Close your eyes. Let the beat wash over your soul. Find the melody. Let your imagination take you away.
If we forget about genres for just a moment there are really only two types of electronic dance music that find a place among our extravagant and wildly broad scene. First, you have the lyrical, which paints a picture through sung words, guiding the listener to hone in on a specific storyline or theme. The plot and in most cases, the desired emotion is laid out for you, leaving little for you to figure out or dream up. But, then we have the opposite side of the token, that being dance music productions designed and presented to the world without the use of lyrical stimulation. The type of dance music that is completely open-ended, allowing the listener to craft their own storylines and their own visions, pulling out unique emotions that may be wildly different from the person standing next to you. It is the non-lyrical dance music that resonates so deeply within my soul.
So often I have been approached by friends and family outside of the electronic dance music scene who have posed the question, “How can you listen to music without any lyrics? What do you get out of it? Why are you so passionate about something that has no story to tell?” My response is always the same. “It is the non-lyrical dance music that I am drawn to because it allows my mind to open up and reveal a child-like imagination, designing my own fairytale land, if you will. I am in the driver’s seat, creating my own vivid story; like a beautiful dream yet I am fully awake and conscious.” I truly feel like many of us who are drawn to non-lyrical dance music can relate to my feelings on the subject as there have been moments that I would look over at a fellow raver who has their eyes closed, with a smile stretched across their face. In that moment I know that they are in another place. A place of their own design. A place that only they can explain. I often wonder what they are imagining in that moment. I may never know. All I know is what I dream up in those moments. And I would like to share some of those visions with you. Visions that I have designed to correlate with some of my favorite dance music productions.
Black Panther – Alex Di Stefano
I am at the starting line, about to begin a race for my life!
A slight nod to The Hunger Games, but with my own unique twist, I know that if I don’t reach the finish line first I will be met with certain doom. As the beat drops in we charge forward. It has begun. I race my opponents through the jungle, battling thick brush, fierce creatures, and rain. Lots of rain! As the droplets run down my body my adrenaline forces my feet to keep on flying as I pass all of my adversaries, driven to survive. Suddenly the forest opens up and I see a plain that runs for miles. I bear down, mustering up every last ounce of energy that I can find. I fly through the grass with the speed of a superhuman. I feel like I may actually take flight. Suddenly, I see the finish line. As the track crescendos, with one last push, I dive forward and meet my destiny. I have won the race of my life!
Anahera – Ferry Corsten Presents Gouryella
I am flying.
I have wings like a bird and my vision is clearer than it has ever been before in my life. As I look below me I see dew shimmering on a field full of the most gorgeous flowers I have ever laid my eyes on as a family of deer frolic and play without a care in the world. A rainbow stretches across the sky in front of me and I suddenly feel the incredible desire to reach that rainbow and touch each vivid color. But first, it’s time to play. I fly up even higher and then nose dive downward allowing the neon flowers to run in between my fingertips. Now, the deer are running along side me and for a moment we are in total sync. With every breath I get closer and closer to the rainbow until suddenly I arrive, blasting through to the other side. The colors dance and flicker all around me and I am transported into another dimension. A dimension where sound and color dance and interact in complete harmony and all I can feel is an overwhelming peace from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. This is my heaven.
Brutal – Excision
The world as I once knew it has vanished.
I am feeling fearless as an army of cyborgs approach me wanting nothing more than to erase me from this post-apocalyptic wasteland. Suddenly I am joined by the last few humans left on earth and we prepare to fight. We carry with us some of the craziest guns my imagination could muster up. Some seriously bad ass weaponry! The cyborgs have nothing on us. As the crunch of the bass vibrates through my head the battle commences. In a flash, I am surrounded by the enemy who lunges at me with ninja-like precision. But, I answer back unleashing my wrath with an explosion of firepower, counting each casualty in real time, moving with the beat in a dance that exudes strength and precision. The heavy rhythm keeps me and my comrades focused as one by one we destroy the cyborgs, reclaiming the planet as our own.
A Lucid Nightmare – Triceradrops
I have made contact.
As I peer out my window, beings from another galaxy approach. Their big, black, lifeless eyes catch my gaze and they beckon me to join them, reaching forward, staring straight through my soul. My mind is sent into a tailspin as they try to communicate through telepathy. I don’t know why they have come for me but I know I have to follow them. Suddenly, a flash of white and I am with them moving at light speed through the cosmos. As we travel past red hot stars and magnificent planets they reveal to me a universe beyond what I could ever have imagined full of intensity and incredible wonder. The driving beat sets the pace for our journey. Suddenly I realize that they mean no harm. They simply wanted to take me on a tour of the great beyond so that I may return with a greater knowledge of that which is far beyond any human’s capacity of understanding.
The examples that I have provided are just a drop in the bucket, as I could go on and on linking a grand story with every single non-lyrical dance music production that has passed through the airwaves and into my soul.
Creating a story to match with the beat is something that has always come naturally for me. It is something that enhances my dance music experience and a fun way to make the music come to life. So, I pose this challenge to my readers. If you are like me, someone with a wild and vivid imagination, then keep on escaping to your own unique fantasy land. But, if you have never practiced this type of musical experience then I urge you to do so! The next time you hear a non-lyrical piece of music, go ahead and let your mind run wild! You may be surprised what you can come up with!