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The Underground Is Shit (Op-Ed Response)

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The Underground Is Shit

If you thought EDM was annoying, just wait until you hear this. Thump just posted an article declaring "underground" "the new EDM buzzword." There is so much to take in there that it elicited this response from our own Rich Kim:


The response appropriately sums up how we feel about the inappropriate use of such a term.

This trend seemed to rear its ugly head when Ultra announced its Resistance Stage earlier this year. The stage is like the Russell Crowe to the Paris Uprising depicted in Les Miserables. A movement that is being "helped" only by someone disguised as "revolutionary" who really isn't. Les Miserables... another appropriate way to sum up how we feel about this.

The article points out that stages like this may help to introduce young fans to something other than pop music. And this might actually refocus fans'  attention on DJing rather than party shenanigans. But then to clear up any confusion, writer Michelle Lhooq makes this observation:

New Ultra Resistance Lineup Fights Reputation
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"More than half of the artists on Resistance have already played at the festival before. Out of the 25 DJs who will grace the Resistance stage this year, 15 of them are Ultra veterans—including Maceo Plex, Sasha, Tale of Us, tINI, Joris Voorn, Jamie Jones, The Martinez Brothers, and Art Department. Sasha even headlined Ultra's second stage with Digweed in 2001. From Chus & Ceballos and Pete Tong to Martin Buttrich and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, this stage is stacked more with the familiar than the new." -Thump

Our fear though is that the word "underground" becomes synonymous with the sub-genres of electronic music. So we'll have EDM and Underground. Paul van Dyk? Underground. Carl Craig? Underground. Armin van Buuren? Underground. Deadmau5? He might the best Underground bro of all.


We really hope Thump is wrong about this. There is no doubt though people will begin to misuse the term now that electronic-pop music is taking a hit. As Lhooq said, hopefully it at least opens some eyes in the process.

As horrible as this word may become, there still will be the real underground. Maybe we just need another term for it - like no term at all or "original music." This scene is already going on at places like this dewey house in LA. Artists like Bunki are really working on revolutionizing music as well.

So remember, the real underground - the real revolutionaries - don't often emerge from flashy names and polished black fliers. They're more likely to be covered in soot from overcooked brats and dusty basements. So just be mindful when you hear "underground" used as a cool term for EDM. It's not as cool or underground as it might sound.

Original editorial and source inspiration: Thump

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