Anyone who’s talked to me for an extended period of time about sports knows that I hate the Seattle Seahawks. I’ll take every opportunity I can to bash them into the ground. But really, I don’t actually hate the Seahawks. I actually just love hating things my good friends claim are great. It’s fun to antagonize people you love. Really, why else do you have friends other than to let out some of the nastiness that gets bent up inside you? There’s nothing malicious about it, just some fun.
My relationship with electronic music has developed in much the same way as one of my best friends in the whole wide world has constantly tried to get me into the genre. It’s fun to resist, fun to push back. It came to the point where my friend was playing me remixes of classics like the Beatles, Marvin Gaye and such just because he knew he’d be able to get a reaction out of me and I was more than willing to oblige with the obligatory, “This is fucking stupid! Why fuck with classics?! Just let me listen to the motherfucking song!” But really, I was wrong. The whole time, I was wrong.
I’m a Hip-Hop guy. It’s been the main staple of my listening diet since I was 9 or 10 years old and got my hands on 36 Chambers and Black Sunday. So, really, just with that information alone my stance on remixes in electronic music is completely stupid. Hip-Hop was, and mostly remains, built on sampling. This is nothing more than a new generation of music obsessives (Something I can wholly identify with) paying tribute to the things that inspired them on their artistic path. It’s really no different than my roommate and I sitting in our living room playing Tom Petty songs on our guitar, except that they’ve created something new that harkens back to something already established as great.
Like executing a good cover song there’s an art to sampling correctly, to breathe your own unique vision into something already in existence and find that delicate balance of paying tribute and not just dick-riding. And the man who helped me see this, once and for all, was Wick-It the Instigator. By far the baddest motherfucker I saw at Shambhala, Wick-It has quickly become my entry into the world of DJs and electronic music. I’m still learning, no doubt, but I think with Wick-It I’ve found the accelerator to the learning process. The curve doesn’t seem as steep as it once did…
This mix has been on nearly verbatim since I arrived back from my journey to the Salmo Ranch where Shambhala takes place each year and if you have the same problems with electronic music that I have had this might help. (Being mangled beyond belief in the forest dancing with old and new friends to it on a giant soundsystem might also help with this as well.)
My sincere apologies to you, dear electronic music fans. I was wrong. Very, very wrong about the music you’ve been trying to push on me for years now. I’m still always going to be a live instrument guy at heart, but I think there’s more common ground for us to dance on than I previously believed.