Satiating the appetite for dance music

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Guo, the first contestant of the show, performed his track Panda Man, a new version of a previous song composed in early 2017, which displayed his favorite dubstep, an electronic dance music subgenre. The song won accolades from the audience and one of the judges, Zhang.

"Electronic music was already around when I was studying in the US. It crosses over the line and permeates popular culture. The atmosphere is vital for the development of local musicians," says Guo, who was born in Changsha, Hunan province.

Guo notes that Chinese audiences listen to music from around the world, and this provides a challenge for local musicians to create music that can grab their attention. While Guo has received numerous performance invitations because of his talent, he has turned many of them down as he wants to slow down and focus on making sounds that are original and feature his personal style.

"These days, with a laptop and software, it's easy to have access to all of the sounds to make a song and distribute it instantly online. I enjoy the freedom of making music on my own," says Tao Leran, another electronic music maker.

The 25-year-old Shanghai native, who joined the show with the goal of "meeting like-minded musicians and getting inspired", mentioned the concept of "bedroom producer" at the show, which refers to indie musicians like Guo and Tao making music in their bedrooms.

"My home is also my workspace. I can make a song very quickly and try to make a different version afterward," says Tao, who studied pop music production at Beijing Contemporary Music Academy from 2012 to 2016. "What excites me about making electronic music is that I can be a designer, making sound the way I want it to be."

Besides Guo and Tao, audiences also get to enjoy different music genres, such as future bass, house and electro swing, during the show. The contestants maintain their Chinese identity by adding traditional Chinese musical instruments and local folk songs into the mix.

Rave Now has also teamed up with Tomorrowland, one of the world's largest electronic dance music festivals that is held in Boom, Belgium. Winners of the show stand a chance to perform at the music festival.

The 1920s and 1930s saw the emergence of electronic devices for performing music and compositions for electronic music in Europe. As computer technology became more accessible and music software more advanced, the genre started gaining popularity around the world. A new generation of DJs and producers rose to fame and often played their tracks to audiences all over the world around 2010 when electronic dance music (EDM) started to hit its peak.

In China, the first academic research center for electronic music, the Center for Electroacoustic Music of China, was launched by the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing by Chinese musician and professor Zhang Xiaofu in 1993.

The high-energy rhythms has been popular among young music lovers in the country, thanks to some local pop stars, including singer-songwriters Li Yuchun and Zhang Yixing, who blend it into their music. Today, EDM's popularity continues to rise in China, evidenced by the spate of local and Western electronic music festivals held in the country every year.

For example, the Budweiser Storm Music Festival, one of China's biggest electronic dance music festivals launched by Shanghai-based promoter A2LiVE, was held in 11 Chinese cities in 2017, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Miami-based Ultra, one of the world's most recognizable EDM festival brands, landed in China for the first time in September 2017 with a two-day event in Shanghai.

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