Nazi EDM Exists. Seriously.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different genres of music. Most of them look to expand musical horizons, push boundaries, and create new and interesting fusions. Some subgenres — especially in punk, metal, and folk — incorporate political messages. Generally, the political affiliations lean left from slightly liberal through socialist to outright anarchist. But what about the darker side of music? Musical subgenres with very right-leaning political messages? Those very much exist as well, and included among these subgenres is Nazi dance music.

Earlier this month, The Daily Beast reported a story about a Nazi family hiding out in Long Island, New York. It turns out that the older brother of the two arrested was also a pioneer of Nazi EDM. Edward Perkowski Jr, also known as DJ Ghost of the Reich, has been uploading music videos to his pro-Hitler music from about 2009 until this past March

Perkowski and brother were arrested on June 16 after police found a small stockpile of weapons, ammunition, knives, drugs, and cash, along with plenty of Nazi propaganda and paraphernalia.

So how popular was his music? According to The Daily Beast:

“DJ GoR produced a cache of musical tracks (in one YouTube comment, he stressed his songs take months to create and that “the videos also take a bit of time to make ‘right.’”) and curated almost 200,000 fans by crafting drum-and-bass beats and mixing them with historical speeches from Nazi officials”.

His fans know him as “the original War Trance DJ”.

He is also far from the only Nazi DJ, and others frequently cite DJ GoR as an influence. For example, Michigan resident DJ Nazi Scum cites DJ GoR as an influence of his.

Other DJs also use pro-Nazi handles to hide their hate and racism.

“There’s DJ Adolf, who has his own Swedish Wikipedia entry and whose hits, according to Last.fm, include “Juden beseitigen” (‘Eliminate Jews’), “Hitler Party,” and “Ku Klux Klan.”

DJ Panzerfaust, named after the German World War II anti-tank weapon, has a similar repertoire on Last.fm. His bio on the site states that he’s a “nazi hardcore techno producer from The Netherlands”.

If you wonder how Nazi EDM could possibly be so popular and if it actually works in recruiting new Neo-Nazis, Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Centre and The Daily Beast explain:

“Potok, of the SPLC, suggests that war trance is a part of a greater push to spread the Neo-Nazi message. ‘What’s happened is that the White Power Music genre has subdivided into about 20 or 30 subgenres,’ he said. ‘So at this point almost every kind of popular music has a kind of analog in the hate music world.’

“Trance, like the incarnation of so-called racist folk music, is just one experimental branch on the tree. Music is an effective tool and works to warp impressionable prospects to join the movement… intaking many former white supremacists, Potok says ‘they commonly say the music was very prominent for them when they were young…You walk around all day with these lyrics in your head, oftentimes listening to the same track 20 to 30 times a day and ultimately it does make its way into your brain’”.

It is undeniable that music is a very powerful tool. It can be used for both promoting acceptance and hate. Neo-Nazi musicians exist and exploit the power of music to get their message across. On one hand, it’s fascinating to see the power of music at work. On the other, it’s terrifying to understand just how powerful of a tool it is.

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