The Underground is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America (Dey Street Books)

Ask any millennial: electronic dance music (EDM) is this decade’s rock and roll. Rolling Stone has called EDM the “defining youth culture of the 2010s” but—like hippie culture in the 60s or punk rock in the 70s—it’s about more than music. In The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America, author and music journalist Michaelangelo Matos chronicles the history of EDM and its meteoric rise from drug-fueled warehouse raves to an estimated $6.2 billion business.

The first comprehensive history on the EDM movement in the United States, The Underground Is Massive examines the U.S. electronic dance scene from its beginnings in Detroit and Chicago with acts like Frankie Knuckles and the Belleville Three to its current apex, where performers like Daft Punk and Skrillex sell out arenas all over the world.

In the face of such a massive history, Matos expertly explains how and why EDM has evolved from an underground scene to dominating mainstream youth culture today. He discusses dance music’s rise in tandem with the Internet, exploring the idea that ravers and EDM fanatics were partially responsible for powering the information revolution of the new millennium. He also delves into the scene’s relationship with illegal drugs, from cocaine to Ecstasy to nitrous oxide, and links the changes in EDM fans’ drugs of choice to the evolution of the music.

Based on hundreds of exclusive interviews as well as a score of vintage fanzines, mailing list archives and out-of-print books and magazines, The Underground Is Massive joins the ranks of the classic music histories like Please Kill Me and Can't Stop Won't Stop.  It tells the bizarre yet fascinating story of a drug-fueled, misfit music subculture that turned pop culture on its ear by remixing the relationship between music, sound, drugs and money in ways that fans, and the industry, could not have predicted.

Praise for The Underground Is Massive

“An EDM bible.”—Chloe Maassen, Insomniac.com

“Matos is the perfect person to create a book of this magnitude.”—Mike Walkusky, EDM.com

“We're excited about this book. Matos...has long been one of the few U.S. music journalists who consistently write about electronic dance music with intelligence and insight.”—Andy Hermann, LA Weekly

Michaelangelo Matos attended his first rave in 1993 and began writing professionally about electronic dance music a few years later. A regular contributor to Rolling Stone, NPR, Red Bull  Music Academy Magazine, Wondering Sound, and Beatport, he is the author of an acclaimed volume on Prince’s Sign ‘O’ the Times for Continuum’s 33 1/3 monograph series. He lives in Brooklyn.


Simon Reynolds is the author of seven books about pop culture, including the rave chronicle Energy Flash,  the postpunk history Rip It Up and Start Again and Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past. Born in London but these days living in LA, he’s currently writing a book about glam rock. In addition to writing for magazines including The New York Times, The Guardian, Pitchfork and The Wire, Reynolds also maintains a bunch of blogs centered around Blissblog http://blissout.blogspot.com/

Simon Reynolds photo by Ventil Verlag

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Sign 'o' the Times (33 1/3 #10) By Michaelangelo Matos Cover Image
ISBN: 9780826415479
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Continuum - March 31st, 2004

Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture By Simon Reynolds Cover Image
ISBN: 9781593764074
Availability: Backordered
Published: Soft Skull - March 20th, 2012

Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past By Simon Reynolds Cover Image
ISBN: 9780865479944
Availability: Not in Stock. Available to Order.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - July 19th, 2011

Bring the Noise: 20 Years of Writing About Hip Rock and Hip Hop By Simon Reynolds Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781593764012
Published: Soft Skull - May 24th, 2011

Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews and Overviews By Simon Reynolds Cover Image
Possibly out of print. Email or call to check availability and price.
ISBN: 9781593762865
Published: Soft Skull - August 17th, 2010