CNTRL Beyond EDM New York: Lecture & Party Recap
There have been many back-and-forths on the purported banality in dance music, specifically in the US. Impatience. This is probably the perfect word I would use to describe the ‘new’ generation of EDM fans (myself included). It goes hand in hand with the need for instant gratification in a modern society driven by technology. The thoughts on whether this trend is here to stay or fleeting (and the causes of this) is irrelevant...what is more important, which happens to be glanced over by both sides, is that dance music culture has always been about acceptance and evolution.
Richie Hawtin and Loco Dice, two of the more seasoned producers/DJ in electronic music, have been on a tour over the past week in North America, not to necessarily push any boundaries as others claim, but more with the goal of increasing exposure to other genres within electronic music. The tour is to show music fans there is more beyond mainstream electro, dubstep, trap, trance, etc. The tour (in coordination with Dubspot) goes by CNTRL: Beyond EDM, which was in New York City this past weekend. CNTRL is unique in that is combines educational daytime lectures on music technology with live performances by the artists. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy cancelled the educational portion of NYC’s event (it was supposed to be at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music). However, power was returned to the surrounding area, and fans - old, new, the curious, and the clueless (Webster Hall is known for a more accessible, commercial set of artists, which made is all the more surprising the venue was jam-packed especially in the wake of Sandy) - came out in droves to Webster for the event.
The show itself was a welcomed change of pace. It’s always nice to hear refreshing and engaging music. Rather than anticipating the predictability of the drop built on lulls, build-ups, cresendos, and drops, music is about finding that groove when the music finally 'clicks.' The opener DJs did a great job in warming up the crowd, between chilled out sounds to more uptempo minimal house. The two headliners, Dice and Hawtin, closed the show. Dice’s set blended techno and house, capturing the ‘groove’ he often speaks of. Hawtin, who is also one of the technological pioneers with his Plastikman shows, ended with what can best be described as futuristic, ambient visuals and sounds with a reverberating bass.
In the end, CNTRL is a step in the right direction. It’s not about whether one perspective is the correct one (this is entirely subjective). The goal should be to educate individuals and increase further exposure in the richness of the electronic music genre.
Check out the full gallery HERE.