Modern Media Impact on todays electronic music?

    Music is an art form that has been entertaining the masses for as long as time itself.

Thousands of genre’s and artist have left their mark in history, and this has resulted In

many unique sounds and styles emerging onto the music scene. There is a clear

progression of sound when you take a look back and notice how the musical instruments

have changed, and the different ways that we produce music have also changed quite

significantly. As the world has moved deeper into the electronic generation, we find that

music has also taken the same direction as well. From electronic synthesizers, DJ mixing

equipment, and computer software programs, the shift into the electronic realm for music

has been clear, and more and more artist are emerging into the music scene thanks to

these countless amounts of newly emerging elements of music creation. According to Mark

Prendergast, Author of The Ambient Century , “New music no longer needs to shout loud to

impress. It could do so quietly through the beautiful textures of new super sound

technology.” (4). Any individual can now create music. Anyone today can turn on their own

personal home computer And find an infinite library of different sounds, samples and


   As the world has embraced the rise of electronic music production, other forms of    

media has done all it can to promote and advertise new and upcoming artist. The

publicity has been very rewarding for many artist and its easy to see that certain

artist have risen to the top in terms of fame thanks to the advertising and promotions that

recording labels will almost always provide. But an issue has arisen recently, which is that

the rise of popular media has led to a decline in quality of todays popular electronic music.

       The media is causing a decline in quality electronic music. The media is focused on

making money and doing so by using an individual who is promotable and will bring public

interest. And this in itself is actually fine! Any recording label or promotional advertiser

will need to be able to support themselves in their business. And doing what they are doing

is how its done. The problem that we see now, however, is that these companies are more

focused on the artist image, as opposed to the actual talent and originality of the artist

themselves. This is especially evident in the electronic music genres of today. When taking

a look at some of the earlier examples of electronic music, we see that there was quite a bit

of variety. Early house artist like Yazz and Joe Smooth, trance artist such as Paul Oakenfold

and Robert Miles, and dubstep artist such as Skream and Benga, all had very unique sounds

that clearly differentiated from one another and not only was it unique, but it was also very

good. But what has happened in at least the last 15 years, is that recording labels have

grown to completely take over and dictate what becomes popular and what is considered

to be “good music”.

 There was a shift where originality was no longer rewarded as much as it should be. 

Recording labels and advertising companies became more focused on money than the

music itself and started to pick and choose what the trend followers would want. People

are followers, and they will find themselves liking the things that others like quite often.

The people behind these recording labels know this, and they will put out and create

whatever kind of sound the guy before them got popular with. When taking a look at what

is popular today, and what we will hear on the radio in cars passing by, or on the MP3

players of kids in schools, its easy to hear that much of the music sounds almost exactly the

same. It seems that the current trend is to take house influenced beats, a hard bass line, and

generic overused synths, all behind a singer or rapper who often doesn’t even make their

own lyrics. And sadly, quite often, can’t even really sing and instead will rely on auto-tune

and vocal filters to make them sound like they have singing talent. “When you listen to

Britney Spears, what you are hearing is the sound of a mouse being moved around a screen,

not the sound of a human voice pitching.” (Ian Shadwell, Modern Music Is Rubbish). And all

of this is what seems to be popular today. “Modern day music, has two sides. Junk and not

junk. Junk sells, and is what you hear when you tune your radio to any popular radio

station.” (Has Modern Music Lost It’s Meaning?” Matt Mckay.)

       Why are people liking this type of music? If it is all so commercial and generic, why 

don’t people go and seek out the artist who aren’t being controlled by the popular media

and advertising of today? Clearly there must be more out there. Like mentioned before,

people will like what others like, and especially follow along with big names that are

popular icons in today’s age. This is why these large companies will push an artist into

the public eye who others will want to follow. Thus, people will follow that artist, and

follow artist with the same music styling, and due to the hype that the artist receives

thanks to everyone else and advertising, people won’t find other unique and good music

unless they really are trying. And most people won’t because they want to fit in with others

choices so they don’t feel out of place. This results in artist without originality and talent at

the top of the charts and making the most money, and artist who have original and unique

sound with a large amount of talent end up in the background, unable to achieve the

publicity and recognition that they truly deserve. All because the big companies on top

don’t find those particular artist marketable. It seems obvious that the impact of the

recording industry and advertising media has had a negative affect on the music of today.

The artist who deserve to be recognized are barely making it and the individuals who have

almost no talent but can put on a good show or look good in a music video are getting

everything, which is completely unfair and it’s been a progressing movement for many

years. If we want to see the original and talented artist rising to fame and getting the

recognition that they deserve, people need to stop trying to follow the crowd and start

being their own selves and liking what they truly like regardless of what others might

think. It’s the modern media working with the individuals who follow along with hype that

is causing this downfall in quality and what is popular and successful. Good electronic

music is still out there, but relying on the big recording labels to find It is not a good idea.

People need to support the underground electronic artist if we want to continue to see

original and unique music in the music world. The generic electronic blend that has been

rising to the top is horrible, and when listening to this sort of music, you can tell that there

is no emotion and real effort put into these productions. This even applies to instrumental

productions as well. Many of the instrumental tracks put out today that get popular are

allot of overly repetitive beats and synths with no depth. Yet because of the modern media,

these sort of tracks rise to fame.

       The music industry has always been a complex business, and its been the reason for 

many artist’ rise to fame. But it seems clear that while this proves to be beneficial for some,

it ends up hurting others, and the ones that end up being hurt are the ones who deserve the

fame, and the ones who acquire fame are the ones who don’t deserve it at all. Money has

become the priority of the modern media. Its become the sole focus, and the screen which

the industry views everything through. They were at one time very helpful for the world of

music and bringing real artist into the light. But the modern generations have changed the

world, and the music industry with it. There is still a bit of good quality productions out

there, but it takes a real love for good music to go out and find it. Within the realms of what

lies within the modern music industry, you will find nothing but repetition without heart

and passion. You will find a generic sound that appeals to those who want to fit in. And you

will see that by supporting these big names as such, it supports those without talent and

heart, and hurts those who truly have a passion and love for what they do. It hurts the

individuals who will spend their time creating a new synth sound instead of using an

already produced and overused version, the ones who are creating their own beats instead

of using a generic stock beat, and the ones who will spend months on end finding

inspiration from their lives, finding the things that drive them to do what they do and to

create what they create, instead of throwing something quick and catchy together for the

sake of making money. The rise of popular media has led to a decline in quality of todays

popular electronic music, and for most individuals, this is easy to see.

Do you agree with this?

yeah i agree. heres some of the grandfathers of electronic…listen to the simplicity and originality.

Woah dang thats a long post!
But yeah, media of late kinda killed everything.

Underground artist make it real ya know what Im sayin.


As someone who got into electronic music before the massive pop culture influx into house music, I would agree with this. I would also tend to say that the American culture tends to jump on the bandwagon, suck the life out of a certain genre, and then jump to the next big thing. However, when you look at a specific genre of EDM you see that it has a big, popular following in its country of origin, but it isn’t over-hyped and over-played to death like it is here in the states.

On a more self-centered note, if our pop culture only gets into house and brostep before moving on I’ll be perfectly happy. Those aren’t genres I particularly care for (although I do enjoy having my face melted by a midrange saw synth every once in a while). I doubt Americans will ever be able to get into hardstyle or hardcore EDM, which are my two favorite genres, and that suits me just fine.

A bit late reply on my part but I just wanted to say that like you, I am very much into hardstyle, and I have always wondered why the style never gets any US attention, but while I wish more to be into it, I also dont want it to be taken by the american media and turned into something for commercial use and money making hype.
As for now, I guess its just not the style americans would be into.


Before I get hipster pretentious about this, I also got into Electronic Music while growing up. Yeah, it’s just your typical trance, techno, French House [Daft Punk], and your commercialized Better Off Alone, but it was before everyone put electronic synths on their pop music.

What kinda pisses me off with the whole electronic music is categorized by ignorant people as ‘techno’ and everything with a wobble bass as ‘dub[bro]step’

Kinda wish pop music will just move on. So all of us can enjoy electronic music again.

Okay, I ended up sounding like a prentious butt. =[

There is still a lot of good electronic music out there, nobody’s forcing you to listen to the radio. People are actually making good stuff.

Still possible to listen to all the old stuff as well.

The more popular EDM has become, the more the quality of the music has fallen off. Hell, the “DJs” today aren’t even DJs. They just play pre-programmed sets with no real showmanship. Back before Serato became the norm, it actually took talent to put together a good set. Nowadays though, it seems like nobody even cares about anything more than what track is being played. Beatmatching and properly mixing tracks isn’t even important.

Meh. You guys can have this new school sound vomit, which I wouldn’t even consider “music” anymore. I’ll stick to the old mix CDs I have from when the electronic music scene was putting out some quality stuff.

P.S. - DnB > Dubstep

Serato and other digital mixing platforms that have a sync button didn’t kill EDM and it is extremely naive to say they did. No matter how old school you are, you never went to a show/club just to watch the DJ beatmatch; you went to listen to music. I will concede that the ability to synchronize tracks at the push of a button has brought in a large number of amateur DJs into the scene, but everyone has to start somewhere. Plenty of top40 DJs spin on CDJs but make horrible mixes. Then on the other extreme you have people like Bassnectar who are doing everything synced in Ableton, but are producing mind blowing sets.

Lorin even made a pretty great write-up on the matter.

Speak for yourself, dude. Those things may not have killed YOUR interest in EDM. But they have most certainly turned ME off to the music. That doesn’t make me naive either. I just have a whole lot more respect for DJs with actual talent, instead of producers who need fancy equipment to do their beat matching for them. Because of this changing of the guard, the true pioneers in electronic music have been left at the wayside, and replaced by people who I feel have no business even performing in front of a crowd (Skrillex and Deadmaus, for example). The overall quality of the EDM scene has fallen way off as a result, IMO.

You know what else? In my raver days, as well as my many years attending 21+ club nights, I DID pay attention to how the DJs were mixing tracks together. Just because that sort of thing isn’t important to you, that doesn’t mean it is the same for everyone else. Now yeah, I will admit that I primarily went to enjoy the music. That’s a given. But I also went to see (and hear) DJs take 2 tracks (or maybe even 3 or 4), match them up, and then adjust the levels on each one to create something new. It wasn’t only about the track selection in their set. It was how they transitioned from one track to the next.


Though kind of unrelated, I’ve also noticed the trend of people attending music festivals not because of the music, but solely because of the DJ featured for the night…which gets kinda unfair because the club scene is going dry and aspiring DJs are not noticed because Avicii, SHM, Tiesto, and the kind are taking all the audience.

Instead of going every week to go clubbing, they’d save up all of that clubbing money for festivals to see these famous DJs.

Clubbing and festivals aren’t my thing, as I prefer listening to electronic music at my own leisure, but it’s something I’ve noticed…

EDM has one thing in common with “radiomusic”, in that it’s primary purpose is not listening. Let’s not forget that a DJ is not there to make good music in the moment. A DJ, is not supposed to do anything more than playing the music that the crowd wants to hear. While I generally despise modern dance music myself, I cannot hold anything against a man doing his only job, which is to provide people with something they can dance to. And while that music might not be enjoyable, the people in the crowd are only there to jump up and down.

As a Norwegian graduate, I’ve had some first-hand experience with modern EDM this year (youtube “tryvann 2012” if you want to see what this is about). The results of the “reasearch” I did in this period was that most people listening to this music really just want to jump up and down and look stupid. Therefore I spent my time with the other graduates busting these moves completely unnoticed:

EDM is screwed, leave the sunken ship. Lots of other good electronic music you can listen to. I find that the real gems are in between electronic and acoustic music.

And while we say how modern music is messed up; the 90’s had the Macarena TOPPING ALL THE LISTS. Now that is sad.

As someone who listens to a number of EDM genres because I enjoy how they sound and as someone knows numerous people who share this trait, I’m going to have to call you out on that. Sure, actually developing a taste for music isn’t something that is made attractive in pop culture, but there are plenty of people who don’t care what is in the popular culture and would rather do their own thing.

There is a type of DJ whose only job is to play what the crowd wants, but they are the ones playing weddings, house parties, and low-level clubs. There are other DJs who are selling out shows where they are the main attraction. People expect those DJs to make good music in the moment and most of them do.