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3 “Huh?” Moments in EDM: DNA Music Storage, China’s EDM Boom, Beats In School

Dance music is growing in China in a multitude of ways, the Northwest is playing its role in digitally storing music in DNA, and there’s a contest every up-and-coming trance/progressive artist should enter. Huh?

Finding the proper response to much of the news finding its way into our social media feeds is becoming a tougher task every day. Nothing is surprising, and there’s always more to the story. Leaving us with one reply: “huh?”.

Last week, a company working alongside Northwest institutions such as Microsoft and the University of Washington successfully digitally-stored music in DNA, EDM’s growth in China is even more impressive than we thought, and Beatport and Anjunabeats are teaming-up to give one contest winner the mentorship of a lifetime.

The reason “huh?”, in its various forms, is such a quality reply is simple. The word is as versatile as a response gets, and while it may require some explanation, “huh?” is sometimes the only way to react to the news of today. Defined by Merriam-Webster as an interjection that’s “used to express surprise, disbelief, or confusion, or as an inquiry inviting affirmative reply”, “huh” or “huh?” can mean a lot of different things.

Despite some of the follies of human evolution (see: Baking with Love), the development and growth of “huh” is something we should embrace. To be the change we want to see in the world, here are a few EDM stories last week that made us go “huh?”.

DNA is the future of digital storage, music included

dna storage

A company working with Microsoft and the University of Washington have successfully stored archival-quality recordings in DNA for the first time. Huh?

In a press release, Twist Bioscience announced that they and their Northwest collaborators utilized performances from the Montreux Jazz Festival, Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple and Tutu by Miles Davis, to demonstrate the ability of DNA to store quality digital music. Encoding data in DNA has been the future of digital storage for a little while now, and is one of the most important developments of the 21st century. The fact that the PNW can play a role in such a pivotal development is pretty freaking cool.

“We archived two magical musical pieces on DNA of this historic collection, equating to 140MB of stored data in DNA,” said Karin Strauss, Ph.D., a Senior Researcher at Microsoft, and one of the project’s leaders. “The amount of DNA used to store these songs is much smaller than one grain of sand. Amazingly, storing the entire six petabyte Montreux Jazz Festival’s collection would result in DNA smaller than one grain of rice.” – via Twist Bioscience

Digital storage has been improving for years, but this is the jump that we’ve really needed. As many dance music fans know, there’s no such thing as too much storage space. From live-sets and albums to singles and artwork, there’s a lot for music fans to hold-on to. Not having to do so over the course of multiple USBs or external hard drives sounds great.

Oh, and the lack of a data storage crisis in the future sounds good, too.

EDM is rapidly growing in China in a variety of ways

storm festival edm china

As EDM festivals and events continue their boom in China, the genre is exploding on streaming platforms in the world’s most populated country. Huh.

A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that festivals in China are expanding at a rate that makes America miss the EDM-boom of just a few years ago. The growth of dance music in China is showcasing it’s impressive upward trajectory in a number of ways, now including music streaming. China saw a more than 40% growth in dance music listeners, rising from 197 million online listeners in 2016 to 286 million online listeners in 2017, according to iiMedia Research.

china music streaming stats

Those numbers aren’t expected to slow anytime soon, with dance music online listeners projected to exceed 400 million by 2019. We love EDM, and can see why others would as well. Even so, the growth of dance music in China is staggering. While the genre is undoubtedly seeing a decline by varoius measures in America, it looks as though China is the future of EDM.

School’s back in session with Anjunabeats and Beatport

Beatport Headphones

Hosting the second edition of Beats in School, Beatport is working with Anjunabeats to give one DJ/producer a year-long mentorship with the label. Huh.

Beatport teamed with Circus Recordings (not Circus Records) earlier this year for the first Beats in School competition, and after a successful run, they’ll be holding competitions every few months with major labels in dance music. If you’re a local trance/progressive DJ/producer, this is a competition you should enter. The resources don’t end with the label, as Beatport partners like Point Blank Music School and the Association for Electronic Music.

You can find the details of the competition here, and the parameters are about what you’d expect. Create a tune, and a mix featuring that track, and promote it on social media after it’s finished. Once submitted, the label will select 20 entrants to go on to the second-round, where the label will try to get to know each contestant a bit more personally.

The Northwest Trance Family is one of the best aspects of our local dance music community, and our local artists are a big reason why. There’s a ton of talented DJs and producers in our corner of the country, and we can think of more than a few worthy of a year-long mentorship with a label as prestigious as Anjunabeats.

China is the future of EDM, and so is digital storage in DNA. Both developments will be interesting to follow in the coming years, and could be key cogs in the future of dance music. As could a local producer/DJ who wins the latest Beatport Back in School competition. Let us know what news in EDM made you go “huh?”, and comment below, on Facebook, or reply on Twitter with what you think of our “huh?” moments this week!

Huh? for the road, presented without comment

Each week Dance Music Northwest finds the three craziest stories in EDM and nightlife news, and brings them to the surface with some bomb contextual reporting. Tune in next week!


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