How EDM Took Over Indie Music

The Smiths, New Order and R.E.M are just some examples of bands who dominated the early 80s new wave music scene with melodies that scream Indie. By the late 80s and early 90s, however, bands like Blur, Oasis and Pulp that were inspired by these revolutionary musical acts were no longer lingering around waiting for one top 10 hit; they were beginning to make multiple top 10 hits. Indie was no longer just a new wave, an obscurity; it was now classified as mainstream.

Now Indie is a ubiquitous word, one we throw around until it has no meaning. Admit it, you’ve probably done it yourself. But who can blame you? What is Indie anymore? If Ariana Grande releases an album track that doesn’t chart, some may say the song is Indie. If Bon Ivor decides to release a pop track one day that peaks at number one, some may say the song is Indie because he has otherwise always released Indie music. So now that the true origins and sub-genres of Indie are perishing, does this mean another influential genre has grabbed hold of the musical crown?

Electronic Dance Music happens to have an even longer history than Indie music, with artists such as Kraftwerk, Jean-Michel Jarre and Delia Derbyshire being described as the ‘pioneers of the genre.’ Derbyshire being the innovator, Kraftwerk being the administrators, and Jarre being the developer.

Now here’s the difference. Indie is no longer experimental and stems from a large variety of genres, taking Pop or Rock for example. EDM does the inverse, by instead guiding these same genres to create new sounds. Pop has influenced Indie, but Electronica has influenced Pop. Notice how in 1998 Indie-Rock band The Cardigans finally land themselves a top 10 album with Gran Turismo, just to be overshadowed by Massive Attack’s 100th Widow and Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In Da Corner when they released their next album Long Gone Before Daylight in 2003. Fast forward to today and it’s undeniably difficult to name a musician that isn’t influenced by Electronica, simply because of more modern EDM artists like Daft Punk contributing further sounds and techniques to the genre. In fact it would be ironic for EDM to ever end, what with it’s ‘futuristic’ sounds being such a vital aspect of it.

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