Why the term EDM to define Electronic music sucks and, if you use it, you suck too.

Everything started from a post from a nice guy on a synthwave group on Facebook.


the  trance Music lover in me got triggered!

Not so much for the “hard” trance (i can understand that sometimes PVD like to play harder stuff) but for use EDM.

ME I’ am a bit over-reacting but please do not use the disgusting EDM term near “trance”. Edm is an imposed tag who no-one needed. just write that PVD is trance.
Thanks, your friendly European neighbor.
GUY 1Thanks buddy. EDM is an “umbrella term” in the U.S. for basically all electronic music. <— i like the guy he defused my rage with a smile!
GUY 2 – exactly. The term is from 1980.

Me, starting speaking about taxonomies

i know that in US it s a logical level above “techno” and “house”, but that is the thing that really hurts me. creating a new taxonomy, just for marketing purpose….
PS isn’t synthwave EDM by US standards, too? you can dance, it s electronic and it s music (super music!)

GUY 1 – Yep, Synthwave is considered EDM.

Guy 3 – Well electronic dance music is the umbrella term for the big families (which have their own, many subgenres) Trance, Techno, House, DnB etc. And a shortening of that term to avoid mouthfuls is EDM. In Europe I think they use “Dance” more? Regardless it’s logical as you said, and used to differentiate this style of music from pop, classical, rock etc.
Now EDM just like that is also the name of a subgenre of electronic music, a rather commercial bassy one, popular here in the US. I think that’s where the issue lies. Not sure of the solution; I guess just calling it “electronic”?
And by international standards not just US, Synthwave is electronic. It even comes from Europe with electro house as root <— he nailed my issue and we agree
Me again – yes, i d call “electronic” as a generic term (as it has always been) and keep EDM for that shitty bassy house music they play in festivals.
the problem of taxonomy in musicis great coz it evolve (i remember that before dnb it was jungle and breakbeat, thus what is the parent category here).
for this very reason i m very cautious of adding new, arbitrary terms. but maybe it s coz i am old
Guy 3 – gotta stay young in heart and mind <— i like this guy too,  he is reframing the discussion.
Guy 4 – Lmao. It IS EDM, and PVD considers his music Electronic. I’ve been a fan of his since 1998. <— starting with LMAO and following with error is not the best way to add value. playing the “Old skool” card with me is also kinda useless. i am kind old, too
Me – @Guy 4 –  i was at love parade 97, street parade 95, cocorico in 92 and so on but this is not a race to the oldest ..
if you are an old skool fan.. tell me when did you hear the term EDM the first time and to which kind of music it was associated?
let’s call all eletronic / electronica and we are all happy
Guy 4 – it was 99 or 2000 when Pvd referred to his music as electronic music in a magazine not trance. That was around the time when I heard that term used myself.
’ve also been djing it, and I work with these artists as a label manager. Not that this is verification, but I been around to know what I’m talking about. EDM is the umbrella term for any dance music that is made with computerized equipment, mainly keyboards and synths.

Me @guy4 –  so basically people use “Electronic” and EDM as interchangeable term? what about the D in eDm? it should stand for dance….
i ll speak about this below.

  • first: I agree 100% that pvd music is electronic, coz that is the largest scope term. and so is aphex twin and so is JM jarre and we are magonia. are they EDM… meeehhhh
  • Second: let’s distinguish between the way someone in the marketing dept of a major decided to dumb down a name to feed the hungry people for music and the reality of how music naming evolve. EDM is a marketing name created for the first reason. and that is something i d like to fight (this is of coz a bias from my side)
  • third: EDM is a mess as a name if you use it as an umbrella term, simply using logic.
    coz it both at the top as a taxonomy and a subgenre (the bassy house) and its own subgenres. Techno had the same problem in early 90.
  • fourth: EDM is very strong in some part of US, but much less in europe, probably for the above mentioned reasons. and while the US had the greatest part in bearing the techno-house kid, it s true that he learn to walk and run in Europe.

Some question for the sake of sharing and agreeing.

  • is synthwave EDM too?
  • is vaporwave? who DANCE on vaperwave?
  • and what about ambient? is it EDM?
  • and what about techno ambient, no-one dance on it!
  • and what about that lovely downtempo trance at early 90s… you could dance and you could trance on it.

So i think using using the EDM is a very lazy way to market a kind of music for people who does not care.
but I DO CARE so i ll keep calling the “parent genre” simply electronic

PVd is german, so I ll use the electronic > trance taxonomy.


Fot this reason I would like to start here a discussion abou taxonomies in music…

5 Questions to Art of Fighters & Unexist

Rotello –  Hello Guys, I am kinda excited to speak with you: you have been producing and dj since the 90s and you have seen a lot of fashion coming and go. I would like to speak about the present the past and the future.

Ciao Rotello,
thank you for the opportunity and for your time!

Word Up sventra ! Thanks for having us!


Rotello – Explain me the 4 decades you have been working (90s, 00, 10, 20) in few words…
Continue reading “5 Questions to Art of Fighters & Unexist”

Music sales from 1973 to 2019 in a Graph

Taken from: https://public.tableau.com/profile/luisa6565#!/vizhome/MakeoverMonday2020W21-MusicIndustrySales/Dashboard2

Numbers are adjusted for inflaction, they are USD, and I am not even sure it is worldwide or just Usa. 🙁

But Some consideration

  1. The Tape age lasted long but was never really leading the sales, which is interesting coz it ‘s challenging my perception.
  2. People who sold CDs from mid 90 to mid 00 made a LOT of money
  3. You don’t earn from selling music
  4. Streaming is getting larger and larger… but that is bad, bit for our planet (the C02 footprint of streming is already as bad as CD production)
  5. Vynil still have their small niche of buyers
  6. Streaming is really the right way to monetize or there is better way? (hint: check the following video)

Continue reading “Music sales from 1973 to 2019 in a Graph”

Does Scooter really sux? Do they really deserve your hate?

Little premise: I ve been born and raised in italy and thus my definition of pop “techno” music is different from most of yours.

I was not in Netherlands when the happycore came with low quality stuff and destroyed all, so i was able to appreciate the party animals, Lownoise & Theo and many others.

I was not in Germany when pop-rave stuff came out, so I was not able to hate happy rave act like Dune (which i love), Scooter… damn I also bough and enjoyed a Blumchen CD!

I was in Italy, where the standars was so called “underground music”, basically slow chicago house with sample from 70s track. I hated it then and I hate it now and at time anything that provided a good basedrum and was uplifting was a good new for me.

So when I was able to have my first parties in Germany (Love Parade 97) my friends (hi Ralf, Hi Olaf) were not believing that I really liked Scooter. Actually I loved them.

Was I wrong? Let’s find out. Continue reading “Does Scooter really sux? Do they really deserve your hate?”

Merging Websites

In march 2020 I decided to Merge the main website and the shop. There might be some broken link here and there.

I ll correct them over time ( i m keeping a log for them and fix weekly): meanwhile bear some errors here and there.

Genkisound 1002 Honest review by Furryz Fornicate

Occulkot – The Gate is Opening EP Review

Favorite Track: The Key and the Gate

Before listening to the EP I gave the cover artwork and song names a look over. The cover was pretty interesting. I liked the greyscale octopus and how Occulkot’s logo was designed. Based on the album artwork and song titles I guessed that the songs would be of a dark speedcore sound. I liked how both the first and last track kept with the gate theme. I always enjoys themed EPs and albums. It makes the EP/Album feel like a journey. Continue reading “Genkisound 1002 Honest review by Furryz Fornicate”

Furryz Fornicate reviews Analphabetik 005 – Lord Lloigor The Remixes (Full Album)

I am always looking to get better so I asked Furryz Fornicate (an US born producer) to give me some feeback on Genkisound 1001 // Analphabetik 005 – Lord Lloigor The Remixes (Full Album).

The Unreturn EP Review by Furryz Fornicate.

Favorite Song: Lord Lloigor – A-mor (Occulkot Remix) Continue reading “Furryz Fornicate reviews Analphabetik 005 – Lord Lloigor The Remixes (Full Album)”

Congrats hardcore dj’s, you have broken Facebook Ads

As you might have read I am the Digital Marketing Manager in a company called TantraMarketing, and so I am used to test random marketing “theories”  three times longer and deeper than most people in the music biz.

I do this coz:

  • I am used to A/ B / C Tests..
  • I don’t trust “I think that” – but i do trust numbers
  • The more knowledge i gather in a niche the better i can find pattern and improve my results
  • the more results I ve the more the clients will pay me

A couple of months ago I started writing a post called “The history of Speedcore”. I had some questions to do, So i decided to invest around 5 $ in promoting it.

The rusult were interesting, and i decided to write this

Congrats hardcore dj’s, you have broken Facebook Ads or: fan number of hardcore facebook page are fake. Continue reading “Congrats hardcore dj’s, you have broken Facebook Ads”

Music taster week 25 2018: Basswall by Zatox & Le Shuuk (RawStyle)

This track is not so recent but it felt i had to speak about it here.

I like this track and i think this is a good example how sometime you just need a couple of things well done to have a good track.

What i liked:

  • The video, very simple, but effective.
  • The Kick and bass part: absolute hammers!

Where i think there is area to improve :

  • the intro (rap and useless synth)
  • the build up
  • the balace of the track


Continue reading “Music taster week 25 2018: Basswall by Zatox & Le Shuuk (RawStyle)”

Music taster week 24 2018: Thor: Ragnarock / Magic Sword – In the Face of Evil (Synthwave)

What can you expect from a OST of a Marvel music? An Epic movie score, and then 40 minutes of the same music re-arranged.

Thor: Ragnarok has been a surprise. Not only the movie itself was much better that expected (I truly enjoyed that), but the trailer music (the immigrant song) was so fitting… and the OST was good, too.

Mostly is Retrowave, Synthwave with a lot of arpeggios. I like that.

Go on youtube and listen to all suggested mix… I am sure you will like it

Listen to Thor: Ragnarock Trailer music / Magic Sword – In the Face of Evil (Synthwave)

How The Sickest Squad has been staying on top of the game for over a decade.

I have been knowing Samuele and Jacopo for like 20 more years now. I remember the long chats with them when Hardstyle was a new thing and we discussed about the coolness of reversed bassdrum, or when the early brostep (dubstep) was coming out and we loved the way the bass was used… (“it makes you the shampoos”), and again every time Aphex Twin has a new release.

I promise I will have a focus article on them sooner or later.

I appreciate their dedication to music, their full commitment to producing Danceable stuff, their manical sound engineering and above all their unique ability to stay in balance between commercial, easy stuff and “awesome” stuff.

Let me explain why The Sickest Squad is a success case you should study if you want success

Continue reading “How The Sickest Squad has been staying on top of the game for over a decade.”

In Memoriam: Federico Franchi – Zenith

Last week one of my fave producer ever, Federico Franchi aka Zenith passed away. For me was an hard blow.

Not only because I loved his stuff but also coz he had my age…

With this post I want to say goodbye to him and write, for the sake of new generations, how important was Federico for the development of music. A massive underated artist outside its niches.

Rip Zenith – Rip Federico Franchi. In Memoriam

Continue reading “In Memoriam: Federico Franchi – Zenith”

The history of trance music 1969 – 2005 (long with video)

OK let me be clear. This History of trance post is not going to be short, or perfect. Your comment will help me to improve it.

My definition of trance

Trance is a music genre but is also a feeling. For this very reason I consider trance a lot of “trippy” stuff that are not labelled trance, and not consider  music that don’t give me a trance sensation.

Why only up to 2005?

For the definition above trance music in 2005 has been dead and buried… Yes some stuff came out here and there, but it’s too few and sparse for me to discover it.

Also for the definition above the “dutch wave” (and all that singed songs you like) cannot be considered proper trance, and where possible I keep it out of it.

Pre-Trance Trance

The 60’s

While we can crawl back to prehistory time let’s fix the 60’s as the beginning of trancy stuff. Jean Michel Jarre first record is released in 69 and so is the famous Popcorn song. JMJ worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen, a pioneer of electronic music, but I don’t feel like considering his stuff Trancy.

Tracks to listen to

[one-half-first] Gershon Kingsley – Popcorn

[one-half]Jean Michel Jarre – La Cage.



The 70’s

Kraftwerk,Jean michel Jarre, Mike Oldfield and Giorgio Moroder, Tangerine dreams and Vangelis… those are The big Name in melodic, tech trancy stuff of the 90s. Each of the above can be considered the father of a specific niche in electronic

Tracks to listen to

[one-third-first]Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene (1976)

[one-third]Jean Michel Jarre – Equinoxe (1978)

[one-third]Giorgio Moroder – Chase



[one-third-first]Automat – Droid (1978).

[one-third]Cybotron – Colossus – (1978) – (Australia)


 Eduard Artemyev – Siberiade theme (1979) – This will be remixed and become PPK –  resurrection



[one-third-first]Gianni Rossi – Star Vehicle

[one-third]Vangelis – Pulstar (1979)

[one-third]Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express (Full Album + Bonus Tracks) (1977)



The 80’s

Te 80s were great for electronic music! New Beat, Space rock and italo-disco were huge on chart and left a mark to future generation. Not only that, but they also see the light of house music and techno, and in UK the Rave scene was moving its first steps.

Trance music as I mean it is the melodic son of techno.

Big names of the decade


Notable mentions

  • Doris Norton – Female electronic artist, who is also the mother of Rex Anthony (we will meet him in the 90s)
  • Suck me Plasma Label – has been created in 1989 by  Andreas Tomalla (Talla2xlc) and produced the very fist proper trance record

Listen to 80s trancy stuff:

ZODIAK – Zodiak (Latvian space rock)

Doris Norton Lab (1980)

Laser – Laser (1981)

Jean Michel Jarre – Les Chants Magnétiques / Magnetic Field (1981)

Pink Project – Amama (1982)

Romanelli – Connecting Flight (1982)


Meanwhile in India…

Goa in the late 1960s and early 1970s started to grow as an hippie nexus, with a very distinguish genre of rock, italo disco,industrial music and EBM (electronic body music). The Goa music development is a different ecosystem than

The KLF: an Out of Time artifact in trance

The KLF – What Time Is Love? (1988 Pure Trance Original) – feature the name Trance in the title and is already “techno”. Many consider this as the first trance track. Personally i love it, but i can’t feel the trancy feeling. nevertheless, KLF are geniuses and this track is 3-4 years in advance on the world

The KLF – What Time Is Love? (1988 Pure Trance Original)

Trance per Year

The 90s in general

This Decade will be remembered in Eternity. In 10 years the music evolved, spawned, reach to top and fell down hard. For this very reason I ve decided to describe the 90s by year, by Country and by Subgenre (born, dead, transformed)

Dance to trance, Jam and Spoon


Dance 2 Trance is a project by Dag Lerner Dj Dag and Rolf Ellmer  (Jam el Mar / 50% of Jam and Spoon). They use the name Trance, but also dance and in Italy – where i live  – it was mainly considered “dance / House” music, but the time were ripe for the next big wave.

  • Dj Dag:  “DJ DAG” is known as the “Godfather of Trance”, he gave “the child’s name” when he start in 1991 with his Project “Dance 2 Trance”. Since that point, he was his definition of Trance always remained faithful. His sound is unique and its reputation is legendary. Dag’s DJ career began in 1985 in the “Music Hall” in Frankfurt, other important milestones in his career were the “Club UK /Complex” in London, “1015 Folsom” in San Francisco, the legendary Underground Club “Omen”, the “Dorian Gray”, “U60311” and “Cocoon” in Frankfurt. All german attention he gained by his early sets at the “HR3 Clubnight”, he belongs to their resident DJ´s since 1993. His international „breakthrough” came with the track “P.ower of A.merican N.atives” (Gold Record Award), countless other productions and remixes with his projects, “Dance 2 Trance”, “Peyote”, “Crazy Malamute”, “DJ Dag” and many more followed, since he produced with different partners on different labels, worldwide. DAG is currently with his newest project “The Flowmasterz” at his own label “Mato Music” and as “DJ DAG” himself to be present. Planet Bass Records is proud and looks forward to many new joint projects and tracks and a successful cooperation with the “Godfather of Trance”.  Dj Dag Youtube channel

Dance 2 Trance – We Came In Peace (Original)



[one-third-first]Place your content for the first column here.[/one-third-first]

Techno Bert – Neue Dimensionen 1990

[one-third]Place your content for the third column here.[/one-third]


Dance 2 Trance ‎– ¿Where Is Dag?


Universally we can consider









The 90s

Trance is Getting ill





Trance per Country




Italy – Tuscany









The death of trance

I call it dead in 2004. And Tiesto killed it

Trance after 2004: The 00’s an 10’s



Useful Links:

  • http://www.toucanmusic.co.uk/articles/trance.php
  • What happened to Trance after 2004: http://www.edmtunes.com/2014/01/brief-history-trance/

The Making of Rotello – RotPsycho100

I know there are hundreds of better producers, better trackers, better sound engeenering, better whatever,  but still no one speak about speedcore and its mindset.

I am confident that f you are curious you will enjoy it  (if you can bear my broken english)

and I bet that indipendently to the music style the concept of track as whole / climax vs drop  /  synaesthesia will ring some bells to you, too

It’s 40 minutes long, 10 with music an 30 with my english (geez it really got rusty)


Takeaways from the video:

00:00 short intro

01:00 Listen to Rotello – RotPsycho100 (version 0.2 ) with AMV on it so you can get the feeling of my desired output

04:00 Loading v 03… is it an improvement or not?

04:30 – 13 minutes of  Boring speech about the samplez i used (you can skip this 🙂

17:00 – overlap same loop with two different chain of effect to get a cool mechanical groove

19:40 – using the reverse crah to build up a little tension

20:10 – Release vs Climax vs Drop – they are NOT synonymous

21:30 – visualizing the anime and translate it into sound.

22:45 – why I used the same base with (almost) no trick filtering

24:10 – why you can break more patterning rules with speedcore (if you know why you are doing it)

27:50 – silencing part gives more breath to the one remaining

28:15 – trading the order for the groove.

29:00 – claps to fix, too much stuff

31:00 – how much chilling should be the breakdown…

31:30 – waiting a couple of days and  Test it on the dancefloor

32:20 – short bridge/breakdown to reflec the brutality of anime

33:10 – how to make a odd pattern (360 lines) to reflect the anime

34:35 –  if base goes much faster, you can slow down the noise to step up a little much but not too much

35:50 – some NOT ideas on how I will close the track

36:00 – half speed is a good way to plateau at middle way, if you really want to build.

38:00 in the next video  we will go deeper with basses

38:50 – spending time to create the base or to pattern a track?




The making of Rotello – Do gabbers dreams of bald sheeps?

Since I always loved when producers tell the “making of” a track, I decided to do the same in my little and total ineptitute in music making.

Beta Release History

Listen to Final Latest version so far

Here it s the latest version

Updates on V04

between version 0.3 and version 0.4 . i did not listen to the track for some days so i was able to find more error. I was able to track many glitches here they are:

  • ptrn 1 –  volum of bg noize rise too fast
  • ptrn 5 – it does not buil up good
  • ptrn 6 – first part of vocal are covered by the tail of sample from previous pattern
  • ptrn 10 – it does not call the noize as good as it should
  • ptrn 20-22 rise up shittly
  • ptrn 28 noize & bongos now sound too random
  • ptrn29 does not call the upcoming pattern well
  • ptrn 32 vocal are so so
  • ptrn37 – noize is ok
  • ptrn 41 – it s too similir to 37
  • ptrn42 start is ok
  • ptrn46 close better

Updates on V04

version 0.5 has been a huge, ongoing work: deleting, adding, moving. i corrected a lot of issues of V04… i m still looking for some good vocals, but i think the track is now more Energetic . Largest change are:

  • the “bongo” track – now amost disappeared
  • moved (and reduced in space) the “half base” patterns… i liked them but there was no use
  • cleaned track here and there (base sound louder now)
  • added the super famous speech at the end. i distorted enough, and maybe i ll get not problem with copyright 🙂

The History of the Track

Let’s start with the idea.

Step 1: The groove

Lucio Battisti has been one of the top Italian singer of the 70’s. Not only he sold a LOT of record but he was kinda sperimental, too. I love “La canzone della terra” and how its main theme is the groove: Bongos, fencing sound and whip… Listen to it here:


I am not able (nor it s useful) to replicate verbatim the drum pattern of the above song, but i loved the idea.  I searched on google “bongo wav”, “sword”, fencing, whip and so on and found a nice series of samplez, played with them and a good enoigh groove came out.

Step 2: Base

The odd numeration is the results of my experimentation with the base. at the end it came out a 288 bpm track, Skull blower style. Basedrum pattern are kinda easy in the first version of the track i ll need to make them better to be congruent with the Build up

v 03: much better progression

Step 3: Vocal samplez

At the beginning v 01, v02 I used a sample of MMA fighter Conor McGregor and me speaking ( I met him and have a chat during a UFC in UK before he was a super star). I then decided that it was too light and fun for a Darkcore track, So i Took it away.

in Mid December the Trailer of Blade Runner 2047 came out, i loved a couple of noize there (see step 6: noize & Bg) and also found a “ok” vocal, which i could use also in the final version.

I had a GREAT sample to start the second part of the track, but again it was not congruent with the general track so i took away ( i ll use it in another track for sure, it s THAT good)

With Version 03 – I added some Blade runner samplez, but i dont like how they are now… i ll need to scout for others…

Step 4: Bridge

I didn’t want to follow the usual way of doing track (base, pause, drop) so the track is a bit random 🙂

basically the Bridge / pause is still with the base but it s half speed, and in my plan should build up to second part.

Step 5: Build up

I really miss the huge build up and release the track of the 90’s had. Nowadays it all about the drop, which… drops instead of peaking 😐

Not easy to build a decent build up in such a noizy track, but i want to do at least one

in V03 i used 2 mini-build up

Step 6: noize & background

I am kinda happy with that. v01 was already good, in v 02 the whole whip & industrial sound were very well melt togheter.

in V03 I added more intro and ending noizes, and  made the second part a bit different from usual, instead of adding stuff to the base, i took it away to have a cleaner baser. I ll have to find a way not to lose too much energy, but it s doable




Play it again, Sam: the psychology of Follow up

I am writing this article which expand the post “What’is an anchor and to benefit form it”.

There I wrote that doing a follow up /clone of a successfull track is an OK idea. But those are words that needed a further development…

Before starting

  • I am not saying that creativ- wise is OK cloning your own music (it’s not)
  • I am not saying that all tracks should have a follow up ( they should not)
  • I am not even saying that it will help the music industry ( it will not: but it stinks anyway 😛 )
  • To say the truth I am also ashamed to publish it in a blog were there are so many way to be creative (and whose mission is to bring creativity to an other level with the use of Sinaestesia.), but again my point is not bring on an hidden agenda, but to make you think about the way you can success.

If you are reading my blog it means you want my insight: and you will get my insight… I am not also claiming that to do this will make you rich: any activities has risks and music is not different.

What do I mean with the concept of follow up?

When i speak about “follow up” in this context I am speaking about taking a piece of your that was successfull (for the groove, the melody, the base and so on ) and “clone it”:

open the project: change some sounds, new EQ here and there, change 3 notes in melody, add a couple of vocals, correct some stuff you feel it should be corrected… and a remix/follow up is done in a fraction of the time.

In popmusic and softer EDM style it s very common and to say the truth soooo boring, abused and useless. in harder EDM styles I guess the follow up could be used with more intellingence.

Let me explain:

Why making a follow up is good?

The main enemies of a “musician/ producer /dj” are (among others):

  • Money (or better, the lack of it).
  • The necessity to have a lot of music people want to listen to  to stay on the top.
  • The constant Pressure of producing good stuff.
  • Once you are more famous The lack of williness to take too much risks and disappoint fans
  • last but not least: TIME. Social network sucks a lot of time and energies, having 60+ gigs a year drain energies.

A single follow up of a big hit solve a lot of these problems

  • Ability to produce a new track in a little fraction of time of the original one.
  • The success of the follow up could be even bigger than the original.
  • It will enlong the life of a track.
  • It will please most of your fans.
  • The time you free can (and MUST) be used to make new stuff.
  • You might start creating your Brand sound.

Basically with a hit track you create a new, Blue Ocean to fish while Others are still in the bloody red ocean.

Trap NOT to fall into

Repeat forever the loop

Let me read into your head: “If the follow up track went so great, let me do it again (and again, and again, and again) ” – at the end it s easy money isn’t it? Yes maybe it s easy money in the short run but you are burning in few months the star staus you have earn in years and/or you are selling your “musician” soul for some money.

And both are bad:

  • In the first case you become the shade of yourself, and unless you really became popular (very very  popular) you need to start from the beginning once again. And probably you don’t have the energy.
  • The second is even worse: you are positively reinforcing your own idea that you cannot produce any longer, making worse production and calling you out from the music.

What you can do.

Lemme repeat: maybe it s not going to work for your particular style… and any operation have a risk. for example

  • If you are already out of ideas this strategies will do bad for you. Read my “Brain” & my “Creativity” sections to improve that area
  • if you are already a Vulcano of ideas and creativity maybe this strategy will slow your creativity

A suggestion could be: If your “record” (read:mp3 release has 4 tracks on it be sure at least one is more experimental… Most peole will not like / understand it but it will be loved but few others and will keep you sane 🙂


Real life example

Let’s take the 90s… so no one get offended.

I ll use two example:

  • Robert Miles
  • Rex Anthony

Robert Miles destroyed the dancefloor with his seminal “children” the copy paste follow up “Fable” and then “one and one”.

Rex Anthony to a much lesser extent was able to brand himself in mid-90s… and 20 years after in italy a lot of people still remember him.

Robert Miles

He created a new Blue Ocean of piano trance with children… (a master piece)

he  filled his pocket with Fable (basically the same samples, same tempo, very similiar melody)

And while all other people living in the red Ocean were thinking to move to Blue Ocean he already moved away with an other strong piece of music




He is a very prolific producer and his first HUGE hit was a remix of a progressive rock track his father did in the 70’s . Listen to this: you will remember it

Rexanthony – Capturing Matrix

Rexanthony – Polaris dream

Then while the people was still trying to understand what was happening he did a great follow up (again very similiar to original) which had a even bigger success storming the dancefloors here in Italy

Along the way he also produced/ co-produced a million version of Mix and  “Remixes” of capturing Matrix… some with an other name like this Key to universe :-).. in this way he was still earning money from his original track.


What is an Anchor (and how a musician can benefit from it)?

In this article, after a short historical introduction about conditioning, I will speak about Anchoring, the many types of anchor you can create and how you can use them in your music and marketing.

Let’s start with a small quiz:

If you read the name Pavlov does it look familiar? it could or not…
but if I ask you if the name Pavlov ring a bell in your head what is your response?  is it more likely now you remember.

Why is that? I leave this loop open for an other time (or ask in the comments 🙂 Let’s start speaking about Anchor / conditioning and then let’s see how you can you for your musical career.

1900: Classical Conditioning

Pavlov Dog & Conditioning

By now you probably remember the story: Pavlov makes a sound before feeding the dogs… Since the dog are excited by the food they start salivating… and after a while dogs didn’t even need the food to salivate. Now the sound is enough for them to salivate.

And we human are not very different from Dogs in this matter.

Whne we hear a sound and we have a feeling, then everytime we hear that sound we re-live that feeling… interesting isn’t it?

Definition of Classical Conditioning

I take this from wikipedia which uses more difficult word to express this simple concept:

“Classical conditioning is a learning process in which an innate response to a potent stimulus comes to be elicited in response to a previously neutral stimulus; this is achieved by repeated pairings of the neutral stimulus with the potent stimulus. The basic facts about classical conditioning were discovered by Ivan Pavlov through his famous experiments with dogs.”Wikipedia on Classical conditioning

Moving forward into the 70s: Neuro-linguistic Programming and the art of Anchoring

Pavlov’s experiments was done at the end of 1800.. since then a lot happened:

  • His studies were accepted by the mainstream “science”
  • His studies sparkled into the basis for the some psychology approach
  • Some stuff those fuckers teaching at school  still use to teach kid: re-inforce “good or bad” behaviour with praise or punishement are a ill formed use of the classical conditioning

In the 70’s In California two guys (Richard Bandler and John Grinder) and their study group (lead by Frank Pucelik) further developed the classical conditioning into a form of art, calling it Anchoring.

Again from wikipedia:

“.. NLP teaches that we constantly make “anchors” (associations) between what we see, hear and feel and our emotional states. While in an emotional state if a person is exposed to a unique stimulus (sight, sound or touch) then a connection is made between the emotion and the unique stimulus. If the unique stimulus occurs again, the emotional state will then be triggered. NLP teaches that anchors (such as a particular touch associated with a memory or state) can be deliberately created and triggered to help people access ‘resourceful’ or other target states.”

These Anchors are created naturally but can be created artificially, like Pavlov did. That’is why when you listen some old song you get that “the old time was sooo good” feeling… and that is why master communicator use recurrent sentences and manierism.

You can learn a lot about Anchoring in the wonderful book by the above mentioned Bandler & Grinder – “Frog into prices” ( you find for few buck on Amazon)

What kind of stimulus and what kind of state?

If Pavlov experiments were done on “sound ” sensory channel.. you can anchor (and be anchored) on touch, smell, taste, words, even on spatial position.

Let’s say that your grand mother cooked a shitty apple pie but you remember that time spent there was great and joyful (= your state is “great and joyful”). It s likely that when you smell the apple pie 20 years after you will feel great or joyful (or you will remember how joyful you were). That happens all the time.

The stronger the state you feel the stronger will be the anchor… the more the anchor will be fired without the context /state, the more it will lose its power. (you are collapsing same anchor to diffrent states)

How to create artificially an anchor?

The term “artificially” is – of course – wrong: we keep anchoring each other, willing or not; only we are not aware. In this case we add the awareness and the williness to create them

read the “Inconscius competence model” article

As you can imagine you can anchor “everything” to “everything”…  you just need to build it:

  1. Find a unique signal (which will became the trigger)
  2. keep your eye open (awareness)
  3. the desire to do it consiusly (the williness)
  4. drill it on yourself before going “public”

How to anchor – in real world

Let s do it on ourself – it s easy and safe.Read the following instruction, close your eye and do it.

  1. The unique signal that will trigger the anchor is a gentle pressure of index finger on your chest (lets say 5 cm above the right nipple)
  2. Think about a time you were very happy and joyful, keep on thinking and feel the sensation of happiness, smile, hear the sound you were hearing, move like you were moving… when you feel the state of happiness is coming smile more, and pump the state as much as you can (without forcing of coz)
  3. when you are expericing happiness, anchor the trigger we decided on step 1
  4. keep the finger on you chest for few seconds and take away before the feeling is fading
  5. now stand up move shake… go back to a “normal” state
  6. Ask yourself: what is my happiness level (from 1 to 10)?
  7. fire the anchor: are you feeling some kind of change inside you?
  8. repeat step 2 to 7 until you can feel “happy” just by touching your chest.


Everytime someone has an useful emotinal state keep your sense open.. when you see the peak is reaching make some unique signal (can be something as subtle as a head movement) that will be associated. Sometime once is more than enough, others you need to re-inforce it.


When to anchor the trigger to the state.

For many reason I am not to describe here it’s best to anchor a state a little before it reach “the peak” – see the diagram:

best time to anchor


Three Example of real life anchoring

  1. Everytime your boss is doing a good business and you can see he is happy about the deal, do something/ say something in an unique way… and next time you are asking a rise… fire that anchor.
  2. A friends of your is crying, sobbing and sad? It s ok to help, but don’t stay in the line of eyes… she could anchor that state to you!
  3. You are feeling great and happy? have you thumb to touch a part of your body. do it everytime you feel like that and in few weeks the touching alone will trigger the greatness and happness

Manipulating, collapsing, stacking

if you see an anchor like a signal-response act… you can image how easy is to manipulate it:

you can add a new trigger to older

So what we have learned so Far?

Before going into next chapter let’s summarize

  • Any stimulus (what you see, touch, heard, smell, taste but also what you remember and position in visual space) trigger a state that was anchored before.
  • More often than not the above mentioned anchor are contextual.
  • To have a clean, strong Stimulus > state you need to “charge” the anchor by repetition or by  association in the right moment to a strong state

Basically we are a walking anchor 🙂


  • If you can make your sound and stick it with something memorable, enough people will love it forever.
  • You can also “steal” sounds from other and enjoy success, but it will probably fall into the cliché, which is usually bad (when this happens usually the music genre is going to collapse in a couple of years)
  • If you have an hit track, do a quick follow up – different enough to have people dance but similiar enough to gain (and reinforce) the anchor. – I speak about this more in this article: Play it again, Sam: the psychology of Follow up

Let’s see one of the reason why you love Big End show at the Festival (and promoters do, too)

Note: with this analysis I don’t want to banalize the incredible work there is behind the organization of a festival, nor i want to mean that is the ONLY reason why they are a great experience. I am not even saying this is the best way to do, nor that all promoters do like this or should use this strategy.

My point here is giving a different read on the way the End Shows are usually executed, and give you a couple of new eyes to see it, too.

Let’s revive the Festival Experience.

During the day you have a roller coster of great emotions: great music (=happiness), a lot of nice looking girls/boys (=sexual arousal – a strong basic state), a lot of people loving the music you love (= sense of being part of tribe – another powerful & basic state), and many other states happen during the day.

You are likely to anchor these states

  • auditorialy (the sound itself)
  • kinestetically ( the feeling of the base in your stomach)
  • visually ( the infinity river of colors and people moving in a party).

in the evening all floors close down and you are invited to the main room for the final show.

And often there is no fucking Dj playing (or they are in a small hole in the wall :-)!

When you arrive in the main floor: you have been standing dancing whole day, you are tired (your defense are “lowered” and more prone to be get bypassed), nevertheless all the people togheter dancing, jumping having fun are able to enlicit in you a “resilence” state and so you dance, jump and have fun. R Resilence is a very powerful state and is very rare to obtain, hence it s more valuable than a normal “joy” state.

10 minutes into the end show: twilight comes and darkness is finally here: it s time to fireworks and light show!

your state – already “high” – is pumped, and pumped and pumped. You are probably re-living all the state and emotions of the day and stacking them all!

and while you are living this Super state where are you looking? the main stage wall with logos!

How do you think this anchor will be? Powerful or weak?

What do you think it will be Anchored? a Dj who played 4 hours before or the show/logo/festival?

After Party Video

For these very reasons an after party Video is very important to do. and it s very important to do them in a timely way. It lost a lot of “emotional value” with time.

If done in a proper way and time the video /sound Logo / brand will be itself an anchor to the emotional state… and should the promoters fire one of the above mentioned anchor when they advertise the next party, it s very probable that the state is evoked, too.

How can a Dj benefit from this article?


Greetings go to:

Why Am I back?

I ve not been producing for almost 10 years, I ve almost stopped djing for the same amount of time… so why Am I back?
Many coincidences, or better a lot of open loops decided to close in a very short time, and this gave me input to act.

What are those loops closing now?

  • I ve been working for a while for an important independent music label, which ignite back my passion. My time with them is – for the moment – over, but i felt I could add a lot of value to the music marketing in general.
  • The music I love and that disappeared in mid 00’s is coming back, thus keeping the fire burning.
  • Having worked with/for some of the large marketing companies around and I see how much space there is for doing good marketing and innovative business models (to my best knowledge – marketing wise – the music industry is like 5-6 years behind the webmarketing niche). The fire has a lot of fire to propagate…
  • Personal reason: after almost 15 years of studying Neuro-linguistic Programming I decide to make a step further and thus I am looking for “Geniuses” (my definition of genius= people who can do something in a special way) to do some “NLP modeling”… what better way to meet them with this blog? –  if you are special in some way and would like to know how you do what you do, contact me
  • I had the chance of having many long and interesting chats with one of my oldest musical mate (the famous dj / promoter) DJ Noisekick about the current scene (more fuel on the fire – thanks Rudmer).
  • My english skill were deteriorating, I need to get back my groove… and blogging is always useful.
  • Last but not least, I read the news that, for the first time in history, older records are outselling newer release. (here, here  and here)

As stated above I like this kind of synchronism and I think that when it happens you ought to do something: definitely it s a signal to act.
I also like the two opposite, but equally interesting, way to see synchronism:
on one side there is the “magic”: The universe is pushing you to do something..
on the pragmatic side it could be that I am recognizing those signals just now…

– read more about synchronism here –

So what will I be speaking about?

for sure marketing & webmarketing for musicians/dj’s /producers (that include tips on FB, Blogging and everything else – I will add some guerrilla marketing strategies as well). If there is enough request I am willing to make some products as well.
I will also speak about creativity and production… but not those 300 years old suggestion about being more creative, but ideas backed by neuroscience, linguistic, metastases and other delicious very recent discovery. I would be more than delight to exchange idea with creative people… so feel free to contact me
I ll try NOT to speak about music itself, but I am sure i ll add some articles about that.

I will not write a lot. I ve a job, a family, too many hobbies and writing in english about this is kinda taxing for me.
So I will write hi-quality posts and you will read, comment and share it…