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EDM – Past Present and Future

EDM is a term that has only been recently coined, and is notoriously self-explanatory. Pretty much all dance music is electronic. But, we know when our cousins over the pond latch on to any subculture that we develop and bring into our own, they have to give it their own name; and unfortunately the term EDM became the fate for dance music.

The dance music scene us Brits had in the late eighties and nineties, that gave us the much-hated Public Order Act, (which to ravers at the time) was a blatant attack on house music and raves as stated in the Act itself:

“..’music’ includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”.

The legislation was rushed through parliament after illegal raves were held almost weekly. But it could be argued that the main reason that it was pushed through was not for the farmers’ benefit, as stated by the Government. But an attack on the anti-establishmentarian mindset of the ravers at the time. It was a time before smart phones and Facebook, so when a rave was heard about, people would call each other’s house phones, before heading to the location. It must have been a beautiful time, I personally wish that I’d been around to witness and take part in such a monumental era of dance music, albeit short-lived.

Over the next few years it was obvious that the illegal raves couldn’t stay sustainable on such a massive scale due to the Public Order Act, and so the rave moved into the club. The Hacienda in Manchester was probably the best example of this, being named the Most Famous Club in the World by Newsweek magazine. Until its closure in 1997 it was the forefront of the (Acid) House scene.

Over the following few years dance music remained active, if slightly more behind the scenes. Until Skrillex. The rise of Dubstep from 2008-2010 (RIP) brought electronic music very much into the mainstream once again, especially for the people who were not listening to electronic music anyway. Skrillex, Skream and Doorly were just a few of the names that brought it into the mainstream (and also partly to blame for its figurative death).

This brings us to present day. Ibiza still being a booming aspect of the dance music industry. Many top names hold residencies over the summer. However, Las Vegas is increasingly becoming the USA’s hub for ‘EDM’ with Tiesto snubbing Ibiza for the first time in years, to take up residency there this summer. Vegas also hosts the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) which is one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world.

As for the future of electronic music in general, I see it continuing to grow both in the USA and the UK, before stagnating back to mid 2000’s approach where; if you genuinely enjoy it, quality music and live shows will continue to be found, just not as easily as it seems to be currently.

Written by James Cantrill

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