Scottsdale is perhaps the most popular location for EDM (electronic dance music) in all of Arizona, and some of the top artists can be found at clubs all around Old Town on the weekends. However, some people, like those in the Provisions DJ collective, argue that this is the exact opposite of what EDM is about.
Quantity Over Quality?
DJ Issa, a member of the Provisions DJ collective who’s based out of Tempe, critiqued Scottsdale‘s EDM scene as being less centered on music and more about filling up clubs. Issa is far from alone in her views, and the collective includes a range of local EDM artists like Eko, Pablo Gomez and Heartbraks, just to name a few.
To combat Scottsdale’s less meaningful EDM club scene, the collective has been hosting monthly shows in Phoenix’s Sochu House since 2013. For the longest time, however, the entire collective had never all performed together, and that remained true until their one-year anniversary on August 16th, 2014.
Building the Show
In preparation for this event, DJ Dehga reflected on how he’d initially found members for the collective. Dehga explained that he’d been seeking out reputable artists who were “forward-thinking, as far as their taste in music,” and that he made sure to seek artists whose music transcended genre preferences.
Issa described the performance as a reaction to other scenes that may not be as invested in the quality of their music, and reiterated that the collective was not going to cater itself to mainstream preferences, but that their music would instead be centered around artistry, while staying “completely danceable.”
The big show featured more than solely EDM, though, and included live painters like Dumpster Foo and featured art installations created by Abe Zucca.
A Driving Passion
More than anything, the collective is centered around offering a diverse selection of EDM to its patrons. While EDM can seem niche to those unfamiliar with it, when asked what kind of music the collective performed, the members rattled off sub-genres from experimental polyrhythmic music to reggae. Pablo Gomez admitted that this could be a result of EDM artists getting bored easily and enjoying their artistic flexibility, but also pointed out that the collective finds strength in its musical diversity.
While the collective’s shows have been quite popular, their members aren’t performing to draw in huge crowds. Gomez acknowledged that while they may not have huge crowds that fill clubs, the collective had earned a dependable core group of patrons, and none of their performances had been dead.
A Fresh Take on Arizona EDM
The Provisions DJ collective continues to host shows in Phoenix, and will keep doing so for as long as the local crowd keeps welcoming them back. With a focus on music rather than on selling tickets, the collective is offering an alternative to the mainstream Phoenix DJ for Scottsdale’s EDM clubs.