I'm a man who likes to reminisce. I love thinking back to the days when i use to wear a tacky fluro t-shirt to a night club and rock out to Green Velvet's 'Shake and Pop' doing that generic hip gyrating dance move. It involved putting one leg forward to separate the hips and humping the air while pumping your fists out and drooping your head towards the ground. Everyone use to do it! It use to be like being a part of a choreographed zombie musical scene from Grease.
Not a day goes by where I don't think about going back to a club where I could listen to some pure hip pumping electro, the way it use to be. This drew me to the question, why is electro failing against other genres in the modern day dance scene? Why is it so hard to find a club that plays pure fist pumping electro?
Over the last 4 years I have been studying business and one of the fundamental theories taught is the 4 stages of the life span of a company.
This formula shares a lot of similarities to the trending of music. You only have to look back 10 years to see how far we have come from Snoop Dogg, Janet Jackson etc to Guetta feat. Snoop (unfortunately), Deadmau5 and Skrillex. If we were to focus solely on dance music, it would be fair to say electro has reached the fourth stage of the business lifecycle. This means that the genre is at post maturity and needs to go through a stage of renewal in order to survive.
Rewind back to 2006BS (Before Stoney) when horse tranquiliser was the drug of choice and the feminine fashion trend of Emo was considered “cool”. Electro was thriving in the same light that Dub Step is now. Dance floors were filled the latest blogged tracks from producers such as Switch, Green Velvet, Fedde Le Grand as well as an up and coming duo called Crookers. All these artists plus more had one thing in common. They kept their tracks clean and catchy and their kicks nice and heavy.
In recent year electro has grown a typecast association to the fact that it is music that you have to solidly lose your inhibition to, to fully experience and enjoy. This attitude plus the dub step uprising have plagued the genre and mutated a distasteful association with thickness in noise as opposed to the quality of creativity. Listening to most current day electro disheartens me because the majority of producers attempting this style are layering too many instruments and making something that sounds more like a construction site.
So what would it take to get this genre more popular again? In my mind it’s easy. Every electro producer needs to have a shower, boil the kettle, pour a cup of tea, sit down at the computer, relax and listen and learn from the past. You will most probably find your old collection of classics from Boys Noize, DIM, Zombie Nation and others still makes you bounce up and down in your seat.
I’d like to use The Subs as a modern day example of the purity of what the genre once was and why it was so popular. They have followed the structure of the past and brought in new elements of noises that make it very much suited to the now. That being said, this article hasn’t been written to encourage plagiarism in old style but to evoke something fresh that combines the cleanness of what electro once was. Is electro failing? Or is it about to have an uprising? Lest we forget the past.