DECADE IN DANCE MUSIC

2010-2019: A decade in music (REVIEWED)


As we say hello to a brand new decade, we can categorically conclude that ‘The Teenies’ were, undoubtedly, the most pivotal period for dance music in the genre’s entire history. Back in 2010, the term ‘EDM’ was yet to birth itself, as dance music still bubbled under the surface of the mainstream, reserved for club goers and pool-party attendees in idyllic hotspots such as Ibiza and Miami. That soon changed, as the resulting years saw a true golden age for ‘EDM’ with Calvin Harris gaining a lucrative Las Vegas residency, as Sin City became the latest destination to open their doors to the movement. We’ve since seen brief spells of dominance for tropical house, and a future house revolution. But with so many pivotal moments occurring during the span of the 2010-2019 period, here is A decade in music: REVIEWED.

Decade


DAVID GUETTA BRINGS DANCE MUSIC TO THE MAINSTREAM
Whilst the course of this decade saw French maestro David Guetta come full-circle, ending 2019 with a series of deep and dark performances under his ‘Jack Back‘ alias, at the start of the decade, Guetta was as far away from tech-house as you could possibly imagine. Teaming up with a range of the world’s biggest stars from the world of R&B, such as Kid Cudi, Nicki Minaj, Usher, Chris Brown, Flo Rida, Akon, and many more, Guetta propelled dance music into the mainstream, pioneering the way for ‘EDM’ to rise as a radio-friendly sound in the commercial world.

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SKRILLEX REIGNS SUPREME WITH RECORD GRAMMY HAUL
As the sounds of dance music branched out into several more socially acceptable sub-genres, dubstep’s meteoric rise was met with a record GRAMMY haul for the leading forefather of the genre; Skrillex. Scooping a grand total of 8 awards and 13 nominations in total over the course of the 2012 and 2013 ceremonies, sending him clear of worldwide superstars such as Drake and Madonna in the overall standings!

skrillex


AVICII BECOMES WORLD’S BIGGEST SUPERSTAR
Once in a generation, a talent comes along like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Swedish producer Tim Bergling (aka Avicii) WAS that talent, as he swept all before him during one of the most incredible rises ever seen in the course of music history. A master of melodies, it was Avicii’s 2011 hit ‘Levels’ that really shot him to super stardom, with the Stockholm-born star later getting mentioned in a presidential speech from Barack Obama, performing alongside Madonna at Ultra Music Festival, and having an entire hotel rebranded in his name at Miami.

Avicii


SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA ANNOUNCE SPLIT & ‘ONE LAST TOUR’
At the peak of their powers, there was no act capable of drawing a crowd like Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso, aka the Swedish House Mafia. Selling out New York’s Madison Square Garden in record time, the trio stunned the world in 2012 when – just weeks before their 60,000 capacity show at the UK’s MK Bowl venue, they announced their split. The statement published on their website preceded a mammoth worldwide schedule, dubbed ‘One Last Tour’, culminating in an emotional farewell at UMF in 2013.

Swedish House Mafia


DISCLOSURE PIONEER METEORIC RISE OF DEEP-HOUSE
With Swedish House Mafia’s departure from the scene signalling the first deflation of EDM’s bubble, the industry was crying out for a refreshing sound to offer variance to the progressive house tones of the EDM golden era. Step forward British brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence, aka Disclosure. Their debut album, ‘Settle’, pioneered a more stripped back sound, led by UK garage and breakbeats. The production paved the way for the forthcoming success of acts such as Ben Pearce, and Duke Dumont.

Disclosure Settle


HARDWELL BEGINS ERA OF BIG-ROOM DOMINANCE IN DJ MAG TOP 100
Within the first half of the decade, the phrase ‘If it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much’ soon started to crop up more frequently, as rising star Hardwell continued his rapid ascent, releasing storming tracks such as ‘Apollo’ and ‘Spaceman’. Hardwell’s period of dominance peaked in 2013 as he was crowned the number #1 DJ in the world, going on to repeat the feat in 2014 following the launch of his ‘I AM Hardwell’ movie. Over the course of the next 6 years, big-room remained the most popular sub-genre of the poll, with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike (twice) and Martin Garrix (three times) snatching the DJ Mag title.

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‘GECKO’ KICKSTARTS ‘FUTURE HOUSE’ REVOLUTION
Alongside his own stunning productions, this was the decade that Tiësto turned mentor, displaying a knack for picking up the hottest new musical talents on the scene. In Autumn 2013, a track named ‘Gecko’ by then-teenage sensation Oliver Heldens was signed to Tiësto’s ‘Musical Freedom’ label, and was so unique, it birthed the rise of a brand-new genre; One labelled as ‘future house‘ by music fans worldwide. The track – remarkably – became a huge crossover hit, with the vocal version ‘Overdrive’ hitting number #1 in the UK Charts, and opened the doors for similar sounds made, and progressed, by acts such as Tchami, and Don Diablo.
heldens
THE RETURN OF UK HOUSE AND THE SUMMER OF 2014
As the started to shine on the summer of 2014, record temperatures and a samba-soaked World Cup in Brazil sent global audiences into a frenzy of positive vibes. The energy was mirrored by the return of real four-to-the-floor house music, with British producers such as Duke Dumont, Jax Jones, and Gorgon City dominating Friday night airplay on BBC Radio 1 thanks to the holy trinity of Annie Mac, Pete Tong, and Danny Howard. Rich piano-house anthems such as MK‘s ‘My Head Is A Jungle’, Route 94‘s ‘My Love’, Secondcity‘s ‘I Wanna Feel‘ or Kiesza‘s ‘Hideaway’ all excelled, with The Magician‘s slick remix of Clean Bandit‘s ‘Rather Be’ proving the tip of the iceberg.
duke dumont
MARSHMELLO AND THE CHAINSMOKERS KICKSTART AMERICAN SCENE
With Europe continuing to dominate the global dance scene, the USA started to adopt their own unique angle on the industry, adding a much more bass-inspired touch to proceedings. Acts like Diplo, Bassnectar, NIGHTMRE, Ghastly, Slander, Porter Robinson, Dillon Francis, Illenium, Kaskade, Jauz and Seven Lions all enjoyed meteoric success, but it was undoubtedly The Chainsmokers, and Marshmello, who took things to the next level – with the latter even hosting his own virtual set in popular video game, Fortnite.
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DANCE MUSIC BECOMES BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY
At the start of the decade, dance music was still very much the unfashionable sibling of R&B, Pop, or Rock. But with the latter suffering a post-Oasis purgatory, and the former roped in by David Guetta to provide vocals on his ‘One Love’ album, dance music actually became pop, as soon skyrocketed financially, with more and more DJs becoming regular household names. Clocking up huge residencies in some of the most glamorous hotspots on the globe, dance music became a multi-billion dollar industry, with an IMS report valuing the genre at just over 7 billion total.
Calvin Harris Tiesto
CAMELPHAT BRING UNDERGROUND TO THE MASSES WITH ‘COLA’

By the time 2017 approached, the names of CamelPhat, or Defected, were no stranger to the dance community. The former – a talented UK duo – had released big hits such as ‘Paradigm‘ on Axtone, and ‘Constellations‘ on Spinnin’. Whilst the latter continued to glow as a label, churning out several of the biggest house and disco hits around. But now, everything had changed, as CamelPhat’s club track ‘Cola’, found its way to daytime radio, becoming a massive commercial hit. The industry had never seen a crossover success like it, and the track ended up earning the pair a GRAMMY nomination.

CamelPhat


SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA STUN THE WORLD WITH MIAMI COMEBACK
After We Rave You originally broke the news in December 2017 that Swedish House Mafia WOULD return at Ultra Music Festival 2018, rumours were rife that the comeback everybody had dreamed of was becoming a reality. By the time SHM posters appeared in Miami’s Wynwood District on the final afternoon of Ultra, all of Florida – and the world – was buzzing with excitement, and so, as fire started to blast from all angles around the stage, the phoenix rose… For the first time in half a decade, Swedish House Mafia were back!

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FANS MOURN LOSS OF AVICII FOLLOWING SUICIDE IN OMAN
It was, without a doubt, the darkest day in dance music history. On 20th April 2018, news broke that Avicii had ended his own life whilst on holiday in Muscat, Oman. The tragic loss was echoed around the globe, as DJs, producers, friends and family started to pay their tributes. The one glimmer of light from Tim’s death saw greater focus placed on the mental health of artists, with Hardwell announcing his retirement from touring, but it still wasn’t enough to prevent further suicides, with The Prodigy‘s Keith Flint passing away less than a year later.

avicii


FISHER BRINGS TECH-HOUSE TO FOREFRONT OF DANCE SCENE
When a viral video of a jovial Aussie DJ performing at Coachella went viral in early 2018, few could have imagined the impact social media would have in growing the brand of the man we’ve all now come to know and love as ‘Fisher’. The larger than life personality skyrocketed overnight thanks to his massive hit ‘Losing It’, headlining several of the world’s biggest festival stages and earning his own Ibiza residency. The rise of Fisher collided with the popularity of tech-house on the whole, as the sub-genre ended the decade as the most trending variety of dance music.fisher tomorrowland





(BA Hons Journalism), 30, London. NCTJ-accredited journalist and dance music lover specialising in interviews, features, editorial work, and reviews.

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