Z, Founder of SectionZ Records Fires Back at Deadmau5 and EDM Critics
In this guest feature, Z, founder of SectionZ Records blasts boring EDM and speaks about the importance of risk-taking in music.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the guest author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of The EDM Network. Enjoy!
A major challenge facing many EDM producers—and labels, fans, blogs, etc.—is the current charge, from within and out, that the industry is a dying trend, “just more bandwagoning of a sound that’s being dumbed down and mass produced” (http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/2013/05/musings-is-edm-dead.html).
Even the great luminaries, with Deadmau5 at the forefront, are decrying the movement as apathetic and immobile.
“I think a big problem with EDM right now – and I mean right now, I don’t mean fucking last year or two years ago, I mean right fucking now – is that there’s a lot of safe betters and they all want to do this safe bet thing. And that’s [what] will kill it off before anything. And it’s not the listener’s fault and it’s not the producers’ fault. You guys can go back and forth all you want about how ‘We always have to make the same music because it’s popular, it’s what the kids want.’ The kids are like ‘Can you stop making the same fucking shit over and over again?’ You’re never going to win that argument. The responsibility is the risk-taking to start pushing it.”
I think it’s time for Joel to remember his roots if he really wants to solve this problem with EDM. Frankly there is a TON of fresh new sounds and plenty of original talent out there; you rigid conformists have just made it impossible for them to reach you. So why are you shocked about this inertia around innovation?
Instead we reward up-and-comers for their originality by turning them into remix monkeys, which most of them do without thinking twice because this might just be their lucky break. New artists these days are forced to try and become a one-hit wonder, or at best pump out 2-4 track EPs instead of really baking a brand, a concept, and planning a journey to take their listeners on. But how would they know any better?
What we need is a REAL community like the one that Joel was born from to help raise that sound to the top. A place for producers to really learn from each other, where “likes” are irrelevant.
Where we do agree with Joel is that the responsibility is on the risk-taking. Electronic music was born from taking chances. It grew because it was tight. We can get that back. And SectionZ is going to help.
Athough most people who have any idea about who we are associate us with Savant, and most recently KATFYR and Virtual Riot, we originally formed as a worldwide community of experimenters and originators of sound. SectionZ cultivated the creative growth of its members through project sharing, community involvement, and honest peer review.
From this substratum of innovative fraternity, a pair of remarkable and now widely recognized vanguards emerged: first came Deadmau5, known within the community as Halcyon441 and, more recently, Savant, known as Morphine. Both producers tested, honed, and mastered their unique talents in this uncommonly affirmative community of like-minded artists. We think it worked pretty well for listeners everywhere, so we are working hard to bring it back.
We are going to use our passion for the truly creative and cutting-edge music that the SectionZ community exemplifies to be the centerpiece of what we release every month. So we introduce to you our best finds curated to expand your sonic horizons. We call it “SectionZ Fresh”.
SectionZ Fresh collects the best and taste-making sounds from a variety of international, emerging artists, who are making music that represents change in the face of formulaic EDM. It is based on three pillars of what we look for in musicians:
Musicality – Artists that go beyond, WAY BEYOND, the presets and create magical aural sculptures. They consider chord progressions before their own personal hygiene, and can bang out melodies with their armpits. They sing, they dance, but most importantly they play, music.
Technicality – Artists that have played with every knob, every button, every input so that they know exactly what their output will be. They know their tools better than they know their family and are not afraid to use them in ways they simply are not designed for. When it comes to genre, they are writing their own rules in an alien, yet strangely familiar language.
Creativity – Artists who are not afraid of a country music vs. salsa mash-up where wubs meet delicate violin plucks. Who not only reject the status quo, but ignore it altogether. They innovate without even trying and set the groundwork for the trends to come.
Also be sure to check out some highlights from the latest SectionZ Fresh!