In the last few years, electronic music has become the anthem for the younger generation, with artists like Skrillex and Steve Aoki producing songs that can be heard at almost any college party. It has been gaining popularity with younger crowds in the last few years for its eclectic and experimental qualities.
Annie Heslinga, a music journalist and an active member of the Manhattan and Brooklyn music scenes, believes electronic music gives individuals a unique platform of expression.
A Gallatin senior, Heslinga has spent her last few years becoming heavily involved with the New York electronic music scene. In addition to running her own radio show on WNYU called “EasyJetSets” which showcases music producers around the city, she works behind the scenes for music events in Brooklyn and has recently been creating her own music played simultaneously with projected visuals.
“Electronic music showcases the ability of an individual to make music,” Heslinga said. “It’s about an individual making music, which is really exciting, but at the same time, music acts as a way of community-building.”
More than club culture, Heslinga’s main interest is in warehouse-type music in New York, such as Market and Resolute, who are currently some of the biggest names in the techno and electronic industry. She’s thankful for groups like De La’Funk and SUM Label, who she says “have not only supported me, but actively mentored me.”
Currently, there’s a large shift going on in electronic music as its influence continues to grow. As some of the larger electronic clubs are closing, warehouses are continuing to gain popularity.
“There are some huge changes happening right now. Pacha, a large Manhattan club that was hugely influential in 90s, is closing, as are some other large clubs,” Heslinga said. “The community that I’m involved in is becoming more of a staple of nightlife in New York, and warehouses in Brooklyn in general are becoming more prominent.”
Some of Heslinga’s biggest musical influences come from the original, old-school Detroit artists, such as Transmat, Underground Resistance and KMS. A few other of her inspirations include labels like Sender and Vakant, who represent a German minimalist influence and Caberet and Torema from Japan.
“There tend to be a lot of younger producers, but the artists who make music that tend to be timeless or tend to withstand trends are artists who are not necessarily older, but have background in music and music theory,” Heslinga said.
For Heslinga, electronic music focuses on a physical space in a way that acoustic music doesn’t center around. Because of this, her connection to electronic music is a lot more emotional.
“It’s about physical spaces, community and people,” Heslinga said. “It deals a lot with futurism, science fiction and building a utopia. Because of that, it’s more emotional for me. It’s not just otherworldly, but it’s about being ecstatic and elated.”
Check out some of Annie Heslinga’s music at https://soundcloud.com/easyjetsets.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 11 print edition. Email Ankita Bhanot at [email protected]