Wolfgang Gartner recently caused a stir when he complained on Twitter about DJs playing it safe with their set lists. After calling out an unidentified jock for "playing [a] straight up Beatport top 10 hits marathon on the dance stage" at El Paso's Neon Desert Festival, he admonished his peers to "fucking DIG, lazy ass fucks," and closed with the advice, "moral of the story: YOU DON'T HAVE TO PLAY THE HITS TO GET THE MONEY AND PLEASE THE CROWD."
Unless, of course, maybe you do. Consider the case of Afrojack and the ambient techno track that he posted to his SoundCloud account over the weekend. "Outside of the whole party thing and waaa drops edm n what not," the Dutch producer wrote, "I also like just making music for the heck of it… Even though its not what most of you are used to, its still my biggest passion to share these kind of things with you, so welcome to the kingdom of Far Far Away, everything under this extra title is gonna be my weird stuff." (Helpfully, the track is tagged as "weird stuff," "weird," and "stuff.")
The song, "Robot City," doesn't totally suck. Chugging along at 110 beats-per-minute — sort of a rave andante — and full of lush, melancholic chord changes, it has the same sweeping, dramatic flair as 1990s trance, but slowed down to a tempo appropriate for a warm-up set. As anyone who has heard Cliff Martinez' Drive soundtrack (or, for that matter, Tangerine Dream's Risky Business soundtrack) will be aware, it's hardly all that out there. But some of Afrojack's fans clearly aren't ready for the #weirdstuff.
The following is a tally of some of the opinions that Afrojack's fans registered in their comments on "Robot City." Fortunately for Afrojack, positive responses outweigh the negative ones by a significant margin, but even some of the accolades make it clear that some EDM fans have a shockingly narrow frame of reference. (If main-stage crowds are this hard to please, maybe it's no wonder Daft Punk have said they have no intention of going back out on tour.) Here's hoping the haters will be happier with that Paris Hilton album that Afrojack is said to be producing.
Number of listeners professing displeasure: 12
Number of listeners asking for the "old Afrojack" back: 3
Number of listeners asking for a drop: 1
Number of listeners who use the word "chill": 5
Number of listeners who use the word "different": 3
Number of listeners who use the word "experimental": 1
Number of listeners who use the word "weird": 8
Number of listeners who reference Eric Prydz: 4
Number of listeners who reference Deadmau5: 6
Number of listeners who reference Tron: 3
Number of listeners who reference other film soundtracks: 2
Number of listeners who reference video games: 3
Number of listeners who write "MUAHAHAH DRUGS": 1
Number of listeners who call it "bumboclatt": 1
Number of listeners who call it "deep house": 1
Number of listeners who call it "future garage": 1
Number of listeners who call it "ambient moombahton": 1
Number of listeners promoting their own music: 16
Number of listeners promoting their own remixes of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky": 1