The throbbing bass, striking flashes of light pulsing to the beat of the music and the unmistakable build-up leading to an ultimate climax ““ the drop. While these distinctive characteristics of an electronic dance music concert may be unknown to hundreds of students at UCLA, they bring a juxtaposition of nostalgia and first-time excitement to third-year math and economics student Andrew Neeld.
So much so, in fact, that Neeld began to seek out others that felt the same way last spring, leading to the eventual creation of the Electronic Dance Music Club, EDMC, who will put on their first concert at the Co-op on Nov. 30.
“I thought, wow, a lot of schools have electronic dance music clubs but UCLA doesn’t, and it definitely needs one,” Neeld said. “Initially my main incentive was just to make friends and to give people a hub to meet others with a common interest.”
In the spring of 2012, Neeld conceived what was initially a small Facebook page for UCLA’s EDM lovers, getting him in touch with other UCLA student EDM veterans Colin Douglas and Pavin Kang, whom he eventually sought out for guidance and co-leadership to help carry out his brainchild.
Early this quarter, Neeld, Douglas and Kang took the reins of what was merely the idea of a club and met with the social chair at Kerckhoff. Soon after was the club’s first official gathering, with merely eight attendees. However, their DJ skills are what Neeld continues to call the “heart of the club.”
Despite the club’s very recent birth, the leaders have a plethora of activities in store not only for its members, but for any UCLA student interested in attending. Among these are their major concerts, which the club plans to hold once a quarter.
“The DJs are all students,” Neeld said. “We usually set up at least two stages, with about four consecutive DJs at each stage playing hour-long sets.”
Some of these DJs include Douglas and Kang themselves, as well as DJ duo Philip Scott and Kael Barton.
Beyond their concert-style events, EDMC is also planning many other projects for the enjoyment of EDM lovers.
“We hope to eventually arrange carpools to and from shows,” Neeld said. “We want to make it a community of people who can go to these shows together and build friendships within the club.”
Douglas also emphasized the prospect of workshops for aspiring or experienced DJs and producers.
“A lot of us also produce music, so (the club) allows those that know certain aspects of production to hold workshops for those that may not know a specific program or technique,” says Douglas.
Although the club’s three leaders arrived in L.A. from different backgrounds, their common love for bleeps and bass all developed in their respective youths.
Neeld said his two musician parents sparked his love for instrumental music at an early age. In his junior year of high school, however, Neeld and his close friend began to dip their toes into the world of EDM. Although he was originally more versed in the indie rock genre, exposure to the band Owl City triggered Neeld’s interest in the electronic sounds that the band fused with their acoustic riffs. From then on, it was all about EDM for Neeld.
Douglas, a graduate student working to get his doctorate-level degree in biochemistry, said his love for electronic dance music arose in his teen years when he and his buddy picked up a DJ Dan concert recording at a music store. Since then, he’s DJ-ed all over the East Coast and England.
Third-year philosophy student Kang said his passion for EDM also began at a young age, when his cousins exposed him to the magic of Daft Punk’s MTV shows. Soon after he became entranced with DJs such as Tiesto and began DJ-ing in his hometown, hoping to bring something of that caliber to the Central California region.
While the club’s biggest emphasis lies in the musical realm, Neeld and his colleagues stressed the importance of bringing together all types of artists.
“We want this to end up being a hub for artists in general,” Neeld said. “We’re hoping that down the line anyone who wants to make clothes, film videos or take pictures at our events can come here.”
But overall, Douglas said it is the love for the genre and its electrifying energy that ultimately brings the club together.
“It’s really a way for anybody that likes electronic music at all just to come together, find new genres or artists that you may not have heard before and experience all of it together.”