Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Indie Music: Van Norden "At First Sight"

by Germar Derron

EDM. I have knowledge of the many sub-genres. I understand that Van Norden is more of an experience than a genre. But still . . . EDM.
My hit and miss relationship with EDM began in undergrad, right before the electro-beat boom. As a music industry major, my closest friends had to be the best collection of DJs and producers, and they always wanted my ear. EDM. I got it. It was fine. But I typically only replayed the stuff with vocals--usually of the soulful feminine variety. My feelings for Love at First Sight portray a shift brought on by our current obsession with all things electronic and dance.

I didn't really "get" EDM until I was in a club--"Pure." The lights flashed. Everybody bumped privates. I tasted far too much sweat, and cheap alcohol from a tiny plastic cup that I had to hold on to. I kissed my best friend. I got beat up. I danced on a stage. It was an awesome night. EDM.

Love at First Sight is three takes on the same theme. And much like being at bat, you only have to hit once in three swings to get on base. The extended and radio edits carry the same problem--the vocal. Yep, the guy who used to show up for the female vocal in EDM is now complaining about it. She detracts. But it may not be her fault; blame it on the mix. The vocal rides too high--especially in a genre that's not necessarily ever about the vocal. Plus, it's a solid track sans vocal.

The "subliminal remix," which treats the vocal as sprinkles on an already pimp-ass cake, is the superior track. It's the track I hear in my head when I remember falling off of the stage at Pure. It's more dynamic, versatile, and showy. I don't call myself an EDM fan, but THIS I'll add to my dance mix somewhere between "Crave" and "I Need Your Love."


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