Electronic Dance Music has been around for decades and has long since been an organically underground phenomenom. But it seems that the electronic or digitally created music of today is in the midst of a worldwide musical revolution. Artists like Tiesto or Skrillex are becoming household names in popular music today, both of which create music entirely on digital platforms. Today’s electronic musicians have the ability to create music in a matter of minutes with a seemingly endless list of electronic hardware and computer software. These artists also have the ability to distribute their work just as fast as they created it.
Websites like Soundcloud or Beatport give the novice and the professional alike the ability to gain wide recognition in a short amount of time. Social media and networking sites seem to be spearheading the EDM revolution and expanding the market outside of major cities, where the industry seemed most prevolent. EDM is moving out of the city and into our backyard here on the Salinas Valley and giving the youth here an outlet for their musical expression, whether it be through dance or musical creation.
While the area has had a devoted underground following in EDM, with many fans flocking to Raves in industrial buildings or Renegades in secluded outdoor venues, Salinas has seen an insurgence in EDM related events. The scene in Salinas is seeing rapid growth with the area’s youth and many see the scene as one of the few positive outlets for the kids today. Fox Theater Salinas now hosts two dance parties: The Drop, Fox’s staple EDM event, is a quarterly rave that features one or two prominent headliners and showcases a crop of local rising talent. The recently added Hip-Hop vs. Electro is a monthly event that melds two genres, highlighting an all local line-up. The aim of Hip-Hop vs. Electro is to hopefully allow patrons who may not be so proficient with EDM or who may not otherwise be fans of the genre to attend and still enjoy a style of music to which they are accustomed and hopefully come away with a new experience.
The events at Salinas’ fabled theater are newly established reoccuring events with early signs of a large dedicated following. But this fandom didn’t just appear with inception of the event. It came from dedicated followers of EDM. It came from area DJ’s who have been putting work in the genre for years before it was fashionable. DJ duo Tiger Stripe pioneered the scene in Salinas and paved the way for future DJ’s to make a name for themselves in the area. One such DJ is local favorite Raul Garcia known to many as Vyruz. In a recent interview, Vyruz talks about the emerging Salinas market and his early popularity.
When asked who inspired him locally the DJ had this to say; “Tiger Stripe and Arcade inspired me and helped me a lot and still inspire me. And on the way I have gotten a lot of help from Ice Cream Adventure, Mr. Tyler Jackson, Liquid-Abyss (and) PrimeTime.” He spoke openly about his rising popularity and where he attributes his early promise to. “Well just having the background of a promoter has helped me out, I mean I have been working with Electrify since they started doing shows here in Salinas. Working with them has given me the knowledge on how to promote, what to say to other promoters etc etc. Also I promoted peoples’ shows without them asking me and I attended them as well. I wanted to show them I was interested and willing to do what ever it took to get a spot on their shows even if I was not playing the main stage. I believe this all happened so quickly because of all the support I have from my friends, not to mention spamming people with mixes. Also being thankful to those who have helped me.”
Vyruz looks to bring another massive set to his fans and followers at the fourth installment of Hip-Hop Vs. Electro on June 28, 2012. He graces the main stage with a 9 p.m. time slot at the reinvigorated Fox Theater Salinas.