I know this argument has been kicked around a bunch for the past few years, but I think thinks like the Sneak vs SHM debate, the DJ Paris Hilton debut, the "underground" DJs being kicked off the decks in the more posh commercial nightclubs, and the corpritization of electronic music in the US seem to keep the fires alive. Note: for this post I'm sticking with the generic terms.
Recently came across a "why can't we all just get along" article here:
Then I found a quote on Skruff from a Denis Ferrer interview that got me thinking:
Could one survive without the other?Commercial EDM to me is Cheez Whiz. That's just me. Don't get me wrong, I respect it. It's music and art, and the funny thing is it's not exactly that easy to make, believe it or not. But I don't eat Cheez Whiz. I like real food. Stuff that's got taste and comes in classy flavors. Yet if all you've been shown is McDonald's and never had proper sushi ... Well, I can't blame you for your lack of knowledge, right?
Well, the people, corporate structure, labels, R&B artists, and clubs are all in collusion as a McDonald's, and they all want a piece of the franchise action. They see an easy customer who just wants it fast, cheap and easy. They're not interested in educating. So that's why you have us and you have them. It's always been that way.
I don't have to complain because these are the rules that have always existed. It is why the underground is a very unforgiving place and it's the reason why most of them can try all they want to to come back, especially after they blow all their cash. [Laughs] But as numerous have-been major artists, producers, and DJs will attest, it's an even harder and sorrow-filled road to travel.
Sure, back in the day the underground didn't need the commercial players, but could the scene didn't really explode (in the US) until the mainstream got wind of how awesome electronic was, but things are different now. Right?
I'm putting together an article on the debate but wanted to get some other DJF opinions; here are a few questions:
1) What is "underground" or "commercial" or "mainstream" anyway? Is it a sound? An attitude? Do the definitions have to do with sales numbers? Or is it just a feeling that can't be easily defined? If an "underground" artists sells x-amount of records, is he no longer underground by default? Does a track that makes the Beatport Top 10 become "commercial? (As far as EDM can be called "commercial")
2) Do you consider yourself an underground or commercial DJ? (And by commercial, I don't necessarily mean "pop" or Top 40) Is it thru choice or necessity?
3) Do you enjoy music across the board, or do you prefer listening to underground or mainstream more?
4) Are you a hipster? Do you like to find the hot new artists and leave them when they get more recognition?
5) Are you a hipster in denial?
6) What do you think of Ferrer's comments?
7) Do you think the underground/commercial scenes need to come together, or is the polarization good in a way? I've seen successful festivals/shows with both underground and mainstream artists.