EDM: From Rivet-Gun Bass Lines To Cascading Piano Riffs

edm1DJ Dublin discusses EDM

The term EDM has metamorphisized more quickly than any term in dance music since I can remember. EDM is short for electronic dance music, which could conceivably describe any music with a beat made on a machine. But in practice, it describes something more specific. Everything that’s presented as EDM falls within one corner of the scene, which is generally a more commercialized corner, a corner with more marketing muscle behind it. The term has been adopted mainly by an American audience to apply to things like big tent electro-house and American dubstep. It’s difficult to draw a clear sonic line between EDM and other sub-genres of non-EDM dance music, like deep house. Proper house/house was synonymous with older disco music, boogie, soul and funk, formed into sampled repetitive 4/4 beats, off-beat hi-hat cymbals and luscious synthesized baselines in the range of 118 to 125 beats per minute. It’s easy to describe the sound of house music. Much like organic fruits and vegetables versus synthetically grown, the electronic listening music of the ’90s is a prime example of an art form derived from influence. In the early 1990s, the term IDM (intelligent dance music) was born. In America, it was described as art or intelligent techno, while house music displayed several characteristics similar to disco music with an added electronic and minimalistic twist. During the rave era of the early ’90s, there was no radio, social media or any other outlet for that sound of music. It was very underground, and people who knew, knew.

House music venues are endless, from clubs to cafes, restaurants, hair salons and high-end department stores. After its success in the 90s, house music grew even larger during the second wave of progressive house sound in the early 2000s with a more aggressive, harder sound with tech and an electro-edgy element. Today, house music remains popular in clubs while retaining a strong foothold on underground scenes across the globe. Deep house music has always been described as the spiritual side of dance music, and it seems logical for deep house DJs to mark the night — or perhaps the sunrise — by ending an event with deep house.

I reached out to local favorite DJ Dublin to share his amazing one-night-a-month event at local downtown club, The Salon.

Rob Murphy, aka DJ Dublin, grew up in Providence. He is curator and resident DJ of Soul Teknology and founding member of the Afrosonic Collective.

DJ OSHEEN: What is your favorite classic dance track?

DJ DUBLIN: There are so many greats, but one that comes to mind is Hardrive’s “Deep Inside.” It’s the quintessential classic house track. Mix that vocal intro into just about any song and everyone still goes crazy, and when that bassline hits, it’s over! And the vocals: “All we need is love,” pretty much sums up house music in one line.

DJO: We still very much cherish our vinyl records. Please describe your love for records.

DJD: I still have my vinyl shelved right here in my studio. Just looking at my records makes me want to start thumbing through them! Even though I still regularly buy records through the internet, I miss walking into Skippy White’s and sayin’, “What’s new?” The simple acts of buying, listening to and appreciating music is so different now. No more opening up albums, sitting back and reading the album art and notes as you take it all in. Man this question makes me want to put the needle on the record and fall back into a beanbag with a nice IPA. Yeaaaahhh …

DJO: So what can we expect from your live set?

DJD: Soulful dance music! I definitely steer my sets in different directions depending on the setting, but you’ll always hear something with soul! At my monthly party, Soul Teknology, which I do with DJs MikeDelick and Yummy, you can expect to hear dance music with influences from around the world — Africa, Cuba, Brazil, NY, Chicago — all blended up in the true house music spirit. I also do a party with MikeDelick that we call music of many colors, which is exactly as the name implies: soul, funk, salsa, disco, house and dub. It’s basically a night of really good old and new global dance music, not necessarily electronic all night.

DJO: What’s your current top 10 play list in no particular order?

DJD: Oscar P – “The Drum” (Jose Marquez Remix), Lady Alma – “It’s House Music” (Feel It Mix), DJ Christos & Monique Bingham – “Outta Sight” (Ralf Gum Mix), Quantic – “Duvido,” Hector Lavoe – “Mi Gente” (Ivan Diaz Edit), Juju Christian – “Earth People,” Sonz of Afrika – “Ubuthakathi” (Hand of God Remix), Darque & Black Coffee – “Ready for the World,” DJ Fudge – “Pedogbepa,” Bob Marley – “Redemption Song”

DJO: What sets you apart from your competition?

DJD: That’s a funny one because I never thought about other DJs as competition. I never really cared what other people are playing or how I can be different. I just do what I do — spread my love for music around to other like-minded souls.

DJO: What piece of equipment could you not live without (not necessarily DJ equipment)?

DJD: My snowboard.