EDM.com Spotlight

EDM.com Spotlight

14 Unexpected EDM Collaborations

14) Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar

Steven Ellison, the man behind FlyLo, surprisingly recently collaborated with Kendrick Lamar. Flying Lotus is commonly known for his experimentation within EDM and IDM, as well as unreal visuals when performing at any event. "Never Catch Me" is, needless to say, a highly unexpected collab where both genres shine in their own light. The melody and beat of the song itself is classic FlyLo, as well as Kendrick's iconic rapper edge, making this track an awesome collaboration. FlyLo wanting to reach out to rappers isn't something new either, as he recently expressed his longing to collaborate with Kanye West in an interview with News Week.

Special Mention… RE:GENERATION

A special documentary following the likes of Skrillex, Pretty Lights, The Crystal Method, and more, RE:GENERATION makes it possible for anyone to witness five DJs turn the tables on the history of music. The diverse artists recreate five traditional styles of music, bringing a whole new meaning to the term collaboration. You can stream the film on Hulu here or watch the trailer below.

Cover photo credit via Redbull

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It is becoming more and more common for artists of varying genres to collaborate in the studio. With electronic genres from hard style to trance, the collaboration possibilities are endless. We’ve seen collaborative work ranging from heavy bass and rap fusions, to deep house mixed with a modern, progressive style. Artists have more recently begun to overstep genre-boundaries and expand their horizons, and although most collabs are predictable, EDM.com has compiled a list of some unusual pairings that truly defy the norm.

1) Dash Berlin and 3LAU

This is a powerful duo seeing as Dash Berlin is one of the top producers in the game and 3LAU has established himself as one of the most successful up-and-coming producers in the industry. The progressive trance track “Somehow” displays Dash Berlin’s timeless trance sound alongside an upbeat kick from the mash-up king 3LAU. The track also features vocals from Bright Lights, the same vocalist 3LAU worked with on “How You Love Me,” another popular track from the newly surfaced producer.

2) Showtek and Ookay

Electro house duplet Showtek paired up with trap producer Ookay and produced a perfect hybrid of the two genres. Comprised of the classic Showtek build up and subtle trap influences from Ookay, the track has a hard-hitting drop that sounds like it was made for a festival. Released via Showtek’s label Skink, “Bouncer” is both festival-friendly and highly unexpected from the producers. Yet, the electro/trap combination sounds pretty good.

3) Cash Cash and Adrian Lux

When techno house meets pop, you get the track “Bullet,” another festival-friendly track from diverse EDM producers. Cash Cash has been around producing pop hits such as “Party In Your Bedroom” and “Sugar Rush” while Adrian Lux has been working on techno house influenced tracks such as “Teenage Crime” and “Fire” featuring Lune. When the two collaborated on a track together, it was fairly unlooked-for; however, “Bullet” highlights both genres flawlessly with a techno edge yet has that underlying pop appeal.

4) Chuckie and Slash

One of the more surprising collaborations would be DJ/producer Chuckie and Slash, the former lead guitarist from Guns N' Roses. This blend of electro house and heavy metal pairs quite nicely as the live instruments enhance the track tremendously. "Rocktronica" is a perfect mix between live and electronic music. While EDM producers have collaborated with or have experience with heavy metal music, this collab has a powerful instrumental that brings back good live performances versus press-play sets.

5) Dillon Francis and Sultan & Ned Shepard

This collaboration between moombahton fanatic Dillon Francis and house producers Sultan & Ned Shepard was definitely a shift from Dillon's typical moombah style. Although Dillon has been known to be in the studio with artists of all genres, “When We Were Young” branches out a little further than usual. The track also features The Chain Gang Of 1974 and still empowers the classic Dillon Francis flair.

6) Tiesto, Diplo, and Busta Rhymes

This collab is really all over the place as it encompasses three different styles of music. “C’mon (Catch ‘Em By Surprise)” unites the sounds of progressive house, trap, and hip hop altogether. Tiesto’s unfading house influences triumph the track as Busta Rhymes delivers tuneful lyrics throughout the entire song. Diplo is also known for his ability to produce EDM of all types, making this specific track one of his many diverse productions.

7) Sander Van Doorn and Oliver Heldens

Sander Van Doorn has produced EDM fluctuating from progressive trance to big room house, so it’s no surprise that the diverse artist has reached out to deep house producer Oliver Heldens. “THIS” is properly named so due to the fact that the only vocals throughout the track are just that. Sander’s progressive house style kicks off the collab, and as it continues, more and more of Heldens deep beats transform the track from progressive to deep house.

8) Bassnectar and Lupe Fiasco

Although it may not be unusual for an EDM producer to work with a hip hop artist, this combo is truly one for the books. Bassnectar kills it in regular fashion as Lupe throws down some catchy rap lyrics. “Vava Voom” may be an older piece, but it has all of the Bassnectar essentials including a heavy power driving bassline. Lupe also offers an interesting addition to Bassnectar’s style, making this track one not to be forgotten anytime soon.

9) Zedd and Ariana Grande

This isn’t the first time EDM sensation Zedd has reached out to pop artists, much like Ariana Grande herself. In the past, Zedd has worked with Hayley Williams on their track together “Stay The Night.” Ariana offers her charming vocals to Zedd’s progressive style in “Break Free.” The music video is also pretty spectacular with a Star Wars theme and Ariana starring as the main character.

10) Martin Garrix and Ed Sheeran

Ever since Martin Garrix hit the scene with “Animals,” artists of all genres appear to be reaching out to the young producer, including acoustic/pop artist Ed Sheeran. This is definitely one of the most unpredictable collabs we’ve heard of in a while, and it should be interesting to see how the two styles combine into one dominant sound. Both Garrix and Sheeran posted about their day in the studio together via Instagram. Their track together is reportedly finished, says Sheeran, and will be titled “Rewind Repeated.”

11) Diplo and Madonna

Mad Decent sovereign Diplo has had quite the year. Diplo commonly produces various genres stretching from his quintessential trap style to the reggae-gone-EDM influenced super group Major Lazer to producing for vocalists such as Sia. Earlier this summer, news broke that the pop queen herself had re-recorded an 80s classic, but this time the lyrics are catered to Diplo and his Major Lazer group. This isn’t Madonna’s first experience with the EDM scene either, seeing as she has also collaborated with Avicii and performed at Ultra Music Festival 2012 as a special guest.

12) Gesaffelstein and Kanye West

Kanye's most recent album "Yeezus" was actually produced by some familiar EDM artists. Alongside Brodinski and Daft Punk, Gesaffelstein worked on much of the album. If you listen to "Send It Up," the synth sounds extremely similar to Gesaffelstein's "Viol." Kanye has always been known to step outside the lines when it comes to production on any level, however, news that the French techno/electronica artist produced for West was still surprising. "Send It Up" is a cross-breed between hip hop and techno, and its awesome. 

13) P. Diddy and Guy Gerber

P. Diddy and Guy Gerber collaborated on an entire project album dedicated to breaking barriers between hip hop and electronic music titled 11 11. The pair expressed their view on the album: "At once a meeting of two worlds, and yet also a dismissal of those signifiers, 11 11 inverts the recent dialogue between the worlds of hip-hop and electronic music, eschewing simple radio friendly factory fare, for darker, richer, deeper soundscapes. 11 11 is not a project aimed at main-stages and masses, but outliers and after-hours." Guy Gerber is a legend in the world of techno and is known for his live instrumentation. "Hearts" is just one of the many versatile tracks from the album.