We often see promoters, music fans, blogs, news outlets and artists use the word “underground” in the context of electronic music, yet the meaning of the word can vary depending on the context used.
More often than not, the connotation attached to the term is that akin of a stamp of approval, signifying that the sound/music in question is pure, genuine and stands on an honest backbone of creativity that has not been marred by any type of commercialism. But in some circles the word “underground” is used to refer to music played at non-legal venues, while the same type of music by the very same artists can be found at mega-stages and parties somewhere else in the world, leading to confusion as to what truly constitutes the “underground”. On the other side of the coin, and in more commercial circles, the “underground” label can be attached to a scene that is out of touch with the rest of the world, a scene that is seen as unpolished, un-professional, dangerous and, in some cases, even “dirty.”
In this article we examine some of the positions adopted on the subject: