Congorock on Blogging, Hipster Electro, and Whether EDM Is Actually Wimpy
EDM has America by the throat. But how did it get to be this way?
Well, we can't say definitively. Although, it kinda started with blogging hipsters in 2006.
Hell, some of the DJs making waves on the scene today started out as bloggers, like Italian electro badass Congorock. He remembers the good old days when the dance music scene was more like an edgy punk shit-show than a kandi-colored rainbow fest.
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Crossfade: It's awesome that you used to be a blogger.
Congrorock: "Congorock," in the beginning, was a blog where I was posting my own podcasts of other stuff I would find on the Internet, mainly obscure disco or dance music that I thought was interesting to listen to. It was the best way for me to stand out when I started DJing. There were a lot of DJs that could beat-match with CDJs, and the only way to stand out for me was to make this podcast and let people know that I was actually mixing records during my DJ sets. It all started from there. And then when I actually started doing production, I began my DJ-producer career and quit blogging. But I still keep an eye on blogs.
A few years back, like in '06 and '07, it seemed dance music and blogging really evolved together.
Yeah, that's true. Personally, dance music belongs to blogs. Like, what I learn comes from blogs more than magazines. When I was living in Italy, there wasn't even any dance music magazines. So everything I wanted to find out, it was through the Internet or blogs. The first wave of electro, like 2007 and 2008, was strongly influenced by blogs. I think it was multiple factors working together to make electro big at that stage. Now I think we're at a different stage of that electronic music scene. Probably blogs don't have the same appeal as before. Or probably they have, I dunno. But I have other resources to find my music, what I'm gonna play. Right now, I'd rather talk to my circle of DJ friends to find out what's cool and what's new and things like that.
What are you listening to now?
I really like two producers and they're both my friends: Clockwork from L.A. and GTA from Miami. It's great because I dig a lot of their stuff and they're also good friends. So basically, there's a stronger friendship between me and them. Other than dance music, I still listen to a little bit of punk and hardcore because that's where I come from. And right now I'm listening to Converge, a metal punk band. It's pretty sick.
It seems a lot of people who got into electro in those early days used to listen to punk. But now with everything entering the mainstream, the scene and sounds are becoming more progressive. What do you think of that shift? Are you influenced by it at all?
Well, I think in 2007 and 2008 people like me that came from a different background -- like punk or hardcore or rock or maybe just hipsters -- were interested in dance music because dance music was the most exciting thing happening at the time. So a lot of people from rock music started listening to dance music because bands like Justice or Bloody Beetroots had a strong rock influence in their sound. Nowadays, I think there's a 360, like the crowd comes from any kind of scene. I think the electronic scene is bigger than ever and the audience is coming from anywhere. I mean, people that used to listen to metal or hip-hop or R&B, I think that the commercial potential of dance music right now makes it appealing to anyone.
I can't say if I like it or not. I think there might be a generational gap between me and them to understand what's really going on and why they started listening to dance music now, like in 2012. But I think that the exposure of dance music makes it easier to find out about dance music than five years ago, and it's a good thing. You can see it from different perspectives. Fortunately, it's a good thing for the market and what we're all doing here. But maybe my background is different from the kids that listen to dance music now. I don't think it's a bad thing. It's just different. We're just a different generation.
We recently took a satirical look at the scene and decided EDM was really wimpy. People got really mad. But do you think EDM is wimpy? Or are we just being assholes?
I have a great respect for the kids and the crowds. Even if I sometimes feel there's a big generational gap between me and them, I still think that they're having the time of their lives. I think what's happening now, it's something that I always compare to what happened to rock music in the '80s and all the metal bands were like the most extreme acts that got the craziest crowds. I think the way people feel at electronic shows now is the same way their parents were looking at metal shows 30 years ago. They wanna have a blast, they wanna have fun. Probably, I think there's more positive ideals behind this overall scene than the other scenes. Which maybe the other scene, like the rock scene, had more negativity in it. Meanwhile, I think these kids are having a pretty positive vibe when they go to shows. So yeah, I kind of like it.
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