Salvatore Ganacci

I’ve written in the past on this blog about how the EDM scene (the hyper-commercialised, Instagram-friendly variant of trance music) has become, in many ways, a parody of itself, with DJs spending more time bouncing around on (hopefully reinforced) deck stands and revving the crowd than doing any serious mixing.

With that in mind, it was interesting/horrifying to see that one of the ‘highlights’ of last weekend’s Tomorrowland festival was Salvatore Ganacci, a Bosnian-born Swede (real name Emir Kobilić).  

I must admit I hadn’t heard of the self-styled ‘blonde Jesus’ prior to the festival, but he is likely to gain significant exposure due to his antics during his hour-long Main Stage set, which involved invisible rope climbing, dry humping the CDJs and feigning sleep.

Now I’m not saying that DJs can’t have fun behind the ones and twos – think of the epic video of Sven Väth ‘swimming’ at an after party, or Dave Clarke mastering an invisible violin – but Ganacci’s clownish behaviour is on a different level, and is very much in keeping with the EDM cliche: if it looks good on Snapchat, it’s probably worth doing.

Understandably, the dance purists (myself included, I must admit) on social media were horrified, one wag even noted that Ganacci’s Wikipedia page had been edited to state that the DJ ‘died’ on the day of the festival, somewhat insensitive given Avicii’s recent passing.

But at the same time, there were many, including high profile artists, that leapt to his defence.

Indeed, as the dust from the tennis-shirt wearing Ganacci’s performance settled, many even hailed the antics as a masterstroke in ‘trolling’ the EDM scene, pastiching the excessive showmanship of many fellow Tomorrowland artists.

Further evidence that all this might be an elaborate ruse can be found via the mid-set spoken word interjections from an unnamed, offstage source (“Why is he f**king dancing?”), or when Ganacci himself stops the music to lead the crowd in a chorus of the ubiquitous Seven Nation Army.

At one point, he even pauses the set to ask the crowd, “Did you hear my mix just there? That’s how we mix at Tomorrowland”.

Let’s not forget that the ‘theme’ of this year’s event was ‘The Story of Planaxis’, whatever the f**k that means. Tomorrowland is not an event that has mastered the art of subtlety.

So, is Salvatore Ganacci a mere court jester or the king of the EDM trolls? Something tells me we won’t have to wait until next year’s Tomorrowland to find out…

You can watch the full set here (if you can stomach it)… 🙂

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