Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

Henry David Thoreau

EDM - Saturday, July 13, 2013 @ 4:24 PM
It had been an all consuming experience.  There was already a queue formed just past 10pm and it snaked around a corner to the entrance.  Pockets of young people had already gathered around the scattered tables nearby littered with drinks bought from a bar just steps away.  Fortunately, the queue at that time was no weekend Causeway traffic jam.  In fact, it surged forward in throbs.

Soon I had reached the first checkpoint.  Perhaps it was my youthful looks that had masked my age, I was thankful that I had brought along my driver's license which I had to surrender to the staff at the entrance.   Being away from the local clubbing scene - all nearly 15-20 years, my initial mild jitters made me drop that piece of plastic in front of the young man - because I had expected him to receive it from me to inspect the fine details.  He did not.  A polite apology emerged from his end and I hurried along to join my party gang at the cashier ahead.

Half mumbling to myself for having misplaced or cancelled my Citibank Clear Card which gives free entrance to Zouk, I fished out 52 in notes and got back 20 in change.  That could have been 2 drinks (on that 1 for 1 offer with any Citibank card!).  Oh well...

Here comes the part which had roused excitement as a teen in the past - getting inked.  My clumsy attempt to turn the forearm because I had forgotten where the invisible reentry stamp should go was met with more smiles from another staff member who quickly held my hand and did his thing.  Oh yeah.  I had been officially re-inducted into the clubbing world!

While some will frown and associate such venues as wastelands of the soul and where decrepit values are played out in full gory, I had visited this famous watering hole on our Little Red Dot just to get a sense of  how the scene has evolved and how our Generation Z are behaving in these zones.  I was in for a very pleasant surprise.

The interconnected bar room, the individual Phuture and Zouk dance areas and toilet cum rest areas were jam packed.  Not surprising at all on a Friday night.  There was no pushing or shoving involved.  Once again, you hear quick apologies rising from the youths with their merry friends when a feet or body part had been misappropriated by accident.  As the alcohol flowed into the night, even while being 'high', many continued their polite shuffle like minions in full swing - smiles included.  Everywhere, there are crowd controllers who wave their tiny torches to illuminate darker regions and supervise the fluid throngs.  I did not feel unsafe at any point, except perhaps that of my weakening resistance against more drinks and the tingling numbing of my mind and senses as a result.  But I was in the safe hands of the one in charge of re-initiating me, a friend.

My favourite dance floor is still that of Zouk.  EDM or Electronic Dance Music pumped from surround speakers in deafening hi-fidelity mode - the way I like it and I had joked to one of them in my group - what I can no longer do at the family home.  The familiar house tunes I had rocked to in weekly Body Jam classes - when they magically appear - roused me from the deadening stupor induced by the alcohol in my system.   You dance to enjoy the music which energises you.  And you rehydrate yourself with more drinks. I no longer miss the R&B Hip Hop sensuality marooning the individuals at the Phuture dance floor.  It was body to body EDM at Zouk or nothing else for me.   Well, unless the group prefers to migrate elsewhere periodically, usually prompted by the female member or the need to pee.  There may be few pockets of space to do your Beyonce choreography, party goers will scale steps or very limited elevated platforms to secure more airplay.  It was fun to watch these higher beings wave their things in the air like they just don't care.  Once again, everyone was incredibly polite.  Groups surround their female friends or partners in protective fashion or perhaps to prevent other hunters from poaching them for the night.

The thing about EDM is that it consumes you very much like waht alcohol does to your system - in a good way if you enjoy this genre of music.  Throbbing.  Hypnotising.  Satisfying.  And when the bassier tones gnarls and screams that spiraling break into the next high - one just flows in sweet surrender with the music.

And you wonder why some individuals fall asleep in lectures and tutorials.  I did that during a monotonous Maths lecture during my JC days.  What of secondary school kids?   Why are some finding it hard to pay attention in classes?   Forget the console and mobile games most of them play with nowadays.  The increasing obssession with EDM among the younger ones has issued the same challenge to adult in parenting roles.  The music engages all the senses in the body - fuelled by alcohol in clubs - there is truly no competition.  It is no surprise therefore that youths these days are almost crippled without music while doing their homework.  I am one such ADHD kid perhaps?  Keeping in mind the musical culture of the youths today, what can educators do more to interact with the Generation Z in our classes?  Or have we set up walls of indifference and discrimination against the elements of youth culture and inadvertantly set the young up for mediocre performance and possibly even failure academically?  What can we learn from organisations such as some modern churches and youth-centric businesses that have stepped up to accept these trends , and mimic in their strategies the all consuming experience that youths enjoy from gaming and clubbing?  Or do some of us continue to demonise the next big thing while guarding our old outdated communication strategies?

The other thing about hormonal urges and puberty with the young - under the overpowering influence of EDM and alcohol, do we understand the war that is waged in the minds of the young in these clubs?  I am almost twice the age of most clubbers last night.  Almost.  Not old yet.  Get that straight.  :)  I had to consciously redefine that next-high barrier which continued to be vaporise with each new drink passed on to me as part of the initiation process.  A female member in my group teased me about my friend's agenda to get me drunk for the night.  I dared him to tinker against my resistance.  I was thankful to have been made high but not drunk or passed out.  The bravado dares that go on throughout the night among the young.  Outrageous you may think?  The floating sensation as you drift from one hall to another cave was beautifully sublime and I was sure that was the reason why many had smiles on their faces - the drinks were doing what they were made to effect and mask all else - almost.  What about hormonal urges for someone in his or her early twenties?  Or is there even an age barrier when it comes to urges?  The rage against alcohol and urges must be a battle I had long forgotten - that is not to say, I was not the least bit tempted.  I guess if you keep good and safe company when you club, that would be a useful strategy.  I was told that individuals do hunt in packs and then break off for solo missions to mate and hopefully not procreate.  These the outside and those in ivory towers frown upon, but being there again on the troubled seas, I have developed a renewed appreciation for the need to set clear boundaries and say NO to intruders - drinks, hormones and foreign bodies.

What battles are our youths fighting these days?   Why do some flee into these enclosed spaces to escape their already very stressful worlds outside?  Do we ponder over these issues or quickly dismiss them and turn to quick fixes under the guise of solutions?

These waterholes are here to stay and I think I would like my periodic EDM dance floor fix after last night's re-initiation. The solution is not in wagging tongues and judgemental attitudes.

Is there even a solution?



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