No talent is required to perform electronic dance music

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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.

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539 Comments

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Plum Duff

Jul 4, 2012 at 1:44pm

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...

Darryl Wright

Jul 4, 2012 at 1:48pm

But.... I.... You... What the... Oh f__k off. (sigh)

Darryl Wright

Jul 4, 2012 at 1:56pm

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.

Elburz Sorkhabi

Jul 4, 2012 at 2:02pm

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.

Mia

Jul 4, 2012 at 2:11pm

Paris' career has gone the gamut. From twiddling knobs in the dark to...twiddling knobs in the dark.

Zuggy

Jul 4, 2012 at 2:26pm

This entire article can be summarized in a single sentence. "STOP LIKING WHAT I DON'T LIKE."

NeighbourMusic

Jul 4, 2012 at 2:28pm

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.

PM

Jul 4, 2012 at 2:28pm

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.

Ben Nevile

Jul 4, 2012 at 2:28pm

awesome.

HM

Jul 4, 2012 at 2:39pm

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.

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