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Predictions For EDM In 2014

It’s 2014 and we’re likely to see a few big changes and shifts in the world of EDM this year. I asked you guys on Facebook what your predictions are for EDM in 2014 and saw a huge amount of agreement between many of you on a range of topics, which I will explain in this post as each point arises.

In this post I’m going to focus on which genres are likely to grow, which will stagnate and fade out, styles that are creeping into new genres and who to watch out for.

First let’s begin with the most exciting development of all (in my humble opinion – I’m sure many of you reading this might agree with me):

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Dat neuro sound

That flavor of bass design which became big around the year 1999/2000 with Ed Rush and Optical pioneering the ‘tech-step’ style of drum and bass is what we refer to as neuro bass, and in the last couple of years it has made an insane resurgence within drum and bass and more recently in glitch hop, with the neurohop sub genre taking off in 2013.

My predictions for the neuro sound in 2014:

The only way is up! We’ve already seen a couple of instances of the neuro flavor finding its way into other genres like dubstep (thanks Frequent and Koan Sound!) and my ‘neuro-damus’ prediction is that it’s going to creep into other genres (hello neuro-trap, neuro-house and neuro-breaks! Who’s gonna get there first?). Kursa recently sent me a couple of neuro style UK garage tunes that he was working on and the shit’s bonkers. With the amount of passionate producers working hard to perfect their neuro sound design, we can expect big things from this sound in 2014.

There are a number of artists coming out with extremely well engineered tracks that are also of a high musicality. Skope is the first producer who comes to mind, putting out one quality release after another. I can’t wait for his Casino EP to drop with Caliber Music!

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Neuro artists to watch out for: Disprove, Skope, Audeka, Joe Ford, Evoke, Frequent, Kursa, Billain.

 

Dubstep

Some people are predicting that dubstep will take a back seat in 2014. Not over here! I don’t see dubstep going away at all this year. It has grown huge since it first came out around 2004/2005 and the amount of varieties of the genre are a sign that it is now diversified and here for the long haul. The rapid growth that dubstep experience in the past is slowing down in my opinion, but the number of people who are so insanely passionate about it, along with its diverse range of styles are indications that it will not fade away any time soon.

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There are rumors of new material from Skrillex, who is also confirmed for a tour in 2014 and some are saying he will breathe some new life into dubstep. I think those people are the ones who don’t actually listen to dubstep, because with artists like the ones below, the genre is being treated to some excellent innovation and quality. Skrillex’s brostep / in-your-face style will likely die out as another passing fad, while these more imaginative artists will continue to take the genre further ahead. 

Acts to watch out for: Fractal, Au5, Seven Lions, Xilent (debut album coming out in 2014 – 15 tracks on OWSLA???)

 

Glitch Hop

The argument for glitch hop: With more and more people jumping on the glitch hop bandwagon on a daily basis, it looks like glitch hop is going to continue to grow in 2014. Why do I think this? Look at the growth of labels like Adapted – they are able to release up to 3 EPs a week and the quality of their releases has been improving too (!). This is testimony to the fact that they are getting tons more demos from glitch hop producers. The neurohop flavor has caught on big time in 2013 and has helped push the envelope of what’s possible with glitch hop too.

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The argument against glitch hop: What is holding glitch hop back is that there seems to be a very formulaic approach to songwriting and although there are some very innovative tunes out there, there are also a ton of extremely clichéd tunes getting released that are doing nothing positive for the genre. If you’re in glitch hop as a producer, you need to push things forward and find space to make a new sound in my opinion.

Who to watch out for: Everybody. Skope, Disprove, Ordure, Evoke (neurohop), JIKES (futuristic glitch hop/dubstep), Haywyre, Cheshire Music, Love And Light, Kill Paris

 

The Rise Of Highly Musical, Highly Melodic EDM

One criticism that EDM often gets is that it lacks the musicality of other forms of music. Producers focus too much on sound design and not enough on songwriting. I think there is some truth in this, and in 2013 we saw a passionately supported rise in the numbers of producers coming out with an all-new, highly musical styles of EDM, often of the more melancholy, less dance floor orientated variety.

haywyre on sofaThis is happening across a range of genres including dubstep and glitch hop, but one of the key areas is the ‘future garage’/’chillstep’ style. Think of music by Asa, Temporal and other great music on labels like Bokeh Music.

In 2014, this style looks like it will grow tremendously, because there seems to be a strong appetite for it and with the huge numbers of producers these days, many of them have the music theory education to be able to write this style of music.

Who to watch out for: Haywyre, Asa, Koan Sound, Etherwood

 

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Predictions For EDM In 2014

 

The Fusion of EDM Genres On The Rise!

If you want to stand out from the norm as a producer, one of the best ways to do it is to focus on blending different genres together. Think of Candyland – the US duo blew up in 2013 and a big part of this is due to their completely out-of-the-box approach to their remixes, which sound like no one else’s.

Another example of wild success from blending genres together can be seen with the mighty Flume, who has absolutely exploded onto the scene with a following of almost 500,000 on SoundCloud since he started only 2 years ago! Flume blends a lot of trap style elements with highly melodic, sometimes melancholy nondescript styles of music.

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Other examples are Xilent, Fractal and Au5, who are active in the dubstep genre, but who are also very skilled at fusing it with electro elements, glitch hop styles and house music. Their signature sound can be heard in everything they do, but they operate across a range of tempos and genres, appealing to a wider audience and breaking down the barriers between different genres of EDM. These guys are going places in 2014 and if you’re a producer, take a leaf out of their books and start blending genres together.

Who to keep an eye on: Culprate, Candyland, Flume, Xilent, Fractal, Au5, Koan Sound

 

Drum And Bass

A lot of people are predicting that 2014 will be the year of drum and bass more than the year of any other genre. With acts like Neonlight, Neosignal putting out extremely innovative tracks time after time, and the prodigé Joe Ford recently getting signed by DJ Friction’s Shogun Audio, the scene is looking exciting.

etherwoodWithin D’n’B, I predict that we will see a growth in the number of producers coming out with less dance floor orientated, but more melodic tracks, such as the incredible Etherwood with his more melodic styles. The appetite for these heartfelt beats and beautiful melodies has been growing across other genres of EDM with artists like ASA doing wonderful things (I’ll get onto that topic in a second).

One thing that I was sad to see fade out in 2013 was the ‘ultrafunk’ style of D’n’B (the term was coined by Xilent for his uplifting, powerful and futuristic style of drum and bass which was also pioneered by Yanntek, James Marvel and the mighty Ammunition Recordings). For me, this was the most exciting music ever made in EDM (quite a bold thing to say I know), but with it being so difficult to write and engineer this amazing style, and with its creator Xilent focusing more on dubstep, the style faded out quite quickly and never caught on, although those who are in the know about it are wild about it.

I could see a new wave of D’n’B cropping up, where elements of trap, hardstyle and house creep in. There will always be a high demand among younger generations for high energy music, and drum and bass brings more energy to the dancefloor than almost all other genres, while still being able to retain its musicality and appeal to the ear (unlike say happy hardcore…)

Who to watch out for: Joe Ford, EmperorDNB, Neosignal, Myselor

 

Trap

Many people are saying that trap will fade out as a passing fad of 2013. Personally, I don’t agree. I think that elements of trap will continue to creep into other genres like house, drum and bass and so on. I also think that trap is going to diversify and we are going to witness some extremely innovative variations of the genre. Think about artists like Mr. Carmack. Djemba Djemba and Flume, who are doing crazy new things with trap.

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I think that the main stream, obvious style of trap is likely to stagnate and take a back seat because many people hate it,

One man who is on the rise at lightning speeds is DJ Snake, who is signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent label. At just 25 years old, DJ Snake has been seeing wild popularity and success recently, and although much of his music is house / 4-on-the-floor orientated, he does a lot of trap music – check out his track called Bird Machine – total banger.

Acts to watch out for: Mr. Carmack, Flume, Djemba Djemba, DJ Snake

 

House/Big Room/Electro House

Having amassed a huge and mainstream following over the last couple of decades, with a ton of sub genres, house is never going to fade out, especially not in 2014.

Deadmau5 is being tooted to dominate in 2014. His new DJ sets are said to be insane, while his latest tracks are very high quality.

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Many people are tooting hardstyle as becoming more prominent in 2014. It is a tough genre to produce and is gaining an appreciation across the world recently. It is already very popular in Australia. There are two main types: the trance-like house type and the hard hitting hard style.

Who to watch out for: Headhunterz, The Prophet, Frontliner, Zatox, Boaz Van De Beatz, DJ Snake (‘Bird Machine’)

 

EDM As A Whole

A recent post on Refinery29.com mentions that Spotify predicts that EDM will die down somewhat, being replaced with neo-rap, R&B and a welcome return of the singer/songwriter genre. Personally I don’t agree. Do you really think EDM is going anywhere? I don’t see people throwing away their computers and soft synths and picking up banjos and acoustic guitars any time soon, sorry Spotify.

What Will YOU Do In 2014?

As a producer what are you gonna bring to the table in 2014? Rather than jump on one of the many bandwagons that are out there, be brave and try to create something new. That is how you get noticed. You need to learn all the tricks of your main genres (working with reference tracks helps), then look for ways to make it sound different to anything else thats been done so far… Make 2014 your best year yet and push the boundaries of your imagination as a songwriter!

Leave A Comment Below!

What are your thoughts about EDM in 2014? Leave a comment below and let us all know! I read all the comments and get back to as many as I can.

 

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3 replies
  1. Versio says:

    I’ve started blending Nu Disco and Melbourne Bounce into my own little unique style. I definitely think genre blending will be bigger in 2014 as it is a fun way to break the mold

  2. Shannon McGill says:

    missed imo on no mention of the most melodic/musical, prolific and totally inimitable Savant. Good mention of quite a few relevant artists though incl Evoke! (y)

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