Nov 21, 2014
Is ‘EDM’ Dead? A-Trak Weighs In

A-Trak has taken to Facebook to discuss the current state of dance music and answer the question on everyone’s mind: Is “EDM” dead?

“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. 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 caricatural stuff. 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 get interested in good, nuanced, forward-thinking music. It’s super encouraging. And even from the DJs’ 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?”

Is A-Trak right? Is electronic music “still alive and kicking?” From our view of the action, the mind, body, and soul of dance music are as strong as ever.

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