How Cash Cash Electrifies EDM

How Cash Cash Electrifies EDM
Article & Photo By: Liz Kobak

There are new Electronic Dance Music sheriffs in Midtown. And they’re making regular clubbers bust moves like raging bunnies.

Experiencing American EDM group Cash Cash’s set on April 5 at dance club Lavo was unforgettable. Intoxicating beats, monochromatic tones and climatic swells left clubbers mesmerized. The set kicked off with a montage of their most popular tracks, including radio smash “Take Me Home.” Listeners pushed, shoved, used their phones in lieu of lighters and danced uncontrollably. Bodies constantly touched and hands energetically pointed toward the sky like they’re reaching for something so divine yet intangible. Cash Cash’s Alex Makhlouf energetically yelled at the audience while brother Jean Paul and band member Sam Frisch jammed on synthesizers and keyboards.

The staging and sounds struck wonderfully hard in “Lightning”, the trio’s newest song off of their self-entitled EP. Gas dispensed from above the dance floor when Goo Goo Dolls front man John Rzeznik sang “With just one spark, just one spark!” Crystal balls glistened while posh patrons energetically danced with strangers and sipped their strong drinks. It’s like The Great Gatsby’s most modern version, where beautifully dressed people – both young and old – unite over outstanding new music, Dom Pérignon and extravagant fun. Yet this seemingly fresh style has been brewing for about 30 years.


Chicagoan EDM Godfather Frankie Knuckles, who passed away one week ago, paved the electronic way for progressive bands like Cash Cash. Knuckles’ auditory aesthetics were abstractions of mainstream genres and artistic approach mirrored that of modern painters like Picasso. However, there’s this misnomer circulating amongst old-school instrumental fans in which EDM produces impure music.

“No audience will chant your name,” indicated Rolling Stone’s online Italian edition this past November, among far more demeaning commentary regarding EDM. Rock ‘n Roll reigns supreme in music’s kingdom, according to the publication. Interestingly one of Rock’s most popular musicians joined forces in Cash Cash’s “Lightning”, which is bound to strike gold and surpass classic radio tunes in popularity.

Granted disc jockeys often preload musical content onto external hard drives and base their set off of that. But deeming their music artificial? That’s far from true. Making good music is discretionary; it’s what you’re passionate about and what you think people connect with. “We didn’t know if [EDM] would work or not,” Knuckles said in 2011. “But it did.”

That’s for sure. Cash Cash successfully continued Knuckles’ musical tradition and is making history based on its recent Lavo gig.

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