DJZ: Day of the Dead “Hard” at Los Angeles, California from Outlaw Partners on Vimeo.

By Megan Paulson Explorebigsky.com Staff Writer

It’s addicting.

The music intensifies, makes you wait, and crescendos, building so much anticipation that the only thing to do once the beat drops is explode with joy – jumping, pumping hands into the air, filled with elation among a crowd of mostly strangers.

Electronic dance music, or EDM, has captured the music industry in America and around the world.

This is the era of instant. Compared to the underground scene of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, today’s EDM is more accessible. It’s immediate. It spreads like wildfire.

From techno, house and trance, to dubstep, trap and hundreds of other sub categories, EDM is a vast genre of music with one uniting factor.

EDM breeds energy: in the fans, in the crowd and in each buildup and melodic release. At live shows, lights, lasers and visual stimulants hit you from every angle. And then there’s the beat. It’s an intensity that builds within, and thrives.

Top DJs pack clubs around the world night after night in places like Ibiza, Spain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Las Vegas. Selling out festivals of 300,000-plus people, these artists pull in more than $75,000 per hour and up to $250,000 for a night’s work, jetting off on multi-continent tours and performing 150 gigs a year.

This is a fast-paced and quickly evolving industry, and one that has seemingly trumped traditional record sales with the urgency and convenience of digital demand. Overhead is minimal compared to traveling with a big crew – the DJ can get to a sold-out venue with only a plane ticket and a computer in hand.

Technology has created a low cost, convenient way to record quality music as easily in a hotel room as in a state-of-the-art studio. Many DJs craft new songs or sets while flying to the next gig. Another game-changer is the ethic of sharing music and free downloads, and encouraging re-mixing or mashups of songs.

A collaboration of sound and sensation, EDM is at the height of its powers.

DJZ.com
Turntable.fm founder Seth Goldstein created DJZ.com in 2012, as a dedicated place for professional DJs and fans to connect on everything EDM: news, shows, festivals, tours, apps, DJ beta and more. DJZ.com even seamlessly taps SoundCloud for the DJ mixes it shares with listeners.

For interactive mixing fun, download DJZ apps:
DJZtxt – a messaging app that turns emojis into sounds
Crossfader – an intuitive music experience that lets you DJ by dancing

Not-to-miss EDM festivals:
Ultra Miami – Miami, FL
Electric Daisy Carnival – Las Vegas, NV
Electric Zoo – New York, NY
Coachella – Indio, CA
Paradiso Festival – George, WA
Shambhala – Salmo, British Columbia, Canada
Tomorrowland – Boom, Belgium
Sensation Innerspace – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Top club pick: Privilege Ibiza, Spain

This story was first published in the summer 2013 issue of Mountain Outlaw magazine.