Something that has been irritating me for a considerable amount of time is the concept that all EDM events are ‘raves’, that all that listen to EDM as ‘ravers’, and that ‘PLUR’ can be mindlessly spewed and even defecated on with alterations like ‘PLURNT’ and ‘PLUR Bitch!’
I’m sorry, but Kandi kids aren’t necessarily the club crowd and the club crowd isn’t necessarily the ‘kandi-kid’ crowd that is celebrated on instagram. EDMsnob wrote a fantastic piece explaining the rich history of those wearing kandi, so I don’t feel the need to go into depth (especially since I’m a much newer face in that arena). But I will say is this:
Of the many people I’ve come across that tweet things tagged with ‘#PLUR’ and initiate projects that claim to be ‘PLUR’ and hock product with the false pretense that they are truly ‘ravers’, I have found that a startling few are who they claim to be. Very seldom do you meet someone whose Twitter handle or association precedes them, and find a genuine representation of what ‘ravers’ truly are.
After spending a night unwinding with some of the very first people to ever recognize me as ‘Ragehound’, I took a minute to look back on all the hard work I’ve put into taking the time to connect with anyone who has every reached out to me. Some have been incredible: they have accepted me with open arms, made me feel like a family member, and given me a sense of acceptance that no one ever could previously in my life. Some have taken time out of their day to come and meet with me, to teach me how to use a perler board, how to make a cuff, even gotten me a water and helped me to the front row my first time seeing a certain DJ. Some have held my hand and sung along to my favorite lyrics and cried with me when ‘that moment’ of a festival when it ends and the ‘comedown’ effect sets in full force. Some have stayed with me when I’ve stupidly tested my limits with drugs and alcohol and gotten too out of control and made sure I got home safe.
These kandi-clad people have been more of a family to me than my own at times, and that is why I get livid when their lifestyle is equated to a joke.
I view those who hock PLUR as a marketing tool as a joke. I also look at those who have begged and pleaded me to tweet their crap, promote their shitty venues, and support their jaded causes which wind up just being another marketing tool as jokers as well. Nonetheless I tweeted, I facebooked, I supported and championed them because that’s the person I am. I suppose what irked me in some cases, was when it came time when I needed that same favor, some magically found it ‘not feasible’ or suddenly ‘just didn’t have the time’.
What I largely discovered, was that these were the people who didn’t arrive at festivals with kandi they’d spent hours and hours making especially for people they knew and loved. These were not the people who sometimes went as far as to coordinate with their friends to match costumes, made sure everyone was hydrated, or took the time to explain subtleties of the music to newcomers who had seen a trailer for a festival on Youtube and yearned to experience an EDM festival for themselves. Instead, these were the people who wrote condescending articles in response to kandi kids, who scoffed and laughed at articles like my own explaining the connection between PLUR and charity, and who would leave comments like this on pictures of girls dressed for raves:
And these people are largely the ‘club’ crowd: the crowd that goes to ‘fine establishments’ to enjoy bottle service, listen to a carefully curated selection of ‘techno’ that they feel is far superior to the ‘drop heavy’ sets one hears at festivals (which I can respect), and views the ‘raver’ crowd as a mass of drug-addicted youngsters too jaded to understand what real music is. These are the people who will belittle you for the music you listen to, the clothes you wear, and wave their smug sense of entitlement about like a magic wand. They will tell you the ‘kandi kids’ are awful, tell you how they yearn for when no one knew about Tiesto or Hardwell, and when EDC wasn’t a neon parade of girls in underwear. They probably won’t let you get to the front of the stage, or offer you water. They may instead sneer at you with your parched mouth, thinking you ‘popped a molly and you are sweating’, and as a result think of you as some colorful insect pestering them.
So when individuals such as this tweet about ‘PLUR’ and wave their smug sense of self-importance at others while trying to call themselves ‘ravers’, I get frustrated. These were the individuals pouring beers from the VIP balcony onto shuffling ravers below at Pacha during Tyler Sherritt’s set (oh don’t worry, I saw you bunch of fools and I’ll return the favor). These were the assholes who elbowed a girl in the face next to me at Zedd when she tried to edge in front of a taller person to see.
These people aren’t ‘ravers’. They don’t preach ‘PLUR’, and probably can’t tell you where it originated. Don’t call them ravers; it’s an insult to those of us who are.
HOLY CRAP ITS BEEN A WHILE.So I contribute to ElectronicaOasis and White Raver Rafting as an editorial voice, so be sure to keep an eye out! Go me!
Anywho, here is an interview I had with Ignorant Noise that I did for Soundgrail (sadly, they do not exist anymore). Because Dwight is a dear friend of mine, I am reposting it here 🙂
An up-and-coming electro-hop / dubstep producer, Ignorant Noise is one of Chicago’s most colorful characters. Hard to miss at a show with his ‘Noise’ hat and spiked leather jacket, his appearance is as unique and individualized as his sound. With his newest EP release ‘Pump The Noise’ making its way up to #40 in dubstep on the Beatport charts, we took some time to sit down and chat with Dwight Poole about his inspiration, and how his career began.
Full interview after the jump
Sorry for the big fat lag in posts (OOPS!) anyways the last project I wanted to start does appear to have some kinks that I need to work out (video conferencing is rather tricky). However, I’m not letting that stop me, and I have one project I want to launch specifically for Electric Zoo participants!
I’m calling it ‘The Unicorn Project“, and here’s why I’m launching it: ‘PLUR‘ as a buzzword has been largely skewed since its inception. I’ve mentioned plenty of times where its true origins come from (but if you need a refresher, click here), and its inception came at a crucial moment when there needed to be a shift in the scene. With drugs references damning the scene and god only knows how many inaccurate protrayals of the scene as a whole, I felt I should at least try to offset it as best as I can. Icons who are already ‘battling’ these negative stereotypes like Lady Casa (changing form Molly Casa, to cleanse herself of the possible drug connotation) have made an impact, but I feel there needs to be a more tangible impact on a experiential level.
What It Really Means
PLUR when demonstrated doesn’t mean winning free stuff, getting discounts, rolling face on drugs, or even dressing up; on a more basic level the truest demonstrations of the concept are when a someone (even a complete stranger) gives you that last sip of water, helps you get to the font of the stage, or even helps you get home safely. It’s not about ‘partying with sluts’ or ‘freeing molly’…its truest manifestation is in the uncommon kindness of like-minded souls you may have never even met before.
The first phase of The Unicorn Project will be small-scale, very simple, and is intended to be a ‘test-run’ to see how people respond. My ‘testing ground’ will be Electric Zoo. What I wanted to do, was to create an undisclosed number of temporary tattoos with the specified design to be given to those (and only those) individuals that demonstrate what I personally feel to be true acts of what PLUR embodies. However, I realize that EZoo ends up confiscating anything they deem ‘promo material’…so that’s kind of out. Instead, what I will offer to do is draw the specific design onto anyone’s shirt/hat/butt/boobs/etc that wants it. I can draw in puff-paint leading up to the event per request for NYC residents (or anyone in the city before the event), and will (hopefully) be able to bring a sharpie or other drawing apparatus in the day of.
I’m not asking for money, I’m not asking for sponsorship or recognition: I am just asking people to be decent to one another, for which they will get a pretty doodly design. That’s it. It’s not some big crazy contest, it’s just a small token of recognition. Down the road, I’d like to expand this little project to be more in-depth and cohesive, but on a small budget and a big dream, this is what I can do for now.
I wanted to create something that had significance to me, and unicorns have always been a favorite subject for me to draw; they may not truly exist in our lives but their elegance and grace has captured the hearts and minds of poets, artists, and many others for centuries. The particular unicorn I’ve chosen isn’t a pretty rainbow-and-butterfly design; It’s an undead unicorn, a stark skull with a crooked horn and a tattered mane. This is intentional, as I feel it represents the ways that this concept of PLUR has been misused, defiled, and desecrated. But skulls have always held a special place in my heart: they are beautiful in their own simple way, and serve symbolically as a basis for a fresh start (or fresh slate if you will) on which we can reclaim and refurbish the ideology behind PLUR. I didn’t want to simply write ‘PLUR’ on the design, it would be a disservice to the design on the whole. So instead, I chose a personal mantra that I live by daily, “True compassion never dies”. On my own tank, which bears the unicorn, I do not have these words, as they have already been internalized, but I’d be happy to add them to yours. To those who show compassion, spread peace, nurture love, foster unity, and show respect towards fellow ravers and first-timers alike, this will symbol (doodled as best as humanly possible on whatever you wish) be your small token of my gratitude.
I’ve noticed an increase in negativity on Twitter; whether it be in reaction to the cancellation of Moonrise (warranted, what happened was a shock and a disrespect to the artists who were signed up to perform) or the outright vicious attack of others, there seems to be an increase in hypocrisy surrounding those who claim to ‘preach PLUR’ and then so adamantly drop the veil of acceptance to berate and humiliate others. Truthfully, it makes me sad to see that so many have turned against the true ideals they stand for in favor of petty argument and bickering. Not only that, but I’ve even seen a truly disgusting increase in outright muckraking by twitter handles that claim to represent blogs. I know I have been known to criticize producers such as Paris Hilton, Will.i.am, and Pauly D…but there is a fundamental difference in disagreeing with the musical styles they perpetuate and an all-out assault on them personally.
I understand that twitter is a platform built on conversation, and that not all conversations will be positive, but outright bullying of anyone within the EDM scene is fundamentally un-PLUR, and if you are viciously attacking anyone be it a DJ, Anon, or personal handle, you are not preaching PLUR. To be honest, anyone who knows the original origin of the saying that coined the phenomena remembers that the initial mention was in a threatening manner:
“You better start showing some Peace, Love and Unity, or I will break your $%^ing faces”
Initially yelled by at a rave where a fight broke out, this moment of clarity would inspire our neon-laden comrades to later on don the expressive and vibrant decor they wear now, and their mission to spread love and acceptance of everyone in the scene. I’m not saying I’m going to break your fucking face if you continue to berate others while “going through the motions” of PLUR, but I think its time someone informed you that you are perpetuating a blasphemy, a charade, and not truly embracing the Peace, Love, Unity, or Respect idolized by this generation.
PLUR is being the difference, not the opposition.
Hey guys! I now also write for the stellar team at Electronica Oasis! Come check out my first exclusive editorial piece on their site !
As we march steadily onward into full-blown festival season I feel that now more than ever we need to have a moment of intervention with DJs who will be gracing us with our presence.
From the house DJs to the trance legends, to the trap superstars and beyond (beyond being Major Lazer most likely) it is time to have an honest conversation about a topic near and dear to our hearts: songs that are overplayed and need a break.
We get it: that one club banger makes the girls wet, the bros chest-bump, and everyone go utterly batshit (or according to GQ, ‘apeshit’)….but I think its high time we gave some of these tracks a chance to catch their breath. From the classic tracks, to the new powerhouses, clear through to the ‘easy favorites’ (the Don’t Stop Believing of the EDM world) these are beloved songs that are becoming overused and painfully repeated. Remember when we loved Gangnam Style and Harlem Shake? Past tense:
Here is my list of ‘bangers and mash’ (club bangers, classic, and mashups) that need to go on vacation this season:
This weekend I was lucky enough to score a ticket to see Dash Berlin (again! DYING!) in Atlantic City’s Borgata Mixx nightclub. One thing I didn’t count on, was how I would react to the venue first and foremost.
Being more of a festival/rave girl, I’m not really a fan of the upscale frou-frou clubs where girls are expected to wear skimpy dresses and towering heels (in my sort-of ok floral dress and “blah-screw-you-Im-dancing” flats, I stood out). However despite hype I’ve heard about Borgata (as compared to its younger flashier neighbor Revel), Mixx nightclub was weirdly unimpressive in comparison: the VIP ‘tables’ on the floor were in odd locations, and little more than velvet rope to distinguish them from the main floor,…and had a few dispersed GoGos that didn’t look like they wanted to be there.
However once I got past the venue (and that took a while), I was able to appreciate what I was really there for: the music. The opening DJ, Carlos Melange, put forth a pretty solid set (although decidedly a bit odd to lead off for a Trance DJ) and had a great stage presence. Despite the fact the set came off as a bit odd for Dash Berlin (mind you, I was spoiled by Tyler Sherrit at the last show), it was decidedly much better than I was expecting:
What I expected:
- At least one gratuitous drop of Levels
- Abusive dropping of Cannonball
- Abusive dropping of random club bangers your average Banker or suit-laden yuppie would know
What I got:
- Solid mixing
- Only one drop of Cannonball that I caught (and well after Dash Berlin’s set for the ‘regular club crowd’)
- Only a select few bangers AFTER Dash Berlin had finished
Once Dash Berlin opened with a euphoric ‘Disarm Yourself’ it was like the best musical honeymoon I’ve had so far. Despite the fact I don’t recall him playing Apollo (and granted I may have missed it) he brought together an impressive mix of old favorites and new addictions. As with any of his shows, he was like a kid on Christmas through the entire set: he jumped off of tables, handed out signed records, threw bracelets, and smiled for the entire set. Even though I have no clue if he even made eye contact with me, the entire set felt like it was being played just for the front row who’d thrown elbows to be there, and encompassed everything from a well-mixed “I Don’t Care” , to the classic “Silence in Your Heart”, to a well introduced “Sandstorm” (seriously who doesn’t like Sandstorm?).
Only sweetening the night, I met up with RedLine Entertainment (and his gorgeous girlfriend) and even met a nice girl that let me take a picture of the record that was handed to her by Dash himself. Overall, the front row crowd was a solid group of weekend warriors that appeared to have braved Borgata solely for Dash Berlin, and varied immensely from the other patrons I saw leaving behind us: I recall a girl remarking that “the jumping guy was ok”. But then, despite all my preachings of PLUR, I can’t really take the word of a skinny girl who spent all night taking selfies with her bottle service bucket. Was it worth the trip down to AC to see Dash? Absolutely. Would I go to Mixx for any other DJ? Not likely.