What started as an underground party business—run and dominated by youths and hustlers—grew into the music business’s greatest and biggest success. The Underground Is Massive is the first-ever big-picture history of the American electronic dance music underground, viewed through the lens of nineteen parties over thirty years—from the black, gay underground clubs of Chicago and Detroit’s elite teen-party scene through nineties “electronica” to today’s EDM-festival juggernaut, the book takes in the rise of the Internet and Burning Man, 9/11, and the collapse of the record business—and vividly charts why and how it took nearly three decades after electronic dance music became a global youth soundtrack for it to hit big in the land that birthed it.
Through unparalleled insider access to anecdotes, interviews, and history, Michaelangelo Matos demystifies how what once belonged to a devoted audience of casual partiers and diehard dancers has become America’s soundtrack of choice and changed the music industry completely. Matos expertly tackles the vast diversity of EDM’s musical landscape, its technologically prophetic yet illicit origins, and the path by which underground raves grew into fiercely successful music festivals. Taking in legendary artists from Frankie Knuckles to Moby as well as the biggest names in EDM—Diplo, Skrillex, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Tiësto, and Daft Punk—Matos’s deep mix of sources and wide-lens overview of the culture make every chapter a page-turning revelation.