No talent is required to perform electronic dance music

Let’s just cut the shit for a minute and say it: electronic dance music is the stupidest music on the planet. It even has a fittingly dumb name, EDM, which makes me cringe every time I see it. More so than the acronym, though, the reason it sucks is because the amount of talent required to perform it is precisely none.

Case in point: Paris Hilton recently made her DJ debut in Brazil. She can’t give a competent on-screen blowjob—Christ, you just put it in your mouth and spin your head around like Linda Blair—but she sure can throw down Gotye remixes and Avicii tracks to big crowds. Hilton even pushed a few buttons and it looked like she knew what she was doing. The best part about the whole spectacle was how it showed that trotting out some attractive and vapid idiot with no qualifications to DJ, other than that they have a following, isn’t exclusively a Vancouver thing. (Hi, Mayor Gregor Robertson. I loved your set!)

At about the same time, one of the genre’s biggest stars, deadmau5, came forward and said what we’ve suspected all along: DJing is fucking easy and all the knob-turning that goes on at a “live” EDM show is a sham. The refreshingly candid man behind the mouse mask claims that if you’re remotely tech-savvy you could learn how to do his show in about an hour. It’s just pressing play and that’s all there is to it.

Surely this means the current dance-music craze is done. I mean, Paris is on the gravy train and deadmau5 said that all these $100-a-ticket arena shows are Milli Vanilli with excessive strobes. No, of course not. See, the fans of this stupid fucking music are fucking stupid too. They’re still lining up to slap down their hard-earned money from their dead-end jobs so they have somewhere to pop a couple pills and dance like no one is watching on a Saturday night.

Some will be quick to point out that producing dance music takes a lot of talent, as there’s no magic “make awesome dance track” button that you can push and then you’re done. However, if that’s the case, why does every damn song sound exactly the same? House, electro, dubstep, moombahton, and any other genres that are created this week and fall under the catchall term EDM aren’t something to get pretentious about. It’s dumb music to get fucked up to and nothing more. A four-on-the-floor beat with a sample of me furiously wanking it would make your typical E-tard lose their shit on the dance floor. Granted, I’m a screamer.

“What about my mixing?” you retort. I hate to break it to you but no one cares about that pretentious shit except chin-stroking nerds. Then there’s the ever-popular “Selecting the right track at the right time takes skill.” Because, clearly, scrolling through iTunes and finding a song that a room full of people tweaking on bath salts will enjoy requires a PhD in curatorial studies. I’ve seen a fucking jukebox rock a crowd better than 95 percent of the DJs out there. So no rolling your eyes at me the next time I request that song Rihanna did with Calvin Harris. It’s a party starter! That boring minimal-techno shit you fell in love with in Berlin won’t fly over here, you self-important Fleshlights.

As tempting as it may be, let’s not fault Paris, deadmau5, Avicii, Steve Aoki, or even Skrillex. Ripping off clueless rubes is smart business. And at least they’re giving them what they want: obnoxious party music in a dark room where they can get messed up. In a perfect con, the mark walks away not knowing they’ve been taken. I’m not falling for it, though. For $100 you should always demand more than mere knob-twiddling. Read into that statement however you like.

Comments (535) Add New Comment
Plum Duff
I knew this TWENTY FUCKING YEARS AGO. I said as much to anyone who would listen (and some who wouldn't).

But did it stop there? Noooo...
73
58
Rating: +15
Darryl Wright
But.... I.... You... What the... Oh f__k off. (sigh)
57
60
Rating: -3
Darryl Wright
There must be something wrong with my browser because I missed the section where you switch out of ironic 'douche'-voice to actually give some real thought to what separates a good DJ (Dieselboy, Kid Koala) from a bad one (Paris Hilton). It's also worth noting that Deadmau5 does not identify himself as a DJ and hates when people do. Why? Because he doesn't DJ. He just plays his stuff and twiddles the knobs while wearing a big head. I think of his presence as more akin to a conductor.
95
82
Rating: +13
Elburz Sorkhabi
Wow, my 10 year old cousin is more informed than you in regards to electronic music (and music in general). Please do the world a favor and never voice your opinion publicly again.
Rating: +11
Mia
Paris' career has gone the gamut. From twiddling knobs in the dark to...twiddling knobs in the dark.
65
60
Rating: +5
Zuggy
This entire article can be summarized in a single sentence. "STOP LIKING WHAT I DON'T LIKE."
Rating: +68
NeighbourMusic
go fuck yourself... hate all you want on this new wave of pop dance shit, that's fair game, but don't think your hyperbolic indie-smugness can eclipse 35 years or more of sweaty, sexy good times globally thanks to DJs who know their shit.

if it wasn't for Disco and late-nite dance culture, we'd still be scared of fags, blacks, and anyone who didn't listen to the same predictable "rebellious' rock garbage.

Do yourself a favour and ignore the hype (ever notice how that's the real product of the modern entertainment industry?) and try to imagine a world with local scenes, history, and personalities that elevated dance music to one of the highest art forms of the modern world, bringing people together sometimes briefly, sometimes for weekends at a time, to feel love and interconnection.
Rating: -18
PM
I just like to dance and I enjoy dancing to that kind of music as do a lot of people. Does it mean I like it all, no, does it mean I am "messed up in a dark room", no. I understand you clearly don't like it however your negativity is really not appreciated and your opinion really doesn't matter. There are enough harsh negative things in this world due to people like you. If you honestly just sat down to write this article I suggest you find a hobby, job, GF/BF....something to spare us the time wasted reading your poorly written article.
67
92
Rating: -25
Ben Nevile
awesome.
80
66
Rating: +14
HM
It also doesn't take much talent to write an expletive laced, stream of conciousness piece that lacks any kind of real critical response. Usually pieces like this are written by those who are venting out frustrations over their own failures to pull off the easiest thing in the world to do. It's one thing to rag on the music and genre, to not like something, to even call it stupid, but to just go ahead and brand the fans, and followers of a thing as "fucking stuipd" is just as pretentious as the argument you are trying to make. Perhaps in the future you will deliver a more thought out, less diarrhetic form of commentary.
Rating: +25
This Article is Shit
"Some will be quick to point out that producing dance music takes a lot of talent, as there’s no magic “make awesome dance track” button that you can push and then you’re done. However, if that’s the case, why does every damn song sound exactly the same?"

How to write this article:
I. Write out badly phrased, extremely subjective argument
II. Do not elaborate
III. Go jack off to Naruto hentai

Get a job.
94
64
Rating: +30
Some dude
Electronic music is, and always has been, terrible. Perhaps, Elburz Sorkhabi, you just need to get off your high horse (see what I did there? of course not, you've taken too many designer drugs) and listen to some good ol' music composed in a proper way.

However, this is not what the article is saying you blithe and ignorant bastards. The author is *clearly* stating that the live DJ'ing scene is absolutely facetious at the best of times, and that there is *no skill* involved other than the presentation of working hard. Sure, it could've taken them eight hours to make their uninteresting drivel and name it, but it takes absolutely 0 skill, and 0 ingenuity when it comes to showcasing work. That's it, that's all. They didn't insult your genre (entirely), and (even if they did!) you're reading *their* article. About *their* opinion. Given to you 'straight'.

umad, jellyscrubnubhaters,
-Some Dude
88
85
Rating: +3
Just Let Me Say
DJ KRUSH. classic shit.

P HILTON. just shitty.

51
54
Rating: -3
J Com
As a DJ for over 15 years....I generally agree with you. I've always hated the DJ-as-legitimate performer myth that allows for high ticket prices and millionaire DJs. The premium lies in the psychology of hearing someone of any notoriety hit play and mix vs hearing a resident or local DJ do the same. Most touring producers forego the costs and hassles of organizing a live performance in favour of becoming glorified playlists with filter controls. I think it's shocking that people willingly pay the same price for an EDM DJ performance as they would for a true live performance. That's not to say that there isn't a lot involved in being a good DJ (beatmatching, harmonizing, flow, promotion and staying on the cutting edge of music and technology) but it's laughable that any of these attributes could warrant a sold out arena at $100 a ticket.
88
46
Rating: +42
Self Important (Irony?)
Satire or Douchefuckery?

Smacks of a failed journalism student and further failures in music.
73
60
Rating: +13
Andrew P
So, I like electronic music but make no argument about its validity or worth next to real music. That said, this was hilarious. Would read again.
63
49
Rating: +14
DJ Audi0
You are one clueless bastard. Just because one rich whore massively fails at her attempt to DJ, you don't have the right to use her as a key reason as to why EDM sucks. EDM is just like any other musical genre, it can be inspirational, moving, dancy, and yes, requires talent to create! As for DJing, it is no easier than playing the guitar and requires considerable more talent than screamo (strumming a guitar and yelling into a mic) or rap (talking fast about smoking weed and banging hoes). Electronic music production and DJing is no simple task, and I highly doubt you've never attempted either, as you are grossly misinformed. EDM is a fantastic thing, and it is here to stay!
66
97
Rating: -31
Mathieu
So whats the difference between an analog and an electronic instrument? None? that's what I thought.
50
75
Rating: -25
DavidH
Mann wrote: "Case in point: Paris Hilton recently made her DJ debut in Brazil. She can’t give a competent on-screen blowjob—Christ, you just put it in your mouth and spin your head around like Linda Blair."

Ummm ... have you ever had a blowjob? Have you ever had a blowjob performed by a woman? Have you ever met a woman? When was the last time you saw your dick?

For future reference, the woman's head doesn't spin around . If it does, well, you should call for an exorcist.

You are to music what Don Cherry is to hockey - an ignorant, uninformed blowhard. I can only assume that the Straight has run out of money to pay real columnists.
64
66
Rating: -2
Bradley
Henry Rollins from ten years ago writes for the Straight now? Cool!
45
61
Rating: -16

Pages

Add new comment
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.