November 7, 2017
This summer, I attended the Global Dance Festival at Mile High Stadium.
Porter Robinson capped off the night, but the artists that had the main stage before him were dubstep producers Excision and Datsik, mixing tracks back-to-back. Nearly the entire crowd for the main stage emptied as soon as Excision and Datsik ended their set.
Almost nobody from the Excision and Datsik set stayed to watch Porter Robinson, now known for his cinematic live shows and artistic synths, which are a far cry from the neck-snapping bass of dubstep.
As an avid fan of electronic music, and as a hobbyist producer of electronic music myself, I was disappointed that nobody is willing to venture to find the great musicians who regard the industry as an art, not a payday.
I am increasingly disappointed when I am walking down the spine and hear the same style of rap and trap music blaring from the windows of a dorm in Summit Village.
The average electronic music heard on campus is so monotonous that I have gotten excited over hearing an actual chord progression.
What fans of electronic music need to realize is that there is so much more to it than just hard bass tracks with thumping kicks and running hats.
Full disclosure: I’m not bashing that style of music. I love it very much. But I simply can’t settle for the same bass wobble in three different songs.
For those who don’t listen to electronic music on a daily basis, the phrase “electronic music” is a catch-all for music produced in a digital audio workstation (on a computer).
There are hundreds of subgenres that intersect and merge with each other to provide an incredibly vast music selection.Of course, some of them are more mainstream.
Dubstep, trap, future bass, which is like trap but with high-register jazz-chord synths instead of bass are included in this selection. Alongside these subgenres are riddim, which is like dubstep, but the drums are patterned differently, and house music: what most people think of when they think of dance music.
But harder electronic music is almost always cold and devoid of meaning; this type of music strives only to be a good song to dance to and for nothing more.
Electronic music can be, and is, a valid method of expressing oneself. Artists like Porter Robinson, Madeon, M83 and ODESZA strive to stimulate feelings with their music rather than just the one-off dance singles that overcrowd the industry.
Porter Robinson evokes feelings of loneliness in his lyrics, capping off his 2014 studio album, “Worlds” (which has to be listened through in its entirety to truly appreciate it) with an ode to the end of the world.
French musician Madeon’s debut album “Adventure” explores the ideas of growing up, failure and determination in his funk and pop-inspired tracks.
Porter Robinson and Madeon recently collaborated to bring the artful single, “Shelter” to the world, combining their respective styles of music into a live tour that sold as an experience rather than a playlist.
M83 brings acoustic instruments and analog and digital synths to the forefront of their masterpiece album, “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” and their most recent project “Junk.” M83 has no established style of music, jumping around the limitlessness of the sound itself to bring cinematic soundscapes to the world.
Electronic music is so much more than what you hear at the club, or outside someone’s window as they drive across campus.
Electronic music can be an incredible expression of artistic value, and those artists deserve attention and recognition.