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For Irish followers of the superstar DJ game, this is the big Tiesto and calvin harris on the seasonal calendar — unless Santa and his reindeers decide to go raving. This is Tiesto and calvin harris big as dance-music box office gets. Maybe fans are after quality rather than quantity. So, any way you look at it, this is the last word in big-room dance music in The year-old veteran Dutch master has accumulated a rep-and-a-half over two decades of releasing tunes and packing clubs. He was not, however, the first DJ to compete in the heptathlon.
His days of stacking shelves at a Safeway supermarket are over. This, then, is where the sharp end of the dance music market is at as comes to a close. Thanks to the Yanks and their loamoney ways and means, turning Las Vegas from Sin City into Spin City in the process, the DJ trade has received a big boost and the individual DJs are accumulating more air miles than they have time off to use. Back then, the American dance scene was a vibrant, wholly underground phenomenon with little or no mainstream engagement.
For many summers afterwards, it was where the DJs went to make their names, earn small fortunes and top up their tans by the pools in chi-chi fincas between gigs. But all of this has changed. The DJs are more interested in the States than the Balearics.
And who can blame them? The mainstream are now hearing the dance acts and sounds on their radios and TVs. US pop has changed as influences from house, trance and techno have taken root. This is their heyday, their big pay-day. The biggest problem in all of this, though, is the music. The arrival of the EDM gravy train has meant that the music, by and large, has to fit certain stylistic silos. While there are plenty of really interesting and fascinating producers working their way into the frame or around the edges, from Tiesto and calvin harris to Paul Woolford to Tensnake, the main boyos stick with the lowest common dominator symphony.
This is the one which goes thump-thump-thump-thump- thud-thud-thud- atmospheric pause-mini surge-more atmos-some strings- orgasmic wails-mega surge-thump- thump-thump-thump-thud-thud- thud-thud. The crowds, naturally, go ape-shit crazy, chicken oriental and doobloodylally.
It sounded tired and trite, a burst balloon of a pop record. Certainly, Harris knows the right buttons to push and the right hooks to cast when it comes to shining up a tune which will become as familiar as your right hand. But in the larger scale of things, the song sounds remarkably the same again and again and again and no one shows any inclination to change this state of affairs.
Not the DJs seem to mind too much. The brace of Irish shows is a Christmas bonus for the two l, another opportunity to top-up the pension fund and keep the bank balance firmly in the black. When the time inevitably comes and Tiesto and calvin harris tide invariably changes and something else or someone else grabs the attention of dance music fans, they want to be sorted.
But the lure of easy money is always hard to resist. All together now one more time: thump-thump-thump-thump- thud-thud-thud-thud…. Jim Carroll. More from The Irish Times Music. Sponsored Creativity and a colour pop combine for a living room transformation.
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Tiesto and Calvin Harris are Making Less Money Than Ever Before