Tiesto, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia have all become household names due to the infiltration of popular culture by EDM. However, in all the hype these artists and others like them have received in the past few years there are huge DJ talents that are responsible for getting the genre to this point often don’t get the mainstream recognition they deserve.
True DJs who made their names spinning records before anyone with a MacBook could claim to be one. Before the new generation of Producer/DJs who simply “press play” and pre produce their sets.
Two of these legends Danny Tenaglia and John Digweed performed last Saturday at Governor’s island. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to chat with Danny Tenaglia about the show and his feelings on the current state of EDM.
Danny Tenaglia: In my opinion it is generally a good thing because it has opened people’s minds to dance music. It’s crazy to think how much it has grown from the days when I started DJing and producing. My only issue with it is that the quality of the “music” itself has gone down quite a bit. A lot of the big name DJs today are really playing it safe and sticking to a formula. Few of today’s headlining artists seem to be pushing boundaries and in the long run that is going to stifle the growth of the EDM scene. At some point, this will become boring to the crowds. When you look at the history of music, whenever there has been a backlash against a certain music scene, it was when it became formulaic. I feel that variety and evolution are necessary for a scene to grow and I just don’t hear a lot of that in the mainstream “EDM” scene.
HN: I feel like EDM concerts/festivals have started to replace rock concerts in our culture. How important do you feel these events are in the growing popularity of EDM as a whole?
DT: These events are what just may allow EDM to continue to grow. However, it it is essential that the events have smaller stages or tents that showcase different sounds and upcoming artists in order to expose people to new music and not just what is being played by the headliners. I feel that festivals such as Electric Daisy, Ultra and Electric Zoo and countless others have done a great job of providing a variety of musical options to festival-goers. Without variety, the scene cannot grow and the headliners of tomorrow may never be discovered. The journey of musical discovery is what will allow the people who have just recently discovered dance music to remain interested in the scene.
DT: The folks over at Made Event were the ones who came up with the wonderful idea of teaming John and myself up once again for an event at Governor’s Island. John and I have been friends for many years and this was simply long overdue. We have played together a few times at his Bedrock party in the UK and also shared many other stages and booths but I can’t recall them all as well as at what ended up being the very last major party ever at Twilo NYC in 2001, just one week before NYC police came and padlocked it forever! I am very excited to be sharing the stage with him once again as he is an artist that I have always had massive respect for.
Photo Credit: Doug Van Sant