English 2000, Section 44
11 February 2014
EDM: Electronic Dance Music or Electronic Death Music?
As our generation grows older with technology continuously evolving, we drift into a futuristic world with no limits on creativity. Since the dawn of human time, our very ancestors developed the first type of music with their “modern technologies”. This development of music has paved the way for many different new genres throughout history. Each generation has an identity and this identity can be found in the music made by each generation. From the hippie generation of the 60s, to disco in the 70s, to hard rock in the 80s, just to name a few, there is no limit to satisfying our ears and everyone has different tastes in music. What is the music this generation, with all this new technology, has developed and put an identity to? It is called EDM. EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music, which is self-explanatory as this genre is made up of Electronic and Dubstep music. To our parents this new genre must sounds as bad as nails on a chalkboard, and as different as this new genre sounds to them, it is not much different than the hippie movement many of them grew up in. During the controversial times in the 60s this generation made history with the first mass music festival, known as Woodstock. This new idea of a music festival has cemented its roots in our DNA, the children of these very protestors who threw the first festival. Of course, in the twenty-first century, we have our own unique spin on these festivals. Today, there are multiple types of music festivals containing all genres from rap to country, however, EDM festivals are on the rise. These festivals are growing exponentially, and widely attended by this current generation. However as amazing as these festivals are, they are viewed with the same negativity as Woodstock once was viewed: just a bunch of college kids drinking, congregating, and doing all kinds of drugs while listening to ear-deafening music. How can the generation that paved the way for our own modern festivals with Woodstock, look at today’s festivals with the same negativity, impacting the public’s view of modern festivals? Today’s festivals are not protesting the government, nor do they have any underlying reasons for putting them on, other than for our generation to witness DJs and artists live, and simply, for the indescribable experience. The widely assumed notion is that everyone who likes EDM, attends festivals, or associates with the genre is a “druggie”. This opinion is degraded by the drug overdoses that do occur at some festivals, and in some cases, force the festivals to shut down. It opens the debate on whether or not EDM contributes to drug use, and if EDM music festivals of our generation should be shut down and repressed. If you have yet to hear the new genre of EDM and Dubstep, it will sound as if it came from another world. The distorted heart-stopping bass and ear-piercing highs create the highly addictive rhythm that to the virgin ear sounds like extraterrestrial contact. The music flows through the body, forcing you to move, dance, or at the very least, nod to the beat. Typically in the ever-changing music industry, the newest genre is always associated with drugs. There is no doubt that music of any genre is influenced by some drug culture and without this influence, may not be the same. The most common drug use among EDM festivalgoers is “…MDMA, which is commonly referred to as Ecstasy (in its pill form), and Molly (a powder)”(Knopper). The growing popularity of EDM is starting to bring light to the dangers of this drug as festivalgoers continuously overdosing on the fore mentioned “Molly.” While Molly may help enhance a festivalgoer’s experience, and as its popularity grows, the blame goes straight to the EDM festivals for the deaths of the unfortunate fans. MDMA use and EDM is comparable to marijuana use and Reggae,