Are dance music genres now essentially "set"?

Music Discussion | Mar 15, 2017

  1. random danish person likes this.

    vespa King of Lake Shore Boulevard

    vespa

    vespa King of Lake Shore Boulevard

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    I was bemoaning the increasingly self-referential nature of most dance music with a friend recently, and he brought up the very good point that modern dance music (using 80s house/techno/electro as the baseline) is now 30 years old; by the time rock, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, etc had reached that age, the "formats" of the genres were effectively solidified, with any further trends essentially being either:
    • retro retreads (most 4/4 dance music now)
    • increasingly minor variations ("It's REALLY minimal techno!")
    • fusions of already-established genres (disco house, dub techno, Brazilian D+B, etc)

    The internet has only increased the pace of this maturation and its cycles. In its relatively short history, D+B in particular has already churned through a hardcore revival, a ragga revival, and ripped influences from almost any other musical genre you can name (including other dance music genres).

    So...is this more or less it? Do you think we've basically seen all of the significant innovations that we're going to see within dance music? The last legitimately new genre that I can think of is dubstep, which is now over a decade old (and even that is a hybrid genre with a fairly clear "genealogy" within dance music). Are we now cursed to forever look backwards?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
    random danish person likes this.
  2. Roachie Official DOA Emberist #3

    Roachie

    Roachie Official DOA Emberist #3

    6,119 posts
    Since Mar 10, 2008
    'Bass Music'

    /thread
  3. Chann3l and freeradical8 like this.

    DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

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    Since Oct 21, 2014
    Interesting thought, but I hope not. It definitely goes in circles, and even music technology likes to sell rather "safe" products.

    I hope we however keep seing new innovators.

    I still think there is quite some undefinable bits of good quality electronic music. And what if the new bits of music is just a fusion or different take on already existing bits? Which implications would that have?
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  4. 2turntables and Roachie like this.

    mehta

    mehta

    mehta

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    Since Sep 20, 2007
    There are labels like hessle audio pushing a less genre-defined sound. But I agree that in general things have become a bit formulaic.
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  5. Barry, Mania, Salem.77 and 3 others like this.

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

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    I think technology defines genres first .. So recorded music meant you could suddenly have a singer at the same volume as a brass band: totally new music follows... Synths: Techno .. Samplers: D&B...

    Call them STRONG genres .. Call things like Half-time D&B or Techstep WEAK genres, which are more like fashion trends, and don't really represent anything new .. Anything interesting you can do is probably done in the first 5-10 years of a new technology coming along.
    Barry, Mania, Salem.77 and 3 others like this.
  6. DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

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    What about "WEAK" technology then? Such as variations of synths, samplers effects and interfaces?
  7. Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

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    I think Weak advances have more of a social effect on music – so today it's much easier for kids to have a working knowledge of Ableton, Photoshop, etc. and get results as good as (or better than) people who'd invested in studios 10 years ago.

    There's this trend for lo-fi, anime-inspired Hiphop on Youtube, that gets millions of views .. and that's a shift .. But musically it's the same stuff we had in the 90s, because it's not enabling anything new.
  8. random danish person likes this.

    index0

    index0

    index0

    3,503 posts
    Since Mar 8, 2006
    Our cultural and social development are intertwined and there is still plenty of work to do so no, but whether that be dance music as we currnetly know it?

    We are on the verge of AI and cybernetics :nana:

    random danish person likes this.
  9. mundos In forest.

    mundos

    mundos In forest.

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    An interesting trend right now is live sounding 'one take' under produced electronic music. It's quite refreshing after years of increasing over production.
  10. Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

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    The thing with AI is the mind is more the product of experience than processing power..

    So when you get feral children, raised by dogs or monkeys, they simply behave like dogs or monkeys – because that's what their neural networks have been trained to do .. We've got the same thing in the hedge fund world: it might be an expensive waste of energy to try and make computers think and behave like us.

    I think what AI could do is re-imagine music .. You could have better versions of Melodyne DNA.
  11. mundos likes this.

    DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

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    It certainly is. In some way it is "just" going back in time with rawer forms of productions, but I certainly see the potential for interesting live acts coming out of that too.
    mundos likes this.
  12. Alert1 likes this.

    index0

    index0

    index0

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    Who knows, as long as they don't plug it in to skynet
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  13. index0 likes this.

    DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

    516 posts
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    Cortana already knows when I wake up and for how long I boil my pasta :o
    index0 likes this.
  14. Alert1 likes this.

    2332s

    2332s

    2332s

    420 posts
    Since Dec 23, 2010
    Why don't you check any encyclopedia about the history of dance music?
    Different styles didn't last too much in the past - I'm talking about all the mazurkas, baroque dances, waltzes, latino dances, horos, swing and who knows what... They are still here, but aren't exactly popular.
    In 20 years DNB may be as dead as these along with the dubstep and trance...
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    Mindfox cyberfunk 2077

    Mindfox

    Mindfox cyberfunk 2077

    758 posts
    Since Jul 2, 2011
    A genre is a set category pretty much by definition, but the music actually being produced is in flux, just as it's always been.
    There is the motion to label any new points of intersection between the genres, and voilá, bass music, juke, footwork etc.
    Actually my answer to the recently posed question of what the most mainstream form of dnb looks like would be stuff along those lines.
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  16. Rogue Trooper and Ray Dalio like this.

    Claaart Kent Incognito

    Claaart Kent

    Claaart Kent Incognito

    798 posts
    Since Jan 31, 2009
    This was actually the first thing I thought of when I read the OP. Quite the contrary, I think there's really interesting stuff being produced there. It's so far removed from conventional club culture, obviously made by kids who grew up with EDM in the pop charts and then discovered second generation Dilla and Daft Punk clones on Soundcloud. They've created this little meta universe of 80s anime glitch art soundtracked by soft focus trap music and edits of 80s j-pop tunes ripped off youtube. It's an entirely new perspective, which regular dance music hasn't had for a long time.
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  17. index0, Alert1, Kaex and 1 other person like this.

    sato

    sato

    sato

    909 posts
    Since Sep 1, 2008
    I would certainly agree. The explosion in new genres that came with each wave of new technology (electric guitars -> distortions -> multitrack recording -> synths -> groove boxes -> samplers)

    It will be interesting to see what comes next.

    It could be that mind control technology (controlling things with thoughts) opens up a whole new range of creative possibilities. I dare say some people will use it to make dance music.

    I'm holding out for the someone to start writing waltzes for nightclubs.
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  18. Claaart Kent likes this.

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

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    Datfootdive .. chopping up J-Pop and anime (Evangelion) – the media this generation's been saturated with growing up online – and by far, a million times more interesting and relevant to the age the stuff bobbing on the surface.

    I think this generation's way more interesting than the 00s generation .. At the same time, when you hear the original tracks, and see the original video content, these guys aren't musicians so much as content providers .. There's nothing new musically .. A lot that's new culturally.

    datfootdive - Don't Be.
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  19. mundos In forest.

    mundos

    mundos In forest.

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    Since Aug 31, 2006
    Yeah there's a few, golden teacher for example.
  20. Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

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    I've always thought the limitation for mind control would be that we're quite vague, myopic thinkers .. When we listen to music, we only hear a small part of it, and the attention switches around (same with viewing pictures).

    So I'm not sure symphonies would just flow out of us, so much as crude one-finger basslines.. You could use the mind to control a filter cut-off, but then that's what your fingers do anyway with a control surface.
  21. Alert1, freeradical8 and vespa like this.

    mehta

    mehta

    mehta

    3,293 posts
    Since Sep 20, 2007
    I feel like all of the one-take, underproduced tracks are more a return to the past than a forward movement. And the "scene" had already moved past this sort of vibe - having a raw sound has always been a thread in dance music, and music in general, but producers like florian kupfer who helped define the "modern lofi sound" now despise all the copycats and the whole concept of "lofi" ... the problem these days is that as soon as a new sound is defined, loads of weak imitations appear. Maybe that has always been the case though.
    Alert1, freeradical8 and vespa like this.
  22. vespa King of Lake Shore Boulevard

    vespa

    vespa King of Lake Shore Boulevard

    6,177 posts
    Since Jan 30, 2002
    Is there? What's "new culturally" in that video?

    (Legitimately asking, not having a go)
  23. random danish person fka wood

    random danish person

    random danish person fka wood

    7,549 posts
    Since Jul 10, 2006
    Funny thing, because I like the point Ray and Clark are making- but I would specifically call that a product of sampling becomming digital.
    It's just that sampling can be done from other positions than from a studio and an expensive sampler. That means you can take it less seriously - and brings something forth that they can be creative with.

    It has less to do with say Tim and Eric video editing and more to do with gear, although the aesthetic could be said to relate adult swim and that whole scene.

    Goes for Microwave (the thing with the one-takes), vapourwave (the ironic windows 95 bitmap + 80s tune +trap/dubstep elements) and the newer more ironic american post jungle from like Machine Drum an such.
  24. Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    3,669 posts
    Since Aug 1, 2016
    The culture isn't in the video ... The culture is that some of this stuff's getting more exposure than Lady Gaga ... Yet it's completely outside any music scene.

    Where people listened to records, chopped them up on MPCs, and released them on vinyl or played them on pirate radio in the 90s .. today's youth are doing this via Youtube, Ableton, Adobe Premier, Bandcamp, Reddit .. And what's interesting is how old media is oblivious to how music's being made and distributed today, and they're oblivious to old media, music scenes, labels, etc.


    Get some rest - lofi hiphop mix pt.1
  25. sato

    sato

    sato

    909 posts
    Since Sep 1, 2008
    I will wake up some mornings with a fully formed song in my head. Melodies, drums, bass, edits. Everything.

    The current limitations on this are self-imposed. I'm only imagining music I know. That I can wake up, sit down in the studio and try to get in to the sequencer (usually unsuccessfully). So, currently no new genres.

    The advances in technology open up new sonic possibilities which has led to the flood of creativity.

    Mind control / thought reading would only be a way to simplify the composing process but it may be sufficient to allow other things to trigger new ways of thinking about music by not coming with the baggage of a guitar or a keyboard and the expectation of the music you can create with those.

    Who knows.
  26. vespa King of Lake Shore Boulevard

    vespa

    vespa King of Lake Shore Boulevard

    6,177 posts
    Since Jan 30, 2002
    So the fact that the music is "distributed" differently represents a sea change in culture? I'm not sure I agree; it seems more just like the potential of the internet being maximized - content is immediately archived and available to everyone. However, this applies as much to the biggest major label pop star as it does to the bedroom producer turning out derivative "chill-hop" or whatever; there's not really any innovation on the part of the artist.
  27. Sidius AKA Tryptich

    Sidius

    Sidius AKA Tryptich

    13,824 posts
    Since Jun 1, 2003
    I think the new trend is artists who defy genres.

    They've always been around with peeps like Prodigy, Chemical brothers etc but in the last few years I've experienced more and more artists who perform sets of their own sound and it doesn't really fit into any particular genre. Obviously everyone takes influence from established scenes and sounds, but several times now I've been at festivals and heard someone play a set that I've not really been able to quantify as belonging to any specific genre. It's great.

    Obviously this doesn't work once you're writing around 170, that's just always going to be DNB, I'm talking about music ranging between 90 & 140.
  28. Sidius likes this.

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

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    I basically quit music when I heard, in a dream, the best song I'd certainly ever come up with, and maybe even the best I'd heard .. It reminded me a tiny bit of Earth, Wind and Fire .. I saw it being performed on stage .. And couldn't rush to record it .. I got the riff down on guitar, but as soon as it faded, the riff made no sense any more.

    I don't know whether it was actually that good, or my brain, in that state, was creating the experience of hearing great music .. But I do know most of us draw better when we plot it out – use guidelines, shapes, ratios – rather than just go freehand .. And I'd think direct brain interfacing would be the ultimate freehand – and maybe show us how vague and unstructured our real thoughts are.
    Sidius likes this.
  29. Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

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    The culture is the lifestyle that exists around music .. And I think with mainstream pop and even underground dance, the culture isn't really today's culture .. and that's why music sales are so low – and Ed Sheeran's in 18 out of 20 top chart positions.

    This stuff's coming from a place of homework, memes, Youtube binges .. It's the invisible generation – which is the younger generation (and a lot of the older generation too).

    It's also interesting that these guys don't even claim to be musicians .. They're doing the equivalent of a Photoshop thread .. They're just kids who can make things with the software every kid's got .. It's different .. And it's also very throwaway .. There's a sea of this stuff just being made and listened to – no 'hits', no big albums, artists are little more than a poster on a forum.
  30. Escalations likes this.

    00Monarc I make neurofunk Garbage.

    00Monarc

    00Monarc I make neurofunk Garbage.

    448 posts
    Since Jun 30, 2015
    I personally think there are more genres to be found but everyone is so caught up in pooping out a formula for likes that it's a task left up only to those who care about innovation.

    I care about innovation, but I don't think I'm good enough at production as a whole yet to be able to come up with something unique that truly is defined by itself.

    If we stepped away from tried and true methods of dance music production, I bet new genres would start emerging.
    Escalations likes this.
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