At four o’clock in the morning on January 1st, 2011, thousands of Los Angeles residents flocked home from various debaucherous events. Every few miles on the 405, the distinctive whirl of primary-colored police lights could be seen, marking the often unfortunate aftermath of the raucous beginning of a new year.

From the passenger seat of my best friend’s green Ford Echo, I watched older women staggering along the streets in heels much too tall for anyone intoxicated to walk stably in while awkward aging men attempted various forms of flirtation, driven by uncharacteristic boldness solidified by their evening’s drinks. But this was not the first time I had seen these people; I had pushed past them in the crowds earlier that night. This new year’s eve, it seemed that the most stylish events for the ushering in of a new decade were raves.

Electronic music has been around for years but with the advent of dubstep, defined by Wikipedia as “a genre of electronic dance music, originating from Croydon, UK. Its overall sound has been described as ‘tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals,'” the rave has become popular again after a few decades off the map.

Events such as Together As One, HARD, and Electric Daisy Carnival (all well-established raves for either or both coasts), pulled the rave out of the uncool abyss and put artists such as The Bloody Beetroots, Rusko, Crookers, Soulwax, and Mr.Oizo at the front of the now lucrative electronic music scene.

So, this new year’s, I attended HARD New Year’s Eve at the Music Box in Hollywood. However, the rise of the rave’s popularity may not have done it a favor. Sure, the ridiculous fuzzy-booted, almost nude “raver chicks” made their usual appearance, but along with them came some of the strangest people I have ever seen. Sixty year old men hip-thrusted with their denim shirts open, hands out grasping the air, eyes closed. Large, smelly boys who clearly had no idea what HARD truly was, stumbled through the mass of bodies, awkwardly fist-pumping off the beat and spilling their drinks. Goths stood solemn near the front of the stage, and actually barked when we got too close. Still, despite the motley crew of attendees, Mr.Oizo of Ed Banger Records mesmerized the crowd as he always does with his distinctive style and intense beat drops.

HARD Weekend, http://www.hardfest.com/index.php , hits Los Angeles on March 12th, hopefully with fewer sweaty old men.

Eastern Jam by Chase & Status

Positif by Mr.Oizo

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