New England is famous for a lot of things. A lot of its universities are dream schools for students all around the world. The name Tom Brady appears on social media and in everyone’s conversations once football season begins; these talks becoming louder and louder as the Super Bowl grows closer. And of course, Massachusetts invented Dunkin’ Donuts, which is now serving coffee and food for people from all over of the globe.
One thing New England is not famous for is its EDM and electronic music scene. Being stuck between the two major music-centric cities of New York and Montreal, along with Puritan mentality and the Boston law prohibiting any events from happening after 2 a.m. forbids the genre to flourish. Also, New Englander’s prefer more popular and seemingly comprehensible genres such as rap, pop, country or indie music.
That being said, there are enthusiasts providing club-events with music in the electronic genres. For example, Community Links and Dusk Till Done are events which are happening in Boston, providing an atmosphere of rave, which is now slowly regenerating in Boston.
Back in the 90’s raves were events usually organized in warehouses, old churches or other unsuitable places helping to combats the prices, selectivity, and music choice of major clubs. The idea of PLUR, which stands for peace, love, unity, and respect has been followed by rave goers for years. It appears that rave's these days have been following the mold of the '90s.
Now, there are only two organizations and, in general, situations around electronic music and EDM in New England and Boston. According to Glenn Williams, WBCA 102.9 FM’s manager, the first reason is urban renewal. 10 to 15 years ago, a lot of clubs and bars were replaced with other buildings resulting in a lot of EDM or electronic music spots being shut down. With the disappearance of clubs, which is a crucial part of electronic music culture, interest for the genre has fallen.
Even though electronic music and EDM are going through a decay, there are still some signs of a rebirth. According to Williams, the reason for that is technology. Nowadays, technology has reached the point of development where anyone who has a computer, musical ability and some knowledge of musical theory can make and perform music. This has created a lot of new artists and musicians that have started to write and make music, which has provided growth in almost every genre, including electronic music and EDM. But according to Williams, has taken a toll on “the feeling” of the genre, making it increasingly difficult to replicate live what an artist has done on his laptop and other technology.
The EDM and electronic music condition in universities across New England is similar to the situation in the whole region. According to Jackson Lucier, who is a student at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and a member of Electronic Dance Music Community of UNH, students in New England are not interested in EDM or electronic music. One of the reasons for this is a switch of where students hang out. Unlike the 90s, students in college are not going out to clubs that much anymore, preferring to head to bars or house parties, where more popular genres are being played. However, a growing interest takes place in colleges and universities as well with more students paying interest to electronic music and such subgenres as house, trance, dubstep and trap in particular.
All in all, the situation with electronic music in New England now is far from perfect. It has lost the popularity and influence it had in the 90s. With the increase of technology, greater access to a wide variety of music and subgenres, the electronic music scene is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, in a couple years it will take its spot near hip-hop, pop, and other major genres.