Let’s take a trip back to 2008. My first real introduction to electronic music began at summer camp, where my camp counselors were listening to some British guy called Rusko. 15 year old me was thrilled by the warped, textured sounds and aggressive bass that made my counselors headbang.
Cut to 2016: as I stood in the Aragon Ballroom, watching hordes of people wildly dance their hearts out at Safe In Sound to Party Thieves, Dirtyphonics, Trampa, and Borgore, I found myself recapturing that magic that led me to my love of electronic music. Dubstep has the ability to bring the most passionate of fans together, their pure joy for the music bubbling up through the crowd as they cheer on equally exuberant and energetic artists.
Each artist brought something a little different to their set, showing the complexity of bass music in its current form – from Party Thieves’s trap sounds to Trampa’s heavy hitting wobbles, it was a perfect sampling of all that dubstep and bass has to offer. Headliner Borgore’s set was nostalgic and, in a way, cheekily self-referential to the whole dubstep movement; playing staples like Avicii‘s “Levels” doesn’t always work in a DJ set, but in this context, it felt like a special part of the culture we were all sharing. What I found enthralling was the complete lack of cynicism from both the artists and fans. All too often I’ll attend an event full of people trying to look “cool”, never really letting go and embracing what brought them there in the first place: the music. That wasn’t the case at Safe In Sound. Throughout Aragon Ballroom, I saw people young and old with the most genuine smiles on their face, falling in love with electronic music the same way I did eight years ago.
Photo: Mr. 650