Electronic Music, Not Just Sounds

Daisy Valera

Venue for the Electronic Music Festival. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, April 21 — On Friday April 22, “Proelectronica” will be presented in the “Propociciones: For a Living Planet Festival” at the Salon Rosado de la Tropical in the Cuban capital.

With more than ten participating groups, Proelectronica will become one of electronic music’s largest events this year.

There will be ten hours of this musical style including a sampling of the Cuban artists.

Electronica, in its range of varieties, has begun to win followers on the island, especially young adolescents and those who are members of what are known as “urban tribes.”

The admission price, a surprising 20 pesos in domestic currency, is an example of the rise in prices for cultural activities that has been occurring over the last several months.

Among the guest artists, those most preferred by the public are I.A. Electronica, Nacional Electronica and Ivan Lejardi.

When referring to this type of music, some people call it “Vedado kids’ music” (referring to the downtown neighborhood of the capital city).

This is because those who listen to “electronica” music in Havana (in the rest of country that audience is still negligible) are mainly young people who enjoy a rather comfortable lifestyle and/or an above average cultural level.

The majority of youth who live in the poorer neighborhoods of the capital, such as Cerro and Tenth of October, prefer reggaeton and timba.

These preferences may well speak to the aspirations and even the ideology of Cuban youth.

Studies conducted in the last few years by centers like CIPS (the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research) indicate two extreme sectors among Cuban youth: those seeking to make their lives on the island and those who see their future in other countries.

The attachment to electronica is not only a preference for one musical genre, it’s also a reflection of needs and interests, just as the preference for reggaeton in many cases goes tied to macho behavior and the domination over women as sexual objects,

The preference for electronica well could be interpreted as an indication of the anxiety of existing in an environment that often limits one’s development, as well as the legitimation of the European model of life.

Proelectronica is thus more than a concert; it is a gathering of youth who reject unalterable situations and aspire to a different future, one where daily shortages are not the main characteristics.

They will each have to decide between leaving for other lands and building a different landscape within our borders.