In a recent interview with The Independent, legendary DJ Carl Cox credited the success of EDM and festival culture for the boom that techno music is currently experiencing. The interview also touches on extremely relevant topics, like the impact of social media and the high standards and expectations that emerging DJs must meet in order to make it.
Cox’s claims situate techno in a privileged position within the spectrum of EDM, providing an experience entirely different from that of mainstream EDM. He particularly emphasizes the genre’s divergence from the build-drop format of sets.
Techno sets tend to consist of smooth transitions, fairly consistent textures, and micro-changes at a middle of the road tempo, creating an atmosphere instead of stringing hit tracks together. He primarily cites the increasing number of techno-centered stages at major festivals and the increasing frequency of techno headliners globally. He frames these events as a kind of techno Renaissance, returning to the genre’s roots.
In many ways, Cox may be right that these shifts signal major changes to come in the global EDM scene. The consistent (and sometimes tedious) characteristics of mainstream EDM may be causing the sudden resurgence of the underground genres; but these changes don’t necessarily point only in the direction of techno. Artists with sets that focus on their unique sound and consist mostly of their own tracks, such as Rezz and Porter Robinson, continue to thrive and explode as major names in the industry.
Audiences and listeners are likely just searching for something that varies from the standard format. Though we may still love the mainstream artists who attracted a large number of listeners to the genre in the first place, it seems EDM’s growth is making room for more artistic innovation.
Do you think mainstream EDM paved the way for techno’s resurgence? Let us know in the comments!
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