Six weeks ago, a plethora of major power players in the electronic music culture (EMC) industry converged upon New South Wales, Australia for the Electronic Music Conference. Recently, footage from the event – including a 40-minute keynote presentation by Beatport founder Matthew Adell – had been released. Described as a discussion of the “apprehension and the opportunities that come next, demonstrating how the evolution of dance music can continue to change the lives of many millions more,” it’s a wonderful speech given by an engaging speaker who effectively demonstrates his knowledge of the new landscape. However, insofar as effectively understanding just how dance music can “change the lives of many millions more” is where it falls short. In discussing the quasi-religious EMC movement, he forgets that as much as you can build a church (and even have the organist play the best music), it’s in creating sounds that invite all people into the space to connect in the church that truly makes the difference. In appearing to de-emphasize the unique humanity in having music connect to your experience in lieu of pushing the notion of the music itself and its effect on the people (simply broken down as audiology > psychology) it provided only half of the picture of defining how EMC will have its most lasting influence.
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