Why are people so fascinated by art? At first it may seem like nothing more than the colors or sounds that people are drawn to. That’s all art really is on the surface. Sounds and/or images arranged in a meaningful way. However, if art was only appreciated at surface level, it would have died out a long long time ago. Instead, art is one of the most valuable things we as humans have created, and artists are some of the richest people on Earth, but why? Well it’s because art puts ineffable ideas into tangible form.
When someone pays a million dollars for a painting, they aren’t doing so solely because they like the picture. They’re spending an insane amount of money because that painting is an expression of who the painter is on the inside, and because they can relate to that expression.
Music is the same way. Songs may consist of cool sounds, but the reason people want to hear it over and over again is because how that song makes them feel, and by understanding how music makes you feel, you begin to better understand yourself. EDM is no different. In fact, I’d say EDM is one of the best genre’s of music for self-discovery. Here’s why.
One of the most common reasons people hate on EDM is because it’s “repetitive.” Unce. Unce. Unce. So many haters have trouble understanding how people can like something so basic. Although I would argue that by learning to appreciate something that basic, you learn to appreciate complexity as well. Regardless of how complicated something may seem, pretty much everything can be boiled down to handful of fundamental ideas, and if you can appreciate that, you can pretty much appreciate anything. Obviously if you’re not a fan of the more simplistic subgenres of EDM, that doesn’t mean you’re a unappreciative S.O.B. making everything more complicated for yourself, but the ability to appreciate the world around you on a fundamental level is valuable quality. It’s nice that there’s a form of art that can help people to attain said quality
Subgenres on subgenres on subgenres. No matter how well you think you know the difference between them, you’re either currently incorrect, or some other subgenre is about to be invented that will make you incorrect. It is not uncommon for any genre of music to have innumerable different categorizations, but what separates EDM from the rest in this regard is that the subgenres sound literally nothing alike. With rock, so many of these little subgenres sound essentially the same. Is there really such a huge difference between grunge and alternative? Not really. Both are heavy on the guitar, both use mostly simplistic rhythms, and neither relies on complex composition or instrumental virtuosity. The primary differentiation comes from when and where the music was made.
On the contrary, other than the fact that some kind of beat is involved (which can be said of literally every kind of music ever) the similarities between techno and trap, dubstep and trance, house and Dnb are pretty much nonexistent. Because of these defining differences among subgenres, fans of EDM have to work much harder to discover which ones they like and why, and by doing so we can learn even more about ourselves.
Hearing It Live
When someone is at a concert, the last thing they’re thinking about is probably how well they know themselves. If the artist is doing their job properly, then the crowd shouldn’t even really be thinking at all. They should be completely swept up in the beautiful music, and if there is time for a thought to sneak past that, it should be along the lines of, “God, this is so awesome.” The thing about EDM in a live scenario is that the music is only half of it. The other half comes from the environment which includes both the location and the people around you. There will never be an EDM concert in a dark, individually-seated theater where everyone is expected to be quiet and listen to the music. Instead you’ll hear in places like raves, festivals, clubs, all of which depend on communal interaction as much as they depend on music. EDM is social music, and all of these social situations offer a different experience and a different crowd. By discovering which of these situations you prefer, you are learning more about who you are as a person while simultaneously surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals.