In Defense of Electronic Music

Feb 29, 2016

In Defense of Electronic Music

by Ryan Savic

Note: Ryan is teaching How to Make Electronic Music on Mar. 6 and Electronic Music Production on Apr. 3.

The expansiveness of Electronic Music is obvious. It now influences or is influenced by every other type of music there is, and with the technology available the creative possibilities are truly endless.

To the unaware and untrained, it all is just “unce unce unce” when personally, that’s the last thing I hear. I believe Electronic Music to be just that: music. It doesn’t matter what was used to make the music, it only matters how the music makes you feel. And music, when done well, makes you move!

I've often said that you should never trust a DJ that can't dance. There is a DJ out of Chicago named Paul Johnson, real legendary cat, been doing it for a long, long time. He's been in a wheelchair as long as I can remember, but even so, I've seen him come out from behind the decks and get down on the dancefloor in his own way and you can just tell that that vibe, that soul, runs straight through him.

Dancing definitely plays into how I DJ, but not exactly as you may think. I expect dancing to be the result of what I do musically, a bi-product of what I choose to play and how I choose to play it, not my initial goal. 

At its best, dancing for me simultaneously shrinks the world to the size of the dancefloor and expands my mind to help me realize how trivial and contrite my so called problems really are. When I am lost on the dancefloor, it's because I've become in tune, almost submissive to whatever the DJ is doing. It's like they go inside my head and play not what I think I want to hear, but what I didn't know I wanted to hear, like they can do no wrong and every track just makes me say 'yessssss' and dance that much deeper.

Think about it like this, if you went out to a club with the expressed purpose to dance, you'd probably end up dancing, so how much does the DJ really have to do with the end result? Now what if you went out to a grocery store with the expressed purpose to shop for groceries, and there just happens to be a DJ there? What if your initial intent slips away because whatever this DJ is doing you have no choice but to go and move your body, you've been coerced almost sub-conciously into dancing?

I strive to touch that deeper level of inhibition when i’m DJ’ing and producing, I don’t want you to have to say, ‘okay, i’m going to go dance now,’ but rather take the option of not dancing away completely.  And the producers enable this fantastic voyage through hours of painstaking arrangement and automation.

Listen to Ryan's set from Nattspil 01/17/15

Learn more about Electronic Music taught by Ryan Savic at Madison Music Foundry.


I've been DJing for over 12 years and have held residencies in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Madison. I've played all over the Midwest and have developed a passion for not only the electronic music I choose to play, but for the people who come out to shows who really appreciate it. How to pick the right tracks at the right time to take the crowd on a musical journey is a learned skill.  When done right, they are right there with you, and it can be a spiritual experience. 

I fell in love with vinyl right away. It was like riding a wave of sound that you could fall off of at any point if you got off time. Exhilarating. I then moved on to production in order to be able to make the music I enjoyed so much. I still remember the first time someone came up to me to ask 'what track is this, it's great!' and it happen to be my original production. I also love passing on knowledge to others. I communicate well and enjoy seeing people have that 'aha' moment.

I graduated from Madison Media Institute with honors with a degree in Recording and Music Technology.  I currently hold a residency at Nattspil and formerly held one at Tipsy Tuesday’s at Jolly Bob’s, Madison’s longest running electronic music night.  I’ve recently played shows for the Madison collective Foshizzle Presents and Milwaukee based Apart.   I am also in the beginning stages of starting my own electronic music label Lake Effect.