predictions on music and its culture(s) in 2019


-I guess consciousness of sustainability in the music industry will be more prevalent. Unfortunately it’s certain that it’ll go hand in hand with people just blindly accepting streaming as a status quo and using its statistics as a means of self-worth in the industry. Pretty sure Gildan makes more money with merch for music labels that streams at this point.

-Physical releases are still gonna be in but they’re more and more expensive for indie / small labels. Big labels (super big ones like RCA, Columbia, Sony, etc) obviously have enough money to spend crazy amounts for physicals but smaller ones are really feeling the heat especially since costs for actually putting vinyl out is rising. This thread is worth a read with differing opinions:

-i go on dubstepforum and people joke about brostep making a comeback within a year or a few. I completely doubt that, considering how shitty brostep has became sort of illegitimatized and shunned outside public view nowadays while the real stuff is burgeoning. @str_apx and yeah Sicaria Sound are some very sick dubstep DJs, they’ve got a Rinse FM residency too. all banging shows. Also check in the near future for a Silk Road Assassins x K9 track in the very near future it’s gonna be sick :smiling_imp:


Ah they do dubstep that makes sense. I’ve seen a bit more dubstep / grime crossover recently (seems to have been going on a while in Bristol particularly).

It does seem like dubstep is on for a comeback but I worry the reaction against brostep has maybe pushed it a bit too far towards “deepness” and away from “rudeness”. Not that I don’t love deep stuff. I’ve not rly been feeling much of the new stuff with a few isolated exceptions, but I’ve not been paying much attention so can’t really judge. Are there any labels / artists you’d recommend? It might just be that as dubstep was my first dance music love I’ll never be able to recapture the joy of that, or maybe the brostep takeover was too traumatic for me to be able to fully invest in the scene again.

One of the big issues for the original scene seemed to be that they couldn’t market themselves effectively because their scene label had been appropriated by this other, quite specific brostep sound overnight. So you’d get ppl coming to (original style) dubstep events and getting pissed off and saying “play some dubstep!” I seem to remember seeing a lot of ppl complaining about that at the time (I got into it years too late, just on the cusp of the brostep takeover and the years of “post-dubstep” drift). So how does the scene deal with this now? Now that bro-style dubstep is no longer flavour of the month are ppl able to put on events with more of the original vibe and not have to worry about ppl misinterpreting the vibe of the event?

Speaking of brostep: I personally don’t see it coming back because it was so formulaic and limited from the outset there aren’t many avenues a new scene could explore that haven’t already absolutely been done to death. It also seems never really to have gone away in the public sphere, it’s morphed into EDM and has been assimilated into chart pop, and when I hear it it tends to be library music ripoffs for adverts and stuff. But you never know. These things do go in cycles…

Silk Road Assassins x K9? Tasty. Obviously a busy man.

Saw there was going to be a Faultz x Spooky thing coming out too, which sounds great (it’s a kind of cuts style thing, I think ppl miss those sometimes because a lot of the big Spooky tracks are archetypal grimey bangers, but he is a master of the cuts style).

Agree with your points on formats. I’ve always had an ambition to do a label (which I’ll probs never get round to / be brave enough to try) and 2018 was the year I gave up any dreams of pressing vinyl or CDs and came to terms with the fact that any potential label would be exclusively digital. Still don’t like Spotify and would not be able to muster up any enthusiasm for running a label where the focus was on trying to game streaming services.


SHXCXCHCXSH made that beautiful melodic album called Linear S Decoded in 2014 and then they drove into the longest tunnel and they can’t seem to find their way out


theyre down there in a hyperloop with elon…


This Bokeh thread is interesting but jesus christ the formatting on Twitter is utterly abysmal.


EDM is like The Blob, it absorbs whatever it touches and it becomes that thing. It happened with Electro House, Big Room House, Brostep, Tropical House, and now Trap is slowly being absorbed and having the life sucked out of it, and from what I gather it looks like it’s nearly done. Historically, whatever the hot underground genre happens to be, it ultimately ends up getting bro-opted by what used to be Diplo/Mad Decent and co. and repackaged to the IG model/coachella crowd. If they had pressed on, they might have taken Bounce, Bmore club, Jersey Club, maybe Kuduro who knows. Anyone want to take bets on what genre gets absorbed next? I’d put a paycheque on GQOM; lotsa festival girls (sexism edit: and dudes) probably couldn’t tell the difference between DJ Lag and Major Lazer anyways.

Also post-mortem 40oz pour out for Bacardi House. I was convinced this shit was gonna blow up. RIP Spoko.


@max-renn I’ve said this countless times in DSF but I initially hated “trap” when it popped up in 2013 after Harlem Shake got the genre popular. For me, trap had some pretty stark similarities to the brostep scene - it apparently popped out of nowhere (regardless of how much instrumental trap was building up) as a pretty formulaic, kinda shitty festival type of genre. It took me quite a while to actually rate trap music lol.

@str_apx regardless of how popular the original formula of dubstep gets, it’s still permanently tainted in the public sphere. If you mention dubstep to someone, they’ll probably think of some EDM type stuff rather than, say, old Punch Drunk 12"s and Tempa.

The “real” scene still has problems in itself. Dubstep nowadays dominates online record store sales - at least for me. Go on Redeye Records on the weekly / monthly chart and almost all the top charters on bass music is dubstep. Most of the reason tho is because records within specific genres sell. It’s easier to sell a 12" attached to a lively genre that’s active throughout the world and URL, which makes marketing releases easier as well, rather than putting out a release that focuses less on genre and more of what a producer has to offer in terms of sound palette - much more riskier. Despite that a lot of dubstep releases I see nowadays are pretty dry and uninspired. Many producers look too much on dubstep’s past producers rather than trying to forge a new path into more experimental territory. Not saying that being experimental is necessary, but too many tracks sound so obviously influenced by what’s already happened. I still do think the scene is at a pretty healthy state right now.

good article to read about dubstep right now imo. Good stuff’s always gonna be put out, regardless if it’s on flagship labels or not. Just like all genres, it requires lots of digging through youtube / discogs / socials to find some pretty great stuff.


huge EDM enterprises, like Ultra Music Festival, will continue to pivot to/diversify with Business Techno, Tech House, and Dirtybird or whatever other easily-packageable 4x4 fad is as the 2010-12 model of EDM slows down.

This has been happening incrementally for a while, and these places always had these sort of tech house stages, but I’ve noticed they have been giving some of these larger non-EDM acts a sort of equal billing/marketing.


Yeah i think you’re right on, @cossrooper too, my bet is that EDM absorbs K-Pop which then becomes K-House, and puts Sean Paul (or the new EDM equivalent - Popcaan?) over Gqom loops with Club influenced everything sprinkled in. Also potentially a Big Beat recharge with Fatboy Slim and Chemical Brothers-esque main stage big room sounds (which honestly could be my guilty pleasure) while meanwhile all the “underground” kids (us) are hating on it while deconstructing trance or rave sounds. listen to Avalon Emmerson or Bwana’s sets or Kode 9 and Burial’s FabricLive as evidence of what the easily influenced are gonna dig into that they’ve never heard in context cus theyre 22-25 and have become label influencing tastemakers.


its gonna be interesting in 3-5 years when we’ve mined all the past eras of electronic music for deconstructed meta tunes (we’re reaching the millennium era these days) and have no more referential false nostalgia to tap into / impress our elders with. i guess thats when we pass over Ableton to the AIs, retreat to our modular rigs and pedals or say fuck it lets have another era of making soul boogie funk disco break edits and learn to scratch and transform again. should be fun.


wild yet possibly prophetic video / commentary about the state of EDM


haven’t artists like james holden and jesse somfay been doing that for years?

this james holden track that dropped on monday is a classic example of it and he’s well known for his shamanic trance malakey

anyway. i love it.



hey crew! first post on here, it’s nice to be back on a forum :slight_smile: not been on one since dubstep forum 2008/2009

some general thoughts on music culture at the moment.
(i’m more of an optimist than the following might suggest !)

i hope that 2019 brings a move towards a sort of fan autonomy. it already feels like bandcamp, and more recently patreon, for instance are reconnecting fan and artist and removing the middle ground for the better.

it largely feels to me that we’ve being spoon fed music for the past near decade and i think this is demonstrated in the ‘best new music’ model popularized by pitchfork and since adopted by RA, Fact Mag etc.
critical acclaim is deserved where due, but i feel that this system is to the detriment of the other 99% of music out there, and does not help to foster a sense of discovery and curiosity in music fans and they bypass everything else in favor of the ‘best’ stuff. i also think it dissuades artists from going at it independently, or trying anything outside of the industry norms, and as such things get a bit stagnant resulting in same end of year lists across the board, same festival lineups across the board.

i would like to see less nepotism in the music press.
i’ve witnessed many instances of favor being given towards artists and labels who are pals with editors and writers. i don’t think this is inherently bad but i feel that there should be more transparency regarding this issue and it somehow feels like the elephant in the room which hasn’t been addressed yet, especially at a time when we’re working to improve a lot of what has been wrong with the music underground.

i find it strange that artists are hung out to dry for things that are largely a consequence of how the music industry, such as taking a corporate gig. how people reacted to discwoman working with reebok for instance was abhorrent (and likely the sort of thing that led to the RA comments closure).
perhaps taking corporate money as a means to fund Independence from the ‘industry’ is a more radical move in 2019?

it feels like the artist is now the one responsible for upholding the values of the underground, whereas in the end it is a system that we are all complicit in and have a say in by deciding what sites to click and what labels/festivals etc to give our money too.


I’m curious, what do you mean by referential false nostalgia?


I missed the discwoman / reebok controversy, do you know a gd place to get the story? Cause I’m v interested in that kind of stuff, backlashes against wokeness (which I’m guessing is partially what fed into that controversy) etc

(my own view being that politically wokeness is good and necessary, but there’s a weird dynamic whereby those kinds of politics are ignored by mainstream unless stated in a confrontational or provocative way. and that the inevitable mainstream backlash is seeded (or at least aided) by that provocative manner of expression that is required for it to rise above the media din. this cld be looked at with reference to current media and information-spreading models - do they work in a kind of relentless process of generating controversy by challenging mainstream norms, then challenging the new norms that come out of the controversy, and letting the pendulum swing back & forth, generating ‘content’. And what wld a more productive landscape look like?)


so to me its sort of a concept of present day electronic music heads pining for the olden days of rave or house/techno/insertgenre through songs that encapsulate what they think the feeling of “being there” was with referential sound palates.

first place i’d say i came across it was jammie xx’s “oh my gosh” where there were samples from early 90s jungle and uk raves that sort of created a feeling of nosalgic “this is our culture” moment except it was made by a kid who wasn’t there, just heard all about how good it was. lots of older reviewers gave him shit for it, i didnt really care the songs were great but there was a trend popping off…

another more recent example would be youtube comments on a bicep performance where its an homage to 90s ravey stuff and comments are like “this is pinnacle of electronic music” or some shit like that…these 90s stories went around for a while of how good the golden years were when everyones mind was being blown by the new sounds coming out…well millenials get jealous and want to be part of the experience so we make tunes to try to impress our elders who were actually there, but in the end all we have is a bunch of kids on iPhoneXs trying to loop the best referential false nostalgia track’s laser show for their Insta…simulacrum techno.

now this all might sound cynical, and it is, but it gets at a deeper meat, which is that there aren’t new machines being used in new ways to make new sounds. just new machines trying to replicate old sounds ie deconstructing them for kids who can’t dance and care more about clean mixes than a resident whose career and trajectory they can follow and create relationship with in over months, years…the game has changed

and im a millenial btw not some old dude ranting about how it used to be…started raving in 03, clubbing in 10…dunno if anyone sees any validity in this opinion but would be interested to hear / be challenged on the (very nebulous) theory


which leads me to a good question i.e. predictions

will we see new musical genres in the future? correct me if i’m wrong but dubstep, juke and gqom are the only new forms of electronic music in terms of a whole genre / aesthetic / whatever u wanna call it in 2019 in the past decade? maybe vaporwave but id call that referential nostalgia too. feel like its a good question for this group, y’all keep up on that new…


OK, gotcha, thanks for the explanation.
Although the use of blanket statements is fraught with danger (and often factually not quite correct) I agree that sometimes it’s hard not to be cynical. But change is of course ongoing, and necessary.
The Jamie XX thing is interesting though. How does that scenario differ from, say, a footwork producer sampling 70’s/80’s soul/RnB. Actually, sampling as a practice entirely - we don’t have to have ‘been there’ for a sample to work, right? I’m with you in that if the song is good then the rest is largely a lesser consideration.

Re new musical genres, the matter of ‘incubation’ always rightfully comes up. The lack of it could absolutely be considered a change in line with tech advances / socials.
Principe’s kuduro maybe, even bassline? The discussion around what’s new and what’s a sub-genre could have us here for days.
You might want to rethink dubstep as a ‘new in the last decade’ trend though - although it has been mostly shit for 10 years!
Oh and Happy Birthday, I think :slight_smile:


I know it’s not “proper” dance music per se (and not without precedent) but I am of the mind that algorave feels like a fairly distinct new form of music…

what do y’all think?


thinking about all the discussions and books and blogs I’ve read last year i finally wondering: why is this so important at all? for every new genre that was new at some point you can listen now to all the stuff that happened before and see the steps how the music evolved. it just wasn’t labeled the same and maybe most people didn’t care.

to me for example juke/footwork was something new and it kinda hit me from nowhere. but when you actually listen to some of the ghetto house stuff or similar things before to me it was more like ok i just didn’t knew these sounds that maybe weren’t that far away from some booty electro or house or whatever and suddenly this excitement of listening to a new genre calms down a bit. (which is a good thing in my opinion.)


sounds very good! interesting music you linked!

… buuuut not that far away from some glitch and idm and electronica that is maybe 20 years old. more like a (good!) update?

it always depends of what you’ve listened before in your life if something is “new” i guess. ah, i don’t know, what you think?