An author named David Ireland just wrote a piece for Magnetic Magazine discussing the use of the word “underground” in the electronic music scene. According to Ireland, it’s being used in all the wrong ways.
For starters, he looks at the history of the scene. What started out as house and techno music became hugely commercialized. With the birth of EDM, a lot of the original fans were annoyed by the people they thought just wanted to rave and party and who had no appreciation for the music.
To escape the EDM scene, these longtime fans followed their favorite house and techno styles, but slapped on the label “underground” to differentiate themselves. According to Ireland, this is actually pretty stupid because none of these artists are underground.
“The word underground being applied to house and techno music is kind of like McDonalds claiming 100% beef,” he writes. “We all know that it’s not, so who are you trying to fool?”
He goes on to state that a lot of these events are taking place at major venues with the artists posting about them on highly followed Facebook pages and the like. “If it’s underground, chances are you don’t know about it, and if you do, you aren’t putting it on blast on Facebook,” he writes.
We completely get what Ireland is getting at, but personally we think it’s kind of unnecessary to get riled up about. If the word “underground” helps some people distinguish which types of electronic music they like, then big deal. Words evolve and are used in new ways, and so underground may not mean the same thing it used to anymore.
–EDM In Stereo Staff