The events of the Michigan Electronic Dance Music Association (MEDMA) aren’t for the faint of heart. The beat gets in your head — so rhythmic that it almost seems to match your own pulse. With a twist of a knob, the DJ controls your every move, as the crowd sways in sync with the cadence. But this song is probably something you’ve never even heard before.

“We want to raise awareness of electronic music on campus, just to get people interested in this different genre that’s not really publicized too much on the radio,” said MEDMA president Sean Masters, an LSA senior.

MEDMA was founded back in 2005 when a few friends decided to spread their love of electronic music across campus. Today, the club has grown to over 70 members who actively work to expose students to a wider range of dance music. And after procuring some equipment of their own, MEDMA DJs began spinning at countless house parties and frats, introducing hundreds of students to subgenres of electronic music — an introduction that is usually met with gleeful surprise.

“Fraternity parties are fun because you have a bunch of people who maybe didn’t come to listen to electronic music. You have people who just came to have a good time,” Masters said. “We had a ton of people come up to us to say, ‘Aww man, I love this. How come I didn’t know about you guys before?’ ”

Granted, obscure electronic dance music isn’t without its dissenters.

“Of course, you always have the people coming up to us asking for ‘Like a G6,’ ” Masters said, “but they’re still a blast.”

MEDMA DJs put a lot of thought into mixing music and crafting beats that will stay with partiers long after the lights have gone up.

“People listen to artists like Ke$ha and they don’t really think about who’s making the actual beats,” Masters said. “In the electronic music world, the person that is actually making the music is the centerpiece.”

Techno, and subsequently modern electronic music, was locally grown in Detroit. According to Masters, Detroit techno was originally meant to be very thought-provoking. The scene was inspired by the repetitive beat created by the industrial machines found in automobile factories, and soon found its way from the Midwest into clubs worldwide.

Impulse, MEDMA’s main DJing event, takes place on the second Thursday of every month at Necto nightclub. Though Necto is generally the place to go when a person wants to dance to the dulcet tones of Katy Perry, during Impulse, MEDMA takes over Necto’s Red Room so its DJs can showcase their talents and range of tastes in electronic music.

In addition to putting on events, MEDMA cultivates fledgling DJs and gives lessons to due-paying members. While some join MEDMA with DJing experience, many learn from veteran MEDMA DJs. And after they practice spinning at various house and frat parties, they too are able to DJ at MEDMA’s premiere events.

“Its kind of a steep learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not that bad,” Masters said.

The first (and the most pivotal) step when it comes to mixing electronic dance music is called “beat matching.” This is what keeps electronic dance mixes transitioning smoothly so dancers reveling in the music won’t break their rhythm.

“If you imagine two cars on a highway side-by-side, it’s like getting those cars lined up and going the same speed,” Masters said. “So you’re trying to line up the beats, so when you move from one song to another, you can’t really tell that you’re transitioning.”

LSA senior Alex DePorre was one member who mastered DJing during her time at MEDMA. While a sophomore, she joined the group despite being an electronic dance music rookie and now DJs events on a regular basis — including MEDMA’s monthly soirees.

“The first time I DJed Impulse, I was so nervous,” DePorre said. “I practiced so much and memorized everything I was supposed to do and I was terrified, but it actually went really well.”

MEDMA DJs and other purveyors of electronic music dance mixes take affront to the idea that they’re just glorified iPods, as Masters explained, for good reason.

“The DJ is seen as someone who has taken the time to go out and find this music and blend it in a way that kind of keeps a certain vibe or a flow going, so it’s not very common to take requests,” Masters said.

But don’t accuse MEDMA members of music elitism, either – they’ll mix anything with a good beat.

“If I think the song is appropriate and I have it, by all means I’ll throw it in,” Masters said. “We do some top-40 remixes, even just a remix of Ke$ha. I actually love Ke$ha personally.”

And MEDMA appreciates how important star-studded electronic music makers like deadmau5 and DJ Tiesto are to drawing new members in and making electronic music more accessible to the masses.

“We consider artists like deadmau5 (to be) gateway electronic music — like this is gonna be some of the electronic music they’ll first listen too, and then they might come to a MEDMA show,” Masters said.

The electronic dance music genre isn’t just for superstar DJs or high profile producers, though. Electronic music is a democratic art form — anyone with talent and the right software can produce the sort of music MEDMA thrives on and encourages other students to listen to.

“Its up to these DJs to pick out the best electronic music from tons of music worldwide, as opposed to hearing it on the radio and top 40,” Masters said.

Masters went on to explain the DJ’s role as an ambassador and tastemaker in the electronic dance music world, exposing his or her listeners to electronic music from across the globe. The large array of electronic music made and posted on the Internet by amateurs and professionals alike has created an unregulated market of electronic music sharing that acts as a veritable buffet for hungry DJs eager to share their findings.

DePorre agrees with this sentiment, adding that the variety allows each DJ to find his or her own niche in the electronic music scene.

“There’s so much out there that it’s really personal — most things that you find, most people will have never heard of,” she said. “Right now, I’m really into minimal, which is kind of dark and scary.”

“Minimal” is one of many subgenres in the vast electronic music world. It has a sometimes eerie and sparse sound that utilizes a lot of repetition. But like a surprising amount of electronic music, it still sounds immensely soulful, using only what is essential in order to make people dance.

When MEDMA isn’t busy on campus advocating for electronic dance music, its members are taking limos to electronic shows in Canada and Detroit or observing their favorite holiday — the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. DEMF is the latest incarnation of an electronic music festival that Detroit has hosted for years. Every Memorial Day weekend, scores of the world’s preeminent DJs and musicians descend on Motor City, and each year MEDMA members go to bathe in the glow of these electronic demi-gods.

“My birthday is right next to Christmas, but I like DEMF better than birthday-Christmas,” Masters said. “During DEMF, we all get a few hotel rooms and it’s a blast.”

Although MEDMA members have spun at DEMF afterparties in the past, they’ve recently turned their focus back to Ann Arbor. MEDMA has big plans on campus, including bringing Detroit DJ Kris Wadsworth to Necto in February and continuing its monthly Necto parties, like the “Class is Back in Session” Impulse at 9 p.m. tonight.

But this doesn’t mean MEDMA members are bound to the University. Through their tireless campaign to inject Ann Arbor and southeast Michigan with danceable beats, they’ve introduced townies and students alike to scores of music that goes untapped by the average citizen. And their only objective is to find the mix, beat and sound that you can move to.

When Masters ventured out of the world of low-lit basements and jam-packed clubs and played for Ann Arbor citizens of all ages at the outdoor summer festival Top of the Park, he had one of his best DJing experiences to date.

“There was this one guy — he kept saying, ‘Hey man, play something I can groove to,’ ” Masters said. “I thought I was playing something perfectly grooveable, but then I played this song at the very end. I didn’t think anyone would recognize it … but this guy knew every single word to it, and he was so pumped up.”

Ultimately, that’s what MEDMA is all about — exposing as many people as possible to electronic music and finding something “grooveable” for everyone.

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