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SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: Officials call electronic dance show a success - Press-Enterprise (blog)

Written by Erik Anderson. Posted in News Feed

 SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: Officials call electronic dance show a success - Press-Enterprise (blog)

Electronic music star David Guetta, shown in a 2012 performance at Coachella, was one of the headliners at Beyond Wonderland


Beyond Wonderland’s inaugural show at the San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore this past weekend is being described as a success by San Bernardino County officials.

No major problems were reported at the March 16 electronic dance concert, the first to be held at the county-owned facility since the Board of Supervisors amended its rules in January to allow for such events.

County spokesman David Wert said there were no reports of violence or concert-goers who needed hospitalization. The number of arrests were typical for concerts at the venue, he said.

Wert, who was on site Saturday, said county officials found the thousands of attendees to be very well-behaved.

The festival had previously been held at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino.

Large electronic dance shows have come under scrutiny in recent years because of drug-related arrests and overdoses at some events.

In a news release, Supervisor Josie Gonzales said security precautions that included 300 private security guards, 100 sheriff’s deputies, undercover officers and screening identification to not allow any minors helped ensure a safe event. Concert promoter Live Nation paid for those costs.

“Despite disparaging comments expressed by others leading up to the event, the county demonstrated a commitment to keeping everyone safe,” Gonzales said.

The board was split on the issue of allowing electronic dance music at the Devore facility with Supervisors Janice Rutherford and Gary Ovitt opposed because of past controversies over such shows.

By: Imran Ghori

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SXSW Dance 2013: Is Austin Ready for Electronic Music's Inevitable Takeover? - Spinner

Written by Erik Anderson. Posted in News Feed

SXSW Dance 2013: Is Austin Ready for Electronic Music's Inevitable Takeover? - SpinnerGetty Images

SXSW 2013 is finally over, and as the city of Austin slowly returns to weird-normal, recovering from its recent onslaught of bands and brands, lucky attendees attempt to process the various Lone Star-laden, Shiner Bock-doused sights and sounds we encountered over the past week.

Without question, 2013 marked dance music's biggest year

...
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Deadmau5 Tells SXSW Success Is Killing Electronic Dance Music - Wall Street Journal (blog)

Written by Erik Anderson. Posted in News Feed

Deadmau5 Tells SXSW Success Is Killing Electronic Dance Music - Wall Street Journal (blog)
Getty Images
Deadmau5 performs on November 28, 2012 in London, England.

Though the conversation was always convivial, last night as the South by Southwest Interactive ended and SXSW Music began, electronic-music pioneers Joel Zimmerman and Richie Hawtin delivered a pointed message:  Today’s electronic dance music suffers from the pursuit of commercial success and the ease with which the music can be made.

Better known as Deadmau5 and Plastikman, respectively, Zimmerman and Hawtin agreed many of today’s EDM musicians have developed an instinct to copy rather than create.  The irony, they said, is that there’s a vast array of software available to create new sounds, but artists are following a narrow path while using them.

Zimmerman, who is 32, and Hawtin, 42, spoke before a capacity crowd at the Austin Convention Center.  They reminisced about the early days of making electronic music on equipment picked up at pawnshops.

“We were two kids who found a love of technology,” Hawtin said.   “We’re two geeks.”

The availability of new technologies, and the pace at which they arrive, can be overwhelming, they agreed.

“What do you lose when everything is easy and accessible?” Hawtin asked.  “There’s very little time to practice.”

“I have to take crash courses on all these things that come out,” Zimmerman added.

Now on hiatus, Zimmerman said his time away from electronic music opened his mind to the possibility of new modes of music making.  Referencing his fiancé Kat Von D, he said, “One good thing that came out of me disappearing for awhile and living with Kat, she’s a very organic musician.  No technology of any kind.  It was nice to get my head out of the over-complication of the studio.”

“I’ve always aspired to be a lot more underground and less big room sound.   I listen to techno, to the dubby old stuff, your stuff,” he said, nodding toward Hawtin.   “It’s nice to know I can break out of a mousehead.”

Hawtin pointed to the dilemma Zimmerman faces as a global EDM brand.  “You’re the number-one gatekeeper in electronic music.   It’s your responsibility to open the door as wide as possible.”

Zimmerman allowed that his image can be a burden.  Five year olds like Deadmau5, he said, perhaps more so because of the brand than the music.   Without the mousehead, he conceded, young listeners might not be interested.

Because today’s EDM artists want commercial success, they conform to the market’s tastes.  If they don’t, the audience will move on to someone who will.

“My first record came out in 1990,” Hawtin said.  “I had to slow burn.  I don’t know if it’s as easy for the new artists to stay in control.”

“The songs sound the same,” said Zimmerman, calling it “cookie-cutter stuff.”

He said,  “I’m surprised the record companies that sign these people aren’t just going home and making the music themselves.  Cut out the middleman.”

“There’s a manual now,” Hawtin said.   “The attraction was doing something different.  I had to do my own thing.  The double-edged sword is taking a little bit of the life out of it.   Maybe that’s why EDM is so big now.  It’s homogenized.”

Jim Fusilli is the Journal’s rock and pop music critic. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow him on Twitter: @wsjrock.

[This article has been modified from its original version.]

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