EMAA Spins A New Beat At UC Irvine

The Electronic Music Appreciation Association, which hopes to spread an appreciation for electronic music to a broader audience at UC Irvine, came one step closer to achieving its goal on the night of Jan. 13.
A diverse group of about 25 students crowded into the Cross-Cultural Center to enjoy the first event the EMAA has hosted since becoming an official campus club last year.
The president of the EMAA, second-year Information and Computer Science major Esteban Morales, started the club last year with fellow second-year student and roommate Mario Mariotta.
‘Electronic music is a subculture here,’ Morales said. ‘We are trying to expose it. It’s not exactly popular in the United States.’
The club began with five members, and is now at 20 members and still growing.
The event included electronic music from three DJs, all members of the EMAA.
‘We are going to play three different kinds of electronic music tonight,’ Morales said. ‘The first hour we are playing house music from DJ Junior Chavez. The second hour, I am going to be playing happy hardcore music as DJ Chexmixer.’
DJ Jensaarai, normally known as second year UCI student Daniel Morgan, closed out the night with an hour of trance music.
The free night of music lasted from 7 to 10 p.m. CDs featuring music from Morales and Jensaarai were given away for free at the event’s entrance.
Fundraising for the EMAA has been difficult due to its new status as a club. ‘We do fundraising within ourselves,’ Morales said. To raise money for the club, glow sticks were sold inside for $2.
Morales’ appreciation for electronic music started in high school. ‘I used to go to raves around 2001 to listen to the music,’ Morales said. ‘I have been a DJ for roughly four years.’
Electronic music has been gaining popularity in the United States but is already popular in the United Kingdom.
‘You can’t really buy electronic records here at stores. You have to buy them online from the UK,’ Morales said. ‘Most of the records are from overseas and average around $11 a record, and an average record includes two tracks.’
There are certain Web sites that offer electronic music for those interested. Morales buys most of his music from the Web site www.IMOrecords.com.
Morales explained that the average student is aware of only a fraction of the wide genre of electronic music available.
‘The music is really underexposed,’ Morales said. ‘If I tell someone I listen to happy hardcore they have no idea what I’m talking about. Everyone has heard of the Tetris song or DJ Sammy, but there’s so much more than that that we would like to expose.’
Morales’ personal favorite electronic artists include DJ Brisk, DJ Ham, Breeze, Styles and Jakazid.
Morales and the rest of the EMAA hope to expose the students at UCI to electronic music through the other events such as dances that they will hold this year.
Shawta Singh, a first-year UCI student, was walking by the event with some friends and heard the music.
‘At first the music sounded really random but when we walked inside we really liked it,’ Singh said. Singh and four other girls walked away from the event with a few of the free CDs with plans to listen to them later.
The EMAA will meet at 7 p.m. in HSLH 100 every other Tuesday starting next Tuesday Jan. 17.
Morales explained his appreciation for the club in that it ‘allows us to communicate with other people who are interested in the same genre of music.’
The club meetings are designed to act as a place for electronic music fans to ‘discuss the music and listen to a few tracks,’ Morales said.
But, the club also has educational goals. Morales and a few other members of the club give lessons on the inner workings of becoming a DJ.
To find out more about the EMAA, you can visit their Web site at www.spirit.aos.uci.edu/emaa. The Web site features facts about electronic music and links to other sites including Morales’ own music site www.djchexmixer.com. You can also e-mail them at emaa@spirit.dos.uci.edu.