8 Ways Electronic Dance Music Perfectly Explains College Kids

Buildup → Drop Disconnect

I’ve always thought that Electronic Dance Music and grimy college/postgraduate dancefloors have long been a perfect match. This is because:

  • Both have a remarkable ability to create massive expectations that inevitably result in giant letdowns
  • For maximum enjoyment, both require your mind to be addled by choice substances
  • Both are irrationally enjoyed by people who go to Indiana University

And on a more existential “dude, this shit is my life” sort of level, we, as millennials, have this remarkable ability to think that we’re going to effortly fuse our passions with monetary success, all in the pursuit of making a good living for simply being ourselves. Most of us are still at the build-up here, so it’s all good. But the drop might not be.

Checklist Experiences

I went to Sensation White in Copenhagen back in 2010. Granted, this was just when this sort of thing was getting cool, and DJs were slowly becoming dorm-room names. But even then, the whole thing was just an excuse to drink a buch of absinthe, be amazed at 40,000 universally wasted/drugged out people dressed in white, and, by far most importantly, tell other people that I went to Sensation White.

Before it was cool, before it came to the states. A card that I shamelessly play today at pretty much every turn. Because nowadays, there’s nothing cooler than going to a dope event than telling everyone you know you went to that dope event.

Hipster Tastemaking

Anything considered “artistic” or “creative” will inevitably be rooted in the countercultural early adopter hipster credo–liking things before they’re adopted by society at large, because that’s when they’re actually “saying something.” Massification viewed as a terrible thing,  a process that saps the music, clothing, or style of it’s original “meaning” as it becomes diluted to fit the sensibilites of the general populace.

EDM Bros may never admit it, but the one’s who enjoy using the words “underground,” “scene,” and “sell out” in casual conversation are among the biggest proponents of this hipster philosophy. Ultimately, this isn’t exactly a bad thing–a genre without its original base is like a television show that morphs from an island survivor story, to one about a weird hatch, to one about time travel (!), but it's certainly easy to make fun of.

Noise for the Sake of Making Noise

When the lights went out during the Super Bowl, all of us were thrust into an alternate reality in which the only purpose of human existence was to out-joke our friends, and out-observe every single person on social media. If you listened closely, you may have realized that the whole thing was just bunch of competing, cacophonous sounds that were more annoying than anything else, and for some reason caused inexplicable discomfort.

Take that last sentence out of context, and you’ve got yourself some dubstep.


Why Do People Like This?

You’ll be out, but in one those forever-lasting moments of loneliness–waiting on line for the bathroom, having nothing to say to the drunk dude in front of you who’s fiddling aimlessly on his phone. And it’ll hit you. Some sort of overaggressive dubstep track, some girl throwing up in corner, her friend leaving the guy she’s about to get with because “she’d TOTALLY do the same thing for me.” Maybe you’ll wonder how real all the those laughs and smiles are, how much is due to alcohol and how much is due to pretending. Like that fucking music. Is this just one big joke? Or is everyone just too afraid to admit that this shit is way overrated.

(Drunken existential crises are scary)

The Permanent Apocalypse

This is somewhat alluded to here, but “the zeitgeist” seems to college kids and recent postgraduates have embraced this idea that this may very well be the best things get, so we might as well just come up with as many witty analogies as we possibly can to underscore the fact that we “don’t give a fuck.” Electronic Dance Music has fittingly been chosen as the soundtrack to this sort of behavior. One of those things that don’t really need an explanation, but if you want one, see here.

Unexpected Transcension

Maybe it’s because we’re always plugged in, or that 2013 has this remarkable ability to make us forget that we could actually still be surprised by shit. But somewhere between that buildup and the drop, a good EDM track has the remarkable ability to completely shut down the outside world, maximizing any and all opportunity to cease distributing the very fucks discussed in the previous section.


A Changing of the Guard

The fact that it’s now called “EDM” means that it’s now a thing. It’s so much now a thing, I’m pretty sure marketers who use buzzwords to spur business transactions are beginning to incorporate the term into their general vernacular. This is course, is because EDM is now promoting good synergies for the up and coming demos in the pipeline. So much so in fact, that it’s definitely something to grab drinks over, and discuss how to best incorporate it into the overall entertainment vertical for Q2.

This is a very solid 17 minute documentary chroncling the rise of Electronic Music in America, and how electronic music producers are appealing to a new generation of consumers, (AKA us). By Andrew Boggs.   

Funnily enough, Millenials and Postgrads, with their shitty snark and somewhat disdain for, in so many words, “the establishment,” are also becoming a thing that matters. Cheesy metaphor about how we’re fucking with the long-standing playlist, but actually.


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