If you’re just getting curious about EDM - then welcome, you’ve come to the right place! While it’s true that raves are about a greater experience than just the music, and that EDM is best experienced live, there are plenty of ravers who are avid musicians or music fans as well. Plus, any rave is automatically so much better if one of your favorite artists is playing. So here’s a guide for you newbies on how to get into EDM, before you ever go looking for EDM outfits.
So What is EDM?
The simplest answer to this question is that EDM is Electronic Dance Music. So, basically, if the music is electronic, and made for dancing, it can be called EDM. That sounds pretty basic, right? Technically any music that is electronic and danceable can be defined as EDM. However, that vague definition means that EDM is a pretty huge “umbrella term”. For example, just saying that a song is “rock and roll”, “rap” or “jazz” isn’t really giving you too much information. To really understand EDM, you need to understand the main genres - and subgenres. The following genres are just a sample of the wider world of EDM.
If we are going to be technical, the first true “EDM” is probably the disco of the 1970s. However, disco was often a little bit “ad hoc” in how it incorporated the new and experimental field of electronic music. For many, electronic music was still associated with experimental musicians, not something that you would dance to.
That would all change with the emergence of “House Music” out of Chicago, from the likes of truly pioneering DJs such as Frankie Knuckles. House Music (named for the Warehouse Club in Chicago) was influenced by older electronic music and dance music, but with a unique take on both. When many people think of EDM, they are probably thinking of a lot of the staples of House Music - thumping basslines, synthesized riffs, and drum machines.
As the progenitor of a lot of EDM, there are plenty of experimentations and subgenres when it comes to House Music. These include Acid House, Big Room House, and Deep House. Acid House was an evolution of House Music, experimenting with more ways to use synthesizers and electronic equipment. Acid House was very closely connected to some of the earliest rave cultures in Britain. Big Room House was designed for bigger events and concerts, with a focus on big build-ups and huge drops. Deep House, meanwhile, looked to mix in jazz and funk influences.
House Music can also be very influenced by where exactly it is made. French House became known around the world due to its association with acts like Daft Punk. Latin House, out of South America, mixes in local music like Samba and Reggeaton. House music is always evolving, with many calling some of its newest iterations “Future House”.
While House Music can said to have evolved from the American disco scene, Techno music had a more distinctly European origin, being born from experimental electronic bands such as Kraftwerk. Plenty of newcomers tend to conflate techno and house since they both involve electronic music. Since both genres have significantly influenced each other, it can also be somewhat tricky to pick out the exact differences.
Often, techno will be played at a faster beat than house music and will have a greater intensity to it. Techno can often be much more complex, and with a less blatantly cheerful and “danceable” sound to it - many have called techno the “nerdy” version of house music for this reason. While techno might have a dark or mechanical edge to it, plenty of it is still great for raves, and it has plenty of influence on EDM as a whole.
Trance music is particularly popular at raves. As the name suggests, trance music is designed to be a little bit trippy, putting the listener into a, well, “trance”. Trance music tries to do this by mixing layers of sound to create a greater “atmosphere” along with the beat. Compared to relentless techno, trance music will often feature plenty of swells and reductions in noise. Often, trance tracks will be quite long, leading to plenty of chances for DJs to mix them live. The transcendental aspirations of trance music make it a very popular choice for ravers,
One of the most recognizable genres of EDM certainly has to be dubstep. Popularized by artists like Skrillex, dubstep took the EDM world by storm roughly 10 years ago. Dubstep is noted for its aggressive pacing and “screeching” tones, involving intense fluctuations. It’s also characterized by the classic dubstep build-up and drop that forms the centerpiece of plenty of dubstep songs. Being such an exciting genre, it’s no surprise that dubstep has become incredibly popular for raves.
How Do I Get Started with EDM
There’s no “right” answer with how to get started with Electronic Dance Music. And no one is going to give you an “EDM Quiz” before letting you buy EDM outfits! Many of us probably already have some kind of knowledge of the genre just through the music that we regularly listen to. You probably have a song you love in the genres we’ve touched on.
If you don’t, that’s a-okay - because that’s why remixes exist! Try to find a House remix of a song you already like, and use that as a jumping-off point. In general, the House genre is a great place to start, since it’s really the place where modern EDM started. From here, you can start to move into looking into Dubstep or other genres.
One of the best ways to learn about EDM, however, is to get on your EDM outfit and head out to an actual party or rave! You’ll find the people very chill there, and willing to help answer questions. And you can learn what you like by simply taking in the vibes.
If you need a sexy rave outfit for your first concert or rave, make sure to check out our shop. We have plenty of great EDM outfits, as well as a great selection of plus-size rave clothing. No matter who you are, you can find everything you need to attend your first rave in style!