The Hottest Genres of Electronic Music in 2008

electronic music 2008

No pun intended here: the EDM-pop that dominated the first half of this decade has begun morphing into more downcast depressive pop. Krewella’s “Alive” shows us this change; with its pizzicato string plucks and moody vocal loops driving an inebriating drop.

Modern EDM has become a multibillion-dollar industry with the advent of large music festivals, DJs and an international artist community. Its many styles and subgenres have now become part of popular culture.


Techno is an electronic dance music genre popular in the 1980s. It is distinguished by glacial synthesizer melodies and rapid machine rhythms. While various instruments may be employed during production of techno, digital technology such as drum machines is typically utilized. Roland TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines, as well as software emulations of these classic machines are frequently employed during techno production. Techno tracks typically range between 120 to 150 beats per minute (bpm) production rates and often incorporate four-on-the-floor beat patterns found in disco and funk genres.

Middle-class African-American youths in Detroit, Michigan became fascinated with European electronic dance music during the late 1980s; such as Kraftwerk’s Teutonic electro-pop and Alvin Toffler’s concept of “information overload.” Deejay producers like Derrick May, Juan Atkins, and Kevin Saunderson began incorporating elements of this style into their own works; eventually leading to what came to be known as Detroit techno. This new form caused havoc across Europe’s dance floors; unlike house which relied on vocals Detroit techno utilized instrumental tracks with more complex drum patterns compared to disco’s four-to-the-floor kick drum.

As house and techno music became more and more popular throughout the 1990s, artists experimented with different sounds, creating numerous subgenres of these styles. Notable examples include trance (featuring metronomic beats and cosmic melodies), progressive house (combining glacial synthesizer melodies of trance with driving basslines from progressive rock), jungle – an approach influenced by fast hip-hop breakbeats and floor-quaking reggae basslines – and jungle.

In 2008, EDM saw an enormous commercial upsurge due to artists such as Skrillex, Deadmau5, and Avicii becoming household names and drawing mainstream appeal for the genre. EDM soon spread into other musical forms including pop.

As an example, OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder collaborated with Sebastian Ingrosso and Alesso to release their hit single ‘Get Low,’ featuring an iconic synth line reminiscent of vuvuzelas blaring in the background.


Dubstep emerged as a highly popular form of electronic music in 2008, featuring heavy bass lines with powerful beats and cinematic melodies. Additionally, dubstep has become known for its aggressive nature and dramatic music videos; one such song being SKisM’s “The Judgement”. This track begins with an eye-catching intro before exploding into an intense bass soundscape; its lyrics are powerful yet empowering while its video complements this epic song perfectly; also included are elements from drum & bass and metal genres which further contributed to its power and popularity – no doubt this song became so powerful and beloved!

Dubstep derives its name from “2-step garage,” but can also refer to dance moves used to perform this music, and/or rhythm of its beat itself. Furthermore, dubstep is frequently employed by producers as beat sequencing software.

Dubstep was unique among electronic dance music genres in that its debut occurred at an actual recording studio: Big Apple Records in Croyden, England was its home base and it provided young aspiring DJs such as Hatcha with invaluable training in producing dubstep. These young producers were more open to exploring experimental sounds than older musicians while often opting out of using standard verse-chorus-verse formats for creating songs that were richer and deeper layered than mainstream counterparts.

Dubstep’s success led it into various styles. While it still features heavy bass sounds, dubstep has expanded into other genres such as techno and industrial music – becoming a mainstay at major events and festivals as well as providing DJs an opportunity to demonstrate their talents at competitions.

Skream, Benga and Loefah are some of the biggest names in dubstep. Each DJ comes from various musical backgrounds and often incorporates hip hop elements into their music for maximum impact. Their songs possess a powerful, dark tone that draws fans in. This popularity among their followers makes their songs such a fan favourite!


As the 1980s came to a close, synthesizers gained greater ground in popular music. Iconic tracks like Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog and disco classic I Feel Love featured drum machines and synthesizers which allowed producers to experiment with new sounds. Their use led to various subgenres being born; one influential subgenre being Trance which saw its peak popularity during early 90s.

Trance was an offshoot of electro house that developed its own sound and style over time, distinguishing it as its own genre. With its uplifting production and melodic vocals creating an enjoyable listening experience. Some of the biggest artists at the time in this genre included Above & Beyond, Tiesto and Cosmic Gate.

Above & Beyond have produced some of the most adored tracks in trance history. One such tune is Ashley Tomberlin’s mesmerizing vocal performance on “Can’t Sleep,” which has also been remixed by Armin van Buuren and Simon Patterson.

Above & Beyond’s “Ever After,” featuring Kirsty Hawkshaw as Kirsty is one of the standout voices in trance music; here, her unique timbre shines bright. Additionally, its production is truly upbeat and features elements from both progressive and trance music genres.

Tiesto played a hand in crafting this track as well, originally including it on his 2002 ‘In Search of Sunrise 7 (Asia)’ album before receiving an incredible remix by Russian duo Moonbeam on Armin van Buuren’s Universal Religion Chapter 4 album the next year.

Above & Beyond have not left us disappointed with their latest vocal track, “Falling”, from when they were still duos. Kirsty Hawkshaw provides her dreamy vocals alongside production from German brothers Mark and Dirk Duderstadt that’s simply perfect.