Electronic dance music first began to take shape in the early seventies with the birth of “breaks” (breaks are a type of looped drum loop) and “dance sequencing.” In its beginnings, “breaks” were simple audio samples triggered by keyboards or foot-stools. “Dance sequencing” was the next big trend, and represented a new approach to the production of dance tracks. These new approaches represented a new way of thinking about audio samples and beat juggling.
As the years have progressed, the evolution of electronic music has continued to encompass new musical genres such as the industrial and club music that characterized the eighties and nineties. (KEYBOARD Presents… Volume I). From its origins in early 1970’s New York nightclub and ’80s Detroit electronic techno to now’s worldwide, high-energy, mainstream sound, electronic music has continued to reshape the popular music landscape..
Today’s electronic dance music is a diverse and often surprising confection of sounds and styles from many different genres. While traditional party dance music continues to be the driving force behind electronic dance, artists such as Disclosure, Tiesto, and others have created pop/rock/hip hop hybrids that feature dance beats and other elements of electronic music. Such artists as Elton John, Avril Lavigne, and Michael Jackson have made collaborations with well-known DJs and producers. The popularity of these collaborations has created a new sub-genre of electronic dance, with many artists creating both independent and mainstream albums and singles.
Other artists have taken on the production aspect of dance, producing their own independent dance albums and singles. The “rave” genre of dance music, also known as the “nu-break” style, has been especially influential. Artists like Ska and techno artist Kreptis are currently leading the way in this new area of production and popularity. The evolution of electronic dance Music is not merely centered on the production of new music. It is also closely intertwined with the recording of new music, both from the DJ and other artists.
The rise of “house” or “mix” music has also had a strong effect on the evolution of electronic dance music. Often the lead vocals are dropped out of dance tracks to create a less aggressive, yet pleasing listen. More aggressive dance songs have also been pushed to the top of the charts, which bodes well for the future of the music industry.
A further influence on the rise of electronic dance music has come from the American dream fused with the new millennium. Many artists have mixed traditional pop/rock with hip hop and rap in their tracks, bringing a unique take on the genre. Artists like 50 cent, Lil Wayne, and many others have been able to build huge followings by capitalizing on the crossover between the old and the new. This has created a unique new sound in dance.
The last few years have seen the rise of “rave” as an electronic dance style. This style is similar to what we know as rave music, but it takes place over a period of one night. This style often includes dance-music and songs that have a “space age” feel to them, much like the composition of loops on a new age tape. It is a relatively new addition to the electronic dance scene, but already its impact is being felt.
Over the coming years the evolution of electronic dance music will continue to change and evolve into even more revolutionary forms. Some of these changes have already been indicated by the explosion of “proper” dance programs on home computers. These programs allow users to mix electronic and classical music in their tracks, which is bound to make things much easier for a wide variety of artists and music genres. Dance music is here to stay, and it is only going to get better.