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Electronic Music Culture

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Brandon Clute

on 19 February 2016

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Transcript of Electronic Music Culture

Electronic Music Culture

An Examination of
Presented by Brandon Clute
A Brief History

Schools of Thought
Emergence of RAVE & Club Culture
What's in a RAVE?
Media Representation in
The Past
Political Backlash
The Modern Electronic Music Culture
Integration into Mainstream Culture
Video Example:
Current Policy
Future Predictions
The RAVE Act Continues...
Music Festivals
Radio / Pop Culture Music
Marketing E.g. Commercials
Movie Soundtracks
Bar / Club Scene
Video Games E.g. DJ Hero

The Expanse of Electronic Music
Meshing of "in"
and "out" groups.
Surveys &
Ultra Music Festival (UMF)
Gender Representation & Technology
A Deeper Analysis: Female Objectification
Female DJs / Performers
Future Possibilities
The Bifurcation of a Culture
Counter Ideas of Significance
Popular Culture
A Critique on Mainstream Electronic Music Culture
Female Objectification
Cultural Appropriation
Seeming Ignorance of Roots & Change of Significance
DJ Culture: The Story of The Disk Jockey
The History of Dance
DJs Through The Ages
Forgotten Beginnings
What The Modern Culture Does Right
Electric Forces
Forms of Dance
Commonly Known:
Melbourne Shuffle
Jump Style
Finger Tutting
Popping/Locking/Slides & Glides/Body Waves/
The Changing Role of The "DJ"
Entry Level Midi Controllers
Numark Mixtrack Pro II
A large market has emerged for entry-level to advanced compact controllers
"Club Standard"
Shambhala, 2014
Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), 2014
Defqon. 1, 2013
Tomorrowland, 2013
Qlimax, 2012
Production Value
EDM Trend List
What is "EDM"?
Modern Media Perception
The Dismantling of the RAVE in Production
Current Artist Example: Minilogue
The dismantling of the RAVE through cultural change
How EDM works. . .
Daleri - Epic Mashleg (16 song drops, 1 minute)
You've Heard It Before
To create a better future, you must first understand the past.
Darude - Sandstorm
Zombie Nation - Kernkraft 400
Eiffel 65 - I'm Blue / Move Your Body
The Prodigy - Firestarter / Smack my Bitch Up
Cosmic Gate - Exploration of Space
DJ Mangoo - Eurodancer
Fatboy Slim - Rockafeller Skank
Aqua - Barbie Girl
Vengaboys - We Like to Party
Alice DJ - Better Off Alone
The Scatman - Scatman John
Faithless - Insomnia
Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster Stronger / One More Time
Moby - Honey / Porcelain / Southside
Some Classics
Creating Sound
Radical Audio Video Experience
Rave as Escape
Growing Illegailty
The Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy (RAVE) Act
RAVE Culture in Popular Culture
RAVE Culture in the Mainstream Media (MSM)
Rave as Religion
Rave Philosophy/Ethos
"Barbara Bradby noted that moving into DJing and/or producing was an arduous process for women because they were 'equated with sexuality, the body, emotion and nature in dance music, while men have been assigned to the realm of culture, technology, language'." - Beyond The Dance Floor
The Portrayal of Women in Today's Scene
& Cultural Appropriation
Portrayal of Women (continued)
Youtube's Home
"Rave Booty" & "Raver Girl" phenomenon
A few examples of female objectification:
Event Promotion
Dancers (Gogo & Other)
Documentation Focus
Music Videos
Event Marketing



What does a DJ do?
Expanding on Performance
As production value increased at events, the awe factor and "radical" part of RAVE is diminished.
Integration of Live Production & Improvisation
Off-board Effects
Use of Non-Traditional DJ Hardware E.g. Synthesizers, Drum Machines Various Midi-Controllers
Daft Punk Started It All?
April 29th, 2006 - Coachella Music Festival
"Recently, with the rise of club culture as a commercial force, the DJ's image as a maverick artist has been turned into a marketing tool, and he (or she...) has been squeezed into the tried and trusted 'rock star' model..." - Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
DJ as Superstar
EDM is a term for the current mainstream trend of electronic music. Thus, what is considered EDM is always changing.

It does not encapsulate all of electronic music, contrary to popular belief.

2010/11 - Dubstep
2012/13 - Bigroom House
2013/14 - Trap
2014/15 - Future / Deep House

Earliest Beginnings
In the quest of inventing the telephone, the first experiments were made with the electrical transmissions of sound. Philip Reis developed the first "Telephone" in 1861, which gave way to many other sound transmission devices.
Gaining Ground
Thaddeus Cahill (1867-1934)

"[to] generate music electrically with tones of good quality and great power and with perfect musical expression, and to distribute music electrically generated by what we may term 'original electrical generation' from a central station to translating instruments located at different points."
The Telharmonium
"Teleharmonic Music"
The Futurism Movement
"Beauty exists only in struggle..."
Futurism had a fascination with technology, machinery, and defying the status quo.
The Electronics Age
Edgar Varèse (1883-1965)
"Our musical alphabet must be enriched...I refuse to limit myself to sounds that have already been heard...What I am looking for is new mechanical mediums which will lend themselves to every expression of thought and keep up with thought."
Poème électronique
Premiered at the World's Fair in 1958
(English Translation: "Electronic Poem")
The Arrival of New Instruments
[around 1920]
Recording Technology
Magnetic Tape Recorder
Musique concrète
l'objet sonore - The Sound Object is the driving force behind the piece
Pierre Schaeffer
Elektronische Musik
"electronic music" - Focus on pure electronic mediums
Northwest German Broadcasting (NWDR) in Cologne then to West German Broadcasting (WDR)
The Modular Synthesizer, Invented 1959-1960
From Shamanism to Religious Worship
"The Disk Jockey is simply the latest reincarnation of an ancient role." - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
Nothern Soul
Hip Hop
By Genre
Playing the records heard by the masses.

As a performer.
Acid House
Political Economic Structure
Using the freedom of raving to escape the current societal structure.
Simply get out for the weekend.
Beginning in the late 1980s, Acid House shows began to spring up. What began as a very underground, and small counter-culture, sprung into massive events.
Sunrise & Back to the Future - 1989 Dance Music Festival
A Growing Trend
Dance Compilation
Educational Bias
The Agony of Ecstasy
“Every time you let your kid go out to that club, you’re really taking your child’s life in your hands. Because when these kids are going out to clubs, they’re not going there to dance, they’re not going to have a few drinks, that’s not what they’re there for. They go for the drugs.”
1. Ecstasy & Other Designer Drugs: Junior Drug Awareness
2. D.A.R.E
3. Nothing to Rave About
Movern Collar (film) - Depreciates Culture
Human Traffic (film), A Midsummer Night’s Rave (film) - Alienates true members of the culture
Ecstasy Club (novel), Party Monster (film), and Better Living Through Circuitry (documentary) - Alienates Mainstream Crowd
"Dancing is Political Stupid.
You think you’re just having fun, but when you’re on the dance floor, you’re rejecting the rules and responsibilities of your daytime life, questioning the values that make you wait for the bus and smile at the boss every morning. Dance in a club and you are rebelling for a while. Your escape might come in a pill, a smoke, some beers. Or the music might be enough. Your escape might be from yourself. You’re dancing with hundreds, maybe thousands of people; you’re no longer just an individual. A dance floor is about collective action, making you an active participant, a vital component. You’re creating the event, not just consuming it - the spectacle doesn’t exist without you. " (Brewster and Broughton, p390)
Raving for Revival:
A Spiritual Exploration of the Rave

The Summer of Rave 1989 (BBC Documentary, 2006)
A rave’s ultimate goal is to achieve ecstasy; a euphoria of the mind.
Peace Love Unity Respect
Create Interconnectedness
Foster Safe Environment

From the Wixáritari indigenous peoples of Mexico, to the Bwiti community found in west Africa, there are five pivotal commonalities between many spiritualistic cultures:
1. Preparation
In each of the cultures there is a time of preparation for the celebration which involves specific ritualistic activities.
Rave Culture: Costume, Kandi, Ingestion of drugs.
2. Ritual Space and Time

For dance music, like many of these spiritual entheogenic festivities, the activity of a rave is typically at night.
Different rooms with different DJs to achieve ecstasy how one prefers. Venue away from general Public.
3. Music And Dance
- Spiritual themes, especially in psychedelic genres and old-school electronic music

Repetitive rhythmic structure - a function in itself to create an ideal state of ecstasy when combined with visual and tactile stimuli.

- “Everybody, even the bar staff of the back of the bar would’ve been moving. Moving to this beat. And I’ve never seen rhythm and movement saturate buildings and human beings the way acid house did. It’s never happened before.”
(Anthony Wilson, owner of Haçienda Nightclub)
4. Pharmacological Aspects
Drugs: ecstasy, lsd, etc.
(No alcohol in old days)
5. Social Relations
A rave is a place of connectedness often equal to the levels of many other spiritual cultures.

The Significance of The DJ
“Because DJs select and present as well as create music, they have been described as ‘curators’ of ‘galleries of sound”
(Rietveld, 1993)
“Djs also function as guides to an unfamiliar and powerfully charged synaesthetic realm and in this sense have been described as ‘electronic shamans’ “
(Bull, 1997)
The ability to drive participants to the state of ‘ecstasy’ is part of the DJs craft. DJs are ultimately responsible for the group’s consciousness and experience at a rave as ‘they create the state of mind and the buzz for everybody in the room
(Interviewed 25 year old male) (St John, p154)
Neural Tuning
The ability to train one’s nerves to react in a specific way when exposed to stimulus of a certain type.
“I have a childhood friend who doesn’t take drugs, doesn’t drink alcohol, doesn’t rave. I know him very well but he doesn’t know me very well. He knows me in a way, but there’s a whole aspect of emotions and experience that he has no idea I have.”
(24 year old male) (St John, p154-159)
Ecstasy: Not a drug, a state of mind.
Its current language discourages legitimate "EDM" concert and festival organizers from enacting common sense safety measures to protect their patrons. Providing free water and air-conditioned rooms, and allowing drug education and harm reduction services inside their events would save lives. Yet many event organizers are afraid that these actions could be seen as encouraging drug use and therefore subject them to criminal prosecution under the RAVE Act.
Improving in ways as it becomes more mainstream, perhaps, but still stigmatized.
Through my survey responses and personal experience within the culture, it is apparent it's roots are largely unknown.
Elimination of Barrier Between Performer & Crowd
Blending & Growth of Genres
Change in Public Perception Over Time
Going Back Underground?
Learn from the past and better educate the future so that we...
...can better react to things coming & respect those before us.
“Is rave simply about the dissipation of utopian energies into to void, or does the idealism it catalyzes spill over into and transform ordinary life?”
(Reynolds 1999:10) (St John, p85)
Thank You
Bibliography (Incomplete)
All The Rave, Dateline, NBC: National Broadcasting Company, 2000
BBC 2, E is for Ecstasy, British Broadcasting Corporation, 1992, 31 min.
Beeler, Stan. Dance, Drugs, and Escape: The Club Scene in Literature, Film, and Television Since the Late 1980s.. McFarland & Company, Inc.. 2007
Benedict, Ruth, Patterns of Culture (New York: Mentor Books, 1960). http://www.webref.org/sociology/d/dionysian.htm
Bey, Hakim. T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism. Brooklyn: Autonomedia, 1985.
Better Living Through Circuitry. Directed By John Reiss. Seventh Art, 1999.
Brewster, Bill, and Frank Broughton. Last Night a DJ Saved my Life. London: Headline, 2000.
D.A.R.E, Drug Abuse Resistance Education, http://www.dare.org/
Feinstein, Danny, Ramsay, Colin, The Rise of EDM, Oct. 2012, Berklee College of Music: Music Business Journal, http://www.thembj.org/2012/10/the-rise-of-edm/
Grammys, American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for Achievement, http://www.grammy.com/news/and-the-grammy-went-to-skrillex-0
House, Chelsea, Junior Drug Awareness: Ecstasy & Other Designer Drugs, 2000, Chelsea House Publishers,
Hunt, Geoffrey, Moloney, Molly, Evans, Kristen, Youth, Drugs, & Nightlife, 2010.
It’s All Gone Pete Tong, Dowse, Michael, 2004, film.
Jordan, T. Jordan, Hoeckel, Summer Forest, Jason, A. Jordan, Searching for the Perfect Beat: Flyer Designs of the American Rave Scene, 2000, Watson-Guptill Publications
Mikelberg, Amanda, August 20th, 2011, The Illegal Cure for Cancer:Study says club drug ecstasy may hold cure for cancer, The NY daily News
Mithoefer MC; Wagner MT; Mithoefer AT; Jerome I; Doblin R. (2009). "The safety and efficacy of {+/-}3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder: the first randomized controlled pilot study.". Journal of Psychopharmacology 25 (4): 439–52.
NIDA: National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA for Teens, What Is MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly)?, Web, p2.3.2014, 3.3.2014, http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/mdma-ecstasy-or-molly
Redhead, Steve. Rave Off: Politics and Deviance in Contemporary Youth Culture. Avebury, 1993.
Rushkoff, Douglas. Ecstasy Club. New York: Riverhead, 1997.
St John, Grahm, Rave & Religion, 2004, Routledge, USA & Canada

The Agony of Ecstasy. Charles C. Stuart, and Ginny Weissman, A&E Investigative Reports, Dec. 4th, 2000, film.
The Summer of Rave:1989, BBC, 2006, film
Beynd The Dance Floor. Rebekah Farrugia. Intellect Bristol, UK / Chicago USA. 2012
Last Night A J Saved My Life. Bill Brewster & Frank Broughton. Grove Press, New York. 1999.
Electronic & Experimental Music. Thom Holmes.Routledge, UK. 2008
Playing With Something That Runs. Mark Butler. Oxford University Press, NY. 2014.

Stage Design
Eric Prydz: Epic Amon Tobin: ISAM 2.0
Electronic Music Genre List (Incomplete)
LivenessIn Electronic Music Performance
Electronic performances are done with such improvisation and technicality that any recorded work is transformed into something new. Something that they make, in the moment, during a performance.
-Drill and bass
-Liquid funk

-2-step garage
-Future garage
-Speed garage
-4x4 garage
-UK funky
-Game Boy music
Introduction to Synthesis
"Raves have historically been referred to as grass-roots organized, anti-establishment and unlicensed all night dance parties, featuring electronically-produced dance music" - A 'Rave' Review
Radical Audio Video Experience
The Use of Authenticity
Social Organization
P.L.U.R. (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect)
D.I.Y. Culture
Diversity of Musical Genre (tied with Ethos)
Identity Markers
Norms & Behaviors
Baggy track/parachute pant
Pro-rave / anti-establishment messages on clothing
Sneakers/ Trainers (comfortable)
Neon Color Palette
Rave Props ("consistent with celebration of a childlike existence that embraces a utopian society")
Danced Individually (in sync with others)
Collective Identity
Did Not Value Sexual Courting
"symbols, including such things as language, style, props, gestures/mannerisms, even body shape and size, which demarcate what a collective stands for. "
Political Deviance
Political Message of Apathy
Goal of Escapism

Not Bound by Class
Response to Thatcherism/ Reagan / Capitalist Society
-Creating alternate world that opposed mainstream culture
In The Beginning
A Photo Tour
Left: "Norman Cook, a.k.a. Fatboy Slim, is rocking the Hollywood Palladium at the height of his ‘Rockafella Skank’ period in 1998."
Right: "Legendary DJ Frankie Bones is the man who was probably most responsible for transplanting raves from the UK to the US. Here he steals the show at the L.A. 1999 New Years Eve rave ‘Together As One’ at the L.A. Sports Arena.”
Credit to Michael Tullbert
“The great DJ/producer Richie Hawtin during his Plastikman era, at the Shrine Expo Hall in L.A., 1999.”
“Scott Kirkland of The Crystal Method, live at the Hollywood Palladium, 1998.”

“On the left, The Chemical Brothers, during a cover shoot for Insider magazine. The right picture is of John Digweed at the Viper Room. Johnny Depp’s old club actually hosted a great house music night for three years, believe it or not.”

“On the left, DJ Mick Cole of the Bud Brothers provides the music, which could produce an effect within one’s head quite similar to what you see in this photograph. If the conditions were right and it really was all good, sometimes truly wonderful, even spiritual experiences occurred on the dance floor. To the right is my interpretation of one of those transcendent moments.”
Left: “In this shot, an earlier sandstorm has blown itself out, and everyone is quite happy about that. I shot this with Kodak EIR color infra-red film, which is why everyone looks blue even though they’re in the middle of the desert.”
Right: “This was shot at ‘Dune 4’, the last of the great California desert raves of the 1990s. Held out in the middle of nowhere near the CA/AZ border, this party was buffeted by a sandstorm for hours before the sun came up and thousands emerged from the safety of their tents, re-energized and ready to keep partying well into the morning hours.”
“On the left is what I think is one of my most iconic rave shots. I used Kodak EIR color infra-red film, which produced the huge color shift that turned the trees scarlet. The bold primary colors make the image almost look like a lithograph in a way. It was shot in the mountains north of L.A. at about 7:00 in a 1998 morning. On the right, is a good example of the dynamic atmosphere one could enjoy in their own personal space at a rave. I took this one at the old Magic Wednesdays club on Hollywood Boulevard.”
“Narnia 1997, one of the best of the mountain raves in and around Los Angeles near the end of the decade.”
“Deep inside the ancient Alexandria Hotel, a rave called ‘OZ’ takes place. Meanwhile, the outside world has no clue as to the aural ecstasy that is taking place right under their noses.”
“New years eve ‘99 at the L.A. Sports Arena. What a way to ring in the new millennium!"
‘Electric Daisy Carnival’,... in 2001, the crowd is already approaching the size of arena concerts. DJ Mars is behind the decks.”
“The Toy Ladies were the rave-era fashionistas, before the term was even coined. The scene was filled with lots of eclectic D-I-Y raver fashion like this, mainly because you couldn’t find anything remotely like it in almost any of the stores.”
“Club Kids were a group of outrageous partygoers that collected infamy in New York during the ‘Party Monster’ era. These are L.A. club kids at a party called “The Love Festival”, sporting the same attitude as their East coast counterparts.”
The Club Kids - NYC
Michael Alig
James St James
The Pair Together
Group Photograph with many of the NYC 'Club Kids,' signed by Michael Alig.
Not Exclusive
Breakbeat / Breaks
Drum N Bass (DnB)
Electronic Rock
Electronica/ Electronika
Intelligent Dance Music (IDM)
Post Disco
Video Game
-Ambient dub
-Industrial ambient
-Dark ambient
-Drone music
-Acid breaks
-Baltimore club
-Big beat
-Broken beat
-Florida breaks
-Miami breaks
-Jersey club
-Nu skool breaks
-Cosmic disco
-Disco polo
-Euro disco
-Italo disco
-Space disco
-Acid jazz
-Flamenco chill
-Ethnic electronica
-New-age music
-Trip hop
-Freestyle (Electro)
-Dirty Electro
-Acousmatic music
-Musique concrète
-Alternative dance
-Dark wave
-Ethereal wave
-New rave
-Space rock
-Breakbeat hardcore
-Bouncy techno
-Digital hardcore
-Hardcore techno
-Happy Hardcore
-Melbourne bounce
-Rave music/Rave
-UK hardcore
-Lento violento
-Bubblegum dance
-Italo dance
-Acid house
-Ambient house
-Balearic beat
-Chicago house
-Deep House
-Diva house/ Handbag house
-Dream house
-Electro house
--Big Room
-Dutch house
-Fidget house
-Euro house
-French house
-Funky house
-Future house
-Future Jungle
-Acid techno
-Detroit techno
-Dub techno
-Minimal techno
-Techno brega
-Acid trance
-Dream trance
-Goa trance
-Hard trance
-Ibiza trance
-Psychedelic trance
-Dark psytrance
-Psychedelic trance
--Full on
-Progressive trance
-Tech trance
-Uplifting trance
-Vocal trance
-Melodic trance
-Classic trance
-Epic trance
-Game Boy music
-Garage house
-Ghetto house
-Ghetto tech
-Glitch house
-Hard house
-UK hard house
--Hard bounce
-UK hard house
--Hard dance
-Hard NRG
-Hip house
-Italo house
-Nu jazz/ jazz house
-Latin house
-Microhouse/ Minimal house
-New beat
-Outsider house
-Progressive house
-Electro Swing/ Swing house
-Tech house
-Tribal house
-Tropical house
-Witch house/ Drag
-Industrial music
-Grindcore/ Cybergrind
-Dark electro
-Electronic body music
-Future pop
-Industrial metal
-Industrial rock
-Neue deutsche härte
-Power Electronics
-Death industrial
-Power noise
Advanced Midi Controllers
Ableton Push 2
NI Maschine Mk2
N. Launchpad Pro
Modular Midi Controllers
NI Kontrol X1, Z1, F1
A&H Xone K2
DJTT Midi Fighter 3D & Midi Fighter Twister
Prophet 6 Synthesizer
Boss Pedals
Roland TR8
Physical Hardware
Four parts per track.
Able to be controlled individually.
Can apply FX to each segment individually.
Can mix parts of one track with parts of another.
NI Kontrol S8
The Decline of RAVE Culture
Social Organization
A far more shallow version that what once existed.
Disappearance of D.I.Y. Culture
Primarily Corporate Based
Many Single Genre Concert-Like Events
Rise of "Bro" Wear
More Revealing Attire and Focus on Sex Appeal For Many
Lack of Deviance
Emergence of Provocative Dancing
More Individualistic Atmosphere in Most Circumstances
Sexual Courting Prevalence
Identity Markers
Norms & Behaviors
The Decline of RAVE Culture Continued...
Then Vs. Now
Political Deviance
The Decline of RAVE Culture Continued...
Lack of Political Signigance
Most Now Attend As They Would Any Concert
Local Example
Pirates of The Puget Sound 10
March 5th, 2016
30 Stills taken in first 1/2
3 shots of appropriation in video.
EDM does to electronic music what pop music does to other genres:
-Focus on Profit > Quality
-Disservice to the fans.

The term's continued misuse perpetuates anignorance of the culture as a whole.
EDM: A Problem
Arguably the most expressive form of music on behalf of the listeners:
-Variety of Dances, Clothing, etc.

The Healing Power of Electronic Music
Culture of Acceptance
The Positives
Moving Forward
Call to Action
Educate Self & Others
Take Good Aspects of Old & New
Create A New, Desired Culture
Strive For Progressive Policy
Combat Misrepresentation
A synthesizer, in it's most basic form, is a sound generation device.
1950s Early Electronic Synthesizer
First computer generated song recording is believed to be from 1951, and is of "Baa BaaBlack Sheep."
Musical Instrument Digital Interface
An instruction protocol used to make computers, instruments, and hardware talk with one another.

Thought up in 1981, presented to public in 1983.
"The act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a sound recording in a different song or piece."
Ex. Sample Packs
Not Really.
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