I found myself at the crux of a moral dilemma a few nights ago. As most of you know, Krewella underhandedly baited over 40,000 fans to watch their livestream and were met with only a new track. Many felt jilted or betrayed, but more to the point of this article, many met the new track with instant hate and criticism.
I liked the track. A lot. It reminded me of live D&B, like Pendulum’s In Silico or The Qemists’s Join The Q. Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, I’m not saying that “Say Goodbye” could even compare to those albums. I’m only saying that the style of the tune was pleasant to my ears. (In fact, the comparisons to Linkin Park, Evanescence or Flyleaf were even more on point.)
That night, I experienced what it felt like to be “on the other side”. You can normally find me among the throngs of elitists (ironic, right?) decrying DVBBS or Caked Up, yet last night I found myself at figurative gunpoint with those who would rather criticize than analyze. I know many people had technical reasons for disliking the track, but for the majority of people, it seemed like they had already made up their mind long before the stream started. For the Krewella lovers, nothing they could do would be bad. For those who hated them, for whatever miniscule reason, nothing they could do would sound good.
To be on the other side felt depressing; I can see why some people would want to immediately leave the scene when they’re asked “What else can I find that sounds like DVBBS?” and they’re met with only criticism, not of the constructive type. Moreso than any other genre like Rock or R&B, EDM lovers take their music personally. I think this is largely in part because it isn’t just music to us, it’s a culture and our culture defines us. So when we see someone becoming interested in an artist that we believe to be detrimental to our culture, we take it personally.
The “Say Goodbye” discussion lingers on today, as people still voice their displeasure with the track, for no reason other than to see who agrees. I don’t want this article to seem like I’m begging people to try listening to the track again, or to seem like I’m whining that no one else likes it. I’m trying to bring attention to the fact that people’s preconceived notions of an artist or group directly influence their perceptions of any new material.
Case in point, the hate for Krewella clearly reached a crescendo after the news of the legal battle with former member Kris Trindl became public. It became an issue of peer pressure, where there were so many people hating the Yousaf sisters that others didn’t want to be on the other side of the issue. The same goes for Caked Up after the numerous reports of stolen tracks, or DVBBS after the numerous reports of ghost producers. To like these artists goes directly against the opinions of what might be the majority, and that’s honestly scary.
I love electronic music, and I started working in the industry because I felt a desire to be closer to the music, at the source. I think everyone feels that way when they first begin discovering new artists and sounds, but somewhere along the way you discover what you like and that desire for exploration grows weaker. At the same time, the distaste for what you don’t like grows stronger. Simultaneously, you gain knowledge of the culture and form your own opinions.
Wouldn’t it be nice to just start over with a clean slate? Wouldn’t it be nice to experience electronic music the way you did when you first started listening? I think a lot of us have lost that magic and innocence. I think it would be nice to experience it once again.
Photo Credit: Rukes.com