Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:46 pm
It's 4:30 in the morning in Washington, D.C., and dank pools of sweat are collecting on the dance floor beneath a dripping basement ceiling. I can see Sonny Moore's heart beating through his shirt. The 24-year-old DJ, whose producing alias, Skrillex, is a major keyword for the new wave of American dance music, just wrapped up an intimate surprise show at U Street Music Hall (my local gateway to electronic music and a place where I also DJ from time to time).
Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:14 am
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There's no question about it: EDM has launched electronic music to unprecedented levels of popularity in the United States. Arena Rock has given way to Arena Rave and promoters and DJs are raking in millions of dollars. But those dazzling stage productions and two-story subwoofers didn't just drop out of the sky: Before EDM, there was dubstep; before dubstep, there was electro house; before that there was big beat and so on and so on. Electronic dance music has been picking up speed for more than three decades.
Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos is a fussy sonic craftsman: A keyboardist and singer who started out working solo on his laptop, he now makes fizzily catchy electro-pop that orbits around monster hooks. He's not, in other words, the first musician you'd associate with a stripped-down performance behind NPR Music's Tiny Desk, where Technicolor production tends to give way to unfiltered voices and bare instrumental essentials.