At the beginning of every year, we at 5 like to get reflective of all the things that have transpired in our scene. We also like to play the game of crystal ball not only for sheer amusement, but also perhaps to brace ourselves for inevitable change. As a community our comfort levels have gradually gained elasticity over the past 5 years thanks to the breakneck speed of technology and social trends, so we have now become less fearful and angry of the new.
So we asked our 5 Mag writers along with various movers from the dance music scene what some of their predictions are for the coming year’s scene.
When it comes to music, I think the buckets of “good” or “bad” will always be what helps DJs/tastemakers decide what should be played and shared with punters regardless. Although musically, there seems to be a push for Disco House and those old school edits keep coming involving the remastered likes of Disco legends craving a re-sampling again. While things go in cycles, I’m just not sure how progressive this is when it’s been done before. The good news is that it’s a sound that may be touching on a younger audience’s ears to whom are just discovering these foundational sounds of House music. That being said, it’s nice to hear tech based sounds that are more innovative and have some soulful element to it versus the generic sounds that seemed to loop endlessly with no change in some cases.
The way our audiences consume music will continue to go down the road of streaming in many cases, leaving DJs to fit the bill through downloading / purchasing of tracks in search of the tracks they would choose to “chop” or play outright in their live performances. Technical enablers like Pioneer’s DJ 1000 continue to help blur the lines between DJ’ing and production which I think is a great thing because new things will be discovered however intentional or serendipitously.
As a result of what happened in Playa Del Carmen early in 2017, I predict there will begin a re-ascension upon Miami, as last year that was already showing to happen. Before BPM and other smaller get togethers gained the traction they did, Miami was still the place to be, and I think 2018 will be the year the city and its next generation of venue owners and patrons figure it out and put the pieces back in place to make it the definitive destination for partygoers in North America in the early months of the year. How long that can last is up to Miami itself… the city needed a dose of reality, and nothing dishes that out like a big fat kick in the bank account.
Adrien Assadian (Djoon)
Afrohouse is going to keep growing and I’d like to see the artists who actually produce it start touring more in Europe. I’m also hoping to see more diverse lineups and not just as a gimmick (seeing “100% female lineup” as a selling point on a flyer pisses me off almost as much as “vinyl only” and completely misses the point).
Waves and trends are predictably unpredictable. Staying true to what you do and who you are will always find an audience because people respond to honesty.
In terms of musical taste, I think Soul music will finally take its rightful place in the famed 7 year cycle of musical trends. And because this style requires actual knowledge of music theory and real instinctual talent, those who try to fake the funk and ride the trend will fall off and there will be fewer but more qualitative musical output.
I believe smaller more intimate venues will become more popular as the EDM crowd becomes older and hopefully more sophisticated.
There will be an increase in boutique style music events, especially in galleries combining art & DJs.
I predict that in 2018, dance music will continue on its path back to the funky, soulful sounds that give us life, light and inspiration to stand and dance with our brothers and sisters in these dark times.
It may come as something of a shock to regular 5 Magazine readers to know that I’m actually feeling pretty positive about 2018 and beyond. It seems as if the glitter of reality TV, social media, YouTube and Soundcloud celebrity culture has been tarnished somewhat by Trump in the US and Brexit in the UK. The masses are awakening to the reality that whether it’s politics or music-making, being good at stuff actually takes quite a lot of dedication and hard work. And it might actually be really dangerous to listen to the wrong people, however desperate for attention they might be. I’m in danger of ranting again, and I’m sure you’ve all had quite enough of that from me this year. Let me consult my crystal disco ball…
Aaaah the dry ice is clearing and I see something…
I see a return to soulful, melodic sounds in House music. I see props being given to some originators who, as recently as two years ago, had been left out in the cold by the ‘new wave’. I see a lot of older producers re-energized by the enthusiasm for the sound being shown by the young. I see consumers caring more about provenance of their music and starting to support companies who compensate artists fairly (surprisingly, Jay-Z and Tidal might just lead the way). In a climate where misogyny and rampant sexism have become impossible to ignore, I see ALL decent men standing up for women in the industry (and in life) as they call out the dinosaurs for what they are rather than letting them off the hook, staying silent or minimizing their abhorrent behavior as being ‘old school’ or ‘a bit of a character’. I see a world with more internet radio stations than nightclubs in most cities. I see all the people who set up internet radio stations in the last two years get sick of it and start to think about maybe starting a little club night somewhere. I see all those isolated music lovers begin to break free of the matrix and find each other (and themselves) once again on the dance-floor.
Finally and actually most importantly, I see a vibrant, innovative and youthful jazz revival already catching fire across the globe, which for me is always a barometer for what’s to come in house, soul and hip hop. Seeing the talent and originality in the latest crop of jazz players makes me very excited for what’s to come. If jazz is indeed the root of our musical tree, then how can you not like those apples?
I’m hoping it (the dancefloor) brings world peace-it’s the only thing I see right now that has unity within it.
I have no idea what 2018 holds in store but I do know what I hope happens…
I’d love to see more American DJs and producers get their props. I’d like for there to be a resurgence in the DJ who is successful for being a dope DJ, not for being a producer who then gets booked to DJ but has no idea what they’re doing. I’d love for said DJs to stop calling parties “shows.” The DJ is never supposed to be a spectacle, put above the crowd in any way. Calling a party a “show” is in complete opposition to everything dance culture represents.
I hope there are more small dark exciting basements and less huge boring festivals. I’d like for people to, PLEASE, once and for all stop caring about what format the DJ is playing music on. It does not matter. This is coming from someone who carried around 5 or 6 crates of records with him to clubs for the first 10 years of my career. I hope that some bigger night clubs will take a risk and give a weekend night over to one DJ and let them play as a true resident, every Friday or Saturday night. I’m quite certain clubs like the Sound Factory and the Paradise Garage would not live on in lore as they do today if there had been an endless flock of international touring DJs coming and going every weekend, playing for a measly 2 hours.
Oh yes, and about that. I really do hope clubs and promoters start to see the benefits of booking a DJ to play for the entire night. I am a terrible DJ when I only play for 2 hours. Without fail, I always get into my groove about 7 minutes before the next DJ shows up ready to play. The most magical nights I had in 2017 were nights when I got to open, and play til 4, 5 or 6am. I am very lucky that there are clubs in NYC that allow me this opportunity but I think it should be the standard. We’d all be better for it.
I do think that things are moving in the right direction. Those of us who have loved and been a part of dance music for a long time, fell in love with it for its spirit of inclusivity, the ritual of dance, the music and its power to make the outside world disappear for just a little while. People seem to be making more of an effort lately to preserve this tradition and I’m very happy to see it. We need it more than ever!
My prediction for 2018 and beyond is that song and dance will have a huge rebirth. If you follow trends, we’ve watched the rise and fall of many genres of music. Today’s pop music, EDM/Trap music has seen its rise but is on a slow descent out! We are finally getting back to the basics and feeling the heart of music. House music is on the rise again, expanding to gospel house and giving the heart of music a brand new beat. Next year this time you’ll say, “Terry Hunter is truly a visionary, he called it!”
Honestly honey I’m not really sure. Right now I’m just hoping Trump doesn’t blow us all off the map. I can’t even think of what might happen in music.
I’m no psychic but I am an idealist who hopes that 2018 will see even more fantastic output, collaborations, recognition, respect and most importantly WORK for the next generation of artists coming up making badass beats like KE, Ed Nine, Mad Villains, Intr0beatz, Folamour just to name a few.
2018 is all about streaming, streaming, streaming! The download is dead, but HOUSE MUSIC LIVES!
There’s always a great deal of wishful thinking in forecasting the near future. The big changes are almost always slow, gradual and nearly imperceptible, like the opening up of a sinkhole that goes unnoticed by the surface dwellers until it swallows up their entire fucking neighborhood.
I think Bandcamp will become the top destination for DJs buying tracks in the near future. This is a highly underrated development as it is: Bandcamp is claiming a greater and greater share of the DJ market and the market for electronic music in general, and it’s doing so without aggressive marketing or selling at a loss. (I’m not sure they even understand the DJ market or are more than vaguely aware of it. Thankfully they don’t really need to for selling records to it.) It’s entirely sustainable, and they don’t care if you’re selling digital or vinyl or both or neither or a shirt or a cassette tape. It’s wishful thinking for me to believe this will happen in 2018, but it will probably happen sooner or later, because Bandcamp is literally the most empowering platform for music makers since the internet was invented.
Musically I’ve detected the same gradual trend toward a return of the human element in electronic music. I think this means a lot of house music inching toward disco; deep house inching toward soul and so on. Some of this is inevitable: young producers get a sip of success, buy better gear, through repetition they learn how to use it and just get better at developing songwriting and arrangement. The influx of people who were brought up on EDM, matriculated into the underground and have been polishing their chops for awhile suggests we’re about to see a lot of the loop&kick producers develop their skills and graduate on to the next stage. This is also wishful thinking, but only in timing: it will happen sooner or later, and the sooner the better.