Friday, 23 October 2015

Punk vs Electronic? Punk & Electronic

As much as I really love to talk about punk rock music, I also enjoy a conversation about any genre of music. This was always a highlight for me every Sunday at work with my friend Jordan. Jordan is a big fan of electronic music and travels all over the world to see his favourite DJs. We would often spend big portions of our shifts talking about the gigs we've been to recently (in between our massive Game Of Thrones talks and occasionally doing some work) and it always struck me as kind of interesting how similar the two genres are at their roots. 

The first and most obvious similarity is just how many different sub-genres fall into the musical categories of punk and electronic music. In punk we have punk rock, pop punk, street punk, ska punk, melodic punk, folk punk, Celtic punk, oi and hardcore punk. In electronic music you have house, electro, jungle, drum and bass, techo, trance, and deep house. To me all of those different genres sound exactly the same but I'm sure Jordan would say the same about punk music. I don't know of any other genres of music that have such a broad spectrum of different styles, I think this says a lot about the talent of the musicians, DJs and producers who are making the music. My experience of both genres is that the people making the music's talent is horribly overlooked and in managing to create music that can really move and inspire people in ways that no other genre of music can. 

Another big similarity is the DIY culture that really helps both scenes thrive. In punk music I know for a fact that there are people all over the UK who are putting on small club shows for bands from all over the world. Many of these promoters are either in bands themselves or have friends in bands who they are trying to help out. Bands will do show swaps with each other, if band A put on a show and band B who come from the other side of the country then band B will put on a show with band A on the bill in return. Most bands either put out their music themselves or with help from small independent record labels. Thanks to websites like Bandcamp and Big Cartel it has become much easier to share and distribute your music without having to go through the mainstream which has helped punk music keep its organic DIY spirit. I also know from talking to Jordan that the majority of electronic artists also put out their music independently through labels such as Anjunabeats, Doorn Records, Armada and Drum Code. I know that these labels also put on big, big shows all over the world to an incredibly loyal cult of fans.

The biggest similarity between the two genres is the community spirit that connects the fans. You go to a punk gig and you are instantly welcomed, it never feels like a cool club. Whether you're hanging out by yourself or with a large group of friends, everyone in the room is always looking out for you. Everyone is willing to become your new best friend and it's always a positive mentality at the shows. If you see someone fall down you help them up, if someone is crowd surfing you do your best to help them and not crush anyone around you. There's a real sense of everyone being in it together and from what I've learnt it's the same in the electronic world. I know from talking to Jordan that he's made some really good friends from all over the world through going to electronic music gigs and festivals. Complete strangers one minute and best friends the next. This happens because of peoples love and passion for the music. Anyone at that gig is there for that exact reason - love. In many other genres I always get the feeling that people go because it's the "cool" place to be rather than because it's something they really love. Punk and electronic fans are the most passionate of fan bases and will continue to follow the bands that they love whether they are in vogue or not. They are die hard.

So there you go, isn't it interesting how two genres that sonically are so different are actually extremely similar.

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