Electronic dance music (EDM) is highly consumed by the millennial listeners, club-goers and large-scale festival events such as Tomorowland and Ultra Music Festivals.
Even though you’re new to dance music, you might have played the “Mint” or “Dance Rising” playlist on Spotify. Those are known as EDM. But why there are so many genres?
Worry not. Let’s start with this introductory guide about EDM. Hopefully it will ease your confusion as beginner and gain new music knowledge.
1. EDM is not called DJ music
Most people would categorize EDM as “club music” or “DJ music”. In fact, these are not the actual names for music genres.
The EDM genres consists of a wide range of genres such as house, techno, trance, hardstyle, dubstep, trap, electro, etc.
Each genre has its own sub-genres, community, culture, history and evolution.
2. DJing is not music production
DJing is an art of spinning recorded music using DJ equipment.
It’s basically playing 2 songs at the same Beat-Per-Minute (aka speed); mixing with volumes or effects; and transitioning into the next songs.
On the other hand, music production is the process of creating a song from scratch and completing into final audio product.
Music production requires different skillsets, such as:
- sound design
- audio mastering
3. DJ Mix is not Remix
DJ Mix and Remix are not the same. A remix is a new piece of music which is done by re-modifying and adding instruments or vocals to an original song.
A DJ mix or DJ set is a continuous transition of different songs, which is often done by using DJ equipment.
4. Original mix vs. Radio edit vs. Club mix?
If you’re searching EDM music online, you have probably come across different versions of the same song.
In electronic music, these versions have different lengths and modification, which also serve a different purpose especially for the DJs.
Let’s learn the difference of each:
- Original mix – the main mix by the original artists
- Radio edit – a 3 to 4 minutes “cut” version of the original mix with shorter intro and outro; great for casual listening
- Extended mix – a longer version of the original mix, usually with extended intro and outro and easier to DJ with
- Club mix – special edits of the original targeting for dancefloor audience
5. Nightclubs vs. bars
Not all nightlife is created equal in terms of the level of loudness.
Nightclubs is all about the dancefloor-breaking and hands-up-in-the-air sensations. DJs tend to play “harder” with musical genres such as electro house, trap, hip hop and trance.
Bar, pub and lounge settings tend to play quieter electronic music such as progressive, indie, funk, chillout and pop.