Ministry of Sound London

Is house music still underground?





Electronic music is no longer a secret to the outside world. Gone are the days when warehouse raves were unbeknownst to the general public when techno was strictly underground – when all electronic music was still thrown under the blanket phrase; “EDM”. Today, the lines between electronic and mainstream music have become blurred and even erased in some instances. 

Thanks to early pop/EDM crossovers from the likes of early 2010’s David Guetta & Calvin Harris, the chain reaction they’d unknowingly created is still going strong. So much so, to the point that even house music, a largely underground genre, has developed a taste for mainstream success. With tracks such as CamelPhat & Elderbrook’s ‘Cola’, Fisher’s ‘Losing It’ and Meduza’s ‘Piece Of Your Heart’, house music has become exposed to, and popularized by, commercial audiences. To comprehend house music’s rise to its current state of popularity, pop music’s backstory needs to be highlighted and understood.

Pop music is getting sadder

How often is the phrase “music nowadays is s**t/rubbish/insert appropriate adjective here” thrown around? While some say it’s overused like a pair of old socks – maybe there’s a reason for that? 

For pop music, the 2010s was a decade of exploration and immense evolution. When the likes of LMFAO & David Guetta came along with their feel-good pop/EDM anthems in the early part of the decade, commercial radio was filled with joyous music. Songs like ‘Shake It’ by Metro Station and ‘Good Time’ by Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen soon epitomized this, however, this would soon become a distant memory. 

Fast forward to the middle of the decade, and this all suddenly changed. In a study conducted by Lior Shamir at Lawrence Technical University, 6,150 song lyrics from Billboard Hot 100 singles released between 1951 and 2016, were gathered and processed through an algorithm, to determine the moods of which were portrayed in popular music during that timespan. The graph below shows a steep decline from 2013 onwards.

Melbourne-based Journalist, producer and DJ. Completed a Diploma of Audio Production at SAE Institute and loves everything from Jazz to Disco. Have a question? Don't hesitate to drop me a line!

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