Sounds of Ultra/WMC 2011?

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March 3, 2011 by DJ Elroy

What direction is dance music going this year? Traditionally the WMC has been a barometer of what we could expect to hear over the summer club season.

Lately, however, the music seems to be clawing its way out of the underground. Dance/Pop crossovers have been getting more play, and there seems to be a begrudging acceptance of dance music by mainstream ears. At least by the younger generation.

But is commercialism really what the Ultra/WMC is all about?

I don’t know anymore. Maybe it is all about the money. After all, there was a split, what was that? Sure, I know the reasons floated to the media and online communities, but there’s something deeper going on… isn’t there?

Ticket sales seem to indicate that what was once the biggest week of dance music debauchery can survive as two separate, smaller festivals. That’s a good sign.

But will the friction between the two camps change the vibe at all?

Probably not on the surface. But my tangent brings me back to the question: is the face of underground music changing and will it be reflected at the festivals this year?

Sure, changing, evolving, call it what you want. But is that always a good thing? I know, I’m old. I’m jaded. Why can’t it be like “the good old days”? I hear ya. Those days are done and gone and they ain’t a’coming back. Get over it, Elroy.

But is striving for mainstream acceptance really the answer?

Music-wise I’m expecting a return to house. Straight house, none of those niche sub-genres. Something more natural, less synthetic. What was once electro house has morphed into something else, some danceable high energy melting pot of genres that fly under a Swedish or Dutch banner. And I’m expecting some huge things from the Mothership/Dirtybird crew this year…

And where does dubstep fit in? I’m afraid to guess. I hope it’s on the way out.

Give it a month and we’ll see what comes out of the oven. Something new? Or more of the same as 2010?

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