Get your Ph.D. in EDMCs
March 23, 2011 10:11 PM   Subscribe

Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Music Dance Culture is the first peer-reviewed scholarly journal for promulgating interdisciplinary research concerning all aspects of electronic dance music culture.

Launched in 2009 as an extension of their mailing list, the biannual periodical may be an especially useful resource for Ethnomusicology scholars specializing in 20th and 21st century-specific studies. Previously.
posted by Unicorn on the cob (16 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Once I danced without any electronics. It's really not that difficult.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:15 PM on March 23, 2011

ah yes, the academic politics of dancing,
the politics of ooo getting published

with Hunter S Thompson on bass, I kid you not
posted by philip-random at 10:27 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

*summons LMGM*
posted by Wolof at 10:40 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Free your ass and your mind Humanities Research Grant will follow?

Doesn't sound like a bad gig if you can get it.
posted by loquacious at 10:48 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Interesting, thanks! I've read a couple academic books on dance culture, and it's not too surprising that these circles exist when you consider how geeky some of the electronic music producers are. There's definitely some overlap of "dance" producers/fans with the IRCAM types.
posted by p3t3 at 2:40 AM on March 24, 2011

I really think that dance music is an important part of the rising youth movements in the arab world. Trance and house is really popular with the middle classes there, and is such an international scene with Persians and Israelis and Egyptians playing each others tracks, and Syrians waving the Dutch flag at trance gigs in Damascus, or whatever.

I really wish someone would cover that scene more.
posted by empath at 6:00 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

with Hunter S Thompson on bass, I kid you not

posted by adamdschneider at 8:04 AM on March 24, 2011

I really think that dance music is an important part of the rising youth movements in the arab world.

Given its connection with certain drugs and "alternative" cultures, there's always been something necessarily political about electronic dance music, regardless of the prevailing culture. Look no further than something like the Spiral Tribe, or absurd efforts in Britain the 1990s to ban repetitive beats.
posted by philip-random at 8:45 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

Well, hello there.
posted by LMGM at 10:24 AM on March 24, 2011

P3t3, based on your previous comments about Detroit you might find this entry about how the city's dystopian affect is intrinsically linked with techno's progression as a music genre.

Applied ethnomusicology is also responsible for things like music therapy, which has been proven to work with varying degrees of success on the elderly, children who fall somewhere along the autism spectrum and so on. It's no surprise that eventually, there would be a scholarly publication devoted exclusively to studying EDMCs and extrapolating that data into practical clinical applications, such as alternative communication techniques, assisting with physical rehabilitation and so on.

Empath, I totally agree with you about the importance of music in the youth movement abroad; every time I hear protest songs played in snippets on NPR, I can't help but think: That sounds like trance! or wish Ofra Haza and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan were still with us. I wonder what they'd say about everything going on? (or sing, for that matter...)
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:20 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

you might find this entry about how the city's dystopian affect is intrinsically linked with techno's progression as a music genre.

Thanks, it looks like a good read. That's a basic idea that is assumed to be fact by many locals; although some might not go as far as suggesting the link is "intrinsic." But seeing police corruption, shortage of teachers, empty lots and decaying buildings, etc., the dystopian despair permeates artisic endeavors pretty naturally. That paper spends some time focusing on Detroit's lower class being deeper in the dystopia, but I don't think socio-economic class is as much a factor as simply being surrounded by that environment on a daily basis.
posted by p3t3 at 5:19 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't think of techno as being dystopic. I mean -- Knights of the Jaguar? Strings of Life? It's not exactly euphoric hands in the air stuff, but it's not exactly depressing, either.
posted by empath at 6:26 PM on March 24, 2011

I think a lot of times it's not the tone of the music itself, but the music is seen as a sort of utopian counter to the dystopian landscape; still incorporating some of the industrial themes of the factories and landscape, but with a feeling of hope to counter the despair.

I remember Derrick May (maybe in the BBC "Pump Up The Volume" documentary) talking about driving down to Chicago and hearing Jamie Principle's Your Love for the first time and feeling like he had been transported out of Detroit into a more vibrant, hopeful and futuristic place.

He tried to capture that feeling back home to overcome the physical surrounding. So the music is simultaneously referencing and reflecting the dystopia but also countering it with hope (if that makes any sense).
posted by p3t3 at 6:39 PM on March 24, 2011

After a little more thinking about Detroit techno in particular, I was thinking of Detroit in contrast to some of the British post-Industrial cities. I know UK guys like Regis and Surgeon have quoted those bleak surroundings as inspiration, and their music really IS cold and harsh.

I think in Detroit there is a feeling like they need to escape the environment as a community for their own peace and well-being rather than directly translate the environment to music for the sake of art or catharsis or something.

This also reminded me of a local Detroit visual Artist, Tyree Guyton, who started the Heidelberg Project (previously). He basically drove around Detroit with a pick-up truck collecting trash, then organized it all into types and started making public sculptures out of it. He tried to involve neighborhood kids, arrange educational activities, etc.

I think similarly, Detroit tries to turn the negative into a positive and involve the community too. Mike Banks of Underground Resistance even set up a classroom in the new Submerge building to teach computers/music to neighborhood kids.
posted by p3t3 at 7:25 PM on March 24, 2011

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