That Sounds Like a Crocodile Movie: EDM as a tactile bridge of cultures (30)

I’ve focused specifically on EDM development within the country of Sweden, and alluded to World Music 2.0 in earlier posts, but now I would like to take a look at how EDM can encompass and bridge more traditional forms of “world music” or “global sounds” i.e. from regions traditionally grouped into the genre by record labels.

In Dr. Boyer’s Global Sounds class we studied Deep Forest’s hit “Sweet Lullaby” – an electronic piece that samples Afunawa’s “Rorogwela.”

Deep Forest – Sweet Lullaby

Afunawa – “Rorogwela”

The piece was popularized in a viral Youtube video where Matt dances around the world to the song in the background:

One of my favorite songs from the past year is the Flume remix of “A Baru in New York.” I first heard the song in the Jeremy Jones snowboard film “Higher.” This song is similar to the Deep Forest “Sweet Lullaby” in many ways.

The original “A Baru in New York” is by Yolanda Be Cool featuring Gurrumul. Yolanda Be Cool is an Australian band (similar to EDM act Zed’s Dead in that the name is a reference to a scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction) (29) that is famous for their hit “We No Speak Americano.” Gurrumul contributes the indigenous musical elements to the song and “sense of history and dignitiy” characterists of Gurrumul’s music (30).

The Flume remix is considered an “important bridge between Indigenous and non Indigenous music” (30) and it adds electro-orchestral backing to the original track and introduces a dubstep-esque drop.

Yolanda Be Cool ft. Gurrumul – “A Baru in New York”

Flume – “A Baru In New York” (Flume Remix)

After hearing the remix, Gurrumul proclaimed that “it sounds like a crocodile movie” (30), clearly happy with the piece. This quote embodies so much of what EDM music has come to signify and represent: a tactile experience that blends emotions, feeling and connection. The remix also embodies how EDM music is able to bridge cultures and individuals through technology, remix and collaboration. Just like “Sweet Lullaby” was popularized through a viral Youtube video, I was introduced to the remix – and therefore the original and Gurrumul’s music – through a mainstream Snowboard movie which introduces a wide audience to sounds they might not have heard otherwise. Appadurai’s scapes lend themselves well to discussing this remix from the dissemination through the mediascapes to the bridging of cultures and ethnoscape.

Finally, this is a good example of a song that one might not immediately classify as EDM, but it certainly has the characteristic drop and it derives from dance-oriented styles (20).


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