One of the best parts of the electronic music community of ours is the international reach. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of talent spread across so many different areas of the world. North America and Western Europe are the two most obvious “hot spots”, but other areas of the world– like South America and the Middle East– are catching up quickly. Why the international appeal? I’m tempted to make a sort of “electronic music grew up with the internet” argument. It’s certainly true too a large extent. With blog aggregators like The Hype Machine bringing some sort of order to a global community, all an aspiring musician needs is an internet connection and a killer tune to get noticed. But there are certainly types of music that remain popular only in specific countries. And electronic music is not the only genre being downloaded and e-mailed around the globe. In this case, the most obvious answer might be right: people everywhere love dancing to hard-hitting house music. It’s that simple.
Even better is the fact that most moderately successful DJs now travel all around the world. It’s a breeze when all you need to bring is an external hard drive and a laptop; no more heavy vinyl to carry through airport security. So even though the music is being made around the world, one can see it performed live locally (at least near any major city with enough dance clubs.) Additionally, music festivals increasingly include some sort of DJ or dance area. Take a look at the big names on the recently announced lineup for Lollapalooza: MSTRKRFT, A-Trak, Crookers, LA Riots, the Bloody Beetroots and Boys Noize. For a long time, you had to travel to Europe to find this many big electronic acts playing at the same festival. Not anymore.
In fact, great music is turning up in some unexpected places. It isn’t just big cities anymore. Take The Yank, for example, an unsigned DJ from the state of Oklahoma (normally not considered a hotbed of dance music.) If you’re wondering about the name, it’s lifted from an old 1940’s comic book hero named “The Fighting Yank,” a patriotic vigilante whose outfit includes a tri-cornered hat and an American flag logo across the chest. The Yank’s signature tune, “We Can’t Be Stopped,” is guaranteed to get people dancing. It’s perfect tune to get things started on a Friday night. And his Gutterpunk remix is a catchy blend of a funky bassline and scattered vocals.