A Spellbound Ode to EDM

By: Abby Adler  |  December 1, 2016


I’m cramped in between strangers in a small, dark venue by the name of Webster Hall. My face is shoved into random armpits as I desperately try to grasp my friends’ hands so they don’t slip away. Neon ensemble drenched in sweat, pushing my way to the the front as aggressively as a small female can. This is my idea of a good time. What could possibly make all this discomfort worth it? My boys right up there on stage: Yellow Claw, San Holo, Cesqeaux & Mike Cervello. These kings don’t know a measly peasant like myself exists, but I’ve been admiring them all night long. Or more specifically, admiring the music they produce. The music that has taken over every single person’s body for the night. The music that throbs and vibrates through the roof and out into the city. The music that makes us feel as if we have entered a different realm: electronic dance music (EDM).

EDM has attained a special place in my heart over the years. While it originally gained popularity in Europe, it reached mainstream status in the US in recent years. DJ David Guetta helped increase EDM’s popularity in the US by collaborating with pop-stars such as Nicki Minaj, Akon, and Fergie in their songs. Through incorporating EDM into American pop music, fans of pop became more familiar with the genre, which helped EDM artists gain access to a wider fan base in the US. Social media also played a role in hyping up the EDM scene in the States. It’s a genre inherently tied with technology, so the internet as a marketing platform made sense. Naturally, EDM artists embraced the Internet early on and utilized its potential more effectively than other genres. The music gained further popularity via huge EDM festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland, Electric Zoo, and Ultra. For elite DJs, these festivals are the biggest money-makers.

I’m so blessed that EDM found its way to the USA, as I never would have discovered it if it had stayed in its European bubble. I first became an EDM junkie back in my high school days; artists such as Tiesto, Nervo, Skrillex, and Knife Party were the backdrop to my life, and I still hold them very near and dear. Currently, EDM is the true-blue companion that pumps me up for exams, interviews, and those dreaded early mornings. It patiently waits for me to get through long, dreary weeks swamped with work before surprising me with a magical night on the town. It’s the cherry on top of my weekends. It’s my guide, beckoning me to embrace its sound. There’s something extraordinary about letting go and surrendering your entire being to the beat. The bass becomes a part of you, compels your hips to sway back and forth for eternity. Your arms swing upward, reaching for nirvana, as multi-colored lights bounce all around you. Everyone. Can’t. Stop. Jumping. We’re one ecstatic entity, dancing from all different walks of life, but going bananas together in harmony.

The intensity reaches its peak at my favorite element of popular EDM: the notorious drop. While many perceive the drop as too cliché and expected nowadays, that one-of-a-kind drop that simply cannot be replicated ever again comes around once in awhile. And for that one, special drop, my gratitude for it will never die. As ridiculous as it sounds, I perceive a classic EDM track as a microcosm of life. There’s the simple intro with a constant rhythm, just like the days that are seemingly ordinary and dull in our own lives. Then the build-up comes—those instances where we could sense that something significant was about to take place, even though we may not know what it is. And then it happens: the drop, the moments that are so huge and exhilarating that we know will definitely go on to become milestones when we look back. Maybe I’m looking into it too much. Maybe it’s nothing more than party music, right? Just don’t judge it until you have experienced it. If you fall in love as quickly as I did, the accepting EDM family will take you in with open arms.

Otherwise, I guess I’ll keep dancing on my own. After all, when the bass drops, so do my problems. It’s essential to always leave room to let loose. Whether it be trance, house, dubstep, or electro swing, I’ll always be ready to rage when it comes to EDM.