Today is Thanksgiving. It’s a time to give thanks for good health, good friends, good family, and, of course, good music. We thought we’d take the time to pay tribute to our favorite parts of dance music culture on this day of thanks, not only for the guys who slave over turntables while we get to party, but for the dance music scene in general and its constantly expanding fanbase. This one’s for the EDM acts that put their heart and soul into it, the clubs that go all out every night of the week, and the people who live and breathe house music. It’s the least we can do.
I am thankful for Steve Angello; for putting out the best releases in progressive house, for his late night Mescal Kid sets, for knowing he will keep the Swedish House Mafia legacy alive in his solo career, and for not changing a thing since he made me fall in love with dance music years ago. I am thankful for Afrojack; for making music that never fails to put a weird look on my face, for giving Paris Hilton the ‘hit it and quit it’ treatment, for putting together his Jacked parties that nearly induce seizures, and for giving me the inspiration to one day drink Grey Goose as if it were water. I am thankful for Pacha NYC for giving us freaks a place to dance until 10am. I am thankful for the amazing reception of dance music, the acceptance from music awards and pop culture, and most of all the fans that wake up every morning to read Dancing Astronaut.
I am thankful for Bromance records, for bringing dark tones and industrial venom out of the underground. For Gesaffelstein and Brodinski‘s back to back sets. For Club Cheval‘s Bromance #6 and “Vanilla Girl.” For Danny Brown’s lyrical genius on “The Black Brad Pitt” and Gesaffelstein’s gritty remix. For Louisahh! and Brodinski convincing us to let the beat control our bodies. I’m most thankful for all of the artists that continue to push boundaries and create music out of love not money; for rejuvenating my passion for musical discovery in an endless sea of synthesizers and Soundcloud embeds.
I am thankful for Moby and other producers like him who continue to produce music with a soul. To Pretty Lights for consistently fusing hip-hop and EDM into cohesive, fluid tracks. I am thankful for all the experiences I’ve had because of dance music, for all the memories tied to songs, and to my fellow astronauts for inspiring me to be better and do better even when I don’t want to.
I am also thankful for Diplo’s twitter account. Not only is he a musical innovator with an ear for trends but also one of the funniest guys in dance music. His tweets range from embarrassingly insightful (“I wanna start a new email address but don’t think I can bear with the loneliness of no emails for the first few days”) to absurd (“I hate clothes. I never want to wear them but you look stupid with shoes on and no clothes and I like to wear shoes.”) Although I haven’t expressed myself for him yet, that doesn’t mean I don’t plan on it. Shit Diplo Says > Shit Girls Say.
I am thankful for everyone that has made Dancing Astronaut a success. I am thankful for the thousands and thousands of people that continuously attend concerts, festivals, and shows. I am thankful for the different subgenres and artists that make dance music unique. The movement is continuously picking up – it’s not about to blow up because it already has. Dance music continues to push the limits and propel the entire music industry forward. We are living a revolution and being part of a company that helps the movement makes me incredibly thankful. So thank you reader for taking the time out to read this, we would be nothing without you.
I’m thankful for Bassnectar. From his immaculate, diversified albums, to his self-dubbed “omnitempo maximalism” style, to his outspoken beliefs, he is an inspiration. I’m thankful for Ableton Live, for allowing artists like Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, and Madeon to redefine the creativity of live performance. I’m thankful for Dillon Francis, for photoshopping his face onto cats and spending $74 at Taco Bell. Without his comic relief, the world of EDM would be all too serious. Finally, I’m thankful for Seven Lions and Kill Paris for bringing new forms of beautiful bass music into the scene.
I’m thankful for Donna Summer. I’m thankful I bought Ultimate Dance Party 1997 in third grade. I’m thankful for BBC Radio 1 and the bassy two-step sound that has defined the UK scene in 2012. I’m thankful for acronyms like TATW, ASOT, and ABGT and that trance is still alive and kicking. I’m thankful for the San Francisco music scene. There are few metropolitan areas in the world that allow you to choose from any number of world class DJs and producers on any given night without waiting in line or paying out the ass. I’m thankful for the island of Ibiza. I’m thankful for promoters with vision and EDC Las Vegas. I’m thankful I write somewhere that allows me to talk about all of these things. Most of all, I’m thankful for everything we have to look forward to in 2013.
I’m thankful for Ableton Live and the democratization of dance music production. I feel very fortunate to live in an age where producers need not rely on expensive hardware to make quality music or big record labels to ensure it gets heard. I’m thankful for M-nus, Cadenza and Bromance for keeping my faith in the soul of dance music alive. I’m thankful for down-to-earth innovators like Steve Duda and Ean Golden who continually enrich the music scene with their behind-the-scenes wizardry. I’m thankful for Zedd, deadmau5, Boys Noize and all the other artists who are keeping the album format alive in dance music’s Beatport-single-driven abyss. I’m thankful for techno prophet Richie Hawtin for bringing his sorely needed CNTRL: Beyond EDM tour to the States. Finally, I’m thankful for Kraftwerk for inventing many of the tools that the music we love takes for granted today.
I am thankful that moombahton has moved from the DC underground to the dance music mainstream. That the genre has helped influence producers to experiment with Latin sounds, creating a plethora of sub-genres seasoned with Latin vibes. I am thankful that dubstep is not dead. I am happy to see that the genre characterized by its bass drops continues to mature into something more than “bass in your face.” I am thankful for BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1xtra because they continue to produce quality shows which highlight underground artists and dance music’s elite alike. That Mistajam’s show and Diplo & Friends introduced me to the likes of Clockwork, Baauer, Rudimental, and Disclosure. I am thankful that hip-hop and dance music have mated to create a reinvented version of trap music with help from Flosstradamus, UZ, TNGHT, and many others. And I am thankful to have the opportunity to write about music I love and continue to learn more about the subculture known as the dance music scene from the passionate staffers of Dancing Astronaut.
So, who are you thankful for?