Kailee Kokes / The Daily Gamecock

Column: Understand the addiction: Subtronics gives Columbia a taste of the EDM experience

Sunday night at The Senate, Subtronics reminded Columbia why people are loving the EDM experience and that you can enjoy it without committing to an exhausting, three-day music festival. Subtronics, or DJ/producer Jesse Kardon, has helped EDM gain the attention of the main-stream music industry with the hit “Griztronics," giving him his first top 10 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic charts. 

“What I love about it is that it's not an instrument making that noise,” Mary O’Neil, a media arts student, said. “It’s not a guitar or piano or something like that where we already know what sound they make. Those sounds are authentically the artist's.”

Subtronics’ fusion of hardcore techno and electronic styles attract a unique fanbase. Looking around the venue, you see lime greens and oranges, faces sweating off glitter paint and hands juggling glowing, multi-colored orbs and festival whips. Not a foot stands still in the crowd. You can practically feel the energy radiating off every body. All of your senses are over stimulated by the vibrations, pounding bass and flashing, technicolor lights, so you can’t help but dance like nobody is watching and neither can the strangers around you. 

Our grandparents' generation started the obsession with music festivals in the 1970s as Woodstock’s psychedelic rock and indie jam bands transformed the way people experienced music in 1969. Now, our generation’s obsession with music festivals continues to grow quickly as we fall further in love with the culture of EDM. 

“I felt as though the social pressures and stigmas of the public eyes and the world were diminished.” Benjamin Lefko, a public health student and first-time raver, said. 

When you’re at an EDM set, you feel this indescribable sense of liberation as the music moves you, and you rid yourself of self-consciousness. You feel as care-free as you did when you were a kid, and it’s only natural for the high to build inside of you. Ravers wear their eclectic outfits, play with their light-up toys and hula hoops and dance until the sun rises for three days because they want to feel that energy. They want to forget about how busy next week will be and the daily stresses of life.

The EDM experience gives fans these authentic moments of child-like happiness because they feel a sense of togetherness. People feel connected to thousands of strangers, friends, the music, the moment and themselves, which is a rare experience as we further disconnect ourselves from real, human interaction thanks to the likes of social media and technology. It is much more rewarding to see the joy in my friends’ faces as they head-bang to EDM’s chaotic noise than when they text me a laughing emoji. 

EDM fans enjoy immersing themselves inside this sort of euphoric, alternate reality where they hug strangers as they dance until they're covered in sweat, dust and other people’s glitter paint because they feel alive. People of all ages travel from all over to go to music festivals because they want to be overwhelmed by this eccentric experience, and EDM artists like Subtronics give them that.


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