From foreign shores, electronic dance beats

Posted: September 01, 2012

Jay-Z is no dummy. EDM - for electronic dance music - is the music buzz-phrase of 2012. At Made in America, rap-heads and rockers alike will hear the best in mostly non-American electronic dance music.

Imagine how Skrillex's hair will look in the Made in America movie! That Los Angeles-based DJ with the long black locks and shaved sides is the toast of the electro scene. His metallic beats and scorched-earth melodies live up to the acclaim. In terms of pop sensibilities, however, Skrillex doesn't hold a candle (yet) to Scotland's Calvin Harris. The producer/DJ makes stadium-sized house music with sweetness and soul, and Rihanna loves him for it (their "We Found Love" is a smash).

Afrojack, finest of the Netherlands' spinning set, is more funked-up than poppy, yet it has mastered slick dance-floor sensationalism on hits like "Take Over Control." Although known for his innovations in moody trip-hop, instrumental hip-hop, and sampling (as on his 1996 CD Endtroducing ...), San Jose's DJ Shadow will stick to the turntables.

Sweden's Miike Snow operates differently from Made in America's other DJ/sequencers. It's a trio of electro-pop producers who happen to play instruments (not too much) while expanding the range of the remix into radical reconstruction (as on their revisioning of Britney Spears' "Toxic") - all without losing the joy of contagion.

Skrillex, Miike Snow, Calvin Harris, and Savoy spin on Saturday, while Afrojack, Swedish DJ Alesso, and DJ Shadow grab a groove on Sunday.

- A.D. Amorosi

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