Skream, one of dubstep’s first and most prominent producers, sat down with Fact Magazine to confess that he is over “EDM, the whole style of music” and “fucking can’t stand it anymore”. Of course, being an EDM producer for over a decade and a pioneer of underground bass music, he can’t be entirely over the genre where both his passion and career lie. The Devil is in the details.
During the interview, Skream explained that the electronic music community has become more or less divided between bass and underground music and mainstream EDM. This division within the community creates a “contrast of underground dance music and EDM culture”. He further revealed that he believes there is currently “a massive overground/underground fight, where people hate to associate themselves with the overground”. He clarified,”when I say overground, I mean the common denominator music”. Skream made a further observation about the consequence of this division by stating that “the genre separation thing can become very overly important in itself”…”dance music is so standard now – everyone’s into house – so I think some people are keen to point out their place, their role”.
Skream then pointed to artists like Calvin Harris to further explain this current divide being experienced in dance music:
“You see Calvin Harris earning $46m in a year – when you’re talking about money like that, that automatically segregates it from everything else. Meanwhile, people have been grafting their bollocks off for years, and barely getting paid to do shows. So I think it has become two different worlds. The question you just asked me there – it’s likely people are honing in on being even more bold about their craft, for it not to be associated with this faraway bollocks. EDM is alienating itself. I’m quite interested to see where it’s going to go next, because we’ve seen Ultra Music are now promoting deep house”…”But it has become two totally different worlds”.
He explained that one of the “two totally different worlds” in electronic music has come about because “people are realizing that the music that is involved is shite. And now good music is starting to become popular. Especially in America”…”in the past you’d have someone like that who would be really good, but it would be held really underground and not really appreciated”. In short he’s noticed that, “people are interested in good music again, which is good”.
Skream added cheekily, “I do think EDM’s coming to an end – well, not an end, Vegas will always be there, Vegas isn’t dying!” Skream isn’t the first artist to come out recently to express their opinions on the questionable future of EDM. A-Trak took to Facebook only a few days ago to reveal his opinions on the genre’s fate, but with a much more optimistic, but similar attitude. Artists like A-Trak and Skream hold a much different perspective on dance music than most, seeing as they both had hands on roles in shaping and developing aspects of electronic music and have been both deeply immersed within the electronic music scene for roughly 30 years collectively. They understand not only the inner workings of the genre, but the genre itself more closely than anyone. Although the future of electronic music has yet to be written, the priceless and privileged perspectives of both A-Trak and Skream into the history and current state of electronic music must hold some credibility and knowledge. It will be interesting to see how many other DJs and producers will come out and confess their opinions on the matter. In the meantime, we will sit here wondering: is EDM as we know it due for an inevitable end or will it be able to withstand the tests of time and join the ranks of resilient genres like rap, hip-hop and classic rock.