Sunday's Times features a story on the vitality of the electronic music scene in Los Angeles, and the many festivals and parties arriving this summer. There's the Electric Daisy Carnival at Exposition Park and Memorial Coliseum; two Hard events at the downtown Los Angeles State Historic Park; in August, the Love Festival, also at Exposition Park; and countless smaller parties -- including Lightning in a Bottle, which concludes Sunday -- dotting the summer calendar season.
In the story, Black Eyed Peas co-founder and producer will.i.am discussed his experiences discovering the first-wave rave scene in the early 1990s. In fact, he and Electric Daisy Carnival founder Pasquale Rotella went to high school together (Palisades Charter High School), and attended the same early raves and club nights (the most popular being Club What?).
Here's an edited transcript of the conversation. Will was on the phone in Europe while on a break from Black Eyed Peas' 100-date summer tour. The band lands in Birmingham, England, on Tuesday for two dates, then continues on to, among other cities, Paris; Johannesburg, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; Venice,Italy; Athens; and Edinburgh, Scotland. Sounds like a nice summer.
L.A. Times: It seems that right now there's a convergence going on in pop music among hip-hop, R&B, electronic dance music and pop. We're hearing a lot of old rave sounds and house samples, and the hits are at much faster tempos.
will.i.am.: There's not a convergence from an industry standpoint. The music industry isn't converging toward dance music. Dance music is dance music. It's been around since disco -- and way before disco. But there's different versions of dance music. Disco is the first technology music. And what I mean is that "disco" music is named after discs, because when technology grew to where they didn't need a band in the clubs, the DJ played it on a disc. The DJ is a disc jockey. So it's technology.
And then, hip-hop was an advanced version of disco, because they rapped over a disco beat. Hip-hop was fast, originally. It was always fast music. They rapped over disco. [He starts beatboxing the bass line of "Good Times," by Chic, sampled in the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight"]. That hip-hop song was an uptempo disco sample.