Peace, love, unity, and respect. These four words constitute the belief system of a new manifesto for the rave culture that has breached the adolescent to young adult culture. Centering on the performances of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) artists, the culture involves vibrant colors, bright lights, and a wild celebration unlike any other. Sold out venues have become more and more the norm as the popularity of Electronic music increases. Artists such as Avicii, Skrillex, and Swedish House Mafia, have not only sold out arenas, but also they have headlines some of the most notable venues in the United States such as the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, and Radio City Music Hall.
Mainstream EDM’s presence emerged in the early 90’s but in recent years, the genre has steadily been booming with more recognition than ever before. The ground shaking bass lines, catchy hooks, and up-tempo rhythms keep listeners engaged and animated throughout. Using a computer and turntables for instruments, producers use an array of different sounds and pre-existing song samples to create different subgenres of dance music including house, progressive, dub step, etc. The music focuses on the buildup and release of the “drop,” which is usually a loud burst of an appealing beat and a bass line that could potentially be measured on the Richter Earthquake scale. The adrenaline evoking combination can spike any blood pressure and leave one with no choice but to dance.
For some, the new genre can be quite hard to enjoy or understand, however artists such as Skrillex are outspoken about their music stating that the unique experience and emotions the music captures are what make it so special.
Within the scene of young adults that regularly attend these shows, a new family oriented group has arisen. They live behind the belief of treating one another with the intentions of PLUR, or peace, love, unity, and respect. One raver stated, “The scene is about bringing people together. It’s more then just music…No one is alone at a show. Everyone has a friend waiting to be met.” Accommodating the vibrant neon outfits come an accessory which the ravers refer to as “Kandi.” This homemade beaded jewelry can be worn as bracelets, necklaces, cuffs, or even masks. The Kandi is then traded amongst the mass as a gift to show equality. “Kandi is wearing our hearts on out sleeves” states a twenty-year old raver “basically it shows memories, Friends, Quotes, Really anything.”
Like many other past music cultures, the use of psychoactive drugs is viewed as a commodity within the attendance of a performance. However, many ravers believe this is a misconception perceived from the guests looking only for a fun night out. “It’s the ones who don’t see the true beauty of what going on that feel the need to use drugs” he tells us “most of us (PLUR scene) are actually sober.”
Every generation has a fresh different sound it can cling to and claim as it’s own; the 60’s had the Beatles, the 70’s had disco, the 90’s had punk rock and hip hop. EDM is this generation’s innovative genre of music, and its popularity is nowhere near the peak. Because of its elasticity with the use of new technology, the possibility’s for new noise is virtually endless, leaving the horizon of the genus very unknown, yet thoroughly optimistic.