The Grammy-nominated artist's tantrum of truth has really pissed off industry leaders … but he has a point …

Matan Zohar, better known as Mat Zo, has never been afraid to speak his mind — especially when it’s from the comfort of his home computer. Over the past week, dance music fans have been treated to one of the nastiest, rantiest Twitter beefs in recent history, which came in the form of an awesomely scathing tirade lasting almost a full 24 hours.

During Zo’s foot-stomping tantrum, in which he denounced everything from the cliquishness and “class structure” of EDM, the insatiable greed of the world’s biggest DJs, and the utterly meaningless bullshit that has come to define today’s EDM scene, Zo managed to piss off fellow artists, all while alienating thousands of dance music fans in the process.

The hoopla came to when Zo retweeted a photo that allegedly shows the names of ghost producers used by some of the biggest names in EDM. As he put it, the EDM scene has too many “rotten teeth,” and he’s eager to play dentist.

Even Deadmau5 (formerly the biggest asshole in electronic music), thought Zo’s dust-up had gone on long enough, and joined the ranks of Tweeters trying to get him to shut the hell up.

Now on one perspective: Mat Zo’s evisceration of the EDM scene is a fairly accurate assessment of a once vibrant subculture. It’s been monetized, analyzed and criticized into little more than an unflattering caricature of itself. Over the last decade, the “scene” that was once a gathering place for the freaks and weirdos of a society, has morphed into an ironically cheap, bastardized version of its former incarnation where the superficial and moneyed socialites of the world go to flaunt their pop culture acumen and partake in a few fist pumps.

Nowadays, we have “DJs” who are incapable of mixing more than an hour-long set, 9-year-olds throwing down at festivals, and more hand hearts and flower crowns than anyone can reasonably stomach.

Of course, this assessment doesn’t necessarily apply to all of electronic music — but it certainly pertains to the mainstream EDM scene. Given the apparent lack of genuinely talented artists or fans that actually give a shit beyond taking Molly at TomorrowWorld, Mat Zo’s disgust with the EDM scene is completely understandable. However, his desire to be the one to purge the scene of its festering blemishes is wildly misplaced at best.

If there’s one thing we learned from the Dark Knight trilogy, it’s that when something is so far down the shitter, so thoroughly fucked up, it’s best to just let it die and to rebuild from the rubble (that was the point of those movies, right?). Like Gotham City, EDM is too far gone to truly be saved.

Admirable though it may be, Mat Zo’s misguided care for the scene’s perceived health is the definition of “too little, too late.” EDM has been under a microscope for several years now, and besides the constant accusations of button-pushing, drug abuse and talentless artists, the most common stab at EDM is the scene is and has been decaying pretty much since it began. Fans, artists, music writers, Internet trolls: they’ve all been squawking and sounding the death knell of EDM for years, and sadly, the prophecy is being fulfilled.

EDM is dying, and there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about it except to hold on and wait for the end. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) EDM has run its course, just like disco; just like psychedelic rock; just like emo … and boy bands … and grunge … and synth pop, et al. …

What makes the death of EDM slightly more painful than those previous trends, is that everyone refuses to let it die with dignity, choosing instead to defend, justify, analyze, criticize and validate a beloved scene until words become as hollow as a festival trap banger.

People didn’t try to keep disco alive past its prime; they put on a “Disco Sucks” shirt and smashed the hell out of their Village People records.

People didn’t try to scrap and squabble to keep ‘NSync or the Backstreet Boys together; they grew the fuck up, tore down their Tiger Beat posters and moved on with their lives.

Perhaps the greatest cancer that plagues the EDM scene isn’t hack producers, naïve fans and false idols, but the fact that everyone who “loves” it tries to keep the life support running instead of just pulling the plug and letting it go with what little grace and dignity it has left.

Years from now, when everything is all said and done, Mat Zo may be seen as hero, a martyr of EDM with the noble mission of saving it from itself. But for now, to everyone watching, he looks like a cynical, elitist douche with a bad attitude and an overzealous desire to rescue a doomed trend from extinction. 

Then again, welcome to the Internet-era Mat Zo — where nobody is as they seem and perpetual illusion drives the speeding train with no brakes …

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