Editor’s Note: This article is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, this time I don’t really care. I really hoped I wouldn’t be able to find another ten songs that sound literally the same, but unfortunately it took just under 10 minutes. Shouts to the Beatport Top 100 for putting them all in one place for me.
Before we begin, let’s have a little chat about this thing I like to call ‘genres’. Genres are typically employed to differentiate and categorize differing styles of music, which can help listeners grasp the basic stylistic themes and arrangements of an artist’s work. However, in EDM the genres of Progressive and Electro House seem to be one size fits all categories for 90% of dance music. Does it have a melody? Progressive House. Is it aggressive and catchy? Electro House. What if it has both? You call it.
Since we’re all about acronyms in EDM, I propose a new genre, ONFD: One Note Festival Drop. So let’s go ahead and pay homage to ten onfd songs that sound… exactly the same.
1. Tony Junior & DJ Ghost – Blow Up The Speakers (Original Mix)
If there’s subkick and reverb’ed Nexus synth arms race, Tony Junior & DJ Ghost are winning. Throw in a little trap-break and then it’s right back to it. This one is as predictable as a 9-5 job and Monday morning traffic.
2. Robby East & Oliver Heldens – Panther (Original Mix)
Robby East & Oliver Heldens have proved that they can find at least two notes in their key worth playing. At first the nice little half-time melody makes it seem like this track is heading in the right direction, but all of that changes when it slams headfirst into monotony. Also, the fact that it took two artists to write this song is mind blowing.
3. The Partysquad & Mitchell Niemeyer – #Pantsdown (All Mixes)
#Pantsdown doesn’t catch anyone alive with their pants down. It sounds like someone took the Epic Mashleg and dragged it out into a full four minute song. Half Animals, half Cannonball, fully boring. Next.
4. Hardwell & MAKJ – Countdown (Original Mix)
The youngest number one DJ proves that he can make a track that sounds exactly like everything else. Not much to say here other than, why? I can’t really say that a dutch synth line followed by a percussive rhythm line is all that game changing.
5. Twoloud – Big Bang (Original Mix)
Sitting in the top-100, Big Bang actually deserves some credit. It has a really solid melody, probably one of the catchiest I’ve heard in the last few months. But then, it tosses everything it has going out the window and goes full Atom with a sub-kick.
6. Borgore feat. Waka Flocka Flame & Paige – Wild Out
This track could have been so friggin’ cool, it really could have. Wacka and Borgore yes please, generic festival drop, no thanks.
7. Qulinez – Archangel (Original Mix)
The official description of this track says it all, and I quote – “Thick chord progressions lead into a huge distorted main riff accompanied by one of the biggest kicks we’ve heard in a long time! Mad!!!” Yep, it’s got a really big kick, just like every other song in this list. Songs like this are a writer’s worst nightmare to describe.
8. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike vs DVBBS & Borgeous – STAMPEDE (Original Mix)
Well, this tune sounds exactly like the next one. So there’s that.
9. DVBBS & Borgeous – TSUNAMI (Original Mix)
I really only want to riff a bit on this tune for being almost virtually identical to STAMPEDE. I don’t think Tsunami is the worst ONFD tune but seriously, ALL CAPS. THIS SONG IS SO LOUD AND THE KICK IS SO BIG. Seriously though let’s not replace rhythm with triplets, there are other ways to make a catchy hook.
10. Jetfire – African Dreams (Original Mix)
Well now, this one I had to save for last because of its absolutely ridiculous title and theme. African. Dreams. Half Lion King half big room, all ridiculous. Despite the mildly racist feel, it’s another generic drop with a massive detuned supersaw over a massive kick. It’s beyond description for the fact it’s so generic. Go outside and describe your sidewalk and try to give enough detail to differentiate it from my sidewalk. Yours might have some leaves in the gutter, mine has some dirt, in the end it’s still a boring walking surface.
I believe with an article like this I have to maintain an air of fairness, so I won’t bash anything I can’t at least somewhat imitate. Here you go, four months ago I sat down in a coffee shop with a blown out pair of iPod headphones and an hour to kill. This is the resulting product. I am by no means a capable producer, I do it for fun whenever I get an idea and a spare moment, but I’m somewhat wishing I would have followed through on this one. Hell, even I could maybe have gotten this one some support who knows maybe even a charting spot. If I can do it in under an hour, how long is it taking the big dogs? Mash some keys, call it melody, add a completely unrelated drop, and then sit back and relax. Two Nexus presets + a big kick synthesized in Massive = chart topper.
I already know what people will say, “if you hate this why are you covering it?”
I do these articles to point out the parts of EDM which make me lose faith in the creative potential of our genre. You can’t tell a heroin addict to get help without mentioning the fact that they are indeed a heroin addict. We have a lot of creative and inspired people making a lot of boring tracks and that’s the saddest part about ONFD. So maybe we could get together as a genre and decide on one, maybe two, artists who get to make ONFD, because it wouldn’t take many more people than that to beat this dead horse to a bloody pulp.
I’ll be taking your hate mail all week at email@example.com