Trance’s unsung hero John Askew is back with his latest rant. This time he gives fans his views on dance music as a whole. If you are not familiar with his production or live performance skills, you may remember John as the gentleman who took to facebook to display his disgust with Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and thank Avicii for helping him puke from hearing “Levels” while choking. Much like a certain Canadian with big mouse ears, John is in the dual business of making beautiful music and delivering devastating rants and has earned quite a reputation in doing so.
Now, inthemix.com has asked Mr. Askew about his current opinions towards electronic dance music and the biggest problems it faces. The following is his full response on the matter.
“I’m afraid you might be disappointed with my answer here. You probably want me to say something controversial but unfortunately I don’t really have or see any problems with the scene that I belong to.
“Yes, I like to have a dig and take the piss out of various aspects of the top guard EDM lot as well as various mates of mine who have decided the grass is greener on that side of the fence, but in all honesty the scene they all belong to, the scene that has become widely known as EDM, I wouldn’t really classify as having any relation to the scene I consider myself to be a part of.
“On one side you have the electronic music scene with pioneering producers and DJs like Laurent Garnier, Scuba, Maceo Plex, John Digweed, Adam Beyer, Hawtin etc. etc. pushing the boundaries of creativity and technological experimentation. On the other side you have a formulaic prefab sector of the pop music market whose biggest selling commercial “artists” happen to DJ as opposed to playing with a band when they “perform”. To even suggest that the two sides of the scene are in any way linked is almost laughable. In my view the only cross over is the fact that the two sides sometimes share festival bills.
“And while I could happily go to town on music that makes up the EDM scene I don’t want to give you guys the wrong impression because I really do value the contribution the EDM headliners have made to the electronic world. That contribution is the millions of new fans they have attracted. Kids who have heard the music on their local commercial radio and who have dug it. Fans whose musical tastes will mature as they do – and broaden beyond the obvious sounds fed to them by radio.
“When I think back on the first music I was into when I got into dance music in the early 90s, a lot of it was pretty embarrassing, cheesy (by 90s standards) and generally shit. That’s what happens – you get into the obvious, predictable, and most easily available sounds first and then when you find your feet, learn who’s who, you start to explore what else is available below the surface. I would say that’s the same no matter what genre of music we’re discussing.
“So while there may be millions of kids around the world currently having a great time dancing to the commercial pop music that dominates the main stages of the key electronic festivals, I would argue that a substantial portion of them will eventually migrate towards the other stages where the real electronic music is being played. Music that you can dance to in the safe knowledge you’re not going to have your night ruined by a fucking cake landing on your head.
“To conclude therefore – I have no issues with the way things are.”
Leave us a comment on what you thought of Mr. Askew’s comments on EDM. Personally, I expected much more name-bashing and sarcasm.