Welcome to the Official NeoGAF Electronic Dance Music thread! This is where you can discuss all things EDM, from the music to the artists to the festivals. All are welcome, from battle-hardened rave veterans to complete newcomers to the electronic music scene. Make yourselves comfortable and let's jump right in!
What is EDM?
Electronic dance music (generally referred to simply as “EDM”) is exactly what it sounds like: electronic music produced with the primary intention of making you dance. You will generally hear this music at clubs, concerts, or music festivals as part of a continuous DJ set. EDM has been exploding in popularity over the past few years as the music has started to enter the mainstream, and large music festivals such as Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Tomorrowland draw hundreds of thousands of EDM fans each year.
I’m interested in getting into EDM, where do I start?
First of all welcome to the fold! EDM encompasses a wide range of music genres, but the five most popular styles of EDM are House, Trance, Techno, Dubstep, and Drum and Bass. Do keep in mind though that these styles are very fluid, and it is not uncommon to see a trance artist incorporate house elements, or a house artist incorporate dubstep elements into his music. These genre headings are at best a (very) general umbrella under which you will find many artists with their own flavor. It is difficult to describe the genres since the music can vary so wildly even within each genre, so I am instead going to list a bunch of artists under each style. By listening to music from these artists you should be able to get a better feel for what the various sub-genres of EDM sound like.
Progressive House: Alesso, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Eric Prydz, John Digweed, Nick Warren, Sasha, Swedish House Mafia
Electro House: Benny Benassi, deadmau5, Feed Me, Porter Robinson, Steve Aoki, Wolfgang Gartner, Zedd
Dutch House: Afrojack, Chuckie, Hardwell, Laidback Luke, R3hab
French House: Alan Braxe, Daft Punk, Justice
Trance: Above & Beyond, Armin van Buuren, ATB, BT, Dash Berlin, Ferry Corsten, Paul van Dyk, Tiesto's older work
Techno: Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Cirez D, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Richie Hawtin, Umek
Dubstep: Adventure Club, Bassnectar, Caspa, Knife Party, Nero, Rusko, Skrillex, Skream
Drum and Bass: Aphex Twin, Netsky, Noisia, Pendulum, Sub Focus
Where can I keep up with the latest EDM news?
There are many resources online to keep track of the goings on in the EDM world, including some great blogs and online magazines that are updated daily with news, music releases, and performance announcements. Some of the better ones:
Dancing Astronaut - A good overall EDM blog that posts multiple new songs every day, along with miscellaneous news and the occasional interview or feature. They also have their own podcast.
Resident Advisor - Another good resource, this is an online magazine that covers a wide variety of genres and has its own video features and podcasts. Keep in mind that RA does not cover mainstream EDM to the same extent as some of the other outlets on this list. Go here if you would like to explore something different and below the radar.
I Can Give You House - EDM blog that covers new song and EP releases. It has a nice aesthetic to the way it presents news that makes it easy to sort through their posts.
SoundGrail - Started out as an electro and dubstep blog, but has now branched out to cover all types of EDM. Solid blog with weekly recaps of music releases and event coverage.
XLR8R - Pronounced "accelerator," this blog eschews the mainstream and focuses on up-and-coming artists.
EDM Tunes - Great place to find the latest sets from your favorite artists, as they upload quite a lot of music on a daily basis.
DJ with us online!
Members of EDM GAF have been known to hang out and share music here: http://plug.dj/edm-gaf/. Come join us!
Are there any podcasts I can listen to?
I'm glad you asked! Some artists release weekly or monthly podcasts that feature both their music as well as new releases by other artists. This is a good way to keep up to date with the latest music, since you can pick an artist whose music you like and then listen to a selection of music s/he is enjoying. Here are some of the more popular ones:
A State of Trance (Armin van Buuren) - Trance
Group Therapy (Above & Beyond) - Trance
EPIC Radio (Eric Prydz) - Progressive/Deep House
The Gareth Emery Podcast (Gareth Emery) - Trance/Electro House
Club Life (Tiesto) - Progressive/Electro House
Minded Music Sessions (Roald Velden) - Progressive House
Magic Tape (The Magician) - Disco House
Tritonia (Tritonal) - Trance
Sunset Melodies - Progressive House
Certain publications also put out their own podcasts that are worth checking out for new music. Many of these will feature guest mixes from famous DJs:
Axis Radio (Dancing Astronaut)
RA Podcast (Resident Advisor)
Mix of the Week (Mixmag)
XLR8R Podcast (XLR8R)
What about all these festivals I keep hearing about?
The great thing about EDM is that once the summer rolls around all sorts of music festivals start setting up and bringing in great DJs to perform. These festivals can range from one day only to the epic three-day festivals you have probably heard so much about. Most of these festivals will have "early bird" sales where they will release a limited number of tickets for around 50% off, and this is usually the most effective way to buy your ticket. However you will have to keep a close eye on the dates tickets go on sale since EDM fans have been known to sell out events within minutes. Some notable festivals include:
Electric Daisy Carnival
The largest North American electronic music festival, EDC takes place in Las Vegas (with smaller events in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Orlando, and San Juan) and brings together massive crowds of EDM fans. EDC's specialty is its erection of surreal neon structures and theme park rides, as well as its use of performers dressed up in outlandish costumes.
Ultra Music Festival
Quite possibly the most talked about EDM festival, Ultra takes place in Miami every year (with smaller offshoots in Ibiza, Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, Santiago, Seoul, and Croatia) and generally kicks off the festival season in North America. UMF happens over two weekends, which bookend what is known as Miami Music Week. If you do not intend to go to the festival, then you can still see most of your favorite artists perform at clubs and venues around the city of Miami during this week.
The largest EDM festival in the world, with arguably the flashiest and most impressive set designs. This event takes place in Belgium every year and draws massive global crowds. Its stages generally involve fantastical creatures and imagery, with the theme of the festival being that of a living, breathing fairy tale. It has announced its first North American event, Tomorrowworld, to be held in 2013.
You are more than welcome to discuss all kinds of EDM here, but in case you are looking for a more focused experience, there are a few other GAF threads that could be of interest to you depending on your musical tastes:
The Official NeoGAF Groundbreaking Electronic Music Thread™ - Your destination for anything related to the underground electronic music scene. I spend quite a bit of time here and these cats know their stuff.
Trance Music |OT| #trancefamily - Like trance? This is the thread for you!
DUBSTEP |OT| Because WUB WUB WUB WUB - Get all your wub wub needs satisfied in this thread.
NEOGAF Ambient Music Thread - If you prefer to chill rather than rage, check this thread out.
Chiptunes |OT| Not just for games anymore - For that 8-bit chirpy goodness.
And that about sums it up! There's a lot more to EDM than what I've posted here, but this should be enough to get you started. Now let's get this party started!