If you’re reading this, by now you’ve probably noticed a certain article making the rounds amongst EDM fans. The article in question provides the following “mashup” of Martin Garrix‘s five most popular tracks: Animals, Wizard, Helicopter, Tremor, and Proxy.
After reading the article, it’s clear that the writer has a bias against Garrix which, alone, is perfectly fine (after all, everyone’s entitled to their own opinions and tastes). However, I personally feel that to disregard the context of the situation and make a quick judgment against his music is doing a disservice. Allow me to explain…
Looking back to 18th and 19th century classical composers such as Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, music wasn’t always as diverse as it is now. In the present day, musicians have access to far more complex sounds and songwriting methods. However, even though we have the ability to make a theoretically infinite number of sonic and tonal combinations, most widely accessible music usually sounds like another piece of music. This video does a good job of describing exactly why (in short, the human brain finds certain sounds and tonalities to be particularly stimulating, and musicians gravitate towards those sounds). So, after considering all this, why are people still outraged over Martin’s tracks appearing “formulaic?” Even classical music was quite literally formulaic as well – in fact, a composer named Domenico Scarlatti wrote a whopping 555 such works following the very simple formula below:
If that’s not the definition of “uncreative,” I don’t know what is. And this leads me to ask another question: why is it that classical music is almost always revered and viewed as prestigious works of art, whereas the big room trend in EDM is widely considered “pitiful” to music? It’s simply a matter of perspective and understanding mob mentality; hating on big room house is probably one of the biggest bandwagons in the EDM community, and once you hope off the bandwagon and consider the broader context of Garrix’s music outside the confines of EDM, you begin to realize that he is hardly doing anything differently from our musical predecessors.
The point I’m trying to get across is this: musicians today are generally held to higher standards than those that preceded them, yet succumb to many of the same restrictions. Martin’s music tends to follow a formula that has been proven to work for him, and if you have an issue with that, I suggest you look elsewhere for more diverse music that fits your tastes as opposed to seeking musical self-affirmation. Perhaps you would enjoy listening to Avicii’s country-house fusion. Or maybe not? It seems some EDM fans can never be truly happy.
What do you think of all of this? Leave your opinion in the comments!