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Mages, editors Unlocking the Groove Rhythm, Meter, and Musical Design in Electronic Dance Music Mark J. Butler Indiana University Press | Bloomington and Indianapolis CONTENTS ‘eknowledgments Part |: Getting into the Groove: Approaching the Study of Electronic Dance Music Introduction 1 The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 1g Rhythm and Meter in Electronic Dance Music 2 Conceptu and Interpretive Mul 3 Ambiguity 4 Metrical Dissonance Part Ill Electronic Dance Music and the Epic 5 Multimeasure Patterning 6 Form from the Record to the Set Afterword: Unlocking the Groove 32 8 7 am 138 .” 179 202 255 certain shared musical characte ist section of this chapt ter outlining these practices and charac- traces their emergence in the years preceding EDM's tise and in the first decade of its development. | then turn toward an exploration of the diverse creative roles and technologies involved in | realizing EDM as music, with particular attention to the activities ofthe DJ, the producer, and the dancer. the most distinctive characteristics of electronic dance music Is the way iny produced—namely, through the use of electronic technologies such as synthesizers, drum machines, sequencers, and samplers. Although in- ar, these technologies EDM, In which a tra The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music ‘tional instrument or alive vocal isthe exception rat performance is esse - with studio production it is always technolagically medi technologies in performance contexts are turntables, headphones, twelveinch | records, and a mixing board, and the most familiar live performer is the DI jockey). The tradition of Diing practiced in EDM involves more than simply playing other people's record; rather, different parts of records into new compositions that di ‘their source materials. In general, the exact course of a Di's performance is not predetermined, instead developing according to the demands of a specific situa- tion, through interaction with a dancing audience. Although the D) has always | been the most important figure in bringing musi to fans throughout the history ofthis: mu has become increasingly common for producers to perform as well, esp = they manipulate studio technology in Electronic dance music originated in the United States and first became Techno is a music based in experimentation; It is sacred to no one race; it has no definitive sound. the future of the human race. 2, no vision. ted. The most pervasive Techno has brought people of Together under ane r Isn't it obvious that m 1¢ keys to the universe? animals and tribal humans ‘ousands of years! f the underground nes and frequencies No matter how so called primitive their equipment may be Transmit these tones and wreak havoc on the programmers! Underground Resistance, excerpt from “Creed” Electronic Dance Music and Its Histories ‘The term “electronic dance music” encompasses a broad range of music produced ding the last two decades, including genres such as techno, house, drum bass, and tran: he differences between these types of musi them as belonging to the seme overa category, defined by particular practices of production and consumption and by ‘rom Ding sons 3c 1, ttpslworncundergroundresistance.com, cited 4 traction that challenges this distinction in a rultnude of ways. The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 33 fans who only hear the music in clubs and raves at the other, most fans pur ‘these experiences on a faily regul ing creates a lexicon of physical memories that carry over into nondance contexts, Even when genres depart from direct connections to dance, they do so in ways ‘that demonstrate their relatedness to dance-floor traditions: some music draws ‘on the conventions of EDM, but manipulates them so much that the results are fo longer suitable for the dance floar,* while other genres are written expressly ‘ot not dancing ‘Aithough humans have undoubtedly been using their bodies to interpret music was made, electroni¢ dance music is built around the The technologies that male ths acy pss bags to deep ding the late rneteenth ety, when Thomas Edison invented the phonograph (1877). Ten years late Berner created the gramophone, which used flat discs instead of Edison's cy inders (Brewster and Broughton 2000: 20), By the tirn of the century, these devices were affordable enough to be widely accessible (Chanan 1995: 27-28), but dancing was still very much linked with live music. This association started sme prevalent widely popular in the United Kingdom. Today, however, i is appreciated through out the industrialized world—not as diverse as Argentina, Austral though the styles created and enjoyed can vary considera another, certain musical characteristics are shared among almost all EDM. in general it has a steady, relatively fast tempo—mostly in the range of 120-150 beats per minute (BPM), although certain genres regularly reach speeds of 180, BPM. Except in certain ambient genres, 2 repeating bass drum pattem is almost always present, And final other vocal sound, to @ | manipulation$ Thi straction I describe in the introduction (p. 11)—sistinguishes EDM from almost all other commercial popular music produced in America and Europe since the birth of rock ‘n’ Although purely instrumental music has often been portrayed as “absolute,” a refusing to articulate any meaning beyond its own patterning, listeners deal With the apparent abstraction of EDM by grounding it in the physical motions of dance.’ This relationship to interpretive movement is one of its key defining features. Producers create music with the expectation that it will be played on the floor, where the crowd's response will determine its success or failure. Dis plan and shape their performances around this response, a major portion of which t due to the humanizng influence of the DJ." According to Brewster and Broughton, the first documented occurrence of a DJ playing in public took place in 1943 in Otley, West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom, The These ae informal comments base on my own expaincs. | have met fans Gome of whom ary ove w dibs td ees} wie mate Stoners su a 5 the who have stopped going cing but cornu 20 follow the music ready eat but with an affect that too ler key forthe le boat patter characteristic of EDM and manipulate eed 701: 63. Ths pha nec a nie St ae mes the term “dectonica” has ao rele wo a singe EDM corpouson Bt wel One potential area of conn sereties also alle "tacks." (Kens 2000 uses this sense of “a this is also the typeof tack referenced by the term “muitreck recog.” this wage Is mre spec to produ ‘hose werk often moves rvediated dance music events in terms ually of the a5 Moby and Fatboy Si 7, See Butler 200 for further ccuson of dance ata resonse to EDs eavact quai tre wit eg on disene betwen “le” an acd” use 34 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 35 spread to London and America and began to develop some ofthe characteristics associated with modern nightclubs. No longer just 2 place where one heard recorded music, the discothéque became a special environment, distinguished by lights and a powerful sound system, which one attended for the expressed pur- pose of dancing. The DJ was now a central figure within the disco experience, the person who made recorded music immedi Styles of dance also changed in signficant ways during the 1960s, Dancing had previously been an activity for couples, involving specific steps, With the advent of the Twist (1960) and the series of dance crazes that followed, move- ment became an individual phenomenon, requiing no training or choreography. Signiticantiy, this allowed women to dance independenty: at the same time, because dancers were no longer focused solely on their partners, it shifted at- ‘ention onto the communal experience of the dance floor as a whole (Brewster ‘and Broughton 2000: 54-5 experience would become essential to gay liberation during the 197 social upheaval ofthe acid house movement in the United Kingdom during the late 1980s, AAthough the term “discothéque" became widespread in the 1960s, it was not until the 70s that a style of music called disco developed. In the early years is decade, Dis played a mixture of funk and soul at New York clubs such as the Sanctuary, the Loft, the Haven, and the Gallery, where the ma} he dancers were African American and gay. For several years the scene was a largely underground phenomenon, but between 1973 and 1976 it began to pick up steam, resulting in some 150-200 clubs in New York by the mid-1970s (Brewster ‘and Broughton 2000: 155). At this point, narratives of cisco's development beg to paint 2 picture of authenticity corrupted: as disco increased in popt came to the attention of record company executives who setzed upon it as a way of comper ing rock sales, and between 1976 and 1979 the record-buying public was bombarded with a deluge of disco releases. Long- Jenscher QOO0: 22 and 35) refs to the x couples, an expectation hat was often 36 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE form 5 opened all over the country, {and heterosexualized) it saturated, and crashed of dence music in general) even today. The event that seems to antidisco backlash most effectively {it is mentioned in almost every account of disco's demise) occurred in Chicago on July 12, 1979. Radio DJ Steve Dahl, who. had described isco as a “tlsease," held a promotional event called a “disco between games, an event that aroused the fervor of the ciond so ‘mach that a riot ensued and the second game had to be called off (Brewster ‘and Broughton 2000: 268-68). As quickly as it had entered the mainstream, and dance music returned to the underground.” The disco era is sgificnt for today’s electronic dance music in several ways. Fist it was during this era that the idea of spending an evening dancin popularized actoss the world, Furthermore, most of the pr creation associated with today’s electronic dance music came this time. t became commonplace for Dis to mix and overlap records 410 produce a continuous flow of sound, rather than allowing a record to die down before moving on tothe next one.« They also would switch back and forth between tivo copies of the same record in order to extend it, as most records issued during the first part of the decade were very short, having been released according to pop-song standards. Other important DJ techniques developed dur- explain in detal this chapter, included beat beats of two records), and the slip-cue (Brewster ‘and Broughton 2000: 136-37) Like almost every style of dance music to come after i, disco frst developed ‘on the dancefloor, with studio production following aftr. Inthe early years, the records Dis played were mostly funk and soul; specifically "disco" records did 16, Acoring to Bre Nel wo spun a the New York scothque Bhar ding he 1960s. ‘he fist DI to mi records was Tey The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 37 Synthesizers were used as but they were not the predominant form of instrumentation Furthermo others, and because they combined records in unique ways, they created a dis- tinctive “sound,” which was event ated song and record formats aimed sp remixes and twelve-inch singles. The two phenomena arose around the same time and in conjunction with each other. The fist person to remix disco singles ‘was Tom Moulton, who would take tapes of songs, cut them up, and rearrange them so that the most danceable parts were extended.”” At the time singles ‘were still released on seven-nch records, which were meant ta be pl use this format could only x which often in the lenath of a song quite because the sever-inch format forced the grooves could achieve was lower and the overall sound 3ftwelve-inch 33s, Producers discovered thatthe larger tan entire remix or extended dance version of a song ‘onto one sie of a record and to achleve a richer, more resonant sound (especially in the bass, the register that affects dancers most physically), and record com- began to utilize the format. The fst commercially successful ' remix of Double Exposure’s “Ten in June 1976 (Brewster and Broughton remixes are stil widespread in dance the format of choice. Nevertheless, disco differed in many ways fom the electronic dance musk of the ‘80s and ‘90s, First of al, though it has often been characterized as “art jal,” its production was not, by and large, electronic. Most disco records in record company studios with session musicians; even the most comme leases lst an array of performers on instruments such as drums iythm guitar, grand piano, and miscellaneous percussion. ; it was pre- _-setved and developed further within the communities with which it was originally ‘associated. In clubs such as the Paradise Garage in New York City and the Warehouse In Chicago, Dis blended disco with other styles to create new vari- ons on its sound, They also made use of new technologies to create dance hat was truly “electronic.” dary DJ wha played at the club until it closed in 1987. The style of music that 7 favored has since come to be called “garage,” after the name ofthe club itself. ‘ough Levan's selections were by al accounts eciectc, " ‘the same time, garage did make use of the new technologies a ‘te early 1980s, For instance, the New York City Peech Boys’ "Do re ‘eik of producer such 25 Glarle Moroder and Fak Cowie, whose FG," 2 genre popular i gay cbs thoughout much of the 1960s. on ecstatic vorals—a dase Moroder produced tack was Donra Summa’: 17, Brewster end Sroughon 2000 175-76, The authors point out that, sic spe Since wks witha sgl econ of an (rs Fame EDM in which the orginal multack ‘of manipulation. Brewster and Broughton dene explain when the lates techrique became 38 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Danco Music 39 vocals, guitar, and piano but drum machine in place of a ‘At the Warehouse in Cl so features 2 variety of studio effects and a Linn drummer (Fikentscher 2000: 99). 190, another Di-drven scene made even of elements of disco. When the a friend of Lary Levan, moved years of the club, Knuckles i disco and garage, as well a a largely electronic form of disco coming mainly from ttaly? As disco ceased to be commercially viabl he found himself short on releases, and so he began remixing tracks at home. He would work the results into his DJ performances with a reel-to-reel tape player. Eventually, he began to add elements to his mixes such as newly com- posed bass lines and drum tracks, AS his style became more distinctive, it ac- quired a name: house music. AS with garage, the term comes from the place ‘where the music developed. Although electronic music technology began to be popularized in the 1970s, ly expensive, cumbersome, and dificult to use during that ative years of house music, however, this situation began particular, the TB-303 bass fine generator and the TR-808 and TR-209 drum significantly more affordable and accessible, Musi instead, they could machines—made product cians no longer needed to gain access to recording stud ‘own equipment and create music ath ‘mances, using the 808's resonant bass drum sound to intensify the beat of the record being played and to create transitions between records (Brewster and Broughton 2000: 307; Sh leases in the house i") and 1984 (Jamie by 1985, the trickle had become a flood. House reveals Its disco roots in the gospel style ofits vocals and the funk of its basslines. At the same time, its creators cleary found something attractive aesthetic of drum machines and synthesizers. Hence possible to speak of two streams of house—two related styles that coexist an , and yet are identfiably distinct. On the one hand, there is “vocal” ike garage—weats its disco ancestry on its sleeve. Vocal 23, This sve i sometimes called “le dco" se, for example Sicko 1998: 45-48. 26, reyetr and eroughtonghe 1984 as the Gate of thie weave (2000; 306), but Shapiro 2000p. 75) and Rietveld 1998, fas 1983 355) 40. GETTING INTO THE GROOVE tation (unlike that of disc swing-quantized rhythms to create a more “natu another style of house music, predominantly instrumental advantage. These compositions are | eschewing not only sung melodies but also instru- mental ones. Because drum-machine rhythms form thelr primary component, they are often called “drum tracks hm tracks," or “tracks” for short; along works having these qu sometimes described as "tracky.” ‘Although this distinction between “songs” and “tracks” dates back to the mid: 1980s, house musicians and fans sil use these categories today." Around the same time that house was first created in Chicago, a somewhat predominantly homosexual one. in spite of these cians of the two cities have interacted wth each other beginning and continue to do so. Techno developed within a scene that involved a great deal of musical coss- i igh school kids in north: 9 thelr own dance parties (Sicko 1999: 32-33). Attendance was usually atleast several hundred people, and sometimes reached as high as 1200 (Sicko 1999: 37), These were Died events where a wide range of music was played. Favorite styles included an assortment of electronic music, such as the highly synthesized disco stil comn- from Europe at the time, New Wave bands such as the Human League and Yellow Magic Orchestra, and technopop groups such as ABC (Sicko 1999: 44~ Radio also played an important role in techno's development. Especially significant during the erly years was the “Midnight Funk Assocation,” a show hosted by Charles Johnson, whose on-air name was “the Elect Johnson, whose show was on the alt from 1977 to 1985, played a mixture of 25. tf yt s “quantized is quanttatvly precise. Orum-machine éytims alest a ays have this quay, sine they are sully programmed rather than pesome he human ef of “50ng” 25, See Shapito 2000 77-78 fora cea dscson of thi ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 41 New Wave and futuristic funk: signifcently, he also gave heavy rotation to the German band Kraftwerk, who have often been cited as important precursors to techno. Listening to this radio show, and attending these partie, were three young men in the western suburb of Belleile named Juan Atkins, Derick May, and Kevin Saunderson. Atkins, May, and Saunderson—now nicknamed the three recorded independently, they wer kins was the fist to release records, although his a rock context, In 1981, he formed a band called Cybotron with ou (*RIK") Davis. Their inital release, “Alleys of Your Mind,” was an early example of what might be called “proto-techno."® Both Atkins and Davis were very ‘questions of technology and the future, and they spent significant amounts of time discussing these matters from a philosophical perspective and reading works such as Alvin Toffie’s 1980 book The Third Wave (Sicko 1998: 70), These themes are reflected inthe name Cybotron (a merger of "cyborg" and “cyclotron” [ in their lyrics, and the technological focus of thelr instrumentation they released an album, Enter (reissued under the broke up shorty thereafter because Davis wanted to pursue a more rock-based approach, In 1985, Atkins decided to skirt the music industry altogether and produce 277. A charac example of “futisic fnk* would be Palsments “Fashlih,” which r was theft song fo fatten syesnt bas ne Sh “sintcant ole in early techno peaducéon. He has not been emphasized at an originator ft. however, perhaps beceuse he released fone records than the “Bl (Bar 2000; 126. 30. The firs grote by Auber of Names: i sla pop sng in fo 42 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE records on his own, an approach that has been characteristic of techno ever nce, He began recording tracks independently and formed hhis own label (Me- plex) to release them. His first single, released under the name Model 500, hythms standing out as ts most prominent featur. tn fact, with f the bass line, it contains litte in the way of melody or pi no traces of versefchorus structure, and the only words in the track, which do rot eppear for nearly two minutes, are rhythmically chanted rather than sung {and often heavily manipulated), In a reversal of conventional associations, Atkins Why is no head held high? Maybe youl see them fy" Not lang after the release of "No UFOs,” Kevin Saunderson formed his own record label, KMS records. In the coming years, he would issue releases under names as diverse as Reese, Reese and Santonio, Reese Project, Keynotes, Tronik House, Inner City, Inter City, and € Dancer In 1986, Eddie Fowlkes released Goodbye Kiss, Aythim is Rythim? During these early years, the scenes in Detroit and Chicago were relatively isolated phenomena—confined to their respective cites, and largely underground today, producers Fequnty use mule alass for ther various poets, ed "yt fs Rhy"; for nstance, se Sco 1999. have eed the selng given on the 1997 release Fanvato, The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 43 in import record stores and began to play them in the clubs where they worked jetveld 1998: 40-45). The music increased in popularity during 1987, while around the same time certain Dis and promoters began to foster a new approach to clubbing. Figures such as Paul Oakenfold and Danny Rampling had been trens- formed by th riences in clubs on the resort island of ibiza, where they had danced until dawn and experimented with the drug Ecstasy. Oakenfold, 1, and others began to recreate these everts at clubs in London (Reynolds began to spring up in ilegal locations such as warehouses and ‘the combination of house music and raving exploded in popul in atime that has been dubbed the “second summer of love had become a mass-cultural phenomenon among Britsh youth. 19905, US. promaters who had heard about English raves start events in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The phenomenon spread quickly, and raverike events now occur ‘across the country—net onl in major metropolitan areas, but also in the Arizona esert, the term longer use the term, Stead descrising events 2s "partes ht dence party. In contrast to news portrayals, comtemporary raves are defined neither by illegality nor by drug use. As @ phe- hnomenon, the “rave” is just one part of the history of electronic dance musi and one of many environments in which EDM now occurs in America and the rest ofthe world? Although media accounts have tended to collapse al contexts into one (thus the frequent use of nonsensical terms such as "rave club y of "scenes," all of ntact was ding that 44 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE ‘which feature diferent crows different practices and behaviors, efferent values, and different musical styles. ‘The first genre of American dance music to become popular in the United Kingdom was Chicago house, Although music from Detrat was soon imported reated as subcategory of house, and for many years the : h term for electronic dance music in general was “house” or “acid house.” Despite the social and musical differences ofthe two ciies— ‘hich are less than three hundred miles apart—it was dear that the two styles ‘were related. During the formative years of techno and house, the musicians in various ways. The Three often visited Chicago to ‘their music, and Derrick May lived there for nearly a year around 1984 (Brewster and Broughton 2000: 320, 329).” In fac, he even sold Frankie Knuckles 2 TR-909 drum machine at one point (Shapiro 2000: 116). ‘and record companies became more aware of the | distincion between the two cities’ musical styles, they began to emphasize the Detioit style as a separate genre. Part of this process was the newfound use of | techno" as a term. This development seems to have been driven in part by | marketing forces. in 1988, Neil Rushton issued a compilation of Detroit mat entitled The House Sound of Detroit. Wishing to emphasize his product name to Techno! The New Dance Sound of Detroft. The mi important part in this process as well, though: they had “techno” as an adecive and Atkins recorded a treck called “Techno Music" for the compilation Brewster and Broughton 2000: 331-32). 36, Acid house ‘fom the Roland 16-303 ‘oe functioned as 2 “beter on. 6, Sick pa me reduces frm = May and Marshall Jelfesen os exareles) objected strongly to | deugtaking he decrbes the Dati achno scene inthe 18605 as almost ently dupe end bioibtes this condton In part fo the scourge ofthe cortenporencus crack epider (Sicko 1999: ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Danco Music 45, "house music” is sometimes used to refer quite specifically term for to Chicago house and its offshoots and at other times as a catch 1) in the coinage of curious terms such as “gobber house” [p.4] and “techno house” Ip. 84 to refer to specific sub- genres). Dan Sicko generally uses “techno” as a term for a particular Detoit- based genre, but a broader sense of the term comes into play when he applies it to artists such as the Chemical Brothers end Bj iaims that “UDM is essentially @ post-1970s, post-disco phenomenon, based in New York" (2000: 6). And many scholarly sources coming from the United Kingdom (eg. Pini 2001) tend to speak quite broadly about “rave.” ‘More broadly, these tensions call into question the unity that characterizes ial narratives of EDM. As the account | have provided reflects the information provided in curently avallable sources, itis also characterized by this unity. Nor do | have sufficient space in which to offer an altemative account, having chosen to focus primarily on music rather than history. However, | would like to suggest that future works that do focus on the bstrical dimensions of EDM might concentrate more on the dynamic forces that have shaped its deve opment and less on individual figures. This comment also raises questions about how gender might have shaped narratives of EDMYs development. Existing accounts tend to emphasize the crea- tivity ofa few individuals, and they often include elements of heroic struggle a5 stacles to be overcome, and technology to be conquered. These emphases are evident not only inthe actual accounts, but also in the tiles that fr (eqg., Techno Rebels: The Renegades of Electronic Funk (Sicko most Although this writing on Detroit techno, ns of disco, garage, gay subcutures, we might consider what other types of stories might be possible as we move toward increasingly precise ies of EDM. The account | have provided focuses on the first genres of electronic dance music to develop: garage, house, and techno, which are still considered foun dational genres today. In the interest of space, | will nat trace th beyond the 1980s, though | will remark briefy upon the considerable div cation that occured within EDM during the 1990s, One of the mo developments of the decade was jungle/drum ‘n’ bass, a gente that combines accelerated drum patterns ("breakbeats”) sampled from the percussion-only sec 4 GETTING:INTO THE GROOVE tions ("breaks") of old funk records with alf-tempo bass lines influenced by teggae* More generally, electronic dance music since the 1990s has been char- acterized by a dramatic increase in the number of genres under its fold and the terms used to describe them." By the tum of the century, gente labels in use luded trance, progressive house, nu-NRG, deep house, tec-house, minimal techno, gltch-hop, IDM, two-step, happy hardcore, big beat, funky brea and breakbeat—to name just a few. To describe the complex interaction of ‘musical and social processes that led to the development of each of these genres ‘would take us far afield, though 1 will offer a broad system for characterizing volved in creating electronic dance music. The Creation of Electronic Dance Music MODES OF CREATIVE INTERACTION. The many styles of electronic dance music, while sonically quite diverse, share a ‘common set of approaches to musical creation. In the following section, | explain ing three key modes of ion with EDM: that of the recording artist, that of the performing artist, and that of the performing audience, Most commonly, the recording artist isthe producer, although remixers can serve in this capacity as well. The prototypical reducers also perform live, And ‘ough dance. | begin my dscus- sion of these functions with a brie overview of the roles of producer and Dl, and then tum to a more in-depth treatment of all the roles I have mentioned. 1 um Bas” wes in theory, MeL20d doesnot proj of youth styles” (racy 1993: The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 47 explain the principal musical activities involved os well as the technologies ‘through which they are mediated. In this way the reader can begin the detailed musical discussion of the following chapters with a clear sense of how this music In any given performance situation, the functions of recording artist, pe forming artist, and audience are distinct Each record that the DJ plays was made by a particule person or group of persons (the producer or produces), and the le performing, Within the broader social dividuals to occupy multiple roles. Many Dis also do production work (especially remixing), for instance, and! many producers perform as Dis. The dynamics of the electronic dance music industry encourage this interaction: producers who perfor a5 DJs gain opportunities to ic, while Dis who experiment with production have a ready-made cv recordings). The skills required forthe two crafts producers must make records that work on the dance fl 2 thorough understanding of how such records are made.* Furthermore, a considerable percentage of the audience at a given EDM have some experience with Dling or production. Some may be "bed- room Dis," who never play in public, or producers who create music solely for thelr own enjoyment. Others may be amateur performers who play for free (or for very litle) at local and regional events. Semiprofessional or aspiring profes- si hese artists have begun to es- tablish a reputation outside oftheir immediate environment and to make money {rom their EDM activities, although they usually maintain some other job to make fends meet. Such @ high degree of participation in music-making is posible for a variety of reasons. First, one can be a producer or @ DJ on one's own; there is no need to form a band, organize rehearsals, or gain access to music-industry recording studios. Second, the technology req though professionals might have more pieces of equipment, be costly enough to be beyond the reach of amateurs, cheep forms of studio and D1 technology are widely availa ; the abstraction ‘of EDM may make Dling and produ of g rand Dis must have 48 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE body. However, these observations stem from my feld research in Indiana; locations with larger clubbing crowds, it may be less common for audiences to contain large numbers of Dis and produces. Of the roles | have outlined, the one that conforms most cosely to conven- tional notions of a musical creator is that of the producer. The meaning of this ten in electronic dance music difers somewhat from its connotations in the majority of contemporary popular music, were it generally refers to someone who oversees the process of recording in a stucio. Whereas this type of producer ‘an have a significant impact on the sound of a recording, sihe is not generally ‘thought of as a songwriter. In most EDM, however, technology is integrated directy Into the act of composition, and the person who creates music usualy records it as well. Hence, although | have chosen the term “recording artist” as the clearest expression of what the producer does, the distinctions between pr. ducer, songuriter, and recording artist begin to break dow EDM producer embodies a ina quit traditional fer the term used within the culture for atleast two reasons: leaves out the element of recording, essential to row explain ‘The DJ plays an exceptionally significant part in controlling the sound of electronic dance music. Much more than a person who simply plays records, the EDM DJ functions as an intermediary between the producer and the audience, the person who makes technologically mediated music immediate, DJs the records producers have made, choose certain ones of them, and them in a particular order to create a single continuous performance {a “set") ‘of an hour or more in length, A set's @ unity: not only do Dis create an unbroken low of sound, they also minimize the distinctions between individual tracks, so ‘thatthe emphasis ison the larger whole rather than its components, Furthermor ‘the Di's arrangements within the set are intentionally novel; one of the primary ‘goals of Diing isto create something new ftom diverse sources. To this end, Dis ‘combine tracks in unexpected ways; they layer parts of tracks on top of parts of ‘other tracks (for instance, the bass line of one record with a single measure of another reco ): and they create collage-tke pastiches by cutting back and forth between records. They also alter individual tracks, often considerably. 42, Asa veal, the person cetingelecronic dence music has much more det contol oer led i production thn 2 typlal popstar. Although EDM seems to vave mediation is use of technology is very “hands ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 49 art ofthis study tree of the Shiva, Mystik, and Viren Swift), all of whom are quoted herein. Third, I will often be speaking of Dis in __ @ general manner, and | wish to avoid using the defining power of language to suggest that “the sense is male. Hence | wi gendered pronouns Dl; when pronouns are necessary, I will use *sthe" (to be read “she or he") or “his and her." 2 compositional act—both root componere ("to put together”) and in a broader, more modern sense—even though Dis do not create music “from scratch."# Lest | overemphasize this compositional side, | hasten to point out that programming, or track select This involves playing the right music at is still compositional in focus, the former emphasizes the DJ's role as a sort of ‘iberconnoisseur—a person who chooses just the right entrée from the musical menu, In this capacity, the DJ might, for example, that much of the audience would recognize—by a wel point in the evening. In general, accounts of earlier types of (electronic) dance music emphasize programming over composition. Writes attempting to capture the ecstasy ofthe disco dancefloor describe the joy o a pe ming was ceatly a major emphasis as Fkentscher’s (2000) account reveals. Since the 1990s, the compositional side of Ding has become mare prominent. and it has become much less common to hear et. However, programming is emphasized to a considerable degree within certain genres Before | turn to a more detailed discussion of the musical figures | have presented, some words about the people who embody these roles are in ore, As in many other music-cultures, those with primaty control over the creation of electronic dance music (including both Dis and producers) are predominantly male. This fact rises a number of questions for authors writing about EDM. One practical concern involves the manner in which the DJ is referenced. Several studies (eg, Brewster and Broughton 2000, Fikentscher 2000), after noting that ‘most Dis are male, explain that they will always use male pronouns to refer to “him.” | find this approach problematic for several reasons. Fist, the number of female Dis and producers has increased ‘women are stil the minority in both professions. Its no longer true, as Brewster ‘and Broughton balily assert (2000: x), that “98 percent of DJs have a penis."* considered whether EDM cultures might be empowering and liberating or whether they perpetuate sexist power structures, as well as how and why they might be rating for particular groups of people (women and sexual minorities). As | in this chapter, however, we might also consid | played by gender in accounts of EDM's creation and development, as host of other questions: How are constructions of gender different or among the vai ‘0 do more than raise these questions, | wish 10 bring them up not only as but also to indicate that more is at stake is make music with an array of technology. Although the exact features and nds of their equipment may vary, certain components are common to almost J setups—namely, a pair of headphones, two tumtables, and a mixing board ‘et “mixer"). The mixing board, a simplified version of the equipment used in ‘5. Scholarly descriptions of popular musi aten depict its "best as masculine fis peristent scouse, the Al Musle Gude notes thet “whet td [al vas her empha on rhyter—in all kroun, Dis do rate musi om scratching recor, producing cael eno varios in pitch. Scratching i parvasve I many tunble-basea ses, but ratespeciy enn in mast EDK 48, Fox fre 50 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 51 ‘Example 1.1. Technics SL-1200 MK2 turntable. courtesy of Techies USA, recording studios, is usually placed between the turntables. This equipment is plugged into the venue's sound system, so that the music the DI plays is amplified through loudspeakers. Example 1.1 shows a Technics SL-1200 series turntable {the most commonly used turntable in electronic dance music), and exemple 1.2 presents @ high-end mixing boa ‘The Di uses this equipment to create @ continuous flow of music. There music and environment that has become essen also helps position the DJ as a creator rather than a mere presen leads to the set being perceived as @ whole shaped by the DI rather than as @ amiconsumet decries etal ap; hte. 2005 om Hepctvmebackspin.ogfoma nl Fo vn plonserprd}com. Al pages ted 16 June 2008 52 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE infomation about the DIN600, vist hap seties of songs recorded by other artists. Mixing in is most quential: the end of one record o ‘amount of time involved in the mix can vaty considerably, however: the DJ might imix the second h half of record 8, of play the two is togath might jump back and forth tumtable is connected to a separate channel on the mixing board, thereby allow- ing the DJ to control the volume of each record independently w (ed at the top of the mixer—appear in the bottom half of example 1.2.% In addition to the vertical faders, 0! mixing boards always contain another slider cal | the bottom of ex. 1.2). The cross fader controls the balance between two chan- ‘ols: the fader (see the three shapes pictured just above the cross fader on the DIM-600). up to the DJ to determine whether to employ the vertical faders, the cross ty, but the cross fader Besides controling the volume of each record in the mix, the DJ is ako able idval records with the knobs found above the 3" (short for “equal term that use as well. Each EQ knob controls a different range of the frequency “Spectrum, most commonly divided into high, middle, and low Dis use the EQs jon con serve a variety functions: it can be @ way of adjusting the sound of a record to the acoustics a paticular room and sound system; it can help two records blend more and forh is more The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 53 | seine tempo be maintained from one record to the next Ti _ of certain conventions of EDM Diing and composition—Dis ust tations per minute, the turntables used in EDM ' dane witha slider (usually speeds of either 33 oF 45 Diing allow continuous tempo adjustment. Th The tempo variation cet, although some Dis take th Ea wider range of variation. Dis maintain a constant tempo through a process called “beat mat (or, less commonly, “beat mixing"), Fundamental to EDM mixing, lke learning in tune, beat matching isa core skil thet must be mastered |. The "beat" referred to is the steady quarter notes of the bass ‘rum—although in more syncopated genres (eg, [unger 'n’ bass) is pres- | ence may have to be infeed. To match the beats of record 8 with those of | record A, the DI listens to record B (orto the combination of and B) through _ headphones, while Keeping the mixing board on a seting that allows the audi- ence to hear record A ony. The slider is then used to adlust the tempo of record |B s0 thatthe two records are moving at exacty the same speed, In addition, | the beats must be synchronized, which is accomplished by pushing the record Every slightly foward or backward | Another component of mixing, rarely mentioned in written descriptions of | the process, but equally important, i the alignment of larger periodicities: mee- sures, hypermeasures, and formal sections To accomplish this alignment, 2 technique knowm as “slp-cueing” becomes crcl. Once the D! has “cued up” record B through beat matching she hold itn piace with e finger. A ranges from +8 to —8 per tumtables apart and modify them to obtain Example 1.2. Pioneer DIW-600 mixing board, Coury of Pronger Electronics (USA, Ine effective it can call attention to an interesting part of a record; and it can ly intensify (and possibly distor) 2 sound through a process called | (to be discussed further in chapter 6), Textural manipulation occurs when the DI uses the EQs to remove a certain p ‘the bass drum, though the DJ might remove other parts to make @ mix work more effectively, For instance, if two synthesizer lines create too much pitch dissonance, one of them could be excised fiom the mix. The aesthetic of continuity that dominates EDM mixing requires not only stationary while the turntable spins undemeath ft. The DJ then lets it go when | record A reaches the desired point of synchronization, Some DJs also rock the leo fequnty ‘54 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Danco Music 55 record back and forth in time with the first record's beat while holding manner. ‘The process of beat matching requires great precision. Beats that might seem gradually go out of phase if they are not aligned exact. characterized by perpetual mechine-generated rhythms, unmatched shoes in a dryer.” EDM audiences are also quite sensitive to the importance of beat matching: a "train wreck," a term dancers use for an obviously unsuccessful imix, can clear the floor instantly, ‘The virwosity and precision associated wi contemporary Diing have been amount of time to reach full speed; in adsition, be slightly in tempo as a record plays—a behavior that might not be noticeable ‘when listening to a single recor, but that becomes @ serious to coordinate two records precisely. Stopping a ‘ue also strains the belt. With a “direct-drive” turntable, the mi directly o the deck, AS a resuit, the record never vates in speed, and the Dd i, able to stop and start a record instantaneously, at whatever spead is desired, thereby allowing much more fast-paced and flexible mi Features such 2s continuous tempo adjustment and the drect-dive turntable began to appear during the 1970s, They first became widespread, however, in 1979, when the Technics St-1200 series turntable appeared on the market. In addition to continuous tempo adjustment and a direct-drve motor, the Technics 1200 is designed so thatthe oud, resonant bass sounds characteristic of EDM not cause became the industry standard, to the extent ‘that tumtable technology has hardly changed since its introduct In addition to the standard turntables, headphones, and mixing board, Dis may utilize a of supplementary equipment. Perhaps the most common supplementary device i the effects processo ‘56 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE _dscaurse, these effects are often referred to collectively as “EFX.” An effects unit may be a separate device plugged into the mixing board or buit into the board Hise. Free-standing devices can be controlled in a variety of ways; in addition ‘the standard knobs and sliders, there are units featuring touch-pads, track and even an infrared laser beam that allows three-dimensional manipu: IM-600, for instance, contains an on-board also include @ sampler, other device that may be on-boatd or free-standing. The sampler allows the to extract a short excerpt from a record (or, for that matter, from any sound re connected to the sampler) and introduce it into the mix; if an effects unit 's also present, the sound can be manipulated as wel. Less commonly, some DJs = employ drum machines and other instruments in their sets, in the manner ofthe _ early Chicago house Ds. An example of a recent recording incorporating a num ber of these elements is Richie Hawtin’s DJ mix entitled Decks, EPX & 909 (NovaMute 3055-2, 1999). On this recording Hatin utilizes three turntable effects processor, and Roland TR-909 drum machine, playing portions of thiry- ight records in approximately one hou As previously described, twelve-nch vinyl is the standard format for elec “rronic dance music. In order to achieve maximum power and resonance by "spreading out the grooves of the record, most twelveinch dance singles are "considerably shorter than a rock album; they typically contain between two and buted between the records two sides, Tracks range from four th lengths of about six minutes being particularly , those that have distinct til) va fed tracks plus various altemate mixes F remixes, but in some cases all the tracks are unique During the 1970s, when the twelveinch format developed, vinyl was stil the standard medium for singles throughout the popular music industry; dance ‘music differed only in the size of its releases (twelve- versus sevens inch sin In the 1980s, however, @ new mecium, the compact disc, soon surpassed formats in popularity. Yet vinyl continued to be the material of choice EDM, Though dual CD players with variable speed control have been available for some time, these devices do nat allow the tactile control essential to modem. Diing, As the techniques | have described illustrate, Dis find the beat and cue ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 57 records by touching them directly with their hands, and advanced techniques ing are even more dependent on manual interaction, Within th however, new CD players aimed at the DJ market have been released. A picture of one such “claftal turntable,” the Pioneer CDJ-1000, is shown in example 1.3. Though the CD enters via a sl the device features @ round interface that can be conta the files. Example 1.4 shows a potential Final Scratch setup. The mixing board are standard; itis the software and records that a Courtesy of Paneer Electrics (USA, In 588 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE ‘Example 1.4, Final Scratch setup on two turntables and a mixing board. Courtesy of Stanton Magnets. we than the producer. Because an EDM recoring artist on rather than the rule, the DY’ performance n than the producer's recording, at favors relatively generic this context. In a typical DY only a few tracks by name; producers They also obscure The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 59 their Identities by recording under multiple names: As | noted tion, one result of the producer's anonymity is a substant ‘of contemporary writing (bath scholarly and jour paragraphs | begin to address this gap by components involved, while in chapter 6 i used in relation to aspects of rth, meter, a y Sound captured through this technique, ily tothe process of obtaining sounds inthis explore how this equipmer form, ‘The materials used to make electronic dance music are diverse, varying con- 4 siderably ftom producer to producer and constantly developing as technology Jmproves. Four main functions—synthesis, processing, sampling, and sequenc- ing—are essential to production. Each function occurs in both hardware and software manifestations: onthe one hand, there are machines called synthesizes, effects processors, samplers, and sequencers; on the other, there are computer Programs that fal the same functions. Only rarely are these categories src technology fulfils several functions 1S primary jeces of equipment contain softwar will be most pro- ‘erm fom Brewster an Brougeton 2000: keyboa” camot be played “ey eyboarésnaped irterae, and they ere quite snl (the etre instrument is approximately one foot In wih Rather, the deca mut be programed, wth ches nd thytimsentred sopra. buttons set ontop of @ 68 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE complicate the picture further, some twelve-inches contain mt "track by its original producer, thereby undermining any effort to identify a single recording as authoritative. In any event, distinctions between all these types of le of no concer to Dis, who simply choose the mix that they iences like best. A remix of a track may be much bigger hit than which may receive litle or no club lay at all» In between the D1’s performance and the producers recording isthe “live | PA." a term used to desctibe live performances by producers. The term does not | refer to performances by producers as Dis but, rather se of | stucio technology during ike events, and at “concerts” given by the most comm _EDM performers they do not usually occur as part of a regular evening at 2 ib, Just as the equipment producers use in te studio v technology employed in these per _ thesizers and other equipment: for instance, at 2 performer _ (2 group of musicians om the Underground Resistance label) that f attended in 2 May 31, 2004, one musician ("Mad” Wike Banks) played Keyboards instruments and human performers. With the tendency is evident in the manufacturer's own characterization of the product. However, technology is rarely used in this manner in EDM. Producers steer clear of sounds that approximate acoustic instruments, pref the sound of, | don’t know, a great piano or that, get the real thing. For us, synthesizers are sounds. t's all about making sounds that na one has ever heard before. HvBRID RoLes Some of the musically creative activities that occur in electronic dance music b the boundaries between the normally clearly defined roles of recording arti ming artist. Two of the most common of these hybrid roles, which | wi ‘explore briefly in te following section, are those of remixer and live PA. Technically, remixing is @ type of production work. In practice, however, changes music in much the same way as Diing, and it Is gen people who are Dis. In fac, many Dis who do not produce create remixes. Remixes may be “authorized” or “bootlegged," depending upon whether they are sanctioned by the producer of the remixed track. Today, the vast majority of them are authorized: in fact, they are usually solicited by the PAs, the musicians sit in blasts out of huge speaker stacks surrounding them; | observed one such per- | formance in this style by Nobukaza Takemura atthe 2001 Detroit Electronic Music Festival The extent to which the live PA is Improvised also vares cons remixer uses these as raw material, while also adding his or her own material. ‘The extent to which the remix departs from the siderably. Some remixes keep the structure of the ‘ype of performance, tracks are usually played continu- _ ously in the manner of a Di set, though they are created with sequencers and | other technology rather than played ftom recordings; two producers whom 1 This approach op songs. However, construct the track. Elements from the master recording will be chopped up, processed, and reordered, and sometimes so many new elements willbe added that it wil be dificult to detect any features ofthe or My des mixing preserves a clear recording and its remixes. In practice, however, this boundary is often quite blurry. In many cases, no time interval separates the primary recording and its remixes; when a track is fist released, its twelve-inch commonly contains the " version of a track as well as several remixes by different artists. To. by Azo Da 4 60 Fkentschar ude Howes such as Moby, Cherical Brothers, and The Prodigy. As _ pat th champoning by the lger msc indus, these ac ave been expected fo = i east to ceain exten, to rok conventions; ence they appear in public g9 “on tur,” have sce respects to rock cree ad often contin rare than one membres 482. Adam Jay also perfor both DJ sts en live AS, although ou inten focused largely nbs sto work. 70 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 71 ches contain multiple versions of a _ track by its original produces, thereby undermining any effort to identify a single tecording as authoritative. In any event, cstinctions between all these types of ies are of litle or no concer to Dis, who simply choose the mix that they audiences like best. A remix of a track may be a much bigger hit than portrayed as substitutes for “real” instruments and human performers. With the 303, this tendency is evident in the manufacturer's own characterization ofthe product. However, technology is rarely used in this manner in EDM, Producers. clear of sounds that approximate acoustic instruments, prefering to use lectronic machines ir own special sonic attributes, In 2 1997 interview (reprinted in Rule 1999: 8), the Chemical Brothers express this attitude very larly mance and the producer's recording is the “live /e performances by producers. The tem does not This idee of having to replete the sound of! dort know, a great piano or whatever | meat if you want that, get the real thing, For us, synthesizes are F teler to performances by producers as Dis but, rath for making sounds that no other machines can make—not for copying other sounds t's all about making sounds that no one has ever heard before. they do not usually occur as part of a regular evening at a ust a5 the equipment producers use inthe sti varies, o, 0, des the _‘echnology employed in these performances. Some producers actually “play” syn- ers and other equipment: for instance, at @ performance by ‘ans from the Underground Resistance label) that | attended in Derot on May 31, 2004, one musician ("Mad Mike Bons) payed keyboards _ anther cummed wit his hands onan electronic rum pd, tid musician and projections of visual images and thematically) with the music. A other live PAS, the musician st infront of a laptop computer while the music sts out of huge speaker stacks surrounding them; | observed one such per: ce in tis style by Nobukaza Takemura atthe 2001 Detroit Electronic Music The extent to which the five PA is improvised also varies considerably create their ovm tracks in more or less complete form when this type of performance, tracks are usually played continu: Easy in the manner of a DJ set, though they are created with sequencers and 198; two producers whom | yBRio notes ‘Some of the musically creative activities that occur in electronic dance music the boundaries betieen the normaly cl performing artist. Two of the most common of these yori explore briefly in the following section, are those of remixer and lve PA. Technically, remixing is 2 type of production work. in practice, however, changes music in much the seme way a Diing, and itis generally done by people who are Di create remixes, Remixes may be “authorized” or “bootlegged,” depending upor ‘whether they are sanctioned by the producer of the remixed track. Today, the vast majority of them are author tod by the To start, the producer aves the remi contain a separate recording of each instrumental or vocal fine, The, while also adding his or her own materia The extent to which the remix departs from the orignal recording can vary cane siderably. Some remixes keep the structure of the original track largely intact and y add a few new elements (e.g, new percussion parts, ora different synti ine). This eporoach is especially common wien Dis ate asked to remix Top 40 op songs. However, it is much tore common for the remixer to rai construct the track, Elements from the master recording will be chopped Up processed, and reordered, and sometimes so many new elements will be ad that it wil be difficult to detect any features of the S ‘My description of remixing preserves a clear ci recording and its remixes. In practice, however, this boundary Is often 4) blury. In many cases, no time interval separates the primary recording and twelveinch commonly conta 80, These performers inclu figures such as Moby, Chena Bother, and The Prodigy. As bet oftheir championing bythe larger music industry, these acs have been expected to confer, ‘est to a continent, to rock conventions; hence they apgear pubic go “onto,” have sv respects to rock concerts and often contin mere han ane members some respect) ‘one ofa number esc in Loubet 2000. 0 perfor both Dy sts and ve PAs, though ou interes fc lage ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 71 7 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE simply improvise with loops (short repeating patterns) stored in thelr computer or sequencer." sical. Ina quite specific sense, the dancers motions are rhythmic, they add a counterpoint to the sounding patterns of the music. Moreover, to dance to this music is to interpret it. On the dance floor, motion is largely an individually determined phenomenon. There are no predetermined steps or choreography; instead, each dancer must shape his or her response to the music as it unfolds, | Hence Fikentscher’s description of EDM dance as “musicking in movement” seems particularly appropriate. As he notes, “musicking in sound and musicking in movement happen simultaneously and in relation to each other” (2000: 58).* THE DANCER Dancers, whom I have described as the “performing audience” (p. 47), form a thitd side of the triangle of creative activity in electronic dance music. Construct ing this network in three parts is unusual; most scholarship has portrayed the World of music in binary terms, maintaining a conceptual separation between music's creator and its audience. The di fundamental to musiclogy, f ‘duction and consumption has long been a part of popu : general ever, there are several reasons wity dance, as practiced within EDM, should be extent of interaction involved can vary considerably. "Dancing together” might viewed as a creative musical performance. Fist in contrast to many other dance ply dancing near each other, responding to each other's motions with- based tracitions (e.9., ballet), EDM dancers ata lve event can have a significant ly touching, o pysica Wg through dance. Even when dancers impact upon the sounds that unfold. Successful Dis are highly attuned to the 1c, however, the primary focal points of EDM dancing are ohysical and crowd's behavior, most do not play prearranged sets, instead preferring to shape musical expression rather than “ritualized courtship” (Fkentscher 2000: 66). The their performance as the evening unfolds in order to get a maximal response from the people on the floor. AS a result, the audience's actions—whether o not they dance, the intensity with which they dance, and the other physical and verbal cues that they ive tothe DJ-—can affect what music willbe played, when it will be played, and how it will be played. Furthermore, communication flows in both linear and lateral directions: ta 4s, not only between audience and DJ, but also within the audience itel Vidual dancers collaborate with the DJ and with ezch other to create a sense of “vibe"—a powerful affective quality associated with the experience of going dancing—among those present. Although the type of vibe sought out may vary depending on the style of music played, the people in attendance, and the type of event, this sense of communal energy isan essential part ofan effective event Most dance music fans appreciate a performance that teresting and techni does not coaperate in generating a vibe to surround At the same time, the audience does not have direct control over the music ‘that is played. They cannot select the music; they can only respond to what the DJ offers them. Nevertheless, their participation remains both creative and mu: between creation and reception is bbe nearby. Some dancers also use accessories, such as light “toys” that h, or glow; inthis way, dance can acquire another dimension of technolog mediation, The individualistic nature of EDM dancing should not be overemphasized, however. Being one among a crowd of dancers is clearly a communal experience, ‘one that can bring on powerful emotions.® Furthermore, there are common pat- ‘tems of motion in EDM,* and many dancers are influenced by the ways in which ‘others around them move, These themes—ingividualism in the midst of a com- rmunal context—come to the fore in the following excerpt from an interview with 85 Fketscher dies the canept of “musicking” fom Srl 1987, who posts the term as 2 vay of coneeptaling music a an acti 186. See abo Malion 1999, Ao relevant, however, are Pi furterdisuin ofthe communal apc of EDM dancin S08 Fkerscher 2000 (sp. bon 1959 (esp. 70-133). ned ways of moving, thee are aso certain ses of dance known Break dancing. a vruosie ste that aose as apart hip hop occur aly sporadically in most avis ofen describe 2 unig stl of dancing of moves the way in which they ae combined dually determined, See Buldand 2002 for sore interesting description of dances dance il ‘requ seeespacly pp 80-82 (Fkantcher 200) movements, 72 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 73, J Impact (who, as a parttime teacher of Latin dance as well as a clubber, was able to offer particularly lear descriptions of his experiences): ‘Mark Butler: You say you have “moves.” Did you think about how you're going to move ahead of time, before you heard the music, or is it something you 7 have are | guess my dancing “stolen” # Ds Impact: Yeah, there's defintely pattems. And when | notice m Afferent, because obvious I can see mysel ing th In his comments, DJ Impact describes @ number of negotiations between individ tal and communal aspects of dancing. On the one hand, he wants his dancing ‘to blend in with that of the crowd as a whole, and he leams from the ways others move. On the other hand, he is concerned that his dancing should appear sufficiently distinctive, while also believing that most of those around him are In commenting on the ole of dence within EDM, | have emphasized elements ‘an understanding ofthe musica phenomena that the creative and musical capacities in which dancers inyolved, as well as the balance between and among individual and com munel forces within live musical events. Many more questions might be pursued at length: for instance, how and to what extent might particular ways of moving correlate to particular musical phenomena, and how might these physical behav- iors be understood as rhythmic or otherwise musical phenomena in thelr own tight? These are immensely complicated questions that no current study of EDM has addressed in any depth, although several recent studies have made important contributions toward our understanding ofthe aesthetic and cultural that 7 GETTING INTO THE GROOVE tape dance as a general practice. In the spit of the comments offered in the rodction, it would be desirable to see scholars account not only for specific musical practices but also for specific ways of moving in relation to those prac- ies, tis toward the first of these goals that | will now diect my attention ‘The History and Creation of Electronic Dance Music 75