Dating back to its early days, dance music has always attracted absurd sub-genres. As the sound’s global popularity has risen and digital technology has made it easier than ever for producers to collaborate and combine elements from different genres, the pace of silly sub-genre proliferation has only increased. Here are five special styles that we thought deserved their own spotlight.
Billboard’s Dance Power Special: Billboard’s 3rd Annual Dance Power List | Diplo on EDM, Beyonce & More | Dance Exec of the Year Pasquale Rotella | Robert Sillerman on SFX’s Implosion | Skrillex on Working With Bruno Mars | Singers Rozes, Kai and Astrid S. Talk Powering a Dance Hit | Weird World of Dance Subgenres | Far-Flung Dance Festivals | Hitmaking Remixers on Creating a Smash Song | Billboard’s Dance Power Players Shoot
Coined as a joke by Brooklyn producer Pictureplane, the genre, which often features horror-movie samples and scary sound effects, has been used to describe artists like Crystal Castles and Purity Ring.
What started as an A-list New York party (with A-Trak and Evian Christ) has become a euphemism for dystopian, industrial but funky house.
Coined by Montreal artist Snails, this bass-heavy subgenre takes dubstep and adds a layer of intense, in-your-face synthesizers.
This nebulous, decade-old descriptor, sometimes described as “happy trap,” is synth-heavy and uptempo with a huge emphasis (unsurprisingly) on the low end.
A version of this article originally appeared in the June 18 issue of Billboard.