Is EDM Starting To Sound The Same?

May 15, 2014 -

Fadi AbuZaineh

Let me start off by saying that I would be the first person to defend electronic music when it is under fire by the misinformed soul claiming that "EDM all sounds the same." Although songs can indeed sound similar, they mostly have distinct differences that are noticeable when one actually listens to it, and not just hears them. That goes for every genre of music that is out there.

Granted, there are blatant ripoffs that go uncredited, such as the recent deadmau5 vs. Wildstylez battle over "Some Chords" and "Straightforward," which ultimately ended in Wildstylez track being taken off the internet. Who could also forget the classic "Ice Ice Baby" quarrel, where Vanilla Ice CLEARLY copied Queen's "Under Pressure" and claimed on national television that it was completely original? Good times. But recently, 3 specific songs have come to my attention and...I don't know what to think of them.

One group that has been grabbing a lot of attention this year are Italian brothers Alessandro & Andrea Vinai, better known as VINAI. The duo has truly shown an awesome bouncy vibe to their tunes. But, if there's one thing I respect about my favorite producers, is that they are versatile and know how to make different sounding songs and still have them become giant hits. I first heard of VINAI when they released their collaboration with DVBBS that tore up the Beatport charts, "Raveology."


One thing I like to do when I first hear of an artist is scour the internet searching for live sets, remixes, and their discographies. One song I came across, "Hands Up" turned out to be what got their name out in the world, and I respect them for it. I could not help but think, however, that it sounded just like Raveology. After listening to both songs again, I came to the conclusion that yes...they do sound almost the exact same. Besides a different sounding lead synth on the drops, and hearing "NEVER STOP THE F*CKING BASS" versus "YO GET YO HANDS UP," the two songs are identical.


But wait, there's more! After this year's Ultra Music Festival, TJR released a new collaboration with VINAI called "Bounce Generation" and guess what? It sounds just like both Hands Up AND Raveology. How cool, right? I know it isn't the same song, but hear me out: All 3 songs are in the same key of A minor, and have that same VINAI bass synth on the offbeat during every drop. Coincidence? I think not.


I'm not saying that these 3 songs are exactly the same, but if a DJ at a club or rave were to string them together consecutively during their set, nobody would be able to tell the difference. If they were children in a family, they would be triplets. I give credit to each producer for making big hits. But for VINAI specifically, would it be too much to ask for a little more variety? Maybe a different key? Or drop? Overall, I do not think that EDM sounds the same, but there are some songs that make it seem like it does.


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