Saying the word “Guetta” after the word “David” invariably stirs debate in dance music circles. To some, he’s a prophet and visionary; the man who almost single-handedly took dance music from dingy nightclubs and sweaty raves and shoved it down the throats of people who are horrified by the thought of dingy nightclubs and sweaty raves. David Guetta showed us that everyone likes dance music, simply because everyone likes to dance. He’s the reason that Usher and Flo Rida continue to dominate the radio and the YouTube charts.
Nothing But the Beat tells David Guetta’s story through David Guetta’s eyes. We think it should be required viewing for all EDM fans (just as Take One and A Cross the Universe were), and it’s free for the next week as an iTunes podcast download. Even if you’re not a David Guetta fan, it’s still an educational experience — this is a documentary about David Guetta, but that means it’s also a documentary about dance music, and it’s worth watching if only for the cameos by Fatboy Slim, Laurent Garnier, David Morales, Pete Tong, Avicii, and Afrojack.
Some consider Guetta a “sellout” because he made house music more poppy, and his style has certainly evolved since 2003’s Just a Little More Love. But we can also credit him for making pop music more housey. When he bumped Armin Van Buuren from his perch atop the DJ Mag rankings, the trance family was outraged. (Though the genre remains incredibly popular, as Armin’s wildly successful A State of Trance celebrations proved so emphatically.) Today, however, the dominant sound in popular dance music consists of a simple beat structure, catchy melodies, and accessible lyrics. A sound pioneered by David Guetta.
Regardless of where your EDM allegiances lie, Nothing But The Beat gives us a glimpse into the life one of the world’s most successful musicians. You may love David Guetta, you may hate him, but you certainly can’t ignore him.
Editor’s Note: Last month, my little sister (a high school junior) attended her first EDM show ever — a David Guetta concert. While I wish it had been an Above & Beyond extravaganza, she had a great time. I guess I can thank DG for introducing her to the wonderful world of electronic dance music.