Yesterday a friend asked me my thoughts on Beatport, specifically whether I thought the integrity of the site would falter after being purchased. I laughed to myself, what does it even matter?
For those who aren’t aware, Beatport, the online music store that’s essentially become the iTunes of Dance Music over the past decade or so, has recently been purchased by SFX Entertainment. You may know SFX Entertainment as the behemoths behind Live Nation, ya know – the biggest live entertainment company in the world. Robert F. X. Sillerman, CEO of SFX Entertainment (worth over 250 million dollars), has expressed his interest in the ever-growing scene for years and has slowly been building himself a machine. With his recent acquisition of Beatport, Live Nation has nearly monopolized ‘EDM’ events, having a hand in everything from financing major festivals, signing artists, selling tickets, and now the universal dance music retailer. So when I sat back to reflect on my friend’s question, I simply laughed and said “Who gives a fuck?”
I don’t picture any of you driving past Walmart in order to hit the ‘mom and pop stores’ 2 miles away, with half the essentials at twice the price. Mat Zo went on a bit of a Twitter rant earlier today when he expressed his feelings on the subject:
He has a few solid points in a lot more then 140 characters (tisk tisk Mat). Yes, ‘the universe is filled with things clumping together then abruptly falling apart’, which becomes a large idea for someone on acid while becoming a very novel idea for anyone with an aptitude in basic science. More importantly, Zo alludes to the fact that right now the money is flowing and ‘EDM‘ is a massive, over-saturated market with a promising future. However, through history we’ve seen corporations invest in musical surges, which seem to come once a generation, only to then watch first-hand as the music loses all authenticity or originality. So when we think about SFX’s recent purchase, we should probably assume that ‘EDM’ is on the tail end of its rise in our culture.
To answer Mat Zo’s rhetorical question about money being herion and what happens when it stops pumping; it dies. It wouldn’t be the first time a genre of music has grown rapidly, become commercialized, sold out, and then burned.
The Hippie movement came and went, as did Disco, Acid Rock, Grunge Rock, etc. ‘EDM’ is on the same path to ring in this next decade as the latest movement to cool down. If you’re just now becoming worried about the commercialization of EDM, you’re most likely A) 5 years late to the ‘scene’ and B) contributing to the problem. The fucking term “EDM” symbolizes everything that is wrong with “EDM”. That’s why Avicii is able to put out the same, repetitive shit with each release while simultaneously selling out ‘teen nights’. Earlier today Afrojack tweeted a picture of his totaled Ferrari, and in the picture are him and the two other survivors smiling, ecstatic. When asked why he was smiling, of course Afrojack responded with the generic ‘being blessed’ statement, but let’s be real, dude’s worth 2 million net, he can buy himself a new one. As if it wasn’t enough for Trance to be completely swallowed by House, aka “Trouse“, digested and shitted out onto 92.3 for your daily work commute, now people are starting to debate whether or not EDM sold out. It was probably time to start talking about ‘EDM’s integrity before a 15 year old girl died at The Coliseum in 2010, before ‘EDM’ became a haven for adolescent drug use.
Once again, who gives a fuck? So ‘EDM‘ came and went, it was beautiful and disastrous and it spoke to a generation of people. Today there are so many more sources and ways for artists to share their music with people across the world that we can all rest easy as Corporate America rapes ‘EDM’ for the dollar. With the quality (and sheer number) of music that’s currently accessible today, through channels like Soundcloud and Youtube, we should all be more optimistic. If this is the beginning of the end for “EDM”, let’s pray that the fucking term “EDM” dies with it. (Kandi and Neon too, please)