The term ‘Post-EDM’ is being thrown around a lot these days and it has a certain backstory attached to it. We take a look at the origins of the new defining genre!
Back in 2014, A-Trak, one of the most prominent and original names in the Electronic Dance Music industry, was making his way through Hollywood and not surprisingly enough, every other billboard he passed on the driveway had a picture of an A-list DJ and that led to a famous Facebook rant by the producer. The Canadian producer said, “Sometimes an initial wave of flashy music can knock down the doors and more interesting music can come after.” He also wrote, “After that initial gateway drug of hands-in-the-air anthems, I’m seeing more and more kids getting interested in good, nuanced, forward thinking music.“ But what he ended the rant with, was what made questions pop up, “Are we entering a post-EDM chapter?“
There’s no doubt that there’s been an increasingly evident change in the type of music people today prefer. If we go back 4-5 years, the kind of music that was being churned out by most of the bigger artists was of a monotonous kind. Very rarely was there someone whose music could stand out from the vast number of banal songs being released back and forth!
Spotify has been seeing a large number of “Post-EDM” playlists over the past one month. The playlist comprises of songs which, instead of being based on the age-old mantra of making a song with a 4-5 line verse and then following it up with a massive drop, have songs that follow the verse-chorus-verse-chorus rhythm which proves to be more effective. Initially the music streaming device had one of these playlists, but after a few weeks there were more than 10 individual playlists uploaded by users who had compiled a track list of their own which fits in with this description of songs!
One of the leading artists in this genre is LA based Crywolf who has been fusing dance music with rock elements to create the perfect balance between the both. The USP comes from that fact that artists these days don’t even rely on or worry about not possessing expensive equipment to record their songs. Household items like pots and pans are used to make drum beats and once the sounds are processed, they sound exactly like what a drum set would sound like. The benefit of this process is also that many acts that are now coming up are one-man acts because of the ease of layering and looping sounds live on stage. In an interview he talked about why ‘Post-EDM’ will be more prominent in the coming years and why the traditional forms are going to be somewhat pushed back.
He said, “You can only get so far with playing recordings you’ve made out of a laptop and speakers. If there’s no substance to a performance, people are going to eventually get bored. Incorporating live instrumentation and vocals into the styling of electronic music seems to be happening a lot more now.” Makes sense!
Another artist who has been a common name on these playlists and is increasingly gaining a lot of fan following is Stephen Swartz aka Stephen from California, USA. His cover of Adele’s “Hello” and his original single “Crossfire” perfectly fit the slot of being ‘Post-EDM’. In the video for the cover of “Hello”, he is actually seen making the clap and drum beats with the help of two tennis rackets. Now isn’t that innovative! His other songs also have underplayed elements of dance music like heavy bass lines and drum beats, but the main focus is given to the vocals and the verses of the song.
The rise of this genre is also due to the fact that most of the artists who have been producing such music have had early influences, particularly in punk and rock, etc. They know the expertise and uniqueness of a show that is performed live with instruments and the works. DJ’s like Bonobo, who although fit into the category of being a DJ, have always relied on live bands in their live ventures. The production process of the songs also includes tons of live instrumentation which gives the song a more appealing aesthetic to connect with.
The reason this sudden movement has started to take place all over the music industry is because every form of art will someday reach its saturation point sooner or later. We’re not saying the EDM scene has saturated, but not everyone can be a stand out artist with the same type of non-imaginative music. And before you know it, you’re stuck listening to stale imitations which no longer have anything in them that can entice attention.
After all this speculation, you might wonder if DJ’s are going to get obsolete and vanish from the scene altogether. But that is not going to happen any time soon. The club scene is always going to have the steady stream of performers on the decks churning out originals as well as remixes and mixes.
The bandwagon though, which is currently representing the budding ‘Post-EDM’ shift, is one that is a master at their craft and is only going to get better with time. Porter Robinson, Madeon, Stephen, EDEN are just some of the names that are going to make this the next fad for everyone to follow. And we can’t complain, because who doesn’t want more artist-involved shows coupled with live instruments and singing!
The journey has just started, let’s see where it goes from here!