Remember when you used to spend all day playing arcade fighting games against your friends, and you had that one buddy who just kept pressing the same attack button, over and over, leaving you no time to gather your thoughts and use your actual skills? That shit was cheap as hell, and it really pissed you off, right?
Well, electronic dance music producers are doing the same damn thing in the studio. They're using the same tired-ass tricks and buttons and filters and drops, and they're getting away with it. They're hitting the same mine as someone else, because they heard that producer struck gold, and they want to make you jump up and down, but they don't want to earn it.
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The "Epic" Drop Ripoff
You know what song totally kicks ass? "Epic" by Sandro Silva and Quintino. You know what songs fucking suck ass? All 300 of the sorry ripoffs that came out since its release in October of 2011. That song had the drop heard round the world, and just like every cable station ruins the legacy of every good show, "Epic" has spawned a million shitty spinoffs, guaranteeing that every crowd at every festival for the rest of history can enjoy that drop without any of the legitimacy or artistic ingenuity for generations to come. Will.i.am ripped it off. Diplo played some crappy D-Rashid track on his latest BBC1 mix that ripped it off. Some douche-canoe named "Sean Finn" ripped it off while also remixing "Show Me Love." That's two cheap tricks for the price of one! Srsly, get off the D with this one, bros. Make your own sick drops.
Dutch House "Pew Pew" Synths
So, we just Google'd "EDM pew pew" and got a track from Afrojack's wack ass. Afrojack used to be cool like four years ago, but his style has evolved as much as a jar of peanut butter on a grocery store shelf (sorry creationists, that's not how it works). His infectious "dutch house" style, characterized by assaultive high-pitched synths, stabbed its way into the hearts of dancers in Holland and beyond. For a little while, dutch house was the coolest thing around (until dubstep stole the show, sorry Dirty Dutch fans circa 2009). For some weird reason though, artists like Afrojack and more continue to utilize these overplayed synths, and the rest of us are standing here like "really?" There are much newer techniques to overuse than this.
Hardstyle Builds into Trap Drops
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For instance, the latest in the we-never-want-to-hear-this-again category. What kind of a monster would take two sorry gimmicks and smash them together? It's the saddest, most surefire way to get a crowd of newbs jumping while simultaneously insulting every discerning listener within a five-mile radius. Firstly, hardstyle is fucking terrible. We know it's like, really big right now, but we liked it a lot more in 2003 when we played expert-level Dance Dance Revolution. Now you wanna take drugs and listen to it without even racking up points? You guys are weird. Secondly, trap is a grandma in dance music years. The dance genre started in February of 2012, and nothing should ever last more than 12 months in a post-Internet society. There are interesting ways to revive it, absolutely, but mashing it up against a hardstyle build is not one of them. That's just sloppy copy-paste production, and you're willingness to succumb to mediocrity is making us uncomfortable. Looking at you DJ Snake, Krewella, Flosstradamus, and seemingly everyone else.
Squeaky Bed Springs
Look, don't get us wrong, we love Jersey Club music, but we worry it's bordering on the edge of formulaic. We give it another six months before it's the most annoying thing you could ever possibly hear. We love it when Cashmere Cat drops the bed squeeks, and we think it will always sound good as a set piece - meaning, do it once in your entire set - but the more the Jersey Club train choo-choos toward mainstream station, the more and more we're hearing producers throw bed squeeks on the tracks. We don't want to hate this, but good things going bad is just the natural order of the universe. Entropy is unavoidable, and the mattress is getting squeeked out. Let's enjoy the last few pumps while we still can.
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Let's be real. The so-called "Pryda Snare" is the most incestuous technique in the dance music world. The reason everyone is always complaining about the Beatport top 10 sounding the same is because it actually is the same song over and over again, and this snare has a lot to do with it. This "Epic mashleg" contains 16 Beatport hits laid back-to-back, and the similarity between the so-called "originals" is vomit-inducing. It's like the time someone mashed-up Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" and Katy Perry's "California Girls" and we realized Dr. Luke was just making the same song over and over again. We officially hate everyone. Good night.
Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.