“Well, that’s not real music,” my friend would say as he switched out of my deadmau5 playlist on Spotify to put on some classic rock. This seems to be the popular opinion.
Electronic is a such a wide genre of music, encompassing EDM, house, techno, dubstep, glitch hop, drum and bass, ambient, moombahton, chillstep, future retro, grime and complextro, and that bare scratches the surface. Electronic music is as deep as it is wide with niches vibing to every frequency on the spectrum. With a mass appeal like that, why is this scene getting so much hate?
Here are the most common arguments you’ll hear: It’s just pressing play on a computer; it’s not like it takes any skill, like playing a real instrument.
Performing electronic music for a crowd can be as complicated as the performer wants it to be. Like deadmau5 said, it might boil down to simply hitting the spacebar on the keyboard, but it could also be as complicated as DJ Craze getting in the zone, precisely turntabling his way to exact cue points to create his lightning-paced beat.
This choose-your-own-difficulty aspect of electronic music puts it into a unique position. Paris Hilton pulled off a DJ gig, and Shawn Wasabi mashed together 153 of his favorite songs into something the world had never seen before. It can be easy to mistake an electronic performance as skilless, but not only does it require expertise to perform, the real skill comes with the production of the music itself.
Another argument people will bring up is that electronic music isn’t music; it’s just the same pattern repeating over and over without vocals. Sorry to break it to you, but that’s what all music is: patterns and repetition. In fact, there are studies that show repetition is the reason why music is appealing. If you ask anyone who plays an instrument, they’ll say patterns are what make up a good song.
Some also argue that music production is simple but being a bedroom producer is a huge part of the electronic music culture. This scene is evolving, and the internet is the new underground. Kids taking their music ideas, turning them into something tangible and posting them online for the world to hear are all part of the culture. The world found fresh sounds like Chet Faker, Ruxell and Portland’s own Echos because of it.
Also, just because something is accessible does not mean it lacks creativity. It takes talent to create a rhythm and build music, and this goes for everything from creating your own track from scratch to flipping a sample and remixing an old favorite.
I get that electronic music may not be for everyone, but it’s still considered an influential aspect of the music industry. Most of the music people listen to, whether it’s the Top 40 pop, rock or rap, is most likely electronically produced. In the digital world we live in today, it’s rare for any music not to be electronically recorded, processed, mixed and mastered, so quite frankly, a large part of music is electronic.