As a “basshead,” CNTRL: BEYOND EDM was one of the most eye-opening experiences for me, and there was no better way for me to experience a tech show from none other than the world-leading techno pioneers themselves.

I am your typical avid music fan who pregames before a show, attends a show, then goes home afterwards. I’d like to say my music knowledge is more expansive than the typical show-goer, but I have to admit Hawtin & Co. completely schooled me with their lecture at American University here in the heart of Washington D.C. Never before have I even heard of other DJs holding discussions or seminars for the general public to ask questions or to just broaden our knowledge on what really goes on behind the scenes. I thought it was a fantastic idea for them to come to America where this new EDM craze is skyrocketing, and Philip Sherburne from SPIN.COM says it perfectly –

“CNTRL is what America needs right now: an effort to reconnect the electronic dance music movement with its history, without forsaking either innovation or imagination.”

At the lecture it was a rather small audience which provided an intimate setting with one another and the speakers. Ean Golden, the mastermind and innovator behind DJ TechTools, ran the seminar by directing questions towards Loco Dice, Hawtin, Osuna and their manager and assimilated Q&A’s between the panel and the audience. Loco Dice gave us a quick little taste of how he spins and used Spastik as his example, and later on joked that when you see a DJ start to sweat it’s because they are running out of time to make a nice sounding transition, not because they are dancing.

There was a question that came from the crowd that will forever remain memorable to me – a student asked Hawtin how he keeps a fanbase since he is not a mainstream EDM artist such as SHM. Hawtin simply replied those are not the fans he is looking for and hopes he will never attract.

As the seminar came to a close, never was I more pumped to see such legends DJ at Echostage. As a tech-show virgin, you could easily say I became a slave to the techno that night. There were no binky-sucking, YOLO-hat wearing attendees but rather a mature crowd who you knew were there purely for the music. It was refreshing and relieving seeing that there are people that actually go to shows because they enjoy it, not because it’s the cool and trendy thing to do nowadays.

These four men truly know how to put on a great show. From showing their professionalism at the seminar to their spontaneity on the decks, it is no wonder why I have converted to the dark side.

See the full gallery HERE.

Written By: Andrea DiLorenzo