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Music genres rise and fall like the tides. They gain momentum in the underground, rise into the mainstream, and crash into obscurity. Then, the cycle begins again.
EDM fans are no stranger to this process. Fueled by the internet, dance music evolves at a breakneck pace. New sounds explode in popularity every year, and 2014 will be no different. The fun part is predicting the next craze.
We're betting these genres will occupy US main stages very soon.
Ghetto Funk is the west coast's answer to trap. It fuses hip hop and bass music with a focus on live instruments and turntable skills. Most tracks sound like a mix of glitch and breaks, but some explore electro vibes and others embrace straight funk sounds.
Canada and the UK have represented Ghetto Funk for years, but the genre is rapidly leaking into the US. Griz and Gramatik—among others—are exposing mainstream EDM to funk like never before and leading the charge toward a bass music revolution.
Psy Trance is the high-octane, slightly insane cousin of mainstream trance. It trades euphonic melodies for pounding basslines and mind-bending samples.
In America, Psy Trance mainly survives in forest raves and after-hours shows. However, Infected Mushroom have given the genre a modern rebirth and Armin Van Buuren's Who's Afraid of 138!? label is also exploring the style.
Hardstyle takes epic to the extreme. Its distored kick and trance-like melodies can fill an arena with ease. Together with its rapid tempo, the genre could soon overtake big room house as a main stage favorite.
QDance, a Dutch event company, is responsible for much of Hardstyle's success. In 2002, the company began championing Hardstyle in the Netherlands. Since then, their larger-than-life productions (see above) keep getting bigger, and their reach has gone global—including stops at EDC and TomorrowWorld.
Drum & Bass is sonic adrenaline at its finest. Few genres can top its abrasive bass or its blistering pace. Seriously, children and pregnant women be advised—DnB will send your heartbeat to at least 170BPM.
If you were raving in the 1990s, you were probably listening to Drum & Bass. The genre exploded first in the UK and then across the US. It was eclipsed by dubstep for a time, but is rapidly returning to the mainstream. DnB artists are now appearing atop American festival lineups and the genre has even crossed into the pop charts.
Nu Disco is everything that made the original genre great, without the terrible dance moves. It's part house, part 70s groove, and all around feel good music. No wonder it has become a go-to for pool parties and beachfront festivals.
The French House sound has been mixing disco and dance for decades. In the last few years, however, a new crop of producers have reinvigorated the genre with fresh influences from indie rock to garage. Along with the return of Daft Punk, nu-disco is now an emerging staple of nightclubs and festivals throughout the US.