’s new music being released at a breakneck pace, but many of the big name DJs are still spinning the same freaking sets every time. They are playing the same bootlegs, making the same transitions, and delivering the same exact shtick every day of the week.

You would think that the DJs themselves would get bored of it, yet they continue to drop predictable, staid combinations like “Coming Home” vs “Quasar” in nearly every set they play. Maybe it’s because we’re still jumping around as ferociously as we did the first time or maybe it’s because they still get paid regardless of what they play. I’m not saying that these sets are bad, because they’re not. I am saying that they’re getting old.

“because this whole big “edm” is taking over fad, im not going to let it go thinking that people assume theres a guy on a laptop up there producing new original tracks on the fly. becausje none of the “top dj’s in the world” to my knowledge have. myself included.” – Deadmau5

Continue reading the rest of the story on Dancing Astronaut