GTA and the Death of Genre

Electronic music is frankly becoming an oversaturated market. When the same tools are accessible to everyone, there is definitely a larger library of good music, but there is also just an exponentially larger library. A growing trend in recent releases is artists showing off their versatility, and not being limited to the confines of genre.

GTA, which stands for Good Times Ahead, is a duo comprised of Julio Mejia and Matt Toth. Their new self-titled album, Good Times Ahead, neglects to put itself in any genre box. Sure, it’s mostly electronic, but it has elements of trap, house, future bass, and many other genres that typically follow a certain structure and are associated with a different type of culture within the electronic world.  With features by artists like Tinashe, Vince Staples, Tunji Ige, and Iamsu!, GTA have turned themselves into jacks of all trades, and the variety within their album as well as the expert execution of all of these different structures and genres in their music has propelled them forward to become a global force to be reckoned with.

Their previous releases, appropriately entitled Death to Genres: Volumes 1 and 2, adopted this same philosophy, though still having their basis mostly in trap. With this mission still clearly in mind, their new album showcases this goal much more than their albums that were titled to do as much.

A surprising highlight of the past month has been the release of Zeds Dead‘s new album, Northern Lights. This album followed suit to GTA’s in that its sonic atmosphere stretched far, far beyond just electronic music, incorporating pop, rap, and drum and bass among others. Before you say it’s too EDM for you, the song Too Young featuring vocals by Pusha T and Rivers Cuomo mixes the boppy, 90s Weezer feel with the edge and vibey feel of Pusha T’s voice, all atop a soundtrack that utilises just enough of those haunting, hollow sounds, keeping it upbeat but still letting us know that it’s Zeds Dead. DNA with Jadakiss and Styles P was another single from the album that played with classic rap production in all the right ways. Me No Care was a personal favourite, and somehow mixing reggae-style vocals and drum and bass production delivered a really successful result.

As electronic music continues to grow and releases come on a constant basis, it seems that more artists are choosing to stay relevant by incorporating their own signature styles, and translating this into the ability to produce for nearly any genre.  This adaptivity in some cases have allowed for growing success, and this may be something we continue to see within this world, hopefully executed with the skill and poise that both GTA and Zeds Dead have shown in their full-length works.  These are just 2 recent popular examples of abandoning genre, and finding success because of it.

Image: YouTube