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Let’s Talk: Using the term EDM and whether it is helpful/harmful to electronic music.(r/LetsTalkMusic)
I like to keep things simple in an oversaturated sea of fancy specific hyper-names. I look at the purpose of the music. Is it to chill at home? To walk alone at night? To experience with others in a huge rave? Or to play while I’m doing something else?
I think we should look at our definition of electronica, not as rigid camps where producers wave a flag and decide “I make post-cyberpunk future-garage”… It seems like they use terms like that to feel more secure, to feel a sense of belonging.
The true pioneers just don’t give a fuck. They make whatever they want, and let others classify it.
So let’s assume we have to classify, against our own will… We should stay broad and understandable. Why?
Because when someone asks you “Hey, what kind of music are you into at the moment?”, it shouldn’t be so damn complicated for us.
Others get to say “Oh, I love folk”, or “Oh, I love metal” or “I love whatever plays on Spotify”, (implying emerging pop acts).
Why should us electronica lovers have to panic, shuffle the deck of cards and look for the newest, most relevant hyper-name?
I love beats. I love dance music. I love electroacoustic. I love Amon Tobin, I love Flying Lotus, and I love Burial. How the hell am I supposed to encapsulate all these amazing, yet different artists?
Well… I just use electronica.
EDM is an acronym…
Acronyms are cold to outsiders. Sounds elitist. Like, oh, what if the person doesnt know what that stands for?
And IF the person has no idea what electronica is, then it’s great! It opens up the topic, but at least they heard a key word: electronic… implying a platform used to make such music… be it organic Flylo jazzy beats or rigid hard techno with sawtooth synth waves all lined up on the sequencer grid.
Source: I’m a musician, producer, and professional sound engineer.
Another, concrete source: a book called “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life”. Talks about DJs, and how certain early genres were born and labeled… like how DnB came out by speeding up 33rpm breakbeat vinyls to 45rpm.