Electric Zoo happened earlier this week. In itself, that premise is not necessarily impressive because that’s what it’s supposed to do. It’s also supposed to be happening, but we’ll get to that later. EDM is a passion of mine, though I’ve never been one for the culture. What culture? That is exactly what I set to find out. I knew the culture is intended to be ‘for the one,’ or, hivemind. Maybe not mob mentality. In any case, the community suggests together we are one. Unity.
(That gives me an idea for the rest of this post. More than one. Let me see if it works. All right. It’s kind of like remixing your own song, except there’s no original. Then again, you don’t need the original when you’ve got originality.
Did anybody else ever struggle with rough drafting? I’ve always had problems because I edit on-the-go. When I am unsure what to say next, I build up momentum by reading what came before and let that carry me into the next sentence.
For better or worse, you are well aware of your mistakes. It’s really hard to write another way; everything needs to be integrated. Finalize the first draft and rough up the final. Sometimes you may even prefer the changes. Just make sure you correct your errors.)
En masse, the crowds resemble a giant fist pump in one of those pinscreen toys. If everybody jumps at once, you feel like you’re treading water in an ocean of sweat. At the zenith of your apex, you’re basically walking on air, if not water, where the water has pooled on the ground. Take a moment to contemplate Katy, whose album, “PRISM,” had its bright spots and sunny spots, if not sunspots. The best single, “Walking On Air,” is a snappy 90s eurodance throwback.
I’m always ambivalent about heights because I have a real fear. The fear is real even if the heights are not. It only takes a puddle to drown, after all. I don’t possess a very lofty vert, but that doesn’t stop me from getting high. Or green. Nay, there are other concerns. My fear of heights extends, to an extent, to being high. Marijuana can induce vertigo. Moreover, seeing other people even higher than me makes me get down. Vicarious vertigo. Secondhand high.
It isn’t hard, if heavy, for this feat to get off the ground. You don’t even need to be Airborne if you’re under the weather. Do you ever look up at the sky and imagine you’re hanging off the planet? It’s like you could fall at any moment. Just like our inclement, in-climate weather. That’s the gravity of the situation. Trending down. Fending off. Bending forward. I wasn’t built to scrape the sky. I like my center of gravity on the Earth. Plattitude, not altitude. Word, not worried.
Dig in. Get over it. Get it over with. You’ve got to get up in the morning, anyway. When you see people alleviate elevation, there are things to consider. Who is going to land on my foot? Am I tripping? Somebody is. If you’re still, it won’t be you. Still standing. Stop. “Be still, my soul.” This is especially true during a real stomper––or a stamper. You’ve got to watch yourself. I have noticed that a number of people don’t do this; instead, they watch from behind a camera.
This is what YouTube is for. They aren’t aware of their surroundings, while events only exist in front of the camera. For the camera. If it isn’t recorded, it might as well not have happened. Maybe a few people got together and bought somebody a ticket on the condition that they record the entire concert. Doubtful. I can’t see that. They should let somebody else do it. Often, many of them don’t even sing. There is little movement. I clench my water bottle. Gripping stuff.
Nobody wants to ruin the fidelity of the video, including the music. They don’t talk in fear of corrupting the sounds of other people cheering. Understandably, there isn’t much dancing, either. This is, ultimately, not a recording of you enjoying a concert; rather, it is you, at most––at least––enjoying yourself capturing one. Then again, you could enjoy the act. Authenticity exists at every metaphysical level. You can’t get rid of the device. You might can it, though.
Between enjoyment and the camera, there is intention. Everyone can enjoy themselves however they want. At the same time, however, it’s silly to make videos exclaiming the intensity with which you attended something just as meticulously crafted as the manner in which you presented them. In other words, compromise. You don’t have to tap dance to tap your feet. Step on your sole, but don’t crush your soul. Preserve the integrity experienced.
Looking back, I know some of this borders on nonsense. People can bump into you, but you’re more likely to get a fist bump. Everyone embraces that pinscreen pump I mentioned earlier. In ‘EDM,’ everything is better if everybody is into it. DJs feed off the electricity in the audience just like their equipment absorbs the power cords. As an EDM head, I can confidently say it’s satisfying to get into something other than your head––such as your headphones.
Behavior is reciprocal, if not reciprocated. The show is a closed circuit––a close circle. You only get what you give; or, at least, what you pay for. Hopefully. Exactly what is being paid for? Any standards? Old standards? DJs come to play, if not with expectations. We all hit play. They claim to appreciate your energy, but just who is showing up? What’s the difference? Transitions, choices, volume. Are the songs blended well in accordance with how they sound? Loud?
In the EDM scene, behind the scenes, it’s like Oz. We’re off to see the wizard, the man behind the curtain. In this case, however, it’s clear that he is normal. Nevertheless, we want to see him in front of the curtain and projected onto it, too. Pyrotechnics, smoke, everything. In some cases, we even treat him like he’s magical. There is a suspension of belief insofar as there is disbelief. You reconcile your taste with the tide. It’s all about atmosphere. Salty.
It’s as though there’s so much condensation that a small cloud forms overhead, pouring bodily fluids back into pores. All of this could just be humidity. Part of it definitely is. Well, in that case, is it partly humid or is humidity, in part, all of the above? Is it that mist cannon? I should say, mist cannons were the revelation for me. They disperse hydration by blazing myriad droplets into the wind, which carry through the crowd. It’s like being spat on in a desert.
Or seated front and center for Triple H’s intro. I’m talking about the residual moisture you get. It’s like a base tan, but in sweat. You never actually dry until you change shirts. “Take it off! Take it off!” “Take it off, take it all off.” I can’t tell you how many people wore nothing. Maybe next to nothing. In some ways, little to nothing is more exhibitionistic than nothing, if not more exhibitive. Anyway, I’m not talking about cryo jets here. It’s like you put a sprinkler through a fan.
Return to Oz. He knows we’re hooked; has the hooks. Does he actually adapt, biting the fist pump ‘feeding’ him? How far down does the rabbit hole go? Did you take the red pill or the blue pill? The pill? Do you even remember? It’s funny how numerous people desire these experiences so badly, yet put themselves in a position to remember them just as badly. It often seems like turning up to 11 and bobbing 11 times harder, if not just 11 times.
Ultimately, the greatest inflection of decibel latency is in the drop. Analogously, you flip the river and tilt over a bad beat. He’s left you hanging. The world is upside down. Learn to love it, grow to hate it. Nothing happens all the time. Right? It’s where the yarn spins. Minimalism makes something out of nothing. You absorb the implication. Inference interference. Miscue. In many cases, the drop is about what could have been. What is and should never be. What?
What chips are on the table? Do you cash in the chip on your shoulder? Maybe you only need bass. Insofar as it’s on the menu, enjoy the buffet. This is about the enthusiasm. How much weight do you put in? Do you even lift, bro? How low can you go? If it brings you to your knees, I guess you know. I’m all about that bass. Nevertheless, minimal treble can be anticlimactic. The drop can be a let down. It’s all you’re getting; you’re getting it all. All that and a bag of chips.
Just the same, there’s dropping and then there’s plummeting. In lieu of phenomenon, dynamic entertainers have begun to play possum. You fork out the money expecting artists to have your opulence in mind. Anybody going crazy in a crowd is assured of their zeal because of this trust. Instead, unassuming onlookers get body checked in unsurprising distress. Interestingly, new appendages like these may blend very well. Concerts are good for transmitting the new fad.
In all fairness, ‘EDM‘ isn’t overflowing with heritage. It’s fairly new. The zeitgeist causes ambiguity. In consequence, abundant festival flocks never knew any better. Artists promulgate alleged innovation like snake oil salesmen. In places like the Zoo, keepers introduce novel tricks. The naiveté is occasionally harnessed for slightly nefarious intentions. Recently, a number of performers appropriated “True,” by Spandau Ballet, engendering astonishment.
Oddly, Nora En Pure dropped a very pleasant remix of this ballad around the same time everybody else started trolling “True.”
The song is a fighter. The Ultimate Warrior. Ultimate elevator.
Spandau makes for a perfect nosedive: elevator music on the ride down. Let me be clear: I can’t stand crowdsurfing. In general, it’s a couple of morons deciding to impose their expendable companion on everyone else’s necks. Somebody is going to get dropped and then it’s on you, even if the body doesn’t land on you. Incredibly selfish. Even worse is the girl who inevitably sits on her boyfriend’s shoulders like a scarf made out of sandpaper. Worse even than tall people.
She is probably short, unable to view performers. At least the tall people can’t help themselves. This dynamic duo, like Aristophanes‘ Platonic soulmates, can’t be helped. By Zeus, they can’t be bothered. Such behavior definitely has its roots in attention and thrill seeking, if not just high-tops. Maybe they think they have more value as a single person. Greater than the awesum of their parts. I don’t mean to say it’s always girls, but how often do you see guys sitting on them?
Anyway, let’s adopt Ballet as the reality check for our EDM fantasies. Rather than suggesting “Everybody Do Molly,” it could be an endlessly disposable montage. All they have to do is show the audience reacting to itself. Like an infinity mirror. Or some animal finding its reflection. Any animal. It’s not always easy to find yourself in the mirror. In some ways, it’s easier to lose yourself. Almost like practicing eye contact by staring in your own.
Try looking at your eyes in the mirror without staring back at them.
All told, the most important part of this exercise is the engineering. The DJ has to implement the loop skillfully. Take, for example, Deadmau5’s legendary Old McDonald troll. Animals would have been right at home in Electric Zoo: Transformed.
The M in H.A.M. is not for maladroit. This is our song.
I think it’s a good idea to define ‘EDM’ as it becomes increasingly annoying to read in here. On my end, ‘EDM’ is a catchall for whatever reference is convenient. This is how it is typically used: lazily. Phasily. EDM has come to indicate general parameters. Though it is not a genre, many employ it for use in attributing a kind of infrastructure. In turn, ‘EDM’ is uniform. It is mainstream, yet niche. Oxymoronic, yet never paradoxical. Niche lies in exclusivity.
EDM also carries cultural affliction. Together, intimate, warm, warned. Group therapy. Immense drug presence. Although concert experiences improve insofar as commitment is concerned, they’re qualified. Just because ‘everybody’s doing it’ doesn’t mean you should, too. It’s limited. Even though jumping may take you higher, it won’t get you hired. This isn’t a sport; it’s sporty. In any case, I think you know what I mean by “EDM.” When I say “jump,” you say, “how high.”
“Do it like I owe you some money.” It’s your job.
All of this goes to show my inability to excise excess. We should have been here by now. Anyway, everything before has enacted a reasonable premise for the next few steps. On Friday, I was listening to Audien’s performance. I was pretty familiar with his catalogue, but there’s new material coming out; actually, it just came out. His “Daydreams” EP is pretty solid. During the set, I kept thinking, “This guy has the stuff.” Go big. It’s almost like scouting baseball players.
Then he dropped this amulet of a bootleg:
In the context of previous work, this melody fit. I would never have expected Audien to remix this song, but, after hearing it, “Jump” is the kind of synth-laden anthem found in his repertoire. If I wasn’t already on the floor, I was floored. My jaw. I floored it through a couple of enthusiastic audiophiles, neither of whom seemed to understand how awesome this was––or anything. In retrospect, my estimation probably had to do with the world-weary November 2014 release date.
Engaging the audience in trying to move, I noticed a number of aimless animations: the closer you get, the farther gone. A few appeared more moved than moving. Incidentally, innately, my level dropped while I lifted my fingers towards the stage, like the bowsprit of a ship or a bowing spirit. This technique is called “The Flying (Dirty) Dutchman.” It is so named after a guy I noticed navigating swarms of riffraff in a club. This guy had the advantage of being at least 6’3.”
Every once in awhile the guy appears, doomed to roam the neon oceans of sparkling swelter…forever. He floats as the crow flies after consuming alcohol, possibly crowd-surfing, in the hopes he won’t be swallowed by big bass. Where he once flaunted his vaunted disco savvy, he only now haunts it. Getting low on H2O. Would I make it out with my plastic drought? I only hoped that escape was short for escapade. I crossed nigh bloodshot eyes like a red seam.