5 Songs That Will Change Your Mind About Electronic Dance Music
When it comes to electronic dance music you tend to hear the same criticisms over and over:
“It’s just a dude pressing play on an iPod”
“They’re not playing real instruments so they’re not real musicians”
“It’s all just sounds like WOMP WOMP WOMP to me”
“Why would you pay to go to a concert where it’s just some dude jumping around on a stage?”
To the people who have never been particularly taken with EDM those seem like valid complaints. I mean, why would you pay $50 to go to a concert where some dude just presses play on a laptop? Or where there’s no live instruments being played?
Like I said, those seem like valid complaints…but the key word here is “valid.”
Give me 5 chances to change your mind, and if I don’t by the end of this list you can go on with your life hating “That rave stuff.”
1. Sexual Healing (Kygo Remix)
Nothing about Kygo screams “rage” or “WOMP WOMP WOMP” in any way imaginable, and nearly all of his music is perfect for just chilling out during a day with friends. His music tends to be smooth and melodic rather than bass heavy, which sets him apart from the usual “Let’s drop the bass and lose our minds” viewpoint that most critics of EDM have.
2. Will Calls (Diplo Remix)
For reference, this is the original song:
Now listen to the Diplo remix off of Soundcloud.
Yeah, completely different. Just because Diplo isn’t sitting down with a violin and a piano doesn’t mean he’s not composing music. Pick any conventional instrument, like a cello or trumpet. That instrument has a set range of sounds it can make depending on what types of accessories you have at your disposal (such as mutes or tone intensifiers). No matter what you do, a trumpet will never make the same sound as a cello, and the F# you play will always sound the same as long as your instrument is properly tuned. No surprises, just consistency.
With EDM the possibilities of sounds you can create is endless. Do you recognize any instruments in that Diplo remix once it hits the 1:00 mark? I don’t think so. While Diplo isn’t sitting there with a trumpet belting out notes to use in his remix, he also isn’t sitting on his butt smashing buttons on his laptop and randomly coming out with a song. It takes just as much thought and musical ability to create new sounds and transform a slow, soft song to something you could hear in a club atmosphere as it does to play Beethoven’s 5th.
3. Hourglass – Zedd
Speaking of not necessarily playing “real” instruments, notice how the song is centered heavily around a prominent piano melody and that there’s no perceived “rush” to get to some bass-dropping-head-banging-WOMP-WOMP-WOMP notes. The piano melody is the center of the song and that melody is what hooks and carries you through to the end.
4. Dum Dee Dum – Keys N Krates
“But none of these people are performing these live! They’re just playing them off of a laptop!”
I could argue about the “just playing off a laptop” bit, but I won’t. Instead here’s Keys N Krates, a group who utilize a drummer, synthesizer/keyboard as well as the usual turntables. And before you say it, no. Neither the drummer nor the keyboardist are up there “faking it.”
5. Take Me Home feat. Bebe Rexha – Cash Cash
This is honestly here because if I haven’t convinced you by now, then you’re probably into really heavy Top 20 pop stuff, which is fine. Cash Cash fits that category perfectly with catchy lyrics that stick with you all day without being annoying and the song is “light” enough that you can listen to it in any setting, be it walking to class or driving in rush hour traffic.