EDC 2012: Calvin Harris Plays CDs of Himself Singing

Categories: Music Festivals

calvin harris facebook.JPG
Calivn Harris.
See Crossfade's full Electric Daisy Carnival 2012 coverage -- plus photo slideshows from EDC's Day One, Day Two, and Day Three.

Dance music is fighting for its soul. The charts are filled with tracks (Rihanna, Flo Rida) that borrow from the ecstatic trance and pulsing grooves of electronic dance music. The last time pop was so infatuated with the dance floor was 1979, the year disco died.

This time around fans are more savvy about what's real and what's just radio. But the flood of new fans and industry cash has pushed the scene to a new level of soul searching. There's so much demand for EDM that pop stars are now DJing. Consider ...

... Will.i.am and Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas are now performing DJ sets, not to mention the likes of Calvin Harris, the British dance-prop crooner whose music is genuine and sublime.

And yet, why do we need a star like Harris to DJ at Electric Daisy Carnival, as he did Saturday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway? He evolved as a singer, not a spinner. And his set last night -- before it was cut off by organizers concerned about high winds -- was of the press-play variety.

Sure, Harris sneaked in a few outside tunes, such as Basement Jaxx's "Where's Your Head At," but his session was mostly a showcase of his own songs, including call-and-response moments.

Here's a guy who can sing, and he wasn't singing! He was playing CDs of himself singing!

Does anyone else find that wrong?

It's bad enough that Kaskade, Deadmau5, David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia play predictable "sets" of their own tunes for giddy followers....

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Dance music has always been horribly under/misrepresented in the mainstream, leading to mass ignorance and watering down of its long history and diverse culture. Kids today grow up believing Daft Punk created house music and Skrillex created dubstep (many others still just call everything "techno"). The epitome of the "EDM" experience is to wear the sluttiest, tackiest candy raver outfit imaginable and roll your face off while being blasted with shrill, soulless, fist-pumping electro-noise at a corporate-sponsored festival or arena-sized megaclub. I endured my share of diva house and anthem trance on the radio in the 90s, but the rate at which the music and fans have been commercially exploited just these past few years is absolutely sickening. It won't be too long before the next crappy trend arrives and this one finally implodes under its own bloated weight.

monkey brain
monkey brain

put real dj on the decks???    whats a "real " dj ??? please explain .. why should there be some kind of divide on pop ,dance music ,rock etc ... ? an artist expresses his music the way they want ... end of story .


I disagree with this article in the sense that Calvin Harris did not blow up big as DJ or a singer, but rather a PRODUCER/remixer who started to experiment and sing on his own tracks.

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