Trap, house, dubstep, trance…the mainstream EDM scene has become a crowded place in the last five years. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert in all these different genres, but I love how electronic dance music—arguably moreso than any other music in history—predominantly exists in a live setting. The performance IS the music. It’s impossible to visualize an EDM song without linking it to DJs, raves, neon paint, and (sigh) Molly. Even while people listen to EDM in their headphones, it’s clear from their body language that the club isn’t far away, at least in their minds. This singularity of purpose even translates to the way the genre is consumed: live bootlegs, extended edits, and free Soundcloud remixes that seem to spawn off of each other like larvae.
Of course, the Internet is a haven for this kind of musical environment, with new and young producers coming out of the woodwork every day. Think of it as an ultra-meritocracy: whoever has the best beat gets bumped. In this respect, local Philly producer Victor Niglio has been on a ridiculous hot streak lately, getting shoutouts from EDM mega-stars like Diplo, Tiesto, and Skrillex for his jagged combination of twerk-able trap, off-time drum rolls, and inventive bass drops. The music video for Niglio’s awesome new single “Jiggy” perfectly embodies what makes his music so appealing.
At its essence, “Jiggy” is a very simple video. On four separate occasions, a woman dances in front of an umbrella before the song’s featured rapper, Mr. Man, jumps out and splashes her, urm, base drop with water. It happens four times, to four different girls, in virtually identical fashion; even Mr. Man’s little jump into frame looks similar. But just like the music itself, there’s beauty in the repetition.
A favorite (and often critiqued) facet of EDM music is The Drop—the palpable moment when the song builds its textures to a crescendo before throwing the beat completely sideways and throttling into a new rhythm. Niglio’s music intuitively understands how drops work, and his video explicitly plays with that idea. As the song builds and builds, it’s very clear what’s going to happen when that drop comes in. We wait anxiously for the moment when that water hits, and the world literally changes after it does—the ground shakes like a rocket’s taking off. There’s a lot of little film tricks to keep things visually appealing, and scenes oscillate between rewinding and fast forwarding so that it’s often hard to tell if we’re moving forwards or backwards. It’s a perfect way to visually approximate the cut-up samples that pepper the song.
But my favorite aspect of the “Jiggy” video is how self-aware everything is. The male participants smile for the camera the entire time, as everything in frame seems practically like a parody of what people assume an EDM video should look like. There’s women in tight clothes tweaking, young black guys with afros and snapbacks throwing dollar bills, and not much else. But it’s all so knowing, like the way their clothes, tube socks, and the bucket are all color-coordinated. And at the end of the video, the rising star himself, Victor Niglio, beams one of the goofiest smile you’ll ever see while an umbrella color wheel spins behind him and ladies twerk on either side. It’s a look of pure joy, and it will echo on your face too.