Asian Beat: Conventional sounds in Electronic Dance Music.


Midnight of Summer by Aiobahn contains a lot of Asian Synth sounds.

EDM(Electronic Dance Music) was born from night clubs & rave culture and was pushed by the United States in the 2010s by the music industry to rebrand American rave culture. The term is used to refer to multiple sub-genres of music that involves electronic synths sounds that has certain characteristics such as verse, build up and drop. Though the formation of an EDM song may vary, the electronic twang differentiates the genre from the rest.

When talking about EDM, we would generally refer to an American centric sound, with an American audience and an American producer. But what about EDM in other countries. Though it’s quite hard to imagine, EDM, like Pop, is a global trend where everyone could participate and make whatever kind of music that they want as long as they have a computer or…

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  1. That point about caramelldansen is really interesting, as someone who is rather familiar with that classic it’s amazing to me that despite my familiarity I was completely unaware it wasn’t a Japanese composed piece. I liked that in your post you first described where ‘Asian kawaii edm’ seemingly originated from and it’s influence from both the west.
    I think some interesting examples of a similar piece of music you might be interested in would be this sengoku hop piece from YUC’e (
    Note how the producer has taken inspirations from the sengoku period by using sounds like the ‘yo’ from traditional japanese kabuki, which would cover stories around legends around the sengoku period and prior.
    By doing so the music, is modern in that it is edm but it also particularly aesthetic as not only kawaii, but in someways evocative of the history of the sengoku period. With sound design such as war horns, and as stated earlier the ‘yo.’

    When you wrote about how you were interested in the music that had these more traditional instruments used in their composition, and I can see why, their is a particular feeling that is evoked when listening to these sounds, even with a western background.

    I think it’s worth acknowledging as well, the possible connections that arcade video game sound design holds with modern ‘asian kawaii edm’ and how artists like Shawn Wasabi, and Yunomi are heavily influenced in their music by this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gday, super interesting sect of culture you’ve chosen to attack!!
    The rise of glitch/future bass over the past 4-5 years has indeed had a pretty super impact even in Australia, with artists like JaysWays, Cosmos Midnight, Wave Racer and Enschway taking it into many different realms – it would be very interesting to analyse how the Kawaii genre has taken the familiar future bass tropes and made them unique!

    I think the idea of Asian ‘sounds’ is also a good one to explore – the vibe and feel of oriental beats and visuals often show themselves in the realm of electronic, hiphop and dance, it could be interesting to explore the face value of this effect: what the appropriators actually deem as ‘asian’ elements?

    Again, sick idea. Send me a mastered copy of you work so I can play it at my next pres

    Liked by 1 person

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