Here in Philadelphia we’re what your polite grandmom would call late bloomers in the world of EDM. Genre snobs at shows would simply ignore you and then subtweet their friends to ask if what you were listening to was dubstep. That being said, we have a true foundation of bass music here, and our nightlife is coming up in the global world. Soundgarden Hall is a place I talk of often, for good reason. That venue has put on every type of EDM show, and not just inside their walls. They threw a W&W show at the Phillies ballpark, and some amazing shows at festival pier, the most epic of which was Armin van Buuren this past summer. There is always an electronic event worth seeing here in Philly these days; sometimes there are too many. Oversaturation of the market here is one of the biggest issues, and I’m concerned the flame will burn out too fast, killing what could be our last chance at salvation as human beings. It sounds hokey, but there are many whose thoughts align here, an entire counterculture believe that EDM could save the world.
I have faith this will not happen, that the fans here cherish this music for what it is, what it does. I have found this not just in Philadelphia, but down in Washington, D.C. and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Thanks to the connective nature of the Internet, ravers can connect to the other end of the world. From here to Siberia, and up and down the hemispheres, there is a buzz about the movement. In America, the bubble is bursting. Throughout the rest of the world, the electronic music community is connecting over beats and percussion and melodic voices. I’ve said this before, but it’s not something you can explain. You either get it or you don’t. When you do, it is fucking everything.
In one moment, everything changes. You are staring at yourself, but it is the person you used to be. Weak and beaten down by ridicule. Yea, I’m different. This music gives me the power to be proud of that, because this connectivity is rooted in sharing painful experiences. I am also grateful for every day, finally feeling what it is like to live. And not giving a fuck what anyone thinks.
Poster children for the misunderstood, the Lady Gagas of EDM, are of course Yousaf sisters Jahan and Yasmine. Jahan is always an activist, in her music and performances, and all over social media. These sisters don’t suppress their balls-out attitudes, and they recommend we all let our freak flags fly. Five months ago, she spoke about this concept. She tells her many readers, some alone and sad, afraid to be who they are, “And for the kids who are called ‘losers’ right now, whatever makes you a ‘loser’ will be your weapon someday if you don’t surrender to chasing popularity.”
They continue to live by this mantra, identifying the plight of a lost, confused teenager, and empowering them to tap into their talents, and do great things. They’re great thing is music. Being from Chicago, and traveling around making EDM before we were hitting the clubs hard in Philly, before our clubs were even open, Krewella was learning about different styles and perfecting what is now the highest level of badass.
Of all the genres in EDM, hardstyle is one that is necessary, tagging this very fast tempo music, that pounds with heavy house beats. You literally cannot stop dancing once you start. Krewella has previously had some dnb paced tracks; it is actually their favorite speed to spin. It makes sense then that they have teamed up with hardstyle guru Headhunterz, who played the first hardstyle show, maybe the second, ever in our great city. We have nothing but brotherly love for this dude and his energy, even if it is a little difficult to shuffle to 150BPM. That show was the first I heard of the track below, ripped from Pete Tong’s radio show and scheduled for official release on November 19 via Ultra Music.
This is the anthem. More than any of their other moving, motivational, fist in the air, tear jerking, beautifully grimy tracks. This collaboration with Headhunterz shies away from dubstep fills and pounds a serious message into your head until you get it. And if you get it already, it is going to pound until your neighbor gets it. And her neighbor, and so on. This is forward movement. This is the type of shit that just might save us. “United Kids of the World. Yes We Are. Yes We Are.”
Here’s to the losers, the weirdos, the crazy mother fuckers. Come and get it.