This article is a guest contribution by our friend John Chapel, a promoter/DJ who runs the longest-standing electronic music night in our city, and has a Facebook page.
I remember talking to my buddy once about Daft Punk’s Alive 2007 album, which… just an absolutely surprising amount of people never bothered to pick up, even though it’s realistically the only true album that can be called a sequel in the history of music. (Unless you wanna count all those Tony Bennet and Elton John duet albums, but we’re not here to talk about those forgettable stocking stuffers).
“Fuck daft Punk.” he says to me, quite matter-of-factly, as if this hatred of our Godfathers was some public opinion that I wasn’t privy to. “They got too popular. I was rockin’ them back when Homework was the shit. Now, everyone’s listening to them.”
It was around this point that I blacked out. I found a happy place in my head where time stood still. There was a meadow. It was serene. Definitely serene enough for me to take the time I needed to wrap my head around such a strange argument.
When my consciousness finally found its way back to my body, I was looking at him like he was covered in bees.
“Setting aside the undeniable fact that Daft Punk has always, and will always, do amazing shit, while hiding their faces to instill the very notion that it’s about the music and not the celebrity… if you liked them once, I would assume that you liked them on your own volition, right? You heard them, liked the sounds you were hearing, and decided it was good. So how does someone else’s opinion of them, either negative or positive, possibly make you change your mind?”
This mentality seems to be everywhere. Articles upon articles have been written about how EDM music is in trouble because artists like David Guetta and Van Dyk are having their music ghostwritten, and EDM is becoming mainstream, and Britney Spears did a dubstep song, and Paris Hilton is now a DJ, and a dickload of other complaints that seem so rooted in hipster mentality that just typing this is making my computer grow a beard and vomit PBR.
I can understand wanting something of your own. I can understand how one’s love for something, especially music, can feel more self-defining if its obscure. But the doomsaying about the future of EDM is a bit grandiose. It’s pretty easy to just simply NOT listen to David Guetta, for example. I don’t listen to him, and my immediate habitat is pretty great. It’s sort of like making the argument that all food tastes like shit now, because Gordon Ramsay has a TV show.
Music exists on its own, as art. Its created, its put out to the public, and it is then completely in the hands of the public to interpret it. Art as a whole does not need other individual pieces to continue being art, or to continue being interpreted. I don’t personally like Modern Art, as I find it boring. I also don’t like sculpture. Even if the entire world agreed with me, that certainly wouldn’t mean that the Mona Lisa, or Starry Night, or Jackson Pollack, or Picasso were in any sort of danger of losing popularity (let alone legitimacy or quality), simply because we all decided we hate clay pots and Andy Warhol.
“Music exists on its own, as art. Its created, its put out to the public, and it is then completely in the hands of the public to interpret it. “
So stop. Stop hipstering this thing of ours. Paris Hilton being a DJ is humorously entertaining. Guetta getting caught fake-playing on unpowered CDJs is funny. Van Dyk having his songs ghostwritten… realistically, nobody should even care one way or the other.
I promise you, worse things will happen, people will keep dancin’, and we’ll all keep playin’.