Posts Tagged ‘Deadmau5’

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is a term used to describe music produced by disc jockeys (DJs.) With the help of turntables, drum machines, synthesizers, laptops, etc they’re able to express their musical innovativeness in the form of beats and sounds. I never really fully understood its appeal until I accidentally saw Tiesto play live in Vegas: it made me a believer. But EDM’s increasing popularity over the last few years has lead to a floodgate of DJs vying for our attention and for the novice listener, it can be overwhelming. So I’ve broken it down for you (and me.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              90s Dance Music – consists essentially of anything off Dance Mix ’92-’95, including Robyn S.’ “Show Me Love”; plus the likes of C+C Music Factory and Snap! By the mid-90s, we were all graced by the presence of the infamous Gino Beats (think Joee’s “Angel”): tracks indistinguishable from one another because the same beat was used over and over again in the same way. This also involved a lot of fist pumping (Jersey Shore Guidos are so behind the times.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Techno/Trance – most often associated with rave culture: one synonymous with glow sticks, copious amounts of Ecstasy and beaded bracelets. The beats had more of a dream quality to it, almost hypnotic. Although one could still dance, it was more mellow and chilled out, less aggressive compared to other styles. Artists include Paul Van Dyk and Paul Oakenfold.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Electronic Music – as its name indicates, it has a stronger electronic presence to it. More digital and sharper sounds as opposed to the heavier bass beats found in other forms. Daft Punk and Deadmau5 fall into this category, both sharing the unique characteristic that they dress in costume every time they perform. For them it’s not about being seen, it’s about being heard and making the turntables sing, keeping the focus on the music. Though the large mouse-shaped head is a tad bit distracting.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 House Music – originating in Chicago, it was supposedly named after 80s Chicago nightclub “The Warehouse,” where people went to dance. Also supposedly named after the type of music you would find at home. House music possesses some consistent musical elements (kick/bass drum on every beat), but for the most part varies in style (ie progressive house, deep house etc.) Vocals are common but generally as an after thought compared to the beats. Tiesto was instrumental in bringing it to North America; along with Swedish House Mafia and Chicago-based Kaskade.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             House Pop Music – a term coined by me to describe house music that has been mainstreamed to the max by not only adding strong vocals, but those of big pop celebrities like Rihanna and Usher. Sure the resulting success of the track is mutually beneficial for both parties involved, and I’m no EDM junkie, but this screams sell out. It’s taking something from the underground and overexposing it. The vocals take over the track and the beats become the after thought. David Guetta and Calvin Harris currently reside here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mash-Up Music – involves taking pre-existing tracks and mixing them together, instead of producing beats and sounds and mixing them together. This requires an incredibly creatively genius mind in order to recognize which sounds will end up in matrimony. Girl Talk is one of the best out there.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Young House – music produced by a group of twenty-something DJs that have appeared over the last few years and taken the music world by storm. They’ve used the mounting accessibility to house music as a platform to illustrate their raw talent, and attempt to separate themselves from the rest by putting their own spin (no pun intended) on it. Avicii, Skrillex and Afrojack – all 25 and under – belong here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              EDM will once again be showcased at Ultra Musical Festival in Miami over the next two weekends, and this year’s line up is doused in the best of the best. Most EDM DJs, with the exception of a select few (including Canada’s Deadmau5,) hail from somewhere in Europe; EDM having such a big presence in North American culture has to be saying something. It’s music that makes you feel good and there’s never anything wrong with that.
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The final day’s line up included Ryan Bingham and the Horses, 80s band The Cars and alt-rockers Arctic Monkeys. I got an early start because I wanted to see Toronto’s own City and Colour. I’ve seen them live twice but have such a strong love for them that I had to see them again. The sun was beating down stronger than any of the other days with zero humidity. Beads of sweat were dripping down from everywhere by just standing still. I’ve never seen them this up close and Dallas and the boys were as heartwarming as ever, giving shout outs to Canada as often as possible, telling stories about how they used to attend Lollapalooza growing up and being humbled by being able to now play it. There’s just something so Canadian about these guys, that for those 60 minutes, it felt like home.

The next few hours consisted of me walking around the park, taking in the atmosphere, checking out the food stalls (anything from gyros to chicken tikka to pulled pork), getting some great swag (I’m a huge sucker for band t-shirts) and experiencing the oh-so-disgusting port-a-potties. Shudder. After a brief rainstorm (not helping the mud puddle situation) during which bands continued to play, and hard core fans remained outside the sun came back out just in time to catch Nas and Damian Marley. Nas was great on the mic, rocking a Blue Jays hat, and Damian even did his own rendition of his father’s “Could You Be Loved”. The Foo Fighters were headlining and though I saw them years ago, I was especially looking forward to hearing them play an acoustic set, specifically for “Everlong”. But about ten minutes in, the skies turned into the apocalypse and within seconds it started to rain like I’ve never seen before, and I got drenched. I was uncomfortable, covered in mud, shivering and had water coming out of my pockets. My co-goers didn’t have the strength to wait it out, but I had to. In a true battle of me vs. the music, the music won.

People were walking around barefoot, others created mud slides, a lot of people losing clothing. I trudged through the mud almost losing a flip flop along the way, and made it over to watch Kid Cudi. The storm slowly became a drizzle and he got the crowd going right away: people were dancing around, feeling the music and it was clear that we were all there for the music. After warming up to a few of his tracks, I made my way over to see Deadmau5. His stage set up was glorious with lasers, Deadmau5 heads and strobe lights flashing along with the beats. The mud had reached my calves by now, I was still soaking wet but as soon as I heard my fellow Canadian remix Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, all I could do was listen, take it all in and appreciate every moment.

What a weekend! I realize the idea of standing all day in the blistering heat, sweating, people crowding your personal space and if you’re barely 5′ like me, not having the greatest visibility may not sound like your cup of tea. And of course it’s more comfortable watching shows when you have a seat, when they’re elevated and you’re in your comfort zone. But I kid you not, there is nothing in the world that can replicate the energy that you feel when you’re right in the middle of it all. Sure, you can watch videos, but it’s just not the same. Your heart starts racing and it literally feels like you’re having the time of your life. The whole crowd moving together, singing together and just feeling the music together, is something everyone needs to experience because I can’t even describe it – and that’s saying something.