Ever wondered if those long nights of pounding dance music have taken their toll on your IQ?
Throughout the world people are cheating torture every Friday night; black eyed resilience, nodding along to a backing track that would have sent our ancestors climbing the walls...Those unrelenting beats – hypnotic or incessant? Call them what you will, the diagnosis of a heavy Electronic Dance Music (EDM) session swing from doof doof dumbification to tribal transcendence.
The Chinese invented water torture in the early 20th Century, a method that restrained someone in a small room for long periods with nothing but a dripping tap. The simple repetition and predictability of the drip would induce irritation, idiocy then insanity; precisely in that order, and loosely configuring the blueprint of dance music. But the human brain has since developed an antidote, turning off the receptors to this tormenting repetition, rewiring the noggin to deem this once hellish monotony a pleasurable experience and give rise to the phenomena of electronic music.
Charles Darwin would have marvelled at this biological macro mutation that permits teenagers to sit listening to Dubstep beats for hours-on-end without any hint of abrasion. Throughout the world people are cheating torture every Friday night; black eyed resilience, nodding along to a backing track that would have sent our ancestors climbing the walls.
This new found ability to withstand long periods of repetitious music has led many to question the very ascent of evolution, condemning dance music of heinously stunting the progression of the human race. These detractors compare the music of 100 years ago to the complexity of today’s. Debussy piano concertos in a head-to-head analysis with Guetta’s cookie cut collaborations. The result: a black mark for modernity.
These same dramatists are now claiming that dance music has infected pop, regressing it both in content and composition, making it far less challenging than yesteryears...To prove a point, these bleak nostalgists want us to hot-wire Doctor Who’s Tardis and travel back to the Victorian era with a sound system teleported into Trafalgar Square, Jeff Mills in breeches and top hat, blasting out a ferocious techno set. Would he be met with whoop whoops and whistles they ask? No, bedlam would ensue, people running for their lives clutching bleeding ears, horse carts being overturned, grown men instantly lobotomised and wandering aimlessly, catatonic mothers screaming like seagulls as their babies pulsate, then explode like overblown balloons.
These same dramatists are now claiming that dance music has infected pop, regressing it both in content and composition, making it far less challenging than yesteryears. Saturday’s are no longer the wholesome communal sing alongs around the piano, as we default to X Factor; the subnormal call to prayer that transfixes us on a lukewarm freak show with the nation’s weakest and dullest . The lowest common denominator has been lowered, lowered and then lowered some more, reaching an echelon that aspires to nothing beyond pot noodles, spray on cheese and hoax Susan Boyle bukkake videos.
But is this intellectual devolution really happening, is dance music making us thicker?
The science is inconclusive. Beyond Tinnitus (hearing damage), the actual negative impact of a brutal night of high velocity rave music is merely scientific conjecture. But logically, it does seem detrimental; especially when considering the fact that classical music is proven to increase intelligence.
The actual negative impact of a brutal night of high velocity rave music is merely scientific conjecture...The Mozart Effect states that listening to classical music improves short term intellectual ability and spatial temporal reasoning. A theory so impactful that in 1998 Zell Miller the Governor of Georgia announced a state budget of $105,000 would be allocated to provide every child with a CD of classical music.
Classical Music has melodic and rhythmic complexities that require more cognitive input from the listener. By comparison, dance music is almost the opposite with its formulaic structure of mono-rhythms and repetitious hooks. The metronomic kick drum leaves no room for rhythmic interpretation, no reading between the lines as it pole-axes its way through a track. This tightly quantised repetition provides a staccato waltz proven to hold the attention much less than a humanised beat; the mind seemingly tuning out once it clocks the mechanical repetition.
So, to be on the safe side – what’s the antidote?
Erring on the side of caution, and with an antidote straight out of the DIY manual of cold logic, the best medicine after a 24 hour dance floor bender is a shot of classical music. A self administered dose of culture; step into the rave decompression chamber and cue up Chopin, Debussy, Satie and Ravel – double drop those sonic multivitamins and counteract evolutionary spin-back.