trends With popular international DJs coming to town practically every weekend, is Bangalore the new EDM capital, wonders NEETI SARKAR

That music is a universal language is an established fact. And with globalisation, the borders are further blurred. Going by the number of international DJs from Richard Durand and Alix Perez to Matt Darey, David Guetta and Fatboy Slim who have recently graced Bangalore with their performances, it does seem as if electronic dance music (EDM) is here to stay.

According to Rahul Papali, partner at ARK Event Management that handled ticket sales for the David Guetta gig in Bangalore (in partnership with Only Much Louder), “Following the overwhelming response at Guetta's concert here, it does seem as if the city is an EDM hub.” About why Bangalore is a viable market for EDM, Rahul says: “The cosmopolitan crowd in Bangalore listens to a lot of this music. Clubs across the city mostly play EDM and House music. Unlike in other cities where Bollywood for example are primarily played in clubs, the city's DJs such as Ivan, Brute Force and Rohit Barker play top electronic tracks from across the world.”

From nightclubs and contemporary restaurants to artiste management companies, everyone is doing their bit to bring EDM artistes. Payal Jairaj, Tour Manager of Submerge, the promotions and events company for dance music, asserts: “Bangalore is the cradle of EDM in India. There is a sizeable student population that is open to all sort of music and they especially dig EDM. The city has been home for Submerge and holds a special place for us to do our primary events. In the next few weeks we will be doing gigs with artistes such as Dave Seaman, Eddie Halliwell and Infected Mushroom.” DJ Aneesh Medina begs to differ. “Bangalore still isn't the EDM capital of India. People are in the process of learning and exploring the genre. It's going to take some time for people to really understand the depths of EDM.”

About EDM's crowd pulling capacity, Aneesh says: “People have now slowly begun to realise and appreciate various kinds of music. Commercial music gets a bit monotonous after a while and people want something different. Enter EDM which is a whole different life form that has so many aspects that cater to a variety of people's tastes which I feel is the reason it is slowly but surely gaining popularity.”

Vishwa, owner of CounterCulture, the resto-bar which is open to all genres of music, says: “From the business standpoint, clubs and sponsors prefer to fly down just one artiste instead of a band. It is a cost effective method of entertainment.”

He adds: “Bangalore is a city of music but it is unfortunate that we have only one real electronic artiste, Rahul Giri, who hails from here. There are umpteen DJs who play this genre of music but nobody is coming up with original electronic offerings. In fact Delhi is killing the scene. Bangalore is far off. Also, it's about time we gave the woman DJ fad a break. Just because she's cute, it doesn't mean she's an EDM pro!”

So from rock capital, is Bangalore becoming the EDM capital of the country? According to Arpan Peter, co-owner of Overture India that has brought bands like Opeth and Lamb of God to the country, “Bangalore accepts music across all genres but it will always be known as the rock capital of India because Rock and Metal have a bigger fan following here than EDM does. Also, the fact that EDM is new-age and Rock and Metal have stood the test of time shows that EDM cannot come to displace Rock in Bangalore.”

While the experts are deliberating on the growth curve of EDM in Bangalore, the rest are already making plans for which EDM do to be at this weekend!