Stream ‘EDC 20-Year Playlist Series’: 2001
Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Electric Daisy Carnival, Insomniac has launched the EDC 20-Year Playlist Series, highlighting two decades of the most memorable tracks in dance music and EDC history. Every Thursday leading up to EDC Las Vegas 2016, we’ll present a hand-selected playlist reflecting every year of EDC musical history in chronological order and featuring the most pivotal tracks and artists from each respective era.
As the first year of the third millennium and the first year of the 21st century, 2001 marked a major shift in global affairs, particularly in the United States. On the morning of September 11, 2001, the entire world watched as a series of coordinated terrorist attacks unfolded across the US. Horrible images of buildings ablaze, planes destroying skyscrapers, and frightened citizens running amok in utter panic flashed across TV screens worldwide as the iconic Twin Towers in NYC came crumbling down in a matter of seconds, an image no member of the global community will ever forget. Nevertheless, in a state of complete destruction, the disaster would eventually bring the nation together and unite its people under one blanket of brotherhood.
In the digital world, Apple forever changed how humans experienced music with the introduction of the iPod and iTunes, marking a major cultural shift in entertainment consumption around the planet. This year also welcomed the birth of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia allowing global, open-source access to the world’s knowledge. The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage; millionaire Dennis Tito became the world’s first space tourist; 15-year-old Sherpa Temba Tsheri became the youngest person to climb Mount Everest; and the Harry Potter literary franchise saw its first film adaptation via Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
“2001 was really challenging. It was just a bad year for dance music. It’s when all the parties were getting busted and the ‘crack house’ law came. It was hard to get a venue because everyone was afraid to rent to a dance music event.”
The electronic world, too, experienced key cultural and technological shifts that would later outline much of its future developments. In 2001, Pioneer introduced the CDJ-1000, a digital CD turntable that would become the industry club standard and drastically change DJ performance evermore. While one dance music institution folded, with legendary NYC nightclub Twilo shutting its doors, two others emerged victoriously: tastemaker online media outlet Resident Advisor, which would go on to document the global underground electronic scene, and the BPM channel on SiriusXM, which presents the biggest hits in EDM to this day. Additionally, director Doug Pray debuted Scratch, a documentary exploring the culture of hip-hop DJing and turntablism, while 2001 documentary Pump Up the Volume chronicled the rise of house music from its early days of NYC discos to its evolution into a global phenomenon.
This year also saw the release and debuts of many musical milestones from today’s living legends: Kaskade released his first single, “What I Say”; Basement Jaxx released Rooty, a funky classic featuring worldwide hits “Romeo” and “Where’s Your Head At”; Daft Punk unveiled their magnum opus Discovery, a stellar masterpiece that helped elevate both the robots and dance music itself into mainstream territory on the strength of power singles “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”; and trance king Armin van Buuren aired the first episode of his global A State of Trance radio show, which would become an institution of its own in the years to come.
In rave land, Insomniac CEO and Founder Pasquale Rotella faced major hardships of his own as his EDC brand continued to grow. “2001 was really challenging. It was just a bad year for dance music. It’s when all the parties were getting busted and the ‘crack house’ law came,” he says, describing a federal statute within the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which made it illegal to “knowingly open or maintain any place, for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or using any controlled substance.” As a result of the law’s vague language, many concert promoters, venue managers, and rave producers were held liable—most notoriously, James “Disco Donnie” Estopinal. “It was hard to get a venue because everyone was afraid to rent to a dance music event,” adds Rotella.
Still, Rotella and his growing EDC empire trudged along an arduous road toward success. In 2001, EDC traveled outside the California border for the fist time with the inaugural edition of EDC Texas at the Thunderhill Raceway Park in Austin. Back in Los Angeles, EDC tested a new home at the Hansen Dam in Lake View Terrace, featuring six stages of drum & bass, trance, house, progressive house, and more—which you’ll hear across this week’s episode of the EDC 20-Year Playlist Series.
EDC Las Vegas 2016 takes place June 17–19 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Stay tuned for more details on what promises to be an unforgettable show. Tickets are available now. For more information, visit the official website.
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