EDM is a popular music genre as a whole, but within the category of EDM are a huge variety of subgenres, with new subgenres constantly being added to the mix through experimentation and development.
While there will always be the staple EDM genres, like progressive house and trance, emerging genres are creating their own unique spin on the music.
In this article, we’ll go through some of the EDM subgenres that are gaining traction in the underground music scene, and are likely to make a major splash on the mainstream music scene in the next few years.
90s Rave Revival
Rave dance parties in the 90s were punctuated by wildly flailing glow-sticks, bodypaint, and the thumping drum loops of acid house or industrial techno.
This early revival is seeing a resurgence in the underground music scene as it appeals to both a nostalgic older crowd and a younger crowd experiencing something “new” for the first time, says TeenVogue.
Record labels like Kniteforce Labels have been scooping up a lot of big names from the early 90s rave scene and releasing new material on vinyl.
Of course, there were many subgenres in the 90s rave period as well, so a few of the ones seemingly making a major comeback include:
- Oldskool house
- Hard dance
- Happy hardcore
Behringer also released a TD-3 Synthesizer for only $100, which many are saying could pave the way for a major acid techno revival as hobbyists can enjoy a cheap dual setup for live acid performances.
A blending of electronic trance music with good old Mississippi Blues, trance blues has been emerging from the “chill vibes” niche crowd onto the mainstream, thanks to artists like Otis Taylor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Guy Davis, and others.
It’s a relatively simple concept on paper – digging through the history of Mississippi Delta Blues music (see here) to find banger tracks that follow that genre’s exact blueprint, then giving them a modern twist by adding an atmospheric, floating melodic/synth bassline.
It’s not a new concept in music and has been happening for years in more experimental genres, like psychedelic trance. But trance blues is starting to gain a more diverse following, and especially with the abundance of music streaming services today could well be a very popular genre in the next few years.
Producers David Guetta and Morten Breum coined this genre which has taken the EDM world by storm – in some ways its difficult to label it “up and coming”, because it’s already here, but what we’ve witnessed with the genre so far only seems to be the tip of the iceberg.
A blending of early Big Room EDM, with its focus on huge house drops and deep basslines, with a bit of modern melody and techno leanings, Future Rave is certainly ripe for experimentation and cloning, and its success will no doubt lead to a number of copycat genres in the next few years.
While David Guetta and Morten may be the best example of this subgenre, other artists are creating signature sounds with it, including names like Olly James, Sander Von Doorn, and Dada Life.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more of Future Rave in the future, pun intended.
Known for its smooth, flowing melodies layered over the deep basslines of Drum and Bass, Liquid DNB is seeing a surging increase in interest, both from EDM fans and EDM newcomers.
Coined in the early 00s by the legendary DJ Fabio, liquid DnB emerged as a reaction to the harsher, more aggressive techno styles of the late 90s, says RollingStone. It focuses on melodic, atmospheric melody and enticing synths, with head-nodding drum loops.
While the genre has long been a mainstay in the UK, it’s experienced a massive surge in popularity worldwide in recent times, including the US and Indonesia.
The next few years will likely see a number of major producers jump on the bandwagon, creating truly original Liquid DnB tracks which take the subgenre into the new millennium.
Last Updated: October 7, 2022