DIG GLOBALLY: Experiences from 'Decadence' NYE

BY: OYINDA SALAKO

I was due for a new adventure, which led me to Denver, Colorado for New Years Eve (NYE). My friend from Colorado had called me in advance and said, "Come here for NYE. There's going to be this music thing called ‘Decadence.’"

I replied, "OK. Why not?"

I looked at the lineup, saw performer Flume on the list, called her back and quickly told her that "I bought my ticket. LEGGO."

I had no idea what I was in for. Decadence was a journey with an aspect of a music culture that I never knew much about. It was time to go digging. I went with an open mind, full of excitement, and it was entirely worth it.

Music is the passion that plays, rages and lives on. The music of many young people today consists of a fine-tuned rhythm and the thump of a bass – the dip of the beat and deep rumble of the speaker. As if they are the new hippies of today, the freedoms of a solid head bang, a finger jabbing the smoky-filled air or the allowance of your own forms of expression create the makeup of this age's culture.

This world, full of invitation, welcomes you to jump, thrust and groove with them – in a multitude of various aspects that come together to make a meaningful environment. From casual to leotard to bikini and boas, everyone’s clothing represents something. The colors of the strobe lights holding you in its trance provide a vibrant expression of a certain connection. The moves of everybody jamming to this music means I understand. You give this acknowledgement of what the music means to you, the beat, the bass and the drop. And that relationship between you and the music expands to become you and the artist, which expands more to become you and the crowd. And with this tech-savvy generation, there's a mass of phones out to capture the moment, to live this life and remember its soundtrack.

So I went to Decadence, attended a rave and, I can't lie, I'm going to have to be one of those people – everything REALLY did make sense in there. You might ask, "What made sense?" And I would have to respond with, "Life." You'll furrow your brows then ask, "How did it make sense?" And I'd say, without hesitation, "music."

And in light of that mood, I had officially entered this sphere. We made our way through the crowd to get toward the front stage, and people were all too helpful to give us room to glide on by. When others became too much for themselves, those surrounding helped pick them up – checking to see if they were OK. From what I experienced, the attitude of this celebration was the definition of chill. All of us relaxed and looking forward to that drop. Each of us taking care of one another whether we were familiar or not.

So here we all are, celebrating the turn of a new year and beginning it with this rave. A new year has long been the celebration of a fresh start - new year, new me. It could be a time to do or be something entirely different than before. Electronic music has this ability to make you feel like you have that fresh start every time you listen to a track. The grooves of each sound chip away at you and melt you until you're the just freest form of yourself. There's nothing but you and the music. And when it's over, the only thing that can come back is what you decide. A celebratory end of the year coupled with electronic music makes the house go crazy.

On night one, Dec. 30, artist Marshmello played. And that crowd was awesome. The top songs were “Keep It Mello” and “Alone.” During “Alone,” the crowd slowed down, sang in amazing unison and a cohesive blanket of emotions nestled everyone. It was like watching an indie movie's plot and resolution at the same time. Maybe that reference doesn't make sense, but that is literally the point. At its core, these raves and concerts aren’t about the popularity contest and who attended; you can almost see the music in a physical form – every person and their reaction to it depicting little facets of the electric melody. And then, of course, the beat drops and we're all just like, ohhhhh yeahhhh, and each differing facet comes together to make sense.

Embracing the feels of EDM was simple– no doubt because of the elements of it that I was already in love with. My favorite electronic artist is Flume. It's that quiet sophistication in the way he lays down his sounds and beats to create magic. His tracks have a mixture of elements from hip hop, R&B, pop, trance and film score compositions–  and so much more. It's absolutely genius. And I rang in my New Year Day to that brilliance. I embraced it tenfold with the crowd. We're screaming the countdown, then yelling, "Happy New Year!"– feeling only chill vibes and an energetic atmosphere. The promises of a New Year seeming destined to start off on pure good intentions.

As an abstract art, music is a staple in a global environment. EDM has such creativity in it that has been far removed from melodies of the older generations. These sounds are brand new and unique. Many of these artists come from across the ocean – bringing with them their own personal connections to music using electronic instruments, sharing a new way to feel music. The art culture of this facet in society, from a new generation or across the pond, is a passion completely worth digging for. It's a global dig all on its own. An absolute gem, electronic dance music is without doubt, music that plays, rages and lives on – deepening your being and your understanding of world art.