Dance music historian Bill Brewster weighs in on ‘EDM’ debate
Adding to the list of opinions on the recent “what is EDM?” debate, dance music historian Bill Brewster –a man most well known for his book with Frank Broughton Last Night A DJ Saved My Life – recently weighed in with quite some impactful and telling words. Brewster, in speaking to Mixmag, explained that he thinks “EDM has effectively bypassed the club culture on which house and techno were founded” –an implication that the scene draws more of its influence from arena rock concerts than true DJing. We’ve seen similar opinions from other more underground DJs as of late, including Richie Hawtin and Loco Dice on their CNTRL: Beyond EDM tour and lecture series.
Also touching on a subject covered in the dance music world ad nauseam this year, Brewster spoke on the “phenomenon” of prerecorded sets insisting that “it’s the live interaction between DJ and dancefloor where the real fun occurs.” In his eyes, when the DJ does not have “the ability to change the mood, change the tempo, change the style, [he or she is] nothing more than a jukebox that needs a toilet break every so often.”
The last and most heartbreaking thing Brewster mentioned was his experience “checking out all the big clubs in Ibiza” two years ago, describing that Tiesto’s show at Privilege “looked like 10,000 people waiting for the world’s largest bus to arrive.”