It's hard to think of a more unexpected turn of musical events than EDM's commercial triumph. For decades, the US remained impervious to the charms of the house music and techno that had been invented under their noses in the 80s. Then suddenly, nearly a quarter of a century after the rest of the world cottoned on, dance music has become very big business indeed.
From the outside, it's inexplicable. Perhaps examining the work of Joel Zimmerman can shed some light. As Deadmau5, he is not only arguably EDM's biggest star – as evidenced by a recent Rolling Stone cover – but also the scene's self-appointed spokesman. He took Madonna to task for the scarcely imaginable crime of mentioning drugs at a rave, suggesting it was akin to "mentioning slavery at a blues concert". It was redolent, he said, of the days when "a dark veil" hung over dance music, before he and others had "taken EDM so goddamn far". By this "dark veil" period, he presumably meant the 35 years when dance music had to content itself with merely providing a glorious, euphoric voice for disenfranchised minorities, being a genuine countercultural phenomenon, repeatedly revolutionising music and changing the face of popular culture. This, of course, was before it found its true, noble calling: soundtracking Las Vegas pool parties and providing music for gurning frat boys to mosh to.