“Nowadays, DJs are the superstars of the world,” Tiësto says at the start of a trailer for EDM’s first proper documentary, which is rightfully called Waiting For the Drop. Produced by Alexei Barrionuevo, a former real estate reporter for The New York Times, it features interviews with members of the old (Fatboy Slim, Paul Oakenfeld, Carl Cox) and new (Nervo, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii) guard and what appears to be a well-rounded look at where this all started. And the answer doesn’t stem from Skrillex or Deadmau5; it goes back to the first wave of cover story caliber DJs and the love-or-hate rise of dance meccas like the Mediterranean Sea island of Ibiza.
As the Wall Street Journal pointed out earlier this year, Waiting For the Drop is not alone either. It’s one of many EDM features set to flood the market in the coming months. Which is a point Barrionuevo emphasizes by literally opening his trailer with a pop sound and including pointed pull quotes such as “EDM sounds like a disease.”
Or as Barrionuevo explained in the WSJ piece: “There is a collective trepidation in the management world that this is a bubble that’s going to pop.”
Either way, it’s foolish to pretend EDM isn’t molding today’s youth culture on a massive scale, whether you’re talking about the main stage at Coachella or the countless festivals that pass through major cities every summer. Hopefully this film will actually make sense of what all that means when it arrives later this year…