By Michael Mann, July 4, 2012
Let’s just cut the shit for a minute and say it: electronic dance music is the stupidest music on the planet. It even has a fittingly dumb name, EDM, which makes me cringe every time I see it. More so than the acronym, though, the reason it sucks is because the amount of talent required to perform it is precisely none.
Case in point: Paris Hilton recently made her DJ debut in Brazil. She can’t give a competent on-screen blowjob—Christ, you just put it in your mouth and spin your head around like Linda Blair—but she sure can throw down Gotye remixes and Avicii tracks to big crowds. Hilton even pushed a few buttons and it looked like she knew what she was doing. The best part about the whole spectacle was how it showed that trotting out some attractive and vapid idiot with no qualifications to DJ, other than that they have a following, isn’t exclusively a Vancouver thing. (Hi, Mayor Gregor Robertson. I loved your set!)
At about the same time, one of the genre’s biggest stars, deadmau5, came forward and said what we’ve suspected all along: DJing is fucking easy and all the knob-turning that goes on at a “live” EDM show is a sham. The refreshingly candid man behind the mouse mask claims that if you’re remotely tech-savvy you could learn how to do his show in about an hour. It’s just pressing play and that’s all there is to it.
Surely this means the current dance-music craze is done. I mean, Paris is on the gravy train and deadmau5 said that all these $100-a-ticket arena shows are Milli Vanilli with excessive strobes. No, of course not. See, the fans of this stupid fucking music are fucking stupid too. They’re still lining up to slap down their hard-earned money from their dead-end jobs so they have somewhere to pop a couple pills and dance like no one is watching on a Saturday night.
Some will be quick to point out that producing dance music takes a lot of talent, as there’s no magic “make awesome dance track” button that you can push and then you’re done. However, if that’s the case, why does every damn song sound exactly the same? House, electro, dubstep, moombahton, and any other genres that are created this week and fall under the catchall term EDM aren’t something to get pretentious about. It’s dumb music to get fucked up to and nothing more. A four-on-the-floor beat with a sample of me furiously wanking it would make your typical E-tard lose their shit on the dance floor. Granted, I’m a screamer.
“What about my mixing?” you retort. I hate to break it to you but no one cares about that pretentious shit except chin-stroking nerds. Then there’s the ever-popular “Selecting the right track at the right time takes skill.” Because, clearly, scrolling through iTunes and finding a song that a room full of people tweaking on bath salts will enjoy requires a PhD in curatorial studies. I’ve seen a fucking jukebox rock a crowd better than 95 percent of the DJs out there. So no rolling your eyes at me the next time I request that song Rihanna did with Calvin Harris. It’s a party starter! That boring minimal-techno shit you fell in love with in Berlin won’t fly over here, you self-important Fleshlights.
As tempting as it may be, let’s not fault Paris, deadmau5, Avicii, Steve Aoki, or even Skrillex. Ripping off clueless rubes is smart business. And at least they’re giving them what they want: obnoxious party music in a dark room where they can get messed up. In a perfect con, the mark walks away not knowing they’ve been taken. I’m not falling for it, though. For $100 you should always demand more than mere knob-twiddling. Read into that statement however you like.