After a brief flirtation with techno and the disorienting, dizzying raves of the 90’s, the American musical mainstream drifted away from the DJ and the producer, leaving little room for the fans and makers of electronica. One by one, turnable worshippers returned the dark strata of the underground, the nether regions where electronic music first took root. Fortunately, the subterranean outcasts have re-emerged with a vengeance and an American “Electronic Dance Music” (EDM) renaissance is underway.
Who or what awakened the slumbering Juggernaut? Why, after years of dormancy, has electronic music re-entered the national spotlight?
Innovation is partly responsible for EDM’s renewed popularity. Empowered by the advent of new software and technology, the electronic everyman now possesses the tools needed to produce a respectable mix. Gone are the hefty, record-filled milk crates and bulky decks. Gone are the days of studio confinement. With a laptop, a few programs and an ear for composition, the aspiring producer or DJ can leap into the expanding pool of amateur and professional electronic artists. The internet gives the budding mix master a chance to gain instant notoriety, a feat hundreds of appearances in dank clubs often fail to achieve.
Of course, the American electronic Second Coming isn’t attributable to technology alone — dubstep deserves its due. An aggressive, thunderous phenomenon, dubstep enjoys the widespread attention house music and techno garnered decades ago. Powered by the contrast between light strains and grating, penetrative bass, dubstep appeals to a generation of alternative and rap acolytes, kids who grew up with howling hardcore vocalists and barking shoot-em-up emcees. Dubstep’s famous “drop,” the moment the explosive crunching beat kicks in, thrashes thousands of head-banging, salivating American youths on a daily basis.
Thanks to the efforts of the good people at Chamberlin Productions and Townsquare Media, the residents of Bozeman can bask in the glow of the neon resurgence, the triumphant return of the bobbing god of Dance. On Saturday, Oct. 6, the second annual HUSHUSH Festival takes flight at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. The balanced lineup features dubstep heavyweights, house spinners and nu-disco names, groups that should appeal to a wide range of EDM listeners.
A favorite on the festival circuit, headliner Mimosa will deliver leaden yet lithe dubstep. Look for the lauded game face of MartyParty, another dubstep kingpin who plans to shake a few cores with his hip-hop influenced approach.
If dubstep fills you with revulsion and pierces your fragile eardrums, don’t fret: The chopped, breakbeat-ridden nu-disco stylings of Treasure Fingers will come to your aid, and DJ Jason Root, a Bozeman resident, will offer a soothing, spacey tribute to traditional house. Smooth and full, Root’s hypnotic style taps into “deep house,” an appropriately named exploratory subgenre.
Jason Root kicks off HUSHUSH at 6:30 p.m., and the show will feature a full bar for of-age patrons while welcoming ages 16+. Underclassmen who curse the bar-based Bozeman music scene might want to seize this opportunity to dance. Tickets are available at ticketfly.com.