Hey, beat freaks. Step away from the rave gloves. Take off the kandi bracelets.
It's time to own up. You've exhausted a batch of trends that have metamorphosed the once vibrant, sonically diverse electronic dance music movement into an LED inferno of pacifier-sucking, furry-booted creatures praising deadpan androids behind a laptop.
And we know, you just shelled out $500 to be herded like neon-clad cattle at a larger-than-life music festival (Avicii is headlining, and you haven't heard "Levels" in ages!), but before you embark on your next trip, here are five EDM fads that need to die.
5. Mindless Frat Tanks and Tees
Frat finery has made a lasting impression beyond Greek Row. These eyesores are an EDM staple, but are often just plain chauvinistic. Sure, "Keep Calm and Plur On" is a harmless, unimaginative version of Britain's World War II mantra, and "Rave Rave Rave" is a nod to the overzealousness of those damn ragers. But just because the ladies of EDM don sequined bras and butt-floss on the reg, that doesn't mean bros should pound them with cock logic. If Peace, Love, Unity, Respect is your credo, please don't rep "Cool story hoe, now suck my dick" on your chest.
4. (Poorly) Concealed Drug Use
Oh ravers, why must you conceal your blatant MDMA trip with tacky accessories? OK, so the plastic wayfarers shield your sensitive peepers from blinding LED rays emitting from the stage (but really hide your kooky, drug-induced eyeball path) and the lollipops are a yummy alternative to waking up with bleeding gums. But pacifiers?! There's no reason for a 20-year-old accounting major to be suckling at an artificial teat. Unless you're rolling to SHM, of course.
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The inception of this umbrella term marks exactly when electronic dance music became a monotonous clusterfuck of "drops" and "bangers." Instead of recognizing the nuances of the many dance subgenres, radio house kings (that had thriving careers way before they hit Top 40) like David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, and Calvin Harris quickly became the EDM Oligarchy. Nowadays, there isn't much room on the radio for anything that isn't a glittery, bouncy, synthy build-up backed by whiny female vocals. That's pop culture for ya. But there's more to dance music than glittery, bouncy and synthy.
Yes, "EDM" is a simple way to get your point across: "Yeah bro, they sound like, EDM, bro." But until there is a concerted effort to avoid using the acronym to describe every freaking sound emitted from a DJ booth, we're stuck with this annoyingly ubiquitous term.
2. Molly, Molly, and More Molly
Music and drugs go hand in hand. Dr. Dre fans may blaze a joint to The Chronic or jam band diehards swallow an acid tab at a Phish concert if the timing is right. But these extracurricular substances have never been as synonymous as MDMA is to dance music. Seriously, go to a Deadmau5 show (it's so easy to hate on the mau5), and while the incandescent 3D Mickey dials up his formulaic electro-house, count how many teenyboppers either "pop" a Molly or offer you one. It's an ecstasy goldmine. As Michela Fossati-Bellani states on ProjectQuinn, a rave's hyper-euphoric environment is a breeding ground for PLUR to prosper. But it's not really about the music; it's about the drop that gets you there. And Fossati-Bellani pointedly sums up her point with: "The music just facilitates attitudes of togetherness, and community that the MDMA tends to initiate. Now whether or not it is even possible to responsibly ingest an illegal substance is a totally different story."
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1. The Entire Pop Dance Fad?
OK, this is a stretch. But c'mon ... All of our previous points indicate the need for the EDM generation to buck its own trends. Is it far-fetched to believe that frying brains to repetitive, overcommercialized music while chewing on a binky won't get old? And will we really play some of this saccharine, ear-splitting noise on vinyl in 20 years?
Yes, the revolution's future is unknown. But it's time to rage for change, beat freaks.