6 Dying EDM Genres That Need Some Serious CPR
Many of us have come to understand that the term "EDM" represents the idea of a culture rather than a specific type of music, mainly because the music under the umbrella of EDM is diverse and expansive. We've got electronic funk, trap, tech house, progressive, trance, trap, drum & bass, future garage, and so many others.
Whether you know and love many of these, or you're notoriously only a bass head, or you're known to be keen on just techno, our tastes in music change over time. I can guarantee that many of you weren't listening to tech house when you were ten years old, and if you were, props for being cool before being cool was hip. You probably went through a hip-hop stage, or a rock stage, or an indie phase in your teen years. Regardless, genres come and go, our tastes progress with each change in sound, the masses move from trend to trend, and EDM genres are no exception.
But let's talk about the EDM genres that have seen better days. These genres may have been hype, or trendy, a year ago, but their sales numbers are massively down, and their playcounts are just not adding up anymore:
Electro was once a thriving life force at every festival. It filled the "Get Pumped" playlists of EDM fans everywhere, but it is definitely on its way out. You'll be hard pressed to find a tastemaker to include an electro track in their sets these days. While I still enjoy a good electro track in my gym playlists every now and again, its a sound of the past. If you take a gander at the trending electro house songs on SoundCloud right now, most of them were released several years ago because the abrasive basslines and synth work just aren't appreciated like they once were.
Dubstep was one of the first genres that I really fell in love with when EDM was on the come up. The heavy bass and grimy riffs - and don't forget that drop; it was pure magic... once upon a time. Today, dubstep still has a loyal following, as the true bassheads just won't quit - but many bass-heavy pioneers have taken their sounds elsewhere? Take a look at Skrillex for example. He once was the king of dubstep, and today, we rarely see him releasing anything that even closely resembles to it. As a mega producer, he's gotta stay ahead of the game, and dubstep just isn't a player anymore.
3) Tropical House
Tropical house is definitely out. Bloggers and tastemakers often chuckle when they still get a tropical house track sent to their inbox and many even question its validity as a real genre. It came out of nowhere and was dubbed "tropical" by the artists creating it. If someone gives it a name, does that mean its a legitimate genre? As if. I mean, the people making this music the most aren't even from the tropics, so it's all very confusing. It just wasn't meant to be. Sorry, not sorry. Producer Kygo was unofficially dubbed 'Papa Trop', merely because he was one of the first producers to show tropical house to the masses, alongside artists like Thomas Jack and such. But there is only so much that can be done with pitch bend and pineapples, and listeners just aren't having it anymore. From 2014-2015, RIP Tropical House.
4) Progressive House
Prog house was once such a key sound across the EDM market. The rise of artists like Tiesto, Hardwell, and more played an integral part of the festival circuit, but it is nowhere near as big as it was five years back. It's also safe to say that the progressive house label is far from what it was used to be, back in the late 90's early 2000's, as it has since found its way into the trancier arenas of mainstream sound. As a culture, we've moved on to bring other types of house music into the forefront, especially deep house and tech house, but our tastes are changing, and melodic chords just aren't doing it for us the way they used to.
Following in the footsteps of prog house, trance has seen a massive decline, and although trance heads are still loyal and committed, there just aren't any plans on it going anywhere anytime soon. So while it isn't pulling in nearly as much cash flow in sales as it was several years back, I don't think trance is a genre that will go out of style for a few more years, if at all. That being said, I would probably only fork out cash for a trance show if it was one of big trance DJs: ATB, Dash Berlin, Above & Beyond, etc. You just won't catch many listeners saying, "Hey did you hear that new trance song?" anymore.
Moombahton was, and forever will be, one of the grooviest genres out there. Although it had only a brief stint in the history of dance music, the midtempo rhythms and Latino-influences generated a unique niche in dance culture, and we are forever thankful for the work that Nadastrom, Dillon Francis, Munchi, and Heartbreak created to make it happen. It's sad to say that the genre lost it's momentum as trap began to rise, adopting it's 100-110bpm style in the form of "twerk," but today you'll be priviledged to hear but a single moombahton tune at a festival or in a headlining artist's set.
These genres all hold a special place in my heart, and in my playlists. They've played an important role in getting electronic dance music to where it is today, and you can still hear elements of these genres in the popular music that is being released. They will continue to live on in different ways, but the fact still remains that there isn't a place for them in our modern day scene. As with anything cultural, they move in cycles, so who knows what trends will pick back up in the coming years.