Where did EDM come from?
A quick glance at the photo above stands as a testament to the overwhelming popularity of Electronic Dance Music in western culture. According to LA Times Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) drew over 185,000 attendants over the two-day length of the “massive” music festival. The festival included some of the biggest names in Electronic Music along with carnival rides, art work and live entertainment that resembled a mixture of a strip club and cirque du soleil. However, this was not always the case. Where did this music genre come from? Who and what were the major influencers?
The music genre owes much of its origin to the underground club scene in Chicago when artists began spinning Disco records in garages and warehouses in the city. Originally these all night parties were filled with Black and/or gay male party goers that began to shape a new underground dance movement in America. One of the most popular underground nightclubs in Chicago was known as The Warehouse. This club became so popular for playing the latest disco music that record stores began advertising records as coming from “The Warehouse.” Eventually, this was shortened to simply “House Music,” and a new genre that would grow to encompass the world was born.
One of the most influential songs of early Chicago House was Jamie Principle’s “Your Love”
An interesting note is the unity and community that quickly grew out of the cultural community surrounding venues such as the Warehouse. Minority groups such as the African American and Gay communities were the earlier adopters in this underground subculture. The culture grew out of the disco era and influential DJs used disco as inspiration to create the new House genre.
In addition to Jamie Principle, the “Godfather’s of House” pushed the genre to new heights with simple synthesizers and drum machine set ups. Marshall Jefferson is regarded as a Godfather of House, along with Frankie Knuckles, Roy Davis Jr., Steve “Silk” Hurley, Felix Da Housecat and Lil Louis.
Jefferson’s “Move Your Body” is regarded as “The House Anthem” partially due to it being the first song to officially state the phrase “house music” in it. These Chicago DJs were simply pushing the limits of a music genre and although House music had been produced prior to “Move Your Body,” the track instantiated it as a true genre.
Marshall Jefferson allowed the creation and progression of Electronic Music to be set in motion and become what it is today.