In 2013 I wrote a blog post entitled “Is EDM Just A New Form of MK Ultra Mind Control”. It went on to become the third-most read piece in the history of theMusic.com.au even though it was intended as a pisstake – or was it?
Seven years later comes The Drop, which started as a love-letter to the electronic dance music scene I love but spiralled into a satirical takedown of technology addiction, the commodification of culture and mankind’s steadfast determination to destroy our planet. Think of it as “Ready Player One and The Matrix going clubbing in the Black Mirror universe” and you’re on the right track.
It’s a novel for now and our possible future. Tongue in cheek? A little, but what began in 2018 as a satire on the corruption of club culture has become an uncanny prediction of our dystopian present.
* In The Drop, half the planet has been killed by a mysterious weather event and Survivors are trapped inside. A corporation has stepped up to run the planet after the world’s superpowers have failed.
* In 2020, half the planet is in lockdown due to a mysterious virus and once powerful nation states are entering a perhaps terminal decline.
* In The Drop, the only form of entertainment is a non-stop virtual reality EDM festival called Love Buzz, in which the headline DJs perform from their apartments, beaming into a computer-generated space called the Ultraworld.
* In 2020, the only form of nightclubbing involves DJs streaming live from their apartments, which has evolved into Glastonbury and Tomorrowland (event name: The Reflection of Love) beaming weekend-long events into computer-generated virtual reality spaces.
And the comparisons don’t end there… But what’s it all about?
Since a mysterious weather event in 2025 engulfed the outside world in fire storms, veteran DJ Juanita has become the headline ‘Virtuoso’ for Love Buzz, a 24/7 virtual music festival beamed directly into survivors’ headsets. For Juanita, trapped inside her Sydney apartment and addled by isolation and addiction, the show must go on … and on and on.
Three years after The Storm sets in, the most powerful man in this new world, multimedia mogul Matthias “Tito” van Dijk, arrives in Sydney for Love Buzz 1000 with plans to overhaul the non-stop party that unites a broken planet.
With Juanita’s teenage fan, aspiring Virtuoso Kai, and his twin, Toca, shadowing her every move, the world’s most bankable star is drawn into a mysterious underground resistance movement: where drones hunt down dissidents, DJs become heroes, and Juanita learns that everything she believes is a lie.
The Drop is a fast-paced, searing takedown of technology addiction and the corporate takeover of culture which poses the question: If the party never stops, how much would we miss?
The main characters’ lives are all intertwined with music, so of course they have their own playlists.
First up? Tito’s Journey, which explains a little about how Matthias “Tito” van Dijk went from Dutch child of the ’60s to the thick of London’s Second Summer of Love in the ’80s to superstar DJ and unlikely saviour of the world.
How did Juanita, an aspiring gymnast from far-western Sydney become an aspiring International Party Girl, fall under Tito’s wing and take the sound of EDM global? Listen to Juanita’s Journey below…
Finally, Kai & Toca’s Journey (which for some reason won’t embed!) introduces Kai, Juanita’s biggest fan and aspiring Virtuoso, and Toca, who’d much rather be curing the coronavirus but joins her identical twin at Love Buzz on their 16th birthday all the same.
For a pair of 16-year-olds from the future, Kai and Toca’s knowledge of the classics runs deeeeeeep.