2013 & Beyond… What Styles of Music Will Get Big in the Future?
Ok, so, I thought I’d give my take on this subject, having seen the progression in electronic music firsthand for well over a decade. I’ve seen spikes and lulls in popularity of different genres and subgenres, and I’ve seen the rave scene transcend into different moods throughout the years, and I would like to offer my perspective on where electronic music might go in the next few years…
The Great Dubstep Crash
First thing’s first; we’re going to be living in a post-dubstep era. What that means specifically is that dubstep is already influencing a number of producers who would definitely NOT consider themselves dubstep artists, as the style is (and will be) having a major influence on everything around it.
Now, I’ll point out that I’m living in the West Coast of the United States, and the dubstep era for folks here might be taking place a bit later than it did in England, where it originated. There’s a lot that can come out of that knowledge, though – I remember hearing, a few years ago, that London was “completely saturated” with dubstep, and a lot of people were getting tired of it… So, what’s happening here in the states? Well, a lot of people have been getting tired of it, as well!
What’s next? The tree that the seeds of dubstep are helping to grow as we speak! I like to think of it as sort of a parallel to the rave scene twenty years ago, when house music begat everything post-house… (now, obviously, I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re in a post-house world, as house is still alive and well, and I explain why in this article, here…) but the point is, even though dubstep might not have quite the influence that house music had, back in the day, it is comparable. In terms of U.S. popularity, it’s definitely a new wave of electronic music and culture. Along with that come producers who weren’t previously involved in electronic music.
The point is, after the rubble and dust that’s come out of the meteorite explosion of dubstep comes a lot of interesting post-dubstep music. It will have a little bit of dubstep DNA, but perhaps different. There has been a style emerging that some folks call “100 BPM dubstep,” and others call it “neuro,” and still others insist it’s a kind of glitch hop. Whatever the fuck it’s called, it sounds a LITTLE bit like dubstep, but goes in its own direction, and its just one manifestation of what I’m talking about with the post-dubstep aftermath…
Another manifestation is – actually, it’s downright wrong to say this next style of music is entirely influenced by dubstep… I’m talking about trap, and it’s been going strong for years in hip hop and rap circles, but recently, it’s started to become infused with electronic music… Or, perhaps, electronic music is becoming infused with trap? Well, whatever the reason behind it, it makes for some interesting fucking music, that’s for sure.. Here’s one by Flosstradamus…
Not to be simplistic, but having said all that I just said about dubstep and post-dubstep, one other good tip for spotting a future trend might be to look to what England is doing, post-dubstep. Theirs has always been a much friendlier attitude towards electronic music on a mainstream level. Things here in the States are getting closer to that point, though, and more “mainstream-ish” or commercial incantations of what we call “edm” might be coming on…
To be fair, it’s been happening for awhile in rnb. I’ve noticed the juno synth and old acid house scales being employed in mainstream US rnb in the last year or two…. (And yes, I did use the phrase ‘acid house scale,’ because when you use midi long enough and try your hand at pitching up notes in that artificial computerized way that acid house producers did and a lot of folks still do, you sometimes notice a slightly-off version of the Western scales we’re used to) As well, look at how Diplo seems to have had his hands in everything dance-worthy as of late.
So I predict a lot more mainstream uses of electronic music.
Juke will get bigger. A style of Chicago dance music that developed, for years, out of ghetto house music; juke is catchy, fun, and FAST. I predict that, as we move out of recession, and the bulls go on parade again, and folks are getting their jobs back, a sense of optimism will manifest itself in music. Do you remember how music seemed to REALLY change a lot, a couple years after the year 2000? I think September 11th had a lot to do with it… Let me explain…
In the late 90s, music was getting faster and faster and faster, there was a healthy middle class, Clinton was in office, and then we got Bush, 9/11 happened, and music suddenly started slowing way down as things seemed to go in a much different direction. I could also liken my sentiments about juke and fast music to what I previously said about dubstep…. You can’t REALLY dance to dubstep. Come on. Yea, you can sway, or whatever, but people love to dance. Juke is gaining momentum overseas with artists such as Addison Groove, and if you look at history, you’ll see what happens to American music when it goes to Britain… it gets a makeover, takes on certain British characteristics (sometimes major, sometimes subtle) but often times, it comes back to the US, like a kid back from a foreign exchange program – with excitement in their eyes and a new appreciation for life, having experienced culture shock, firsthand.
…And that footwork dancing! You really have to see it, because I can’t rant and rave enough about how fucking cool it is. I heard somebody describe it as ‘a kind of breakdancing,’ but I think it is really it’s own thing. Though it’s not a brand-new thing in Chicago, since it’s been underground for so long it’s had a chance to bake and develop organically, fully cooked, and ready for the masses…
Here’s Addison Groove…
ALSO—Jungle-Juke Hybrid Sounds
A revolution has been brewing, and it goes by the name of ‘footwork jungle,’ or ‘juke / jungle,’ or something ‘jungle / juke,’ (you get the idea..) It’s a VERY exciting new sound, and I predict it’s going to get a whole lot BIGGER in the months to come!
There’s so much room to explore, musically, in the cross section of these two fast rhythmic styles of dance music. The territory is still being charted AS WE SPEAK, and to me, as a producer (and long-tome jungle fan) this excites the hell out of me. Juke has been steadily growing on me this last year, and I’ve been lazily hoping jungle got off it’s ass and did something new and different (instead of rehashing itself over and over, which is only partially fair, to be honest).. I recommend you check it out! Here’s a tune I found, but there are more, and I am going to try to post as much good jungle/juke as I can in the coming months.
Manni Dee & Deft – Jungle Jook
New Orleans Bounce
New Orleans bounce music is also something to keep an eye on. It’s also quite fast. Shockingly abrasive, drawing influence (as some genres do) from primarily just a couple of different beat samples… Ok, well, maybe that’s not doing it justice, because you can work around sampling “Triggerman beat,” (from “Drag Rap” by the Showboys) or the beat from “Rock the Beat” by Derek B, or, “Brown Beat” by Cameron Paul – but those three are, by far, the most popular. (I can’t help but be reminded of jungle and it’s heavy influence from the Amen Loop, and how much power just one single beat – or just a few beats – can have…)
This one’s by Diplo, and features Nicky Da B, and it’s called, “Express Yourself” and it is definitely in the vein of the New Orleans Bounce music… It’s fucking exciting, in my opinion. A departure from some of the other bounce tunes out there, of which there are many, but this one is by far my favorite:
Glitch Hop Getting Bigger
I also think glitch hop, with it’s lazer-funk zeal and extreme potential for dancing, is going to come out of the closet, as far as mainstream appeal. To some extent, this is already happening, though, so I don’t mean to downplay it; but what I’m talking about is a full-scale invasion of funky and sometimes hardcore and fuzzy grooves.
Here’s one by iONik…
So what about rock? Well, I’ll level with you – I lost interest in rock years ago, with one of the only exceptions being bands like the White Stripes, and I honestly couldn’t give a damn what rock is going to be up to in the next couple years, so I’m going to move on to rap. Yep. I’m a douche. Until rock gets more interesting, I’m not going to bother keeping track of it.
So what about rap? Well, in my opinion, I would liken the over-the-top glamour-era of mainstream gangsta rap to the over-the-top glamour era of hair metal…and look what happened to hair metal…
A lot of folks say grunge killed hair metal, and that might be true, but really, I think that shit was about to crash and burn, anyway. Not that grunge coming in wasn’t a very good thing, however. Maybe we’ll see a rise of what people now call “underground rap,” or maybe it’ll be something called, “cloud rap.”
A New Generation of Hip Hop
Yes, cloud rap. Airy textures, breezy atmospherics, and lyricists rapping in the clouds… It’s a nice image.
Some rappers who are helping to bring the cloud-rap style into popularity are Main Attrakionz, Lil B, Inkrowd, G-Side, and A$AP ROCKY. I was thrilled when I heard A$AP’s chopped-n-screwed-influenced tune, rhyming about how ‘everything is purple.’ It probably is not considered cloud rap at all, but it’s still airy, breezy, slowed way down, and, in the case of A$AP, sounds a bit dark. A ‘dark chill,’ if you will, and no, I’m not talking about witch-house, though witch-house seems to have been gaining a little bit of steam, with it’s lofi and “spooky” aesthetic. Personally I’ll be happy if all this witch and werewolf and vampire nonsense goes away soon, but I won’t say it isn’t popular, at least for the moment, in some circles…
Another interesting bit of music to peep is this: Space Age Hustle released a mixtape of cloud rap, and you can grab ithere. It’s worth a listen..
Aside from cloud rap (which is quite fun and interesting) the point I was trying to make, though, as far as rap music goes, is that there will probably still be gangsta rap for at least the next few years, but perhaps there will be more rap that is a bit less flamboyantly-gangsta, as in, rap styles that stray from the Gilded Age imagery of super-rich MCs with bags of money and naked women standing around and golden-everything. For a lot of folks, MONEY IS A THANG, and it’s a little frustrating, sometimes, to see someone showing off how easy their life is, especially if you have it a bit harder than they do… If you haven’t noticed, there’s been a 99% Movement going on for a little while, and even if you’re not actively and personally Occupying Wall Street, you might agree there’s a disturbing disparity between rich and poor, and showing off how rich you are and how poor everyone else is might not look quite as fucking hip as it did a few years ago… Just saying…
So, there it is; my prediction for the near-future of music. Hope you enjoyed it, and if you did, I would love it if you’d click the ‘Follow’ button up near the top on the right side of the screen. Feel free to leave any comments you have, as well. I’d love to open up the comments section for anyone else’s predictions on what the future of music holds! : )