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Why Genre Snobbery Must End, Now

sub genre chart

We all have that member of our rave family, who loves to point out the subtle differences in sounds and styles of the artists we enjoy. The technical aspect of dance music is a fascinating one. The explosion of sounds and styles that have emerged from the growth of EDM throughout the 21st Century has lead to the creation of countless sub-genres. For some, merely knowing these sub-genres exist isn’t enough. Keeping track of what’s what, and what this or that is called, has become a sport for dance music fans. Frankly, we’re over it.

This isn’t to say that some categorization and organization isn’t necessary, but things are getting ridiculous. The continual explaining of what ‘real Trance’ is, or the differences between Dubstep and Brostep, does nothing but muddy the already unclear waters surrounding sub-genres, and is a huge turn-off for potential dance music fans. We’re also treated to a never-ending list of trending genres that have cyclical lives as “new – popular – mainstream – dead”, each stage of which is vastly overstated. Genres like Dubstep, Big Room, Trap, Tropical House, and more have gone through this genre-snob rigmarole, leading to wasted energy in pointless arguments about the state of a sub-genre within EDM.

Fans aren’t the only ones fed up with genre snobbery, with artists making their opinions on the topic loud and clear. Many artists prefer to be described in much broader terms, rather than placing them in a genre-box and making them one-dimensional. In bass music, figureheads like Bassnectar, Excision, and more have recently spoken out on the further cluttering of dance music’s sub-genres.

[Dubstep has] influenced other genres so much that the internet explodes with people arguing over what’s what. Forget about classifying everything, but if you must, I prefer to simply use the catch-all “Bass Music”. Regardless of how popular a genre is, its popularity has nothing to do with how we feel about the music that we love, and that’s how it should be. Spread and support music you love. – Excision

Like oh-so many of his filthy drops, Kelowna, B.C.-native Excision hits the nail-on-the-head, and delivered us the remedy to the situation. What it comes down to is supporting the music we love, regardless of what it’s called or how it’s perceived by the rest of the dance music community. The solution is as powerful as it is simple, and it’s effectiveness is dependent on us.

No longer do we complain about the number of Trance artists on a lineup, or the amount of Big Room we hear at a festival. We must speak with the power of the dollar, and support the artists we love, regardless of what the style of music is named. If a certain show, festival, or sound doesn’t suit you, then don’t support it. If a tour is bringing a group of your favorite artists to town, purchase a ticket and have a blast. Complaining and arguing about what type of music should be available or popular achieves nothing, and there’s no room for negativity in PLURR.

This change must come now. As dance music continues to grow and evolve, the future of ‘EDM’ becomes a topic that’ll generate interest and opinions from many, especially those not interested in it’s longevity. Wasting time and effort on things like genre titles and minuscule-differences within those sub-genres distracts us from the real goal: loving, enjoying, and supporting the music we love.

Let us know what you think of genre-snobbery, the incessant growth of sub-genres in dance music, and what you think of Excision’s thoughts. Comment below, on Facebook, or reply on Twitter!

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Written By

Born and raised in the Northwest, professionalized in Pullman. Enjoying the ride that dance music provides in our lovely corner of the country.

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