2018 is almost over, believe it or not, so we feel confident making our calls for the Top-3 most popular and influential styles of EDM for the year. These show no signs of slowing down, so you can expect to see these music styles making waves well into summer of next year, too. Read on to learn which have become the biggest trends over the last 10 months.
Experimental Dance Music
2018 has seen the rise of what’s been called “experimental dance music,” a tribal and exotic twist on the old house-music formula. Its figurehead has emerged in the person of Lotic, originally from Austin, Texas but living and performing now in Berlin.
Experimental dance music by Lotic and others fuses the new percussion sounds and rhythm styles with social awareness and a cosmopolitan, international joie de vivre.
Mixmag’s Whitney Wei describes Lotic’s new, debut record as “living up to its title, ‘Power.'” She goes on to say, “it sees Lotic draw from the acerbic and angular sound palette familiar from previous releases, but in bringing their own voice to the mix for the first time, Lotic has produced a sparkling and fundamentally hopeful debut.”
Very closely linked to the experimental dance music rise is this year’s enthusiasm for afrobeat.
Izotope writes of the new trend: “Like the Gqom genre aesthetic, Afrobeat has been around for a while. A blend of hip-hop, funky house, and local African music from London (via Africa diaspora), Ghana, and Nigeria, Afrobeat had originally been fairly limited to parts of the African continent and the UK, but it’s catching fire internationally. British-Ghanian artist Mista Silva’s ‘Murda’ is a great example of the Afrobeats vibe, which sounds almost like a more rhythmically and sonically diverse musical cousin of Reggaeton.”
A Return to Melodies
Ambient came into its own sometime around 2000-2005, depending on whom you ask. Minimal, formless and often indescribable, ambient music was art for art’s sake.
It didn’t exactly take off. What it did do in spades, though, was to help dubstep and other bass-based, beat-heavy styles to crush melodic songwriting under the boot heel of popularity. People stopped writing catchy surface hooks and melody lines. Vocals all but died.
But 2018 has seen a throng of artists bringing back the melodies. These include Skee Mask, DJ Koze, Tale of Us, and Jamie Principle and Frankie Knuckles. A quick Web search of “artists like” any of these will award interested parties with plenty more where that came from, too.
That’s it for this week’s MondoDIY. Be sure not to miss last week’s post on the greatest hip-hop beats of all time, and how you can make beats like them!