The Leaders And Underdogs Of EDM
It may actually be impossible for American fans to think of dubstep without having Skrillex come to mind. Skrillex has collaborated with artists of all calibers, denoting him as one of the biggest dubstep artists in history. Flux Pavilion has also released several classics of the dubstep genre such as “I Can’t Stop,” and “Blow The Roof.” Other artists, including Zomboy, Downlink, and Knife Party, have also been known to put out incredible dubstep and drumstep tracks as well. Lumberjvck, Trollphace, and Eptic are three up-and-coming dubstep producers that are releasing hard-hitting, heavy bass music as well, and we can't wait to see what other artists plan to take their heavy bass tendencies to the next level.
Electro marks one of the most commonly known genres within the EDM spectrum. With huge producers such as Martin Garrix and Madeon, this genre is a big one. Martin Garrix’ massive hit “Animals” annihilated EDM stages throughout festival season. Madeon may be young, however, he consistently puts out diverse classics including “Finale.” There are thousands of electro artists out there, but a few names that stand out in particular are Monstercat’s own Case & Point along with KSHMR, Mr. Skeleton, and Black Tiger Sex Machine. The Canadian trio BTSM performs while wearing their infamous tiger helmets, and while KSHMR’s identity is unknown, but he is still putting out amazing electro style tracks.
This genre can be hard to identify, seeing as the majority of its content is basically "anything goes." Experimental entails that there are no rules, and with lesser known, highly talented producers such as Lindsay Lowend, Mr. Carmack, and STWO, the creative opportunies are endless. Some artists produce through the motto, “F*ck a genre,” and that is exactly what experimental is. Even producers including Last Island and Mad Decent’s Dawn Golden can be considered experimental.
Home of artists Tchami and Oliver Heldens, future house has delivered several monumental tracks of 2014. Both Tchami and Heldens have received an outburst of attention earlier in the year. Tchami kick started his career with his classic remix of Janet Jackson’s “Go Deep.” Heldens has also been releasing various tracks including “Gecko” and “Pikachu.” Some underdogs of future house include Amtrac, Kayliox, and Mr. Belt and Wezol.
A genre entirely built on piecing together parts that don’t fit, glitch-hop is what your kids will be listening to. Producers such as Tipper and Reso deserve recognition for their pioneering of the genre, as they are both widely accredited for insane sound design and broken-beat atmospheres. A few lesser-known glitch-hop artists include Beat Fatigue and the Zebbler Encanti Experience. The Zebbler Encanti Experience is truly an element of its own, and fits the description of glitch-hop down to a T.
Obviously Headhunterz is one of the prevailing names of the hardstyle genre, however, a few other talented hardstyle artists include Brennan Heartand LNY TNZ. The Dutch company Q-Dance, most commonly hosting stages at TomorrowLand or TomorrowWorld, and if you’re at any festival trying to dance, make sure you see any of these artists as it is impossible to not dance your feet off.
Deriving from New Jersey, jersey club is played around 135-140 bpm, and artists such as DJ Sliink and Cashmere Cat rule the jersey club scene. Both producers are predominantly known for their eclectic vibe such as DJ Sliink’s remix of Toni Romiti’s “Miss Me.” R3LL, Lido, and Trippy Turtle are also growing incredibly quickly in the jersey club scene and beyond.
Melbourne bounce has begun to rise in popularity in the U.S., originating from Melbourne, A.U. The Panda Funk leader Deorro is one of the leading producers as far as bounce music goes. Another popular name of the genre is TJR as his electro-style bounce is essential to any festival. Melbourne bounce also has a league of on-the-rise talent including Will Sparks, Joel Fletcher, and Timmy Trumpet, who have developed their own unique spins on the already creative movement.
Usually when people say the word moombahton, they most commonly think about Dillon Francis. Although Francis has several hard-hitting moombahton tracks such as his remixes of Madeon’s “Finale,” or Passion Pit’s “Carried Away,” Dave Nada of Nadastrom and Munchi are also considered leaders of the moombahton sound. Happy Colors is a rising force in the genre, as his upbeat moombah is some of the best there is.
The progressive house genre is by far one of the most produced genres out there. Progressive house consists of major EDM producers such as Avicii and Eric Prydz, with Swedish House Mafia being one of the first to bring the genre to the mainstream; even now Axwell /\ Ingrosso and Steve Angello perform separately and keep their progressive house sound alive. Although 3LAU is way bigger than he was a year or two ago, his quintessential dance floor tracks and continuous growth in the industry marks him as one of the biggest up-and-coming artists. Mau5trap Records-own Eekkoo, pronounced echo, has also consistently been putting out amazing progressive house music recently.
While the current techno scene may not be huge, the producers themselves are extremely talented. Artists such as Gesaffelstein, Booka Shade, Carl Cox, or Luciano take the stage, and you instantly enter another world. The deep, dark sounds of techno sound amazing, as well are lazers and techno. Never have I been anywhere else like Carl Cox at the Megastructure at Ultra Music Festival. Other artists including Green Velvet and Dubfire are lesser known, but are still considered veterans of the genre.
Although Armin van Buuren is generally associated with trance due to his A State of Trance and side project Gaia, currently Armin hasn’t been releasing the trance music of the generation as he’s been performing more main stages worldwide and headlining essentially any major EDM festival. Trance legends Paul van Dyk and Paul Oakenfold are forever considered leaders of the genre, as well as Future Sound of Egypt’s Aly & Fila. Up-and-coming trance artists include Anjunabeat’s Ilan Bluestone, Andrew Rayel, and Andrew Bayer.
While there are endless trap producers, there are several names that currently define the movement. Diplo, Flosstradamus, and RL Grime all produce classic trap hits. Twerking innovator Diplo creates dirty trap that is always perfect for girls to twerk on his stage to. RL Grime is currently in the works of releasing his first studio album VOID. Underdogs of the trap game include producers Troyboi and Snails.
If you haven’t heard tropical house sensations Kygo and Thomas Jack by now, we're not sure where were you've been all summer. Only surfacing in early 2014, Kygo replaced Avicii at TomorrowWorld and delivered an amazing performance, along with his sets at EDC Las Vegas and Electric Forest. Underdogs Matoma and SNBRN have recently released their own personal spins on the tropical house genre as well, and we can see a lot more coming from themm in the months to come.
Cover photo via We Are Big Beat
The amount of diversity within electronic dance music is undeniably one of its most appealing factors. Artists of all sub-genres continuously put out new music every day that is pushing the boundaries of EDM. There are some producers, however, that reign over each sub-genre individually, making them the current leaders of the genre. On the other hand, there are plenty of talented producers who aren’t included in the Beatport Top 100 that also deserve recognition for their hard work. EDM.com assembled a list of each major EDM sub-genre then hand-selected their leaders and underdogs of their respective genres.
Disclaimer: This list includes only a handful of sub-genres. Some artists are diverse and can be considered a producer under multiple genres, therefore, many artists fall under multiple categories in this list*
Currently the hottest trend of EDM in America, deep house is quickly taking over the the mainstream. This genre has been around for a while, and although some people tend to confuse it with future house, the producers falling under both genres contrast greatly. The London-based record label Hot Creations has served as a leader in the deep house community, with house pioneers Lee Foss and Jamie Jones utilizing their futuristic approach to pushing deep, tech beats. French duo Amine Edge & Dance are also considered the fountainheads of g-house, a hip-hop infused branch of deep house, and have been gaining worldwide notoriety for quite some time now. Another leader of the genre includes MK, who is most popularly known for his remix of "My Head Is A Jungle" by Wankelmut & Emma Louise. German producer Robin Schulz is also a huge influence in the deep house scene due to his uniquely deep approach to each remix he puts out. Some of America's underdogs of the deep house include California-based producers such as ZHU and Jauz, along with the dirtybird crew led by Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, Worthy, and more. The UK has a plethora of prominent deep house pioneers and up-and-comers, with groups like Gorgon City and Clean Bandit leading the way.
One of the most veteran genres of dance music is disco, deriving from the late 60s and 70s. With the recent burst of EDM, disco appears to slowly be making its way back into the electronic world with world-renowned musicians like Chromeo, Daft Punk, and Breakbot. Underdogs of the disco scene include producers and djs such as Moon Boots, The Magician, and Classixx. As we continue to watch the nu-disco sound blend with elements of French house, deep house, and electro, there's no telling where else this genre take its refurbished sounds.
Drum & Bass
The drum & bass genre is currently ruled by a handful of heavy names in the industry, including Delta Heavy, Rudimental, and Andy C. Each have proven their dedication to the genre through releasing amazing D&B tracks such as Delta Heavy’s “Get By,” or Rudimental’s “Powerless” featuring Becky Hill. A few up-and-coming producers in the DNB scene include Maduk, TR-Tactics, and Teksteppa.