It is no secret that electronic music is reaching higher plateaus each day, with EDM even making its way on to the mainstream airwaves where lead ups and drops are a norm for most pop songs. The fan base continues to grow every day, but very few people don’t know about the hard work, dedication, and soul that the electronic scene harbors.

Minimal techno legend Richie Hawtin and Loco Dice launched the CNTRL: Beyond EDM tour to delve deeper into this notion of being a part of such a multi-faceted scene and shedding even more light on the many other genres and aspect of the electronic scene. A collaboration project with Dubspot, the tour hit cities all over the country to not only drop pumping beats in America’s favorite venues, but to stop at major college campuses and hold the first-ever interactive daytime lectures to educate people on the technology and ins and outs of the industry.

Now, it was time for Hawtin and his panel of experts to touch down in one of the birth places of house music: Chicago. Aspiring DJs and techno fans alike filed into the lecture hall and took their seats as the panel began to take their seats, featuring experts in the business like Detroit legend Kevin Saundersson, Gaiser, and the king of DJ equipment and founder of DJ Tech Tools, Ean Holden.

Ean Holden did a perfect job at guiding the discussion, guiding the discussion on with ease. The thing I loved about the discussion was that everyone from just fans of the music to seasoned experts or “tech geeks” as Ean called themselves, could take a little bit of something from the lecture. A part of the lecture that really stuck with me was Hawtin’s metaphorical explanation about why he started the CNTRL: Beyond EDM tour in the first place. Hawtin described the entire electronic scene as a cave, and the current trend only shines a light on one part of the cave, where the music tends to sound the same and only shed light on one genre. Hawtin wants to work together with the rest of the diehard EDM fans to illuminate more of the cave and shine light on all of the different genres that EDM has to offer.

While the lecture went on, Gaiser and Kevin Saunderson began to talk about the importance of having a crisp sound that can translate to all different kinds of music devices when a veteran fan warned about the importance of protecting your ears during live EDM shows because that ringing you hear after your favorite set could be trouble for the future. I couldn’t help, but think about how right he was during the epic loud show that followed the lecture.

Not having frequented too many minimal tech shows, this was my first time exposed to the genre, and it did not disappoint. Each artist went through their heart pumping sets with no focus on a drop, but rather an extremely hypnotic sound that keeps your body moving. An incredible moment was when Kevin Saunderson’s son and his friends jumped on stage and began to dance their hearts out to this true legend. It further proved that no matter the age difference, we all share a love for the music and should do our best to preserve and spread it to the masses. This was the true meaning of this tour.

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