In recent years electronic dance music has become so portable that self-made DJs may carry their wares to almost any amenable venue. Popular dance remixes and musical navigations give celebrity to DJs with innovative musical palates in combination with fresh edginess. Biggest among the mainstream dance DJs are Paul Oakenfold, Paul van Dyk, DJ Tiesto, and Nick Warren. This short list encompasses some of the leading DJs and underscores the international richness of this genre.
Electronica is so loosely understand that in the mainstream the term embraces sub-genres such as house, techno, and drum and bass, as well as trip-hop. Each of these in turn draws from its own set of styles and musical inflections, with the overall goal of producing a well-produced dance rhythm. Artists Depeche Mode, Enigma, and Erasure characterize early mainstream techno/electronics.
Electronica explores the range of sounds attainable without traditional instruments. At the same time it makes a big beat, it also seeks to create atmospheric soundscapes and aural textures made to bounce off the walls of dance clubs and seriously fill up air space. Of course the technology that spawned such musical opportunity was the personal computer, so most of it has evolved since the 80s. The PC age brought clear digital sound to the Everyman and made for easily dubbed loops of electronic music candy. Mixed with pop and other signature styles the resulting music can be transformed on the fly by DJs that have earned their own type of musical celebrity.
Electronic dance music grew as a genre from the ashes of disco. Disco had melded historically separate pop with funk and urban music to create a danceable and infectious shake-your-groove-thang movement. By the time the disco fad of the 70s had faded into the 80s, music as a whole had evolved. Acoustics went electronic across the board. Rock and roll plugged in, and dance turned a new leaf called ‘electronica.” Synthesizers, electronic keyboards and electronic instruments of all kinds replaced acoustic sounds and took up residence.
Electronica is very popular in many European countries. In fact some of the most well respected artists hail from the international dance realm. Top artists include Goldfrapp, Groove Armada, Royksopp, and Daft Punk.