The Prodigy’s New Album Was The Best News of 2014. Here’s Why.

(This is a repost of my EDMTunes feature article about The Prodigy. Show them some love for giving me the platform to write about talent that either no one’s heard of yet, or no one cares about anymore. Here’s to hoping I’m right and The Prodigy remind everyone in 2015 why they’re the best at what they do. The Wolverine of the Main Stage as it were.)
The Prodigy 2014 - EDMTunes - Terry Gotham
We’re at the precipice of another major shift in EDM. No, it’s not big room finally dying, or progressive house returning to center stage. It’s a little more base, a little more primal than that. The Prodigy are releasing a new album, and with it, an entire industry will pivot, as they say it will “wipe the floor with dance djs.” It’s easy to forget how crucial The Prodigy is to American EDM. Whether they’re headlining Lollapalooza (1997), Coachella (back in 2002) or being one of the biggest acts to play Ultra Music Festival twice (2006 & 2009), all the way back when it was only a 1 Day/weekend festival, most DJs you hear today draw inspiration in one way or another to The Prodigy.

In case you need a refresher, The Prodigy was formed by Liam Howlett in 1990. Maxim & Keith Flint are two of the more visible faces of the group (the two guys yelling and having crazy body modification in every video). This group was one of the ones there, pretty much at the beginning. To note, MDMA had been illegal for less than 15 years when this group showed up on the burgeoning UK open air & warehouse rave scene. They pioneered a sound called “big beat” which is the genre you’re thinking of when you think of The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers & even The Crystal Method. This hard-hitting, aggressive & at times, terrifying (especially if you lived in the UK/US suburbs) sound was essentially the brostep of the 90’s. This sound, roughly approximating the halfway point between a rave and a soccer riot, took the UK by storm. This early work didn’t make it over the pond, but as they got bigger, they moved decidedly toward the soccer riot end of the music spectrum.

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Coachella Acts Right.

The Indio Police only arrested 80 people over the weekend. Considering there were ~90,000 people through the gates daily, that’s saying quite a bit. I’m going to keep maintaining that dance attendees cause less damage, are less violent and stress rescue & enforcement resources than your run of the mill football game, rock concert or holiday associated with drinking. The Indio Police department agrees. From the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:

“If you look at some other big event like an Oakland Raiders game, how many people get arrested at those,” he said. “There was nothing really significant this year and there were no major issues with traffic. It was pretty good.”

If you go back and look at the local commentary about TomorrowWorld, you’ll see the same thing. I think these larger events are coming into their own, and while the Ultra security guard injury was tragic & never should have happened, we’re seeing things like that less and less. Six people died in Malaysia at the Future Music Festival, so there are definitely examples of places doing this worse. I think we have a long way to go until we’re partying in the magical land of peace, equality & unicorn farts we’ve all heard fucked up people talk about, but this news shows that we’re on our way. Alright Coachella, let’s not go all Woodstock 99 on this shit on Weekend 2 ok? (via Magnetic, image via Treehugger)