Electronic Dance Music
Electronic Dance Music has now reached it’s high in the public all over the world. This genre of music was created and reformed from past generations of music and its history goes all the way back to the mid-to-late 70’s. What is common throughout Electronic Dance Music’s history is its usage of drugs between the attendee’s at these concerts, shows, festivals, or raves. Now that Electronic Music is becoming the most popular genre for young adults and teens to listen to, the public cant help but be aware of what chaos it could possibly bring.
The only way to prevent such disasters of over-doses and deaths is to educate the Electronic Dance Music lovers’ on what could potentially happen to this culture if a change is not made.
The Electronic Dance Music scene is almost like a reconfiguration of the disco era way back in the mid-to-late 70’s. There are way too many sub-genres of EDM music but the word that is mainly used to describe it is Techno.
Techno is being described as anything with a thudding beat (Hillegonda). Some of the sub-genres inside EDM include house, acid-house, garage, techno, trap, trance, dubstep, hard-style, and many more (Brian J). Back in the day, Disco music was considered an offshoot of funk and soul music and was also categorized as mainstream and new anti-commercial genres emerged which included reggae in Jamaica, punk in the UK, and hip-hop in New York City (Hillegonda). What these genres didn’t have was a record that could keep the audience dancing all night long; this is the factor that continues to live on in Electronic Dance Music.
By the mid 80’s individual record labels had appeared and various strains of North American house, garage, techno were exported to Europe, which was the trigger, and this music scene began to rise (Hillegonda). Although this scene was reaching many countries around the world the U.K had the lead in adopting these new sounds. Drugs being affiliated with this music began in 1987 when a group of British DJ’s discovered MDMA when they went to the Spanish island of Ibiza (Hillegonda). They found this drug to be the perfect accompaniment to this music and dancing in the clubs at night. They returned back home and began trying to recapture the feeling by starting their own clubs and raves in underground scenes (Hillegonda). Parties continued for about a year before parents and police began panicking over these situations when they realized that drugs were at use. In order to escape the police interference these shows went further and further underground. By around the year of 1989 these events re-surfaced to the outside in more public places. After about 5 years of the rise of this new scene, the United Kingdom passed a series of prohibited laws to crack down on these events (Hillegonda). These laws did nothing but backfire. It caused more of these events to go further and further underground and was being held by what they called “Do it yourself” ravers.
These ravers organized musical protests around environmental and social justice issues. In the late 1990’s the public allowed DJs to come play in a tightly controlled and regulated atmosphere for the public to come see. From this point on Electronic Dance Music continued to rise in popularity and is now one of the most popular types of music produced in American and Europe since the birth of rock ‘n’ roll (Mark J.B).
Unlike any other genre of music, EDM’s main focus are the beats and drums (Mark J.B) Yes, many of the songs that are considered EDM have vocalists but they are primarily put in the background of the music while the focus is put on the sounds and the reoccurring beats. This difference, in my opinion is what draws people to the music where they can get lost and forget about everything else going on in their lives at the time. There is something about this scene that differs from any other which is why it is becoming so popular. One dedicated fan explains it as, “It’s a collective of like-minded people that for 12 hours of a day want to forget the daily stress our lives place on us and enjoy making new friends, dancing, and watching cirque-du-soleil-esque productions. It’s a mindset of acceptance of anyone and everything. It’s a world without judgment that you cant understand until you’ve experienced it yourself” (Benanti). The problem is, with this music also comes the drugs. A study was done on the drug use and nightlife by a group of people. They explore and study all different types of music and their ties to drugs. They surveyed 775 visitors of dance events, clubs, and rock festivals in Belgium (Tina Van Havere). Their results found that the respondents who used illegal drugs were 25 times more likely to report that they prefer dance music to any other genre (Tina Van Havere).
Drugs and music have been related to each other since they both first emerged, the only problem now is that the scene is at a much larger scale and that it’s kids who are doing it. There have been many cases of deaths and overdoses in the past 5 years at these Electronic Music shows which is creating a lot of discussion in the media and the public about the safety risks of the people attending these shows. The people within this culture who are working behind the scenes are concerned of the future of EDM. A lighting and sound technician Keenan Kan explains, “For the people involved in the industry, we’re concerned. We have seen it happen before. Similar situations happened when the music was popular in the ‘90s, and of course Gainesville and other communities acted on it and stomped out the scene” (Crane). Many believe that because the drug “molly” is immediately known to be affiliated with electronic music, that this genre automatically gets an unfairly bad reputation.
Kaskade, one of todays most famous DJs released his anger and thoughts over twitter. He explains, “I’m fed-up with the hypocrisy. OD’s are tragic. So are kids killed by drunk drivers. And all manner of violence” (mharks). This was is response after the third day of Electronic Zoo Carnival was canceled because of one death occurred due to a death within the first two days of the festival. The point he is trying to get across is that, you don’t normally see other events getting cancelled because of someone passing away, you only see It with EDM events because of the bad reputation that they have. David Efraim, a DJ explains that molly doesn’t generally cause death, and when it does it raises the question of whether users were even taking molly at all (Crane). The only solution to the problem that is occurring within the Electronic Dance Music scene is to educate the people going on what they are putting into their bodies, and what could quite possibly happen to this culture that so many have adapted to.
“Our culture is ours to make, and just as easily to break. It’s on us whether we can continue dancing and making friends and enjoying this one life we have. So from one raver to another, please be careful, make new friends, smile at everyone and always reach out to those around you” (Benanti). This was only a part of a letter that was written anonymously and sent out to the public to read. He wrote this letter to educate the public and to simply open the eyes of the fans and make them realize that if a change isn’t made soon, then this culture and scene will slowly be crushed once again. He makes sure to make the reader understand that it is us, the people attending these events, that create the awful views on this music. “We, the collective group of dancers and music lovers, are responsible. By buying a ticket and walking through those gates we silently acknowledge that we are responsible for ourselves, our friends, and each other. When tragic incidents occur at festivals, it’s a flashing sign that we let each other down.” (Benanti). I strongly believe that everything he is saying in this anonymous letter in correct. If the people who attended these concerts made better decisions about what they take and whom they take it from, then these problems of over-doses and deaths would not be happening. It is pretty clear that the drug usage at these events will never be eliminated, so instead of focusing so much on that aspect, the public should focus primarily on educating the fans with information about keeping themselves safe.
Another well-known DJ today gives advice to the public by saying, “No need to overdue it or get sloppy, maybe try taking half as much, and letting life’s natural magic work its charms or maybe try taking a night off and see if you can have just as much fun without getting high. Also I think its fun to spent time looking out for other people, everyone would be way better off (Staples). It is very visible that people all over the world are talking about and evaluating this scene of Electronic Music and its affiliation with drugs. It seems as if people of the public are just waiting for the next death or over-dose to occur so that they can crack down more and more and soon begin taking these concerts, shows, festivals, or raves away from the public to access. Nobody wants to see this scene that has changed so many people’s lives be taken away. The future of this culture is in the hands of the fans because they are the only people who can truly make a difference and change the public’s views on this scene.
Electronic Dance Music has been around for a long time and has evolved more and more into its own genre. This type of music is easily the most popular and it continues to grow throughout the population in the current decade. Many people continue to view it as a drug-related music but to the fans it is much more than that. To the fans it’s an escape from reality, a chance to connect with other people that they never would, and a chance for them to explore and find themselves. The major issue with this music is its tie with drugs. Within the past few years there have been many drug related deaths at these events and if something isn’t changed then the shows could be once again taken control over and shut down by the public. This is not because the public dislikes this music or what it creates for people, it is purely because of the health risks that come along with it.
Cite this Electronic Dance Music
Electronic Dance Music. (2016, Oct 28). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/electronic-dance-music/