In 1990s the emergence of Ibiza’s super clubs brought Electronic Dance Music (EDM) to the fore, and it has been picking up ever since: Berlin’s Love Parade, an electronic music festival which has been permanently cancelled in the aftermath of a stampede, attracted more than a million people. International Pop artists have been collaborating with European DJs like David Guetta, Calvin Harris and others to give rise to a composite genre of music, Electro-pop. Also, Electronic music has been at the top of all chartbusters for a significant part of the year, and with EDM labels being valued at billions of dollars, Electronic music, it seems, has come of age and become truly mainstream.
In India, the progress of EDM has been slow and plagued by repetitive, pre mixed songs. There has been a lack of initiative on artists’ part and the audience too has been somewhat reluctant to listen to anything new. But EDM has been steadily gaining visibility in music festivals and even in Bollywood remixes. In fact, from a different point of view, the DJ scene was here before as well, but it never entered the terrain of mainstream music. But that’s hardly true now: the Van Burren’s concert is a testimonial to the claim, drawing in thousands of EDM lovers and pulling off an incredible live show. In the opinion of many seasoned artists, India is soon going to become the hotbed of electronic music, there are several supporting indicators for that. One is the amazingly lively and responsive Indian audience; no artist likes to play before an audience that does not react to his/her manoeuvres.The other is the infrastructure for concerts:We have the best to offer when it comes to speakers, sound equipment and light equipment which can stand up to the test of outdoor, open air concerts.
EDM isn’t just a craze; it is the sound of the current generation. Just like any artistic endeavour, EDM will find its destined practitioners sooner or later. As of now, not too many people find themselves cut out for EDM which is why although a lot more EDM artists are putting up their music online, the scene is nowhere close to so called ‘mainstream’ music.
…But let us not paint such a dismal picture. As a matter of fact, a lot of young people pursue DJ’ing and EDM on their own but it’s not more than a hobby, not like other thriving genres like Fusion and Pop. This in itself is great but contributes little to EDM’s rise as a musical culture. Another notable trend is the increasing availability of, and buyers for, DJ consoles and mixers, turn tables and various other DJ accessories to cultivate their half-formed interests, and this surely indicates the willingness to take electronic music seriously in India, not just as spectators but also as creators. This aspect itself makes us hopeful that EDM in India is finally gaining ‘rhythm’.