It’s a question that seems to pop up time and time again. For one reason or another, the ‘death’ of electronic dance music continues to be a topic of discussion. Earlier this week, A-Trak used his Facebook page to address the question from his perspective:
EDM is still alive and kicking. There’s been chatter for a while now that the bubble might burst any minute, but don’t be fooled, the business is still very healthy. Ride around Hollywood, every billboard shows a DJ. Festival attendance is enormous. And every 14 year old kid knows how to sidechain a compressor.
A-Trak isn’t saying everything is perfect, however. He continues:
But it’s also easy to see that the genre has reached an almost comical level of self-aggrandizement, with soaring emotional ballads and an overdose of cheese that many have likened to Hair Metal. (For the record, I like Hair Metal.) What’s interesting is the sort of babushka dolls that come with the term EDM: for the press it denotes all electronic music; but for insiders it’s only the maximal big-room caricature stuff.
While this distinction between the different uses of the term “EDM” is important, A-Trak views this as the potential for greater things:
Sometimes, however, an initial wave of flashy music can knock down the doors and more interesting music can come after. That’s where I feel we are now. From the producers’ standpoint, a lot of us just feel like simply making music, any kind of music, whatever genre it might be. Rather than dictating an entire style, EDM can now broaden itself to little characteristics in the sonics within an otherwise genre-less song. Avicii really did us all a favor by making a (successful) country record. Thanks Tim! If I feel like putting out a polka song tomorrow, I can. I might. And from the audience’s standpoint, after that initial gateway drug of hands-in-the-air anthems, I’m seeing more and more kids getting interested in good, nuanced, forward-thinking music. It’s super encouraging. And even from the DJ’s standpoint, over the last 2 or 3 years we all felt a certain pressure to play more bigroom Beatport hits, whereas now it feels like the genres are opening up again. There is more freedom in the selection. Maybe it’s finally going back to #RealDJing. What do you guys think? Are we entering this post-EDM chapter?
You can read this post and the ensuing discussion over on A-Trak’s Facebook page. Is he right? Let us know what you think!
Photo Credit: A-Trak