Congorock at Mansion October 19

Electronic dance music has America by the throat. But how did it get to be this way? Well, we can't say definitively. But it kinda began with blogging hipsters in 2006.

Hell, some of the DJs killing dance floors today started out as bloggers, like Italian electro badass Congorock. And he remembers the good old days when the EDM scene was more like an edgy punk shit-show than a kandi-colored rainbow fest.

New Times: It's awesome that you used to be a blogger.

Congorock: In the beginning, Congorock was a blog where I was posting my own podcasts of stuff I would find on the Internet, mainly obscure disco or dance music. There were a lot of DJs who could beat-match with CDJs, and the only way to stand out for me was to make this podcast and let people know I was actually mixing records during my DJ sets. It all started from there.

A few years ago, it seemed dance music and blogging really evolved together.

Yeah, that's true. What I learn comes from blogs more than magazines. When I was living in Italy, there weren't even any dance music magazines. So everything I wanted to find out was through the Internet or blogs. The first wave of electro, like 2007 and 2008, was strongly influenced by blogs.

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. 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.

Well, I think in 2007 and 2008, people like me who came from a different background — like punk or hardcore or rock or maybe just hipsters — were interested in dance music because it was the most exciting thing happening at the time. A lot of people from rock music started listening to dance music because bands like Justice or Bloody Beetroots had a strong rock influence to their sound.

Nowadays, I think there's been a 360. I think the electronic scene is bigger than ever and the audience is coming from everywhere — I mean, people who used to listen to metal or hip-hop or R&B... The commercial potential of dance music right now makes it appealing to anyone.

Do you think EDM is wimpy?

I have 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 they're having the time of their lives. I think what's happening now, it's something 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.

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Kat Bein is a freelance writer and has been described as this publication’s "senior millennial correspondent." She has an impressive, if unhealthy, knowledge of all things pop culture.

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