Due to my rising yet still pretty irrelevant blogging “fame” (or infamy), I have decided to revisit an old topic I touched upon because so many people had their panties up in a bunch about my opinion on the Arizona rave scene. The reality of the situation here is that said article was written two years ago. Even more, I haven’t been to Arizona, or the United States, for a year now. Does all this sudden hate make me rethink what I said about Arizona? For about 2.5 seconds, yes. Does the Arizona rave scene still suck? Probably. Sorry I’m not old enough to be considered an old-school raver. In my eyes I am, and since this is my writing and thoughts, I could give a shit who thinks I know tons or know absolutely nothing about the rave scene. “Rave scene” is just something that should cease to be in everybody’s vocabulary, seeing as it is now open to the public and there is no underground, word-of-mouth aspect that used to make it so exciting for me when I was in high school. Everything that I once knew about this culture has died and has been reborn in order to appeal to mass audiences and bring in an insurmountable cash flow. I would like to point out that the production value as well as the talent is out of this world once you venture into the mainstream events that now qualify as “raves”. I mean no disrespect to promoters or production companies that throw these events. I fully understand the amount of money it takes to break even for one of these events, let alone make a sizable profit. I just think that its unfortunate the types of people that attend these events. The vibe and the crowd is totally different than it was when I was just a wee raver. The new crowd and “scene” makes me feel uncomfortable (or at least that’s what I remember from years ago when I began noticing the changes). When I used to go to raves when I was younger, it was in order to escape the high school bullshit I had to go through with a caste system that was designed by teenagers. A caste system is shit, but a caste system designed by teenagers?? Get me the fuck out ASAP. I could finally go to a place where there was no system like that and it felt that I just fit in with everyone. One thing I’ve noticed about life in general, is that all good things truly do come to an end. What I got to experience in my life at underground raves with no headliners was better than anything I could ask for. I think raves in Arizona are shit. Raves in general are not what they used to be and I think being stuck in a venue with drugged up high school kids sucks. So what, big deal. No amount of people telling me I’m stupid, uneducated, or just plain wrong is going to get me to change my mind. If I feel like bitching about something I’ll do it, this is my ‘blog’ and I didn’t ask you to read this. If you wanna read my writing, great. If you want to comment on my writing, even better. If you disagree with me, think I’m the dumbest twat to walk this earth, and I just absolutely repulse you, that’s wonderful, thanks for the feedback. My heart truly aches for what my once treasured scene has turned into. I will never get the same feelings I did from the small more intimate events and in my opinion that has what has made me feel like the scene sucks. Anybody want to take a jab at me? Take your best shot……………..
Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category
“Trouse”, the newest trend in EDM since dubstep is beginning to take over many of my favorite DJs, and I’m not happy. It started with Tiesto, progressed to Above & Beyond, Arty, Gareth Emery, and Marcus Schossow, and now has claimed a new victim: Tritonal. Each of these DJs started with strong roots in trance. However, because of the rising popularity of EDM and the transition into mainstream, a lot of artists are beginning to make their sounds more mainstream to appeal to bigger audiences. Many of my favorites, I’ve noticed, have changed their sounds and are beginning to sound more alike instead of maintaining the individuality that made me fall in love with them in the first place. “Trouse”, if you haven’t figured out the meaning of the word, is a combination of the words “trance” and “house”. To me, trouse sounds more like a progressive house set with bits and pieces of electro and trance, which is not what I want to hear when I see my favorite trance producers. As of late, I feel there are not many true trance acts out there, as many of them are following the new trend and abandoning their old sounds. As much as I don’t want to say it, I feel like Dash Berlin is next. I’m not sure who else will be hopping on the “trend train”, but I have a feeling many trance producers are going to begin selling out. I began losing my faith in trance culture when Above & Beyond made the transition; if Armin or Markus ever go trouse, I am giving up faith in humanity.
In 2006, the AZ rave scene was pretty poppin, and I have the evidence to prove it (see picture on right of me in the front row, yes that is me at 16). Fast forward 6 years and the rave scene sucks more than a Dyson vacuum cleaner. The scene went from being underground and personal, to basically a corporate money-making machine. Thanks to complete morons such as Relentless Beats, Insomniac Events, and Steve Levine Entertainment, the rave scene is nothing more than a bunch of college douchebags and a bunch of middle school/ high school druggies looking for a place to not only party, but partake in highly embarrassing behavior including asking everyone within 5 foot distance if they would like a back massage or letting fellow partygoers know how hard they are rolling. Thank you so much AZ production companies for really looking out for the best interest of the rave scene here. Over the past year, I haven’t attended an event that has gone on PAST midnight. This is complete bullshit, and for that, somebody needs to immediately destroy the offices that belong to said production companies. Back in the day, when raves were still illegal, most of them weren’t even starting til 11 and ending until 5 or 6, sometimes even 7 in the morning. Now that the production companies have taken “raves” into their own hands, raves end at midnight sharp so that the event is legally an all-ages event. Obviously the promoters don’t give a fuck about the absurd amount of rolling 12 years grinding on each other in nothing but underwear, but rather how much money they make and how many people they are able to rake into their event.
Recently on the popular social media site, Facebook, I saw a rather well-known promoter posting pictures of himself flyering what looked like the ASU campus. No offense idiot, but if you don’t know what raves are, you have no right promoting it to the idiots that destroyed our scene. When I first started going to raves, it was all about the underground, and the vibes; it was about leaving your identity at home and partying til the wee hours of the morning with people that only knew your raver alter-ego and would probably never see you while the sun was actually out. Many of these idiot promoters have taken it upon themselves to make sure that the rave scene has grown rapidly so they can rake in the dough. Everywhere you go there are flyers, whether you are at a smoke shop, tattoo shop, or even college campus. The promoters do not legitimately give a fuck about who comes to these events, they just want it to be big. Gone are the days of vibes and “PLUR” and whatever other raver bullshit I used to tell myself when I was in high school. Now its just a big money making scam where the promoters truly don’t give a shit about what a rave is. A rave ends at whatever time the djs decide they want to go home, and should consist of people that know people that know people that know people, not just end at a certain time because of contract or consist of everyone and their mama because the promoters are trying to attract a big crowd.
Its obvious no one gives a fuck about who comes to raves or about what vibes are present, just as long as the promoters are making money they are happy. They know nothing about the culture, and are using the new EDM trend to profit. For me personally, my culture has been taken away from me and I am forced to hang out with possibly the whole meth-using population of Arizona. The promoters here are bringing out really good talent, and for that I commend them. But seriously, if you know nothing about how raves used to be, stay the fuck away from promoting; if you’re money-hungry I heard drug-dealing and stripping are pretty profitable professions, but for the love of God, STAY AWAY FROM THE RAVE SCENE.
So, I guess the time has already passed that Above & Beyond has established themselves as progressive house djs and now their trance career is 6 feet under, yet I still feel the need to bitch about the fact that I HATE the new direction they have taken their careers in. I tuned into ABGT #1, the set from Bangalore, and I think my reaction was a mixture of confusion and slight anger. They sounded like Deadmau5 circa 2008 except even more boring. They are amazing djs and I’m kind of confused about what the actual fuck I just listened to. Besides for the fact that their set lacked in vocal tracks, I felt like every song they played was merely “transition music” and it was definitely one of the most bland sets I have had the “privilege” to listen to. I didn’t hear many tracks that I would classify as trance, and considering I have dance moves better than Michael Jackson, I was surprised that nothing they played even gave me the slight urge to dance. I get that they have renounced trance, seeing as they have changed the name of their podcast to “Group Therapy”. But…… what the fuck group are they attempting to give therapy to?
The past couple years that I have been attending events where Above & Beyond has been present, I have noticed a major change in the crowd they attract. Even going through all my tumblr rave blogs, I notice that Above & Beyond is hot and they are drawing as much attention as major house acts. From my experience, trance stages are usually the least crowded at music festivals when you put them against stages that contain electro, dubstep, moombahton, or basically anything that you would hear in a nightclub. With Above & Beyond getting bigger and bigger, I noticed that they have been booked for more night club appearances. If you didn’t know this before, you do now: music dynamic in nightclubs is WAY different than it would be at a festival or rave. The club promoters specify what music they want the crowd to hear and the djs have to comply. Progressive house mixed with bouts of trance is what moronic drunks typically like to grind to when hitting up their local douchebag gathering spot (nightclub). Above & Beyond has transformed into merely club djs and I feel like they have neglected their roots in order to move forward with their careers. I know they will get bigger and bigger and stray further away from the trio of djs I first started listening to when I was 16. Sometimes people just bite the bullet to move onto bigger fame, more money, and better career. I wish the best to Above & Beyond and the new direction they are taking their followers, but I find it very devastating that they have ended their trance legacy and have probably gained a whole new following of music novices.
EDC Vegas 2013 is coming up soon (approximately 7.5 months) and my Facebook newsfeed is on overload with the EDC trailers and emotional posts. As an avid advocate of music festivals, I realize EDC’s impact on this country as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, dance festival in North America. I will even go on to say that EDC Vegas’s impact on the music scene is almost iconic. However, is the $600 (ticket, hotel room, drugs, gas) really going to be worth it in 2013? Last year at this time I told myself that EDC Los Angeles had my heart and I would never venture out to Vegas to see what is possibly the ugliest view to ever look at in the daytime. But I did. And you know what, I fucking LOVED EDC Vegas 2012. However, it had many shortcomings which I’m not sure I can overlook and that I know will only be a bigger problem next year. I was surrounded by overdosing morons puking into any available trash cans and frat bros flaunting their 12-packs asking me where Avicii was playing at. This is America and this is America’s “new” dance scene. If you don’t think I was that jaded before, I think its pretty obvious I am now. The lineup is going to be the same as it was last year. Maybe a guest appearance by Skrillex or Deadmau5 if Insomniac decides they are appropriate representations of what EDM is (they don’t know shit). Last year was so packed, it literally took my car 2 hours to leave the parking lot and get back to the hotel. I guess I can thank the MENSA-qualified security guards and police officers for the way they strategically maneuvered the parking exits (they only had one open because that was the best way to get 100,000 people out of a music festival efficiently). THAT is my biggest complaint. I’m wondering if its time to turn over a new leaf and make an appearance at ULTRA or Electric Zoo or Electric Forest. EDC was great last year, but I guarantee there will be absolutely nothing different about this years. Unless Daft Punk headlines EDC 2013, I am thinking I will be out and will end up somewhere less packed and less douchey.
As horrible as I feel saying this, I was hoping TATW would end before I began completely resenting Above & Beyond for their new mainstream sounds that they have been playing to their newer mainstream audience. I have followed Above & Beyond for the past 6 years and can honestly say they are amongst my favorite trance producers. Their original productions have brought up emotions and feelings in me that are unexplainable and have impacted my life more than I can really fathom. Their music touches the most inner depths of my soul and I can’t say that about anything else I have ever experienced. On an average day, I probably spend around 2-3 hours listening to trance. To some people this is a lot, to some people this is barely any, but I know good trance when I hear it. The past few months, I can’t identify an exact date, I have felt let down and dissatisfied with what has become of TATW. I hear progressive and I hear house. What happened to true trance? What has happened to the electronic music scene that has made all these trance djs switch their beautiful sets into progressive and electro combos? After taking a journey back to my roots and listening to the album “Tristate” on repeat, I questioned what had made Above & Beyond change their style of music. During their sets they only play their club mixes and seem to be catering to a new audience that doesn’t understand the roots of trance. I’ve been disappointed with their podcasts and even a bit heartbroken. The last time I listened to TATW, they played 3 different Deadmau5 tracks on their show, and thats when I realized they were no longer the trance djs I had once listened to. As sad as I am that TATW will longer fill my ears during the week, I’m even more sad that they have abandoned the sounds that first captured my heart. What is happening with all the trance in the world?