A Dummie's Guide to EDM Slangs

PLUR, drop, filthy, build-up, molly, whatever. You've probably heard those being tossed around shows. But, being the newbie you are, you don't know what those mean. Why don't you know any of these terms? How dare you call yourself an EDM fan! Just joking. That's why we're here. Here are 10 terms (or more like neologisms: made up words) that you'll hear exchanged between people around you while at shows, events, festivals, and even on the interwebs. After this, you'll be glad to call yourself a true EDM fan. This is for you, ES crew. Let's begin!

Disclaimer: Terms not definitive, as always.

1. P.L.U.R.

PC: Insomniac

Peace, Love, Unity, Respect. That's what you all should be preaching while at any EDM-related events, especially festivals. It's almost like a religion; a culture; a belief; a philosophy (or all the above for that matter) you all share as a community that differentiates yourself from the rest of the non-EDM fans. For all you ravers and clubbers out there, take note. This is where chemistry and interpersonal bonds are established, how sparks fly, and how your buddy beside you at the rave communicates. Want to become one of us? Better get your game on, or I'm calling the PLUR police. What you gonna do? What you gonna do when they come for you? Be EDM as f*ck, bro!

Just in case you've still got one of your eyebrows raised or if TL;DR:

Peace : Find inner peace. Violence isn't the answer.

Love : Spread the Love. Spread the goodwill.

Unity : Unite the people and form a community.

Respect : Look out for the the environment, the people around you, and yourself.

2. The "Drop"


Here's the definition straight outta Wikipedia: "...the point in a musical track where a switch of rhythm or bass-line occurs and usually follows a recognizable build section and break". To put it into layman's terms, it's when the build-up (we'll get to this later if you aren't familiar with the term) eventually stops and an explosion of melodia, filth, or heavy bass-lines commences (note: drops aren't limited to EDM). Still confused? Let's go back to our song PLUR police (assuming you've clicked the link of course...). At approximately 1:14 is when the drop commences. Sometimes drops follow the same melody as the main melody of the whole song, and sometimes it is completely unexpected - it all comes down to how the song is arranged by the artist. In some cases, there are no drops at all - it also depends on whether or not the song prompts or requires it. Let's look at another hit by The Chainsmokers - Roses. For this song, the drop should be at around 1:26. Still don't get it? Here's a video showing you a compilation of the best beat drops (a total of 257 songs). If you still don't understand, then I'm sorry buddy, you're beyond repair. But seriously, who the hell has the time to compile 257 songs? Honorable mention: Porter Robinson's remix of Nero's "The Thrill" has one of the biggest and most unexpected drops we've ever experienced (at ~0:27). *Slowclaps

3. The "Build-up"


A gradual or accumulation or increase in something. In the case of EDM songs, the beat/rhythm increases exponentially, tightens up, and typically produces a crescendo effect, that is, everything starts slow and soft, and then everything gradually builds up and peaks together. If you're a DJ/producer, read up this link on 6 tips for better build-up and drops. Apparently, you should be using more snare rolls, synth risers, noise sweeps, and stutters. Sounds technical, but we'll probably hear an immense change in the layering of the build-up section. 99.99% of the time, build-ups go hand-in-hand with the drop: if there is no build-up, there is no drop, and if there is a build-up, there mostly likely will be a drop (unless the artists intentionally challenges the conventions and structuring of EDM songs). Not saying that this occurs in ALL cases, of course. This is probably hard for all of you less EDM-enthusiastic individuals to articulate. And if so, here's a visual representation of what we just said. We're using a live version of Madeon's song "Icarus" in this instance. You'll see things start to speed up at around 1:00, all the way until around 1:27, where the bass and beat drops. Hear the crowd shouting, cheering and yelling? Most of them were anticipating the drop and finally got it, and that was their subsequent reaction/response. Just in case you guys aren't convinced, we should mention that the live experience is almost always way more suspenseful than watching a video through your laptop (as you are reading our blog) - the video clip simply won't do the song, experience or drop justice.

4. "Molly'


Molly or quite simply "E" is the slang for MDMA, or more commonly known as the psychoactive drug Ecstacy. More of a recreational drug, mollies are frequently used in raves and/or dance parties for the desired effect of euphoria, empathy and heightened sensation. Basically, if people are looking to have a good time and don't like to drink, want to drink too much, or bored of drinking, mollies are the alternatives. Let's just say it's a way for people to get lit, using exogenous drug enhancers. BUT, just to avoid any confusion and misunderstanding, we're not condoning the usage of molly, but just informing you of the slang. What's more important is that you, as a raver, are kept safe and sound, or else you'd be missing out all on the fun and excitement at future festivals. So be responsible: be aware of the long and short-term side effects (insomnia, depression, addiction, psychosis, convulsion and sometimes death), acknowledge that every person may react differently, and be sure to have a buddy system when you're affected.


Okay, we've don't hear this very often around raves. But, that doesn't mean its not a thing or that it doesn't get tossed around. Coined by the trap DJ/producer FLOSSTRADAMAS, the term is now used by numerous other DJs like DIPLO and EDM fans, especially on the interwebs. But what does it actually mean? Basically, it's a term used to describe good vibes at a music festival or when you listen to a sick EDM song on the intewebs at home. It's an acronym for "PEACE, LOVE, UNITY, RESPECT, NOW TWERK". It has become such a thing that it's now a common hashtag whenever a song is lit. That's all we can say about this honestly, 'cause we just recently found out about it. Now, get down on the ground, spread dem legs wide, and shake dat booty good.

Note: Image shown below is semi-NSFW. Viewer discretion is advised.

But who on earth doesn't appreciate a good booty? Heck, even women stare at women's asses. #Nohomo.

6. The "Shuffle"

Shuffling is a type of dance you do while jamming to some EDM music. Most noticeably, though, it's House or Deep House, trance, or hard-style, partly because the beat allows for it. The dance was probably popularized by the popular American Duo LMFAO, from their song "Party Rock Anthem" (remember the phrase: "EVERYDAY I'M SHUFFLING"?) If you've read our other blog about the different genres of EDM, you should probably be aware that we briefly mentioned about shuffle dancing (and the genres mentioned above). More formally known as the "Melbourne Shuffle", the dance move has been around since the 1980s and originated in the underground rave scenes of Melbourne, Australia. The Shuffle dance, although looking pretty simple to follow and learn, incorporates a series of basic dance moves that involve fast heel-and-toe actions. Don't be fooled by the dance - it looks easy but hella hard to coordinate your legs, toes and heels from both legs simultaneously. We gave you a link last time regarding how to properly do a shuffle dance, including teaching several basic dance moves that makes up the dance. If you want to retrieve the link, check out our other blog for the different EDM genres. Here, we'll introduce a NEW video for another perspective on it.

7. "Filthy"

Often used as an adjective. It can probably describe the different components of the song, but quite often, ravers use it to describe the "drop" or the instrumentation of the song. It's basically synonymous to dope, tight, or cool. Let's consider an example:

Raver A: Bro, did you check out Knife Party's new song?
Raver B: Yeah bro, holy sh#t. That drop was f#ckin FILTHY. 14/10 would recommend.

The term is often used in the context of describing the style or instrumentation of dubstep, trap: when they point out an outstandingly heavy or sick track or bass-line.

Some hand-picked "filthy" af songs:

Note: The chosen songs above are SUBJECTIVELY filthy. You, the reader, can think otherwise. And trust us, we won't call the EDM police on you - you have our word.

8. "Banger"

Another adjective used to describe a song being tight, or unbelievably awesome; something that will make you 'bang' your head. Although, the term or slang can be used out of the EDM context, used to describe songs of other genres, or perhaps an intense and/or lit party involving lots of drinking, beer pong, and leaving the place with a total mess (sounds relevant to us!) And god...this is beginning to sound a lot like Urban Dictionary. Consider the following example:

Raver A: Hey gurl, how was the party last night?
Raver B: OH. MY. GOD. Totally BANGER!


9. "Rave-bunny"

Just to clarify, when we mean rave bunny, we don't literally mean a bunny at a rave (although it'd be pretty awesome to bring a bunny to a party). We mean cute girls in costumes who absolutely LOVE to party their asses off, or someone who's rave-savvy. In the context of raves, they always seek for flamboyant outfits that flaunt their bodies (that means either tight outfits or minimal clothing). Although this can apply to both genders, rave-bunnies are typically female, aged 20-30s. Costumes include bunny costumes, fur jackets, with props such as lollipops, flowers, tinted sun-glasses, hats (although not technically a prop, the occasional push up bra, making their breasts look 3x its actual size). Clothing is optional, not mandatory, but bunny ears is a must. Big booty also optional.


Rave bunnies at a rave (woah, really?) This girl looking color coordinating and looking flamboyantly cute, fresh and definitely eye-candy material.

10. "BPM"

Quite simply "beats per minute". Although this term isn't tossed around quite often at raves, party or EDM events, it's frequently used in the online space for the EDM community, especially in producer/DJ forums. It's probably a bit technical for some rave-savvy individuals, especially for those who just seek for BANGIN' parties, while listening to FILTHY songs from DJ live sets. But, if you're a producer or aspiring to be one, take note. By definition, it literally means the number of beats in one minute or the general tempo of the song. Songs vary in BPM depending on what kind of genre they're in, but typically the BPM for EDM songs lie somewhere between 100-170, 170 being most likely Drum 'N Bass (we discuss this on the other blogs).



Hope you're more familiar about the slangs of EDM by now. If there are some other terms or slangs that you feel needs clarifying, feel free to drop us a message either here or on Facebook, and we'll get to you as soon as we can~

~ES Crew