2007-2017 might just be the greatest decade in dance music history

2007-2017 might just be the greatest decade in dance music history

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If all that sounds like a lot, it's only the start. There was also the skanking glory of UK funky; the return of Aphex Twin; the explosion of underground festivals with awesome production values; the elegant emo-bass of The xx and James Blake crashing into the US mainstream; the constant boom of Atlanta rap beats; the massive resurgence of eyes-rolled-back ambient; Joker, Rustie, Swindle, Hud Mo and blasts of neon synth; a loud and joyful contingent reminding us of dance music's LGBTQ+ roots; the menace of UK road rap; Norwegian space-disco taking over the world's festivals; Teklife using the tragic loss of DJ Rashad as impetus to consolidate their achievements and make juke/footworking a sound for the ages; a dozen weird “internet genres” like #Seapunk and Simpsonwave; the work of untold archivists to bring us gems from the past, whether that be 2003 Big Apple dubstep, 60s Nigerian funk stompers or 80s Japanese new age relaxation tapes...

And on it goes. And on. And on. This last decade has been a serious trip. No, there was no single “punk moment” or “acid house moment”, but that's precisely the point. There is no need. There is no longer one musical or cultural establishment to be overthrown by a new movement: just a torrent of music, some good, some bad, but which can't be summed up in some obvious credo or fashion statement, and which it'll take decades more to decode and understand. And here we are, still in the thick of it, with more to discover around every corner, and the musical culture constantly changing our minds, our attitudes and our ways of being. As a wise man recently said: what a time to be alive.

Joe Muggs is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to Mixmag. Follow him on Twitter

Patch Keyes is a freelance illustrator and regular contributor to Mixmag. Check his site here

Key faces and label logos from the last 10 years, from left to right in the illustration above: Diynamic, Teklife, Hyperdub, Maya Jane Coles, Hot Creations, Seth Troxler, Tempa T, Aphex Twin, Deadmau5 (founder of Mau5trap), Rustie's 'Glass Swords' out via Warp, Skrillex (founder of OWSLA), Burial, Helena Hauff (whose debut album dropped on Werkdiscs, a sub-label of Ninja Tune), Justice's 'Cross' logo used on each of their albums released via Ed Banger

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