The Label is the Message

If you want to get to more music like that one great track you just found, don’t go looking under styles like ‘trance psy house’ op ‘deep progressive house’. That is too vague. Go look for the label of that track and listen to the other music and DJs they have. In a world where there are millions of DJs and hundreds of millions of tracks the Label is the answer in your search.

Big unknown

I was recently having a business conversation when we suddenly both realized we were ‘into’ dance. The guy appeared to be DJ Alexio, and pointed me to the famous Martin Boer. My bold response: “I am sorry for Martin Boer but I do not know him”. Alexio: “Everybody knows Martin Boer!”. “Well, I am sorry, but not me”, I said full of confidence. Alexio did not say a word again, started his laptop and played ‘Dreams‘ of 2 Brother on the 4th Floor. I then had to admit: “I stand corrected!”.

Freedom ecstasis

Let’s be honest about it: in the end EDM is about being “free”. That zone of the mind sometimes refered to as ecstatis. Or loss of ego, zen, enlightenment, flow or… And this book wraps it all together: Stealing Fire (from the gods, as was done by Prometheus).

Hypnosis is all around us

Once you see it… you see it. Hypnosis is all around us. Everywhere. Don’t think hypnosis is real?

Where do I see hypnosis? In advertising obviously. In the church! (both christian and muslim and buddhist) And in music. Especially in dance festivals. Here is a quick checklist for you:

  • repeating rhythms with slight changes
  • flashing and rotating lights in a unsynchronized/destabilizing mode
  • mind opening physical postures: “raise your hands up in the air”
  • mass synchronized movements
  • adoration of a central person (DJ)

Obviously many titles in the dance scene refer to this phenomenon, and a whole genre is named after it: trance. But once you see it… intriguing.

Arpeggio’s for live sets

Arpeggio is a key musical trick for a DJ to create live dance music. Simply put, the kit/synthesizer will play the separate notes of a chord in a rhythm and sequence to your liking, nicely, without missing a beat.  A nice set of examples can be  found here.

My first encounter with arpeggio was with Jean Michel Jarre in his beautiful ‘Arppegiator’ from the Concerts in China. But it is as old as Bach.