Official: Beatport Top 100 All Sound The Same

Steve Aoki

EDM: As with all big scenes, as the money rolls in, the creativity tends to drain out. What are you doing to move your DJing beyond the obvious and to add something of yourself to your mixes?

A DJ's job is to look beyond. Further. Deeper. Wider. To find music that others will like if only they get to hear it. To put that music in a context that helps people to enjoy it. To try hard to present tunes people already know in surprising new ways that adds to their enjoyment of them. To look forwards, backwards, to take risks, to do whatever it takes to say something new with the music at their fingertips. Because good DJs know this truth: Music is emotion. It's our language. It's important.

Which is why this website has always warned against buying all your music from the same place - and worse, buying the most popular music from that place. Understand, the particular "place" could be anywhere, and varies by scene and by country. But it just so happens that globally in 2013, in the age of "EDM", it is Beatport. And the villain of this particular piece is the Beatport Top 100.

I'd like you to listen to the below. Young Swedish House music producers Daleri made the following mix, sampling the drops from 16 of the Beatport Top 100 to prove a point: They all sound the same.

Now, this mix is tongue in cheek, but it does illustrate a point. And when DJs ask me questions like these:

  • Why does nobody want to book me?
  • How do I stand out from other DJs?
  • How do I make my own sound?
  • Why do people not dance to my carefully planned mixes?
  • Why can't I find anything good to play?
  • Do DJs have to play the same sound to get successful?

...my answer will at least in part come back to one thing: How do you search for your tunes? Where do you look? What process do you follow in order to decide whether or not you buy a particular tune or not? Do you actually, genuinely like all the tunes you buy and play? What is it about your choices that makes you different?

It's a big topic (and a lesson we cover over several hours of training in our forthcoming Digital DJ Masterclass). But while the above clip is certainly mischievous and maybe not 100% the truth - after all, you can find some amazing music on Beatport if you take off your blinkers and follow your heart - it does illustrate a point: Where there's money, there are a lot of people trying to copy the formula.

But a DJ's job is not to follow, but to lead. It's the only way you'll stand out and start finding your own voice. Of course, it's easier to fall into the trap of trying to sound like other DJs. But the real path to success is to be bold. To take risks. To look further. Good DJs obsess over finding ways to make those bold moves work without losing their dancefloors.

It's a hard lesson, and it's never done - but it's what marks good DJs out from those who are just joining the dots.

Are you getting tired of hearing too many DJs playing the same sounds? When was the last time you were blown away by a DJ playing completely surprising stuff? Where do you go to find music that is different from that being played by other DJs? Please share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I want to be famous too, so I made this song to be in the top 100 :
    https://soundcloud.com/djse/kill-me-the-beatports-ghost

    Am I doing it right ? (there is also a trap version, if you are into that)

    :D

  2. That mashup is epic. I have to admit that I got kinda absorbed into the EDM. I like many songs but it is true that, until you learn to really forge your sound and play only tunes that you love, you’ll be a bottom-class DJ

  3. Mike Blades says:

    I also blame the punters who goto the clubs…they want to hear a certain sounds and if you as the DJ try to educate, or explore new sounds, the crowd turn on you very fast.

    DJ’s AND the club goers need to expand the music they listen to. be open to new tracks, ideas, artists & genres. Just cause you don;t immediately know the track playing does NOT make it a shit track. give it a go, and you might be surprised

    • Jam-Master Jake says:

      Yes yes Yes YES YEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!! You have no idea how tired I’ve grown of fighting my local bar/club scene when I try and play new music. As soon as I do–even if it’s an absoutely BANGING track that would fill the floor if people would just give it a chance–I get the barrage of men asking me to change it up and the inevitable train of ladies complaining about the music and asking for “something they can dance to.” If I play the same 100 songs, I have little trouble filling the floor. If I drop ONE new track in the middle of that set of the same 100 songs I always play, the floor empties and the complaints come in. Once in a blue moon I can win the crowd over, but it’s got to be a song I’ve been beating into their heads for the past 4-6 weeks before I can keep them on the floor long enough to dance to it.

      I blame the shrinking patience and musical tastes of the modern dance/club culture. They all want the same thing. They may not admit to it (often complaining that they want something “new”), but they won’t dance to anything unless they absolutely know it. It’s a Catch-22 and it really wears on my enjoyment of spinning tunes.

    • Exaaxtly thats why I love taking a break from edm and then going to raves and getting blown away by the tracks ive never heard of!

  4. Beatport Top 100? Thats just lame guys folow.
    I following labels which release kind of music that I like, and I still finding new ones, so I had never problem to find music.

  5. Whilst I don’t love the saturation of commercial and generic EDM, it really pushed me to explore new genres, artists and scenes. 6 years ago I was all about the bang bang bleep bleep electro…it sounds pretty awful to me now. Loving the deeper or funkier stuff from people like Solomun or Henry Saiz.

  6. Everyone wants a piece of the EDM pie, if you stick to your guns you’ll get left behind, I blame the internet for this one, back before there was an internet, tracks had more longevity, going to a record shop and cratedigging was the only way to get tunes and there was no financial/commercial pressure although being a DJ or producer for the love of it in those days meant being mostly broke. I understand that it is essential for a DJ or producer to evolve but it should be done gradually and for the right reasons not because of the pressure to stay on top, build a brand or make ridiculous amounts of money (a lot of DJ’s and producers are guilty of this btw) but this is the current state of EDM (I hate this term), too much access which is both good and bad.

  7. Also wanted to add that part of this trend is due to the American market, I don’t know how it is in Europe or the rest of the world but here in the States its all about making money, mainstream acceptance/crossover appeal, saturation, visuals/rock concert atmospherics, performance antics, music quality seems to be secondary.

    • Foldable disco says:

      In Holland for example you can choose between mega parties like Sensation, Dirty dutch and so on. On the other hand you can choose for smaller events where you can find “better” music and a free flowing atmosphere…

      By the way the most refreshins dj set I heard the about 2 (!), Aphex twin took us on a sonic journey from 115 bpm to 200 bpm.

      • Foldable disco says:

        Oops don’t eat and type the same time, what I wanted to say: the most refreshing dj set I heard about 2 years ago(!), Aphex twin took us on a sonic journey from 115 bpm to 200 bpm. From early acid house to mind blowing terrorcore kind of music.

      • Ruben daCosta says:

        You can´t imagine the amount of envy i´m feeling for you right now… For me Mr. James will always be the Big Daddy of electronic music!

    • As an American, we are “late to the party” you might say in comparison to Europe. However, DJs seem to really like playing here, and while there is a financial aspect to it, we do not have the same exposure to the so called “underground” DJs. For example, I live in LA and seldom do I see shows with some of the Ibiza guys like Loco Dice, Solomon, Luciano, etc. unless it is part of some festival. So while in we are quite excessive in the States, we also don’t have the same exposure that the other continents do.

      PS: I would LOVE for Aphex Twin to do something Stateside in the near future, it’s those kinds of experiences that make you realize no matter how stagnant things get, there is still a lot of creativity out there.

      • What bothers me about the American market is that there is too less risk taking. Its about making money asap and as much as possible. Why book an underground DJ when there is saver and more money to be made with just another “Top DJ”. And oh boy is there creativity, innovation and experimentation out there…but thats the thing with a lot of Americans (what I reckon), you don’t do your own research…you rather just take the stuff that is being served directly into your face. I think thats just a cultural thing and nothing a few individuals can change but don’t blame the lack of creativity only on the fact that there are not enough “underground” bookings in the US. After all its you, the consumers, who define the market and create a need that the industry has to react on but as I said earlier, it seems your culture just doesn’t produce enough individuals with a demand for creativity, so there is no need for the industry to react on so the mass servings into people’s faces keeps working and the formula is unchallenged :)

      • you and the other guy replying obviously weren’t around chicago, detroit or new york during the late 80’s then!!

        I think the reason the “common” clubber wants mainstream music is because that’s what they’ve always wanted!! back in the late 80’s when house emerged, most people were still listening to the likes of prince, madonna, michael jackson, talking heads, kate bush, human league, pet shop boys, etc.

        those complaining that’s all people want probably live in towns or small cities (as I do), there simply isn’t enough of a crowd for regular “underground” club nights like there is in larger cities like london, manchester, new york, sydney, berlin, etc. go to any of them places and you will find plenty of places playing credible house music.

        the pop sound will soon move on to something else, leaving behind the people that were always in to house, and maybe a few new converts. house will always be around.

      • You should def check out Sound nightclub in Hollywood. A lot of the guys you mentioned play there. But i do agree more venues with these guys would be great.

    • It’s almost entirely due to the American market. Dance music has been huge in Europe for decades. Just as commercial Hip Hop/R&B hit the pop scene a few years back, the EDM craze will die. Its funny how the abbreviation for electronic dance music somehow became a label for commercial pop dance. I can still remember when people started referring to dance music as EDM…I was never a fan and sensed something dirty was coming…

      • Guys, same here in Manila…All commercial stuff but don’t despair. I played during the recent summer at Boracay Island and the crowd there are more receptive to the deep house, electro, funk and nu disco genres…could be attributed to the vibe of the place. I would think it’s the same with other beaches and “bohemic” places. IMHO

  8. A promoter once said to me “I can’t book you, because I never know what you’ll play”…some may say this is DJ suicide, but I play whatever I’m in the mood to play, and I, unconsciously, have found myself playing tracks, that catch my fancy, from small independent labels. I can’t remember the last time I played anything from a major label or from a “mainstream” download site.

    I’m too old, 42, to worry about “making it big”, DJ’ing, for me, is about playing the music I like to listen to, if others want to accompany me on the journey, then all well and good, but I can’t see the point in being a DJ for the sake of notoriety.

    • Exactly! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Amen, I’m too old for that crap too.

      • Julian Durham says:

        Bang on!!

        I’m 42 too. I’ve been djing for over 20 years, luckily I run my own business and the djing has always been more a hobby, on saying that I’ve done residencies, played with the big boys, Judge Jules, beloved etc etc, Last year I did a night with Mr C.

        Anyway, I only play what I like, enjoy, some may call this arrogant?? But I have to play what I believe in and feel passionate about… Isn’t that what it’s all about??

        I still play out but don’t actively sell myself, I’m far happier doing my monthly podcast for iTunes, which people who like my sound can subscribe to.

    • Linzmar says:

      Not enough people are playing like this nowadays. And especially in the forums young djs are being told that they have to play known tracks to be successful.
      Imagine where “EDM” would be now if all of the dj’s in the 90’s were being told that. Blah, I say to the young’ins. Play with heart and enjoy it.

  9. Yet a DJ shouldn’t demonize everything that’s popular. If you stop playing a great track, because it somehow managed to sneak into the Beatport top 10 (yes, that happens from time to time) and is now “mainstream”, you should look for a different hobby.

    Same goes for the so called “underground” DJs, who are in the biz for 25+ years, are well known household names, play every weekend at the main floor of every big club from Las Vegas to Ibiza and release their tracks as iTunes or Beatport exclusive and yet keep bragging about how underground they are, although they make the same mistake of playing all night long the same shit. Maybe not the sound that the press has labeled “EDM” (I hate this term so much), but some 125 bpm deep house with always the same bassline.

    What I’m trying to say is: As sad (and at the same time hilarious) as the mash-up above is, we should stop blaming the boogeymen “EDM”. If I had the time, I could make the same mash-up for so called “underground” house tunes.

    • I agree. As I said… recontextualising stuff people already know is an amazing skill for DJs to have.

    • DougMore says:

      Well said sir. I could not agree more on the commercialized “underground” scene. There was a time when I was taught not to play more than 4 songs of the same style in a row; to keep it fresh. My best experiences in the club have come from switching out into genres that are popular, but not in the exact same groove that’s been playing for a while.

      “Do DJs have to play the same sound to get successful?”

      You sometimes do…but never as a rule. There are some really cool tracks out there that rock. There are even more you haven’t heard before.

  10. Beatport is a great source of music, be it deep house, breaks, or if you into dubstep electro, then that too. There is no harm in listening to other people’s productions. With Traktor, software and Native Instruments, budding DJ’s can slowly breakdown the tracks they like and then create their own interpretations. What’s the harm in using a grea bassline or a well know sample with some creativity and innovation? The tools packs are good too, and we don’t all have time to set up a live instrument studio to sample the perfect flute in A minor, that is part of the beauty of EDM. I am a bedroom DJ in my late thirties, will never be famous as I have a day job, but I do take issue with people who seem so unable to accept that there is a demand for mainstream, and if that isn’t your bag, then fine – enjoy being different and stop bitching about those that just wish to mindlessly indulge in mainstream entertainment. It is just like art, we don’t all like obscure abstract, or classics, there are enough of us in the world to be diverse. Those that take issue with mainstream – don’t listen to it! Go to a different club, play what you like, to yourself and your friends. If I want to mix Sasha with Black Eyed Peas warped into LFO acid frequencies, then I shall do so! If someone else wants to listen to dubstep all day, let them, maybe they will get bored, and maybe not. Who cares ? Only busybodies who want to control what others enjoy…

    • Exactly my problem with Beatport. Electro, house and dubstep are 3 DIFFERENT GENRES. ELECTRO HOUSE IS NOT ELECTRO IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. Until Beatpoor gets their genres straight I won’t even register.

  11. This just makes it mush easier to mix song. Instead of playing the drop of a song take a drop from another :D no one will know you changed song until they hear “clap your hands” instead of the expected “put your hands up”
    It is really ridicules how similar many songs are and the same song with new vocals can become a hit over and over again.
    Rattle
    Get up (Rattle)
    Acid rain
    all are the same songs but different vocals and all of them made it to the top 40.
    When I look for music Beatport top 100 is the last place I look. But I do have some of them because they make it to other DJ charts too.

  12. jahitty says:

    i think this is where some vinyl djs or vinyl djs who have moved over to digital can sometimes have the advantage over many lazy digital djs who ONLY tend to seek music from narrow sources and have had no experience of records shops/2nd hand flea markets and word of mouth etc etc. İ came into digital after literally 20 years of vinyl digging and it was with this spirit that i wanted to discover music digitally. İm constantly asked by people every week what that version of a well known track was or what was this tune i played etc etc…this is only possible if i follow my favourite artists, djs, radio shows and blogs to find the real gems…away from the mainstream sources…and yes beatport really does have some truly amazing music…you just need to do more background research first before you begin hunting….

    • Totally agree, I came from vinyl (45s not SSL) and actual crate digging. Now, digitally, I use the web as the largest and by far the most comprehensive record store in history with more bins than could ever be dug.

      Also, in February I took an R&B residency and despite what I thought at the time, I didn’t really know about r&b… However, facing down a demanding crowd for 4 hours every Saturday since Feb, I have become a pretty darn good R&B DJ and now have hundreds of new tunes that I had to dig for.

      Guess my point is, by going outside of my ‘zone’ and forcing myself into semi-unfamiliar territory, I ended up doing some serious digging and discovery and now have a much more diverse and in this case unique set/sound.

      Just my 2¢.

  13. Shuga*Foot says:

    This dilemma has more to do with DJ/producers with limited ability to make great music in the first place. If you watch movies like Press Play Pause for example, it demonstrates how technology has made it so easy and affordable to produce music. But being able to create a song doesn’t make it worth listening to. So we have so much crap. Personally I’m tired of the beeps and tweets of EDM and I see it going the way of previous music trends. IMO…deep funky soulful house is where’s it’s at and has been for the longest time. I can mixed in the latest craziest EDM track too…whatever turns your audience on…mix it in!!!

  14. Just like any other type of genre, whatever works will be replicated to repeat success. The downside is obvious from the mashup above, however over-saturation also can be a breeding ground for new sounds and styles. Personally, this sound is still “catchy”, but when I want something that I can lose myself to, I look elsewhere. Many club goers don’t mind hearing this over and over, because they go to clubs to dance and drink. I feel as if the people who really have a deeper appreciation for the music get bored and search out other styles and genres to excite them. I will never forget the sets where I can name none or few of the songs played, even if the sound is similar, song selection is key. I doubt that the mainstream side of the genre will adapt to this anytime soon, however, with more electronic music in the limelight, there are so many other options to enjoy that if big room electro isn’t doing for you, something else will.

  15. anthony says:

    Playing devil’s advocate, it is a business and that is one of the sounds you have to have if you want to be a superstar arena-style DJ. If it is a hobby for you then yes it is bad – however it is a ‘business’ at the same time.

  16. anthony says:

    as and addendum to my last post, the reality is that people are buying this music, coming to see them, and DJ’s are spinning the music. If nobody wanted it then it wouldn’t exist quality not being the point. Its like an old Chris Rock joke ” the Spice Girls – sold two million records and no one admits to buying one!”

  17. Frankly, I’m surprised or feeling “threatened” or down if the Top 100 all sounds similar. This is no different than any kind of popularity chart. Look at the DJ Mag Top 100 and how much angst it gets from the music community, or Billboard.

    I agree with the idea that as a DJ, if you’re not exploring beyond the pop charts, then you’re not going to grow. If you get trapped or allow yourself to get trapped in clubs/bars/parties where you can’t go beyond Top 40, then you won’t grow. I don’t see the guys who play all the pop tunes ending up headlining the big spots…only the guys who produced tracks that grew to be anthems.

    Even as a promoter or venue owner this goes. DJ Louis XIV once complained how the NYC clubs seemed so adamant against any pop/mainstream music, when it seemed crowds wanted them. That was because those clubs or promoters wanted to stand out. If you’re throwing events, then you need to stand out…or else you’re just part of the cookie cutter scene with a short shelf life.

  18. Mario García says:

    Becouse of these shitty edm style and all kind of “easy to find and listen” music I love my superheroes 2 many djs, they can mix dolly parton, slayer, motörhead, acid house, donna summer, trap music, etc in the same set

    • EDM isn’t shit Mario as it is generic. You do have a point though as I do so admire DJ’s who can move about music no matter what the style – true talent.

      • Mario García says:

        I didn’t say that all edm music is shit, i think daft punk is kind of edm and is not shit, but most of it has the same drops, etc

    • To me, that’s a talent one can gain from remixing and producing.

      I also want to believe most of the experienced and passionate DJs do look for stuff beyond the charts, and want to play them. Unfortunately, I think the push to remove music-selection power from the DJ since 2001 has resulted in many DJs being held against the wall. Crowds want easy-to-swallow familiar light “hands in the air” poppy stuff…and DJs seemingly more and more are not allowed to venture into “unfamiliar”…even if the unfamiliar tune had that light “hands in the air” poppy sound.

      This is a big reason why I stopped gigging. This was my story. I’d be booked to play, promoter knowing what I do and how I do it. I show up, start playing, and 2 songs into my set I get trixies begging me to stop playing what I play and just play Top 40 hits. I try to find middle ground, but usually promoters or managers tell me in so many words:

      “Stop thinking, stop being creative…just play the hits and please the hot girls.”

      I think if clubs, events, and even promoters want to ever grow beyond a short shelf-life and be different…they need to give the DJ some power back.

      Lord knows Robert Williams would have never told Frankie Knuckles or Ron Hardy what to play. Michael Brody would have never told Larry Levan what to play. I can’t name any promoter who ever blew up huge by forcing DJs to just play the hits. Spundae, Godskitchen, Gatecrasher, Cream, etc. They booked DJs who could work a crowd and gave them freedom.

  19. I just love that photograph! :-D

  20. King of Snake says:

    in this case, popular (dance) music is a bit like fashion.
    EDM = UGGs
    starting out as something special, only worn by the progressive, pioneering or daring part of society.
    first reactions of mainstream are mostly negative and neglect, unapreciative, like haute couture (i mean, who likes haute couture :) )
    after a while, mainstream can identify themselves with the trend or make it fashion
    this is where commercialising kicks in..
    voilà, all the 16 years want to wear UGGs, because it’s cool..
    dang, everybody you see walking on the streets wears them..
    oh and the pioneers, they wear already something else, something different, someting stupid..
    as a dj, it’s where we find the balance of mainstream and pioneering:
    mainstream, you loose credits, starting with peers, later also with the audiance
    pioneering only, you get send away, “too futuristic” or whatever is was called with shadow
    my task as a dj?
    let the people have fun, it’s their bloody night out in the weekend, i respect that. So i play what they want, to make them feel happy. i watch the crowd, how’s their reaction, they like?
    oh and every once in a while, i just play the track i like, be it novel or an oldie, it needs to be ‘my track’.
    so balance between what the audiance wants and some education..
    best nights are where both come together, but most of times, this is a selected group..

    sorry, lots of words…

    regards
    KoS

  21. I don’t really feel that anyone should be surprised here.

    It does make me curious though as to where the EDM jockeys are going to turn next/how they’re going to respond; it’s already starting to happen locally with FB posts of “EDM is too commercialized, so I made a chill mix”.

    Rather than just naturally/quietly evolve I feel that a lot of moaning and genre generalizations are going to occur as more and more club goers and jockeys turn from certain sounds and towards others.

    It should be quite an entertaining time.

  22. There is nothing inherently wrong with mainstream. It is what it is, and it will always be just that. (how’s that for a tautology?)

    If you want to be special or different, then stop copying or following and start creating. You’re either one of two people: a consumer or a producer. Yes, producers also consume, but the point is that not everyone produces–and I’m not just talking music. It can be anything.

    • I agree. Being a creator doesn’t even mean you make some dark underground anti-establishment sound. Just means you’re trying to do something new and/or unique.

      I’ll give even the big names right now their props for creating the anthems that did spur the trend.

  23. This is why I don’t like playing the same genre all night long. If I do even that, I at least try finding diversity in it.

  24. I usually play mainstream Electro and Progressive House, but I’m done now. Too much airhorn and tubular bells nowadays…

  25. Im so glad that I have less than zero interest in that sound.
    All just sounds like old hardhouse to me.

    • It is funny how when it reached it’s peak…it all reminded me of some poppy mash of electro-house and dubstep with epic trance buildups.

      Seems like the masses will never get enough of those buildups…although I play trance amongst other things, so I’m guilty. ;)

  26. sammsousa says:

    phil, i cant believe that somebody asked you “Why can’t I find anything good to play?”!!! all the other questions are acceptable from rookies! but “Why can’t I find anything good to play?” is just beyond me!

  27. Just play what you like and dont worry about edm or any other genre you have no interest in.

    Two sets that gave me goosebumps lately were from desto and eprom!

  28. This is exactly what daft punk were trying to get across when they made there new album ! They were trying to say dance music all sounds the same and they were spot on !!!
    Most people these days are trying to jump on the money spinning edm music band wagon instead of trying something new and different ! Put it this way – ask yourself will you be listening to it in 10 years time answer is NO

  29. Worried that this horrendous commercialisation is happening to house. Not progressive house (very ironic name these days), but the more underground stuff.

    Slowly but surely it’s becoming a much more popular genre, I’ve always loved it but even 3 years ago you couldn’t find it anywhere save the actual specific DJs doing the nights.

    Nowadays I went to a bar in Covent Garden and the DJ was playing Detroit Swindle. Was happy that I had someone else to talk to about music in that respect but I don’t think it’s going to be look before it’s the turn of house to be released as vanilla track after vanilla track.

    I’d love more people to find these great artists and tunes, but inevitably the more popularity it gets and the more widespread it becomes, the more people/DJs/producers jump on the bandwagon to make some quick money and make awful music.

    I’ve already heard someone put grime lyrics over Julio Bashmore “Au Seve”.

    And so it begins…

  30. I don’t see the problem. If this happens you have the advantage because you were into this sound for years! And if the music evolves to something truly afwul start playing different tunes.

    I’ve done this: drum n bass -> UK garage -> future jazz -> deep house -> and now I’ve added bass music and ‘beats’

    Switched styles because I could not identify with tunes that were coming out in some cases. In others I just got to know the genre’s and liked them!

  31. A-Dag-Io says:

    Are you guys serious? In my area (which is northern germany) I would bet there is not a single club playing ridiculous stuff like that. Regardless to say it won’t be played all night long. Sure, at Tomorrowland it will happen, and some hyper clubs in Ibiza, but that is not part of our general clublife. If that sound really is top-of-the-charts, then I couldn’t care less.

    • Yeah, this sound is definitely way more popular in the US, yet I found myself noticing that way too many German clubs play the Beatport charts all night long too. To be more specific, the Minimal and Tech House charts.

  32. Chuck "DJ Vintage" van Eekelen says:

    This is something that has been as old as DJ-ing, but has become more clear in the internet age.

    Every market has it’s music!

    I remember back in the early days, the (dance) charts in the UK were vastly different from the Dutch and both of them different from what filled the floors in the US. And when I went to Germany I had to get into completely new tunes yet again.

    I still think the best way to get a feel for your local scene is to go out and listen what the other guys play. And perhaps check a local dance chart site (like dutchdancelists.com). Many sites are either US oriented (or UK sometimes), but their charts will always reflect most numbers sold. And where do you sell most copies of something, in the biggest countries! The US being a very BIG market.

    I know that Cerrone’s Love In C Minor is on just about any greatest disco hits chart online. The song is totally and I mean TOTALLY unknown in the Dutch charts of the time.

    So, never played in any serious Dutch club, but (at the) top of the all-time greatest charts for the era.

    You need to know what your crowd likes and find songs that are new and inspiring to YOU and occassionally throw one into your set and see how the audience reacts. If they like it, you can find some more songs like it and broaden the horizon a little.

    Greetinx,
    C.

  33. I just went on a rant about this on my blog last week. Finally other people notice this besides me

  34. Thierry says:

    I agree with the ones talking about digging in crates in vinyl shops. We’ve learned the pleasure (and pain) of ‘the quest’ and won’t be satisfied with a top 10 or top 100 to suit our needs for new, fresh, unknown territories. We’ve heard so many vinyls that on the long run we’ve learned to define and recognize what’s “ours”, our sound. And it’s probably once we defined ‘our sound’ that we were allowed to evolve naturally to newer sounds.
    While today, young DJ’s have access to zillions of websites, promos, FB tracks, … mainly pushed by e-marketing forces. Kinda brainwashing, innit?
    Still, I strongly believe that some of those kids will learn at some point that they’re are other interesting tracks out there.
    Don’t we remember all how we used to love some cheesy house (of techno or r&b, …), just because it took us some time to discover less marketed artists like, say, Rick Wade or Ron Trent?

  35. What bothers me about the American market is that there is too less risk taking. Its about making money asap and as much as possible. Why book an underground DJ when there is saver and more money to be made with just another “Top DJ”. And oh boy is there creativity, innovation and experimentation out there…but thats the thing with a lot of Americans (what I reckon), you don’t do your own research…you rather just take the stuff that is being served directly into your face. I think thats just a cultural thing and nothing a few individuals can change but don’t blame the lack of creativity only on the fact that there are not enough “underground” bookings in the US. After all its you, the consumers, who define the market and create a need that the industry has to react on but as I said earlier, it seems your culture just doesn’t produce enough individuals with a demand for creativity, so there is no need for the industry to react on so the mass servings into people’s faces keeps working and the formula is unchallenged :)

  36. I get alot of promo’s and tunes send to my email and i listen to all off them and i also play most off them if i like them.. this is 70% of all my tracks the rest i look for on blogs/beatport etc.. so i play alot of unknown new stuff that isn’t even released and raped by Labels.

  37. As long as DJs aren’t willing to put in the time to dig in crates and be creative they will all play the same music because they’re too busy biting other’s playlists and watching the BP Top 100 (or any other chart) overly closely or allowing it to impact their sets far too much.

    If a DJ wants to stand out then they need to dig for tracks. Look for those tracks that no one else is playing that you know will explode. Sample, produce, get creative and push the limits…

    DJs used to do this all the time but over time ‘everyone’ wants to be a DJ but they aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to actually care about the music they play. If they really cared, they’d look beyond the list provided by someone else.

  38. Oh yeah, these are THE dj’s who can mix without using there hands;) i’m thinking there previous job was animator or something.
    Nowadays They just put in à cd and act like They are mixing! So They can make THE crowd go sit down, make lovesigns with there hands and stuff?! I’m talking guetta now..
    I really don’t guet it:) how can u go crazy About à tune u hear several times à day on THE radio? Sheaple i guess?

  39. odd substance says:

    its funny that exactly a member of the most commercial- typical- pioneer(mark(not as in: doing something new))-standard- fx- milked out- big anthem crap, made this mix!
    :D really!
    but yeah, they retired so he’s no longer part of it i guess.. if i would make music like that, and play it over and over again, i wouldn’t last a year nether! its funny cause the sheaple seem to keep digging it!
    but its great at the same time, while the rest is looking for there spot in the mass i’ll be standing in the minimal room where i can enjoy some fine underground tunes that don’t got those typical build ups!

  40. to me, it seems alot of producers and upcoming producers and bent on trying to keep to a genre, keeping all of their work confined in one small box of a genre.

    when people make music and stop worry about what category it falls in, the music shines as its expected. If people would stop feeding into the trolls commenting on their music and just appreciate the good and bad (while ignoring the bad unless its from a reputable source) they can produce music unincumbered (spelling?)

  41. I am starting on my third musical journey. I have been fortunate that the first 2 “careers” did well though their were some rough stops now and then. I started as a player – from 5 years old on piano ( from Chopin to Rock n Roll to Jazz ) just to give one an idea ). I later toured and played with some of the “Big Boys” and then went on to song writing. It went well after starving my ass off and a few more bumps in the road. I am now RETURNING to electronic music I started in music school in 1967 – WHY ? BECAUSE I CAN’T HELP IT ! I saw the first Moog ( 26 patch cords to get a sine wave !! LOL ! ) at the music school that was attending. I meant Bob Moog ( brilliant and wonderful man) because he could not afford a service man yet, he was the “service guy” ! – it was his first sale which was immediately followed by the Beachboys and The Who – I think you older people know the song they used it in ! My third journey is returning to electronic dance music or what ever the “press” wants to call it ! That’s is pretty close to what it is – it is electronically produced music – a turntable and mixers are electronic and there are dancers – the human beings that love to be part of the music and because of them – we are blessed !!

    I tried to do a remix of a song I wrote that was successful in 1979. The REMIX of the big hit was a hit on a little station in Santa Monica until the “Big Stations” made sure it was closed down – IN WEEKS ! A rave scene was just emerging – I remember going to a Moby’s first tour date in LA. I am now 70 years old, I have all the gear, I do not use turntables – it is an art form – PERIOD ! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW HAPPY I AM TO SEE THE PRICKS THAT RAN THE “PAYOLA STATIONS” ARE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS !!

    I create basic tracks on Logic Pro 9 and jam with those tracks or play mixes and mess with them live on Ableton with some help with a Novation Launchkey – has a keyboard and I REALLY PLAY along with tracks/mixes of mine and other DJs tracks AND OF COURSE request from customers. I will mostly likely get thrown out of clubs when I really start playing my stuff more than I should or being WAY TOO OLD (LOL) around the city ( Nashville – yes Nashville – healthy edm scene here – Skrillex just played here. Skrillex , deadmau5 and I believe Tiesto will be here in the fall in a GREAT BIG ASS COW PASTURE !! LOL !! Nashville is REALLY now music city – jazz, the symphony, ballet, the electronic scene – two new EM Mags and internet sites have popped up in just the last 2 months !! THEY ARE HUNGRY FOR YOU GUYS !! Advise from an old man that acts 14 ! DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO FOR YOUR SELF !!! Sounds corny but it works – I tried it with my writing. I came up with something different for the artist I wrote for AND I ALWAYS WRITE FROM THE HEART – MY HEART !! When I got hungry before , I got a regular job after playing with big ass rock groups back years ago BUT I DIDN’T STRAY FROM ME when it came to my playing and THEN to my songwriting !!!! The artist AND THEIR FANS wanted something new and the well known so called “big stars” knew it and they didn’t want warmed over rehashed B.S. from me or any other writers they called !! Like Steven Jobs did, he showed people what they didn’t know they wanted !

    It will happen to edm ( small letters ) – not yet, that is for sure BUT IT IS COMING AND SO ARE THE GREASY BUSINESS MEN !! TRUST ME ! They will fu….. it up just like they tried to do in 1983 with R & R – rock started dyeing and run by “business men” and then folks like Devo with upside down flower pots on their heads , the Pretenders and Pat Benetar plus others ( yes , they were considered new wave then !! ) cleaned out the crap that almost destroyed R &R. It is happening right now in country music. Half ass country with half ass rock – that combination is called “CROCK” !! There was good country–rock but is now done by 4 producers, 3 sets of session guys and the same 5 writers – what on earth is it supposed to sound like !!! MAY BE —— Beatport ?? – Hmmmm !!! Hey , BUT they are playing what they are given – they are not making the cookie cutter crap !! So stick to your guns – listen to this old fart !! I KNOW – I HAVE BEEN THERE ! Stand at the edge of the cliff sometimes and say I just might jump ( make sure you have a parachute !!) LOL !! BUT JUMP NOW AND THEN !! Something happens when a human being lets himself/herself just be free – might be crap at first but then one will make something that just touches others ! I have seen it over and over again !! We perform with music making machines ( turntables, mixers, computers, controllers, brilliant laser artists etc. BUT we are the controllers – PERIOD ! We speak a language that everyone understands but they can’t speak it – we CAN for them ……. With love AND it has to be from the Speakers/DJs heart , not from someone else’s !! Sure, one is being hired to “play what the people and the CLUB owner expects” but if your creative, it won’t be forever !

    Well, enough . I think I will call myself “Grandpa Trance” or “DJ Mean Ole Son Of A Bitch” or quite possible “Dead DJ” or “Armed N’ Burnin” Peace !!
    Duane Hitchings

  42. It’s funny because the term EDM has been used here in America since
    1994, just to get people to stop saying techno.

    Only now since our scene is now on the public stock exchange does it become synonymous
    with douchebaggery

  43. ray heath says:

    This is wisdom…
    “A DJ’s job is to look beyond. Further. Deeper. Wider. To find music that others will like if only they get to hear it. To put that music in a context that helps people to enjoy it. To try hard to present tunes people already know in surprising new ways that adds to their enjoyment of them. To look forwards, backwards, to take risks, to do whatever it takes to say something new with the music at their fingertips. Because good DJs know this truth: Music is emotion. It’s our language. It’s important.”
    And even better…
    ” Do you actually, genuinely like all the tunes you buy and play?
    After all, in the end the whole point is to have fun!

  44. IMHO we’re already seeing a backlash to the EDM phenomenon here in the UK with acts like Disclosure and Rudimental crossing over from the underground into the main stream and topping the UK charts. To my mind these guys are the next Faithless or Underworld and both will go onto become known world wide.

  45. Nathan W says:

    Amen to that! I really don’t get how lots of people find today’s dance music exciting, there’s no substance in it as far as I’m concerned. That’s why I listen to 90s dance instead, because they could experiment back then and they made it exciting, plus it still sounds good today.

  46. Beat the Dangerous says:

    I’m producer from Croatia. Our scene is in deep shit for 13 years. I don’t follow modern EDM music cause it is lame, poor and cheep. I produce what I think it makes me happy or gives me adrenalin and that’s it. I have my crew, label and followers. I love old school and early rave era and my tracks are driven by old school. There will always be some events for DJs that like good music. That shitty sounds are for people who do not want to think or search for meaning in music. DJs play that shit for money. People who love music will not produce that shit and DJs who love music will play what they like and they will have a steady job for the money.

  47. This is what we are saying about 2 years now. Everyone agrees with this article, but still somehow this EDM thing keeps going. Anyhow there is a vast underground that still enjoys real creative things that aren’t made for money but for the love: real love for electronic music. Still music is about discovering new things, not reproduce it all over again. That’s what makes EDM superficial: same sounds, same builds, same everyting … that’s why they use old hits and reproduced it to boring tracks instead of respecting the quality of the original.

  48. I feel like EDM now a days is more about the breakdown. I feel like everyday they get more intricate and carry more emotion in them, which is why (IMO) they usually lead to these “Big Drops”. But what really made the drop so big was the intense build up. On top of that, most of these songs are made for big festivals where people don’t really go to dance. They go there to fist pump and jump so you need songs full of energy. Of course that is not an excuse to make every “drop” sound the same. But again, I feel as if producers pay more atention to the breakdowns and buildups and then the “drop” is just a standard fat kick with a synth.

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