So my feeling is, where better than 8 [team - we need an infinity sign available] to post a discussion I'd started elsewhere related to a few of my favorite musicians and the way creativity is dissected in the dance music community? I think it's a discussion that reaches far beyond dance, to many other musical genres and, in fact, to almost all creative arts, in a discussion of how various publics tend to automatically adjust their assumptions of quality beyond a particular tipping point of public access and acceptance. I love Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso, two of the three former members (along with Steve Angello) of Swedish House Mafia. It annoys me to no end to see it becoming fashionable among fans of dance music to suggest that they have "sold out", that they "are too mainstream" or that they have, perhaps most inexplicably, always been overrated. These guys are, along with are, along with an even more select few, near-singularly responsible for the recognition, fair wages, access to venues, radio play, and album sales of every artist these very fans rely on for the most memorable moments of happiness they share with friends across the world. I've loved every new track by the Axwell^Ingrosso and loved seeing them every time so far. I think they're still making amazing music. Many dance "aficionados" would call me cheesy or question whether I "know" house music for the assertions I am about to make, but let me be totally clear: Worse than being "haters", I think these people are guilty of something far uglier, criticizing something broadly popular and couching your critique, deliberately, in details only accessible to the initiated, simply to assert your own exclusivity. There are reasonable criticisms to be levelled at the "EDM" set - For example, I saw Alesso at Coachella this weekend and he was very disappointing. He didn't show a real effort to surprise the crowd or to elevate his craft and this type of scene isn't infrequent. Many DJs/producers are guilty of such lacklustre performances and some are incapable of anything more, but it is far too easy to accuse any DJ recognizable to the suburban-set of consistently displaying similar qualities. A^I have, in my experience, never been worthy of this. Comments littering the threads frequented by dance fans should boggle the mind of any reasonable one among them: I see recent suggestions that Steve Angello was "most of the talent in SHM", that "their existence needs to be ignored," or that they "had no substance." These comments are absurd. Come on. Swedish House Mafia grew to become a juggernaut particularly because of the blended qualities of a "super-group." [They also probably made every single one of these "community" critics incredibly happy at one point, so to bash them now is crazy to me.] I suspect every single one of these haters was once first in line to buy a ticket and tell every casual pop fan they could find about the group. Only this could explain their mainstream crossover. The house kids probably told those outside the circle about SHM right up until it stopped being cool and edgy to do so. Back to their blended appeal: If fans have a favorite, I have no problem, but they need to be reasonable - all brought great influence and talent. Each member of the group's impact can be easily illustrated by particular songs that are considered hallowed entries to their cannon, "Heart is King" by Axwell, Ingrosso's collaboration with the aforementioned Alesso, "Lose my mind".. Axwell has always been, I'll freely admit, my favorite, but I hold the others in enormously high esteem as well. The greatness of the group was in the piece each brought, the slight difference. Now, there are intelligent ways to address this: For example, I'd agree that A^I's music *will* lose the edginess that Angello brings. I doubt they'll make a track with the cut/grit that old tracks like "Greyhound" brought, probably never again without Angello, but I equally doubt he will make anything with the rapture of Axwell's mix for "In my Mind", which is a staple. One allows for complexities of taste, but please be reasonable. My point here is broadly applicable to many of the "EDM" generation. Put aside all the snobbery and semantic dick-measuring and the music can be traced to the same place. I will resolutely stand by DJs like Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Calvin Harris, Avicci and others for whom I can already see the bullshit coming down the road; Madeon; Kaskade; Oliver Heldens. If folks want to have nuanced arguments about what they value more highly, I'm fine with that. I certainly see the difference, and often prefer, the premium on mixing talent that I see in DJs like BoysNoize, Deniz Koyu or A-Trak (personal favorites of mine that hit this spot), but I'd like to see a lot more careful thought before "fans", eviscerate musicians who are clearly incredibly talented and currently devoting their entire lives to something that brings millions of people, most importantly me, a great deal of joy - especially those who've done it for decades and should really deserve a much greater degree of respect.