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Things You Should Know: EDM Decoded

We’ve covered the Millennial phenom that is festival culture and today we’re de-coding EDM, a specific subset that is growing from the underground into a mainstream part of the Millennial mindset, giving you a quick lesson in one of the biggest and growing kinds of music festivals drawing in huge amounts of young people every year. If you don’t know a thing about EDM, don’t worry: we’ve got the very basics of the culture defined for you here.



 1. EDM \ˈē-ˈdē-ˈem\ noun

EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music. This genre of music encompasses a variety of electronic styles and sub-genres such as house, techno, and dubstep and is considered to be an elevated term for the electronic music genre that encompass its community aspect and dance scene.


2. PLUR \ˈplu̇r\ noun

PLUR stands for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect and is the mindset and motto of EDM culture. PLUR represents the lifestyle that ravers aspire to within the community to maintain good vibes and good feelings, continuously fostering positivity for the happiest and most heightened EDM experience. New relationships are welcomed and encouraged between ravers, often forming friendships outside of the EDM experience and integrating the principles of PLUR in everyday life. Some add an additional “R” to PLUR that stands for responsibility, acknowledging safe drug and alcohol practices while engaging in the EDM space. For more information on the PLUR Handshake, see Kandi.


3. Molly \ˈmä-lē\ noun

Molly is considered to be the purest form of MDMA, different from Ecstasy, which is known to be cut with filler substances such as caffeine and methamphetamine. The drug is chemically manufactured and comes in the form of a white powder, often in a capsule that is taken orally. The effects of Molly are a warm state of empathy, good feelings, and acceptance, feeding directly into principles of PLUR and stimulating positive feelings. Ravers on Molly often experience a heightened sense of hearing and touch, feeling the high for 3-5 hours. The drug increases heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, causing dehydration and jaw clenching during the buzz, and a mild state of short-term depression in some users for a few hours to a day after it wears off. Molly has gained a lot of media attention as of late, mentioned in music genres aside from EDM such as pop, rap, and hip-hop. Ten songs (and counting) make mention of the drug so far this year, and most notable shout-outs are from Tyga in his song aptly named “Molly” and Miley Cyrus in her new single “We Can’t Stop.”



 4. Kandi \ˈkan-dē\ noun

Kandi are small hand-made gifts often in the form of bright jewelry made of chunky beads that are exchanged in the essence of PLUR. Ravers acknowledge each other using the PLUR Handshake by making a peace sign, then a heart shape with fingers and connecting the halves of the heart, then touching palms, and finally lift the Kandi bracelet, necklace, or other token as a motion to exchange. The exchange of Kandi classifies EDM as a collaborative community, sharing hand-made gifts in order to emotionally connect ravers in Unity and creating tangible memories.


5. Kandi Masks \ˈkan-dē-ˈmask\ noun

The rise in popularity of Kandi masks can be attributed to a few aspects of rave culture. The appearance of being covered in Kandi for Kandi Kids is the ultimate fashion expression. Masks display creativity and originality among ravers who often blend together in a sea of neon costumes and plush accessories. Some masks also create light reflection effects during an EDM show. The most probable origin for Kandi masks is their analogy to a Kandi-fied bandana, which are popular in outdoor EDM venues like Burning Man to beat the heat and protect from the elements. Millennial ravers enjoy being one with PLUR but also standing out from the crowd and focusing on niche interests, of which making Kandi Masks is an interesting skill.


6. Rave Gloves \ˈrāv-ˈgləv-s\ noun

Rave gloves are dark colored gloves with LED lights on the fingertips that are meant to be used for “gloving,” performing light shows by making rapid hand movements in the dark. The effect of the lighted fingertips creates a flowing motion in the dark that adds to the experience of the extravagant light displays on stage at EDM shows. Ravers can detach from the broader experience and zoom in on another’s rave gloves, discovering sub-elements to the music and forming small, tailored experiences that Millennials look for in large venues. This phenomenon is often most enjoyed by ravers on drugs, like Molly, who feel the psychedelic effects of visual light patterns mixed with heavy music.