The scene that surrounded me for my first definitive experience of the Swedish House explosion was the last one I had ever expected to see. To my left, a whorde or young girls screamed in unison to the haunting reverie we once associated with Etta James’s moment of modern musical glory. To the right, Tim Bergling attempted to play down the usurping roar that had met the Globe Arena from the outset of his rather long intro to the stage. But to the centre of my sights was where the real magic took place. Close to 10,000, by my guess at an average age of 16-years-old, where lost in the energy of a genre that only a year ago was almost unfathomable to their daily lives. The events that followed were definitely a glitch on an otherwise perfect moment to anyone who has covered the genre as ruthlessly as myself, but I would rather not let the regrettable accident take precedent over an exemplary moment in European Dance Musics’ mighty overhaul.
There may be every negative word under the sun for what artists such as Avicii and the Swedish House Mafia have done to the alleged ideals of their genres. But the rapture that cut through that room throughout both of Avicii’s proud homecoming appearances at the Globe Arena was as good of an antidote to the resentment of a figuratively small portion of the EDM community. Somewhere along the lines, despite being dubbed as the opposite by various outlets, Bergling has done something incredibly original. Without the mindless commodities of Guetta’s pop-orientated perseverance, this is Dance music that has exceeded the club and made for a universal mutual ground that defies age, income and hierarchy. I was bored of hearing ‘Levels’ on the radio, but when those first notes hit the arena the hairs stood on the back of my neck. And I was not the only one!
The fact is that the world is not so small that there cannot be room for everyone to digest a genre of music. Seclussion is a cold realm to operate in, let alone report, so I welcomed an arena for this genre to explode within. The young fans, the red-rope VIP crowd and the avid aficionados among the crowd now have a commonplace that every regular Tom and his sister can experience when they turn on the radio. That is powerful music. That is music for the masses. That may not be ‘House’ or ‘Dance’ or ‘Electro-Step’ – but where some movements have touched the masses, our boys in blue have shone a light and set the standard of ubiquitous music of the Electronic persuasion for the masses to an all time high.
Two years ago, I was writing about music that only a handful of the world could relate to. Now, I can comment on a movement that is bigger than Ibiza. Now, I am a proud fucking spectator to what will be a musical history millions are proud to have lapped up.
No, It doesn’t share the raw underground energy of Cadenza. No, it may not boast the hallmarks of the Motown years and no, it certainly doesn’t HAVE to be enjoyed, let alone listened to. But try telling me that it’s universal heights aren’t impressive and you will be met with rigorous laughter.