The Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Community has been scrutinized as a public nuisance revolving around use of illegal drugs. In 2010’s Electric Daisy Carnival at the LA Coliseum an MDMA related death of 15 year of Sasha Rodriguez caused a media frenzy revolving around illegal activity and underage partying at Electronic Dance Music Festivals (often referred to as “raves”). The city of Los Angeles enacted a temporary ban on raves in publicly owned venues, and event organizers responded by increasing the minimum age requirement to 18. While many still consider raves to be dangerous and full of illegal drugs, those that produce, DJ, or simply enjoy the music on its own merit reject this notion. Joey Li of UC Berkeley’s ElecTonic discusses the tight knit nature of the community.
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”