Clubbers' Decktionary: EDM

Trouble's DJ Hobbes gives us a guide to the myriad genres of clubbing

Clubbers' Decktionary: EDM

David Guetta / Photo: EMI

EDM aka Electronic Dance Music, proper noun, various strains. The US media’s umbrella term for what we Brits have just been calling ‘dance music’ for the past quarter of a century recently blew up in a very big way, due to some shrewd marketing strategies and some very disposable tunes by certain European DJs. It has since become an internet meme associated with the more commercial end of the spectrum – pop music, basically.

Origins Efforts were originally made to cultivate a US market for British dance music in the late 90s. Festival acts such as The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers and Underworld toured under the banner of ‘electronica’, but this strategy failed to generate the anticipated mass movement. At that time, dance music was either perceived as being gay or reserved for young ravers on drugs. Cue a troop of cheesy jocks with a crafty re-brand in the late 00s, and middle America has since undergone something of a cultural paradigm shift, embracing the much trashier, more populist EDM and lapping it up wholesale. This ‘exciting, new’ product is thus viewed mainly as a European import and this is largely due to the work of a certain Frenchman.

Key figures Parisian DJ David Guetta is the current king of EDM. Having been synonymous with the ritzier end of dance music throughout his 20-year career, he’s lately given just about everyone in R&B a dose of his high-energy beats and cashed in massively. US ‘dubstep’ noisenik Skrillex, electro/house perverters Swedish House Mafia, Kaskade, Avicii and Afrojack, Canadian progressive bore Deadmau5 and Dutch trance offender Tiesto are also prime movers. Our own Calvin Harris can also take a bow, due to his internationally chart-smashing work with Rihanna.

You’ll probably hear some EDM at pretty much every charty & party club in the UK right now.

Rihanna - We Found Love ft. Calvin Harris

David Guetta - I Can Only Imagine ft. Chris Brown, Lil Wayne


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