The so-called EDM genre has been undergoing something of a rapid evolution of late, with the style drifting away from its initial roots to something a bit more edgier and authentic. While the late-night club scene still keeps EDM in its regular rotation, many music industry insiders are seeing a movement in the electronic genre that is similar to the movement that ultimately gave birth to grunge in the late-80s and early-90s.
Born out of the musical complexities of metal and taking notes from the subversive style most often associated with punk, the grunge movement achieved mainstream appeal by eschewing the traditional mechanisms used by up-and-comers in the music industry at large. There was a sense of alienation and “otherness” that listeners immediately responded to, and the same thing is currently occurring with EDM: Listeners are consistently disillusioned by the perpetually churning gears of a music production industry that has never felt any real responsibility regarding musical authenticity.
As Kion Kashefi sees it, EDM is positioned to take over the music industry because it has dared to be unique and has continued to push boundaries instead of abiding by some established formula for success. The result is a genre that could leverage its burgeoning popularity into massive profits, yet it remains far more likely that this style of music follows the path of grunge by aiming for musical authenticity rather than commercial success and all its inherent trappings.
The two genres — EDM and grunge — could not be more different, and surely there are musicians who will be quick to declare that there is nothing about EDM that could be considered “authentic.” However, a listen to the recent releases of Daniel Lopatin or Alejandro Ghersi should be more than enough evidence to demonstrate just how important a role EDM is playing in pushing musical innovation ever forward.