Sounds of the Future: A look into electronic music in Athens

House. Dub Step. Trap.

It’s as if the 21st century music genre has its own language, but that’s hardly grazing the surface.

Electronic Dance Music, commonly referred to as E.D.M., is a new and vastly expanding music in the tech age. According to, E.D.M is a blanket term dubbed by the American music industry in 2010 to describe a growing art with a multitude of subgenres.

In its most basic terminology, E.D.M can be defined as an electronic percussive music performed and mixed by DJ’s, or produced originally through electronic software and boards. For those who are new or inexperienced to electronic music, the common association is one of fast beats, dance culture, and party drugs.

However, electronic music can be much more than that.

From hip-hop to funk, electronic music may range in its influence and sound, creating a diverse form throughout the seemingly endless possibilities of computerized technology.

According to an article on, E.D.M found its roots Europe, but has made its way into American culture within the last few decades, becoming more popularized with technological advancements and increased access to music streaming.

Due to its fundamental nature in technology, electronic music is largely associated with a younger audience, often finding a following on college campuses.

Chase Harman and Evan Davis, two of Ohio University’s most popular student DJ’s have been in the electronic music scene for the past two years.

“It’s definitely growing,” Evan Davis, a junior studying Entrepreneurship says.

Davis and Harman are part of the DJ group, BeforeCommonEra (B.C.E), and perform locally at house parties, Greek life events and independent shows.Recently, the two have been working on independent productions and intend to release various original songs through SoundCloud this winter. For unfamiliar listeners seeking to enter the electronic music scene, Harman, a junior studying education, offered a word of advice.

“Listen to multiple styles … There’s so much electronic music out there, if you only listen to two or three artists you might not find what you like”.

The student DJ’s went on to explain just a fraction of the many types in existence today.

“There’s house, which is more dancey, then theres progressive house which is more poppy. There’s also trap which is more hip-hop, and dub-step which is like hip-hop beats mixed with heavy metal as far as electronic music goes. Then there’s future funk, drum and bass, and hardstyle, which can be really fast paced”, explained Harman. “There’s so many different sounds, and a lot of them are mixes between genres, having attributes of more than one”.

Additionally, students of the electronic music scene can connect and explore musical styles within OHIO organizations.

The OHIO Electronic Music club provides a forum for students to discuss E.D.M styles, and even offers workshops for those looking to produce their own electronic music.

“We talk about production of electronic music, which programs to use to make music and DJ it, as well as other miscellaneous topics that revolve around EDM, such as genres and subgenres or shows we’ve been to”, Brandon Smith, a sophomore Telecommunications major and EDM club President says.

The club hopes to host more EDM shows and events around campus. Members meet every Wednesday in Morton 237, from 9 to 11 p.m.

“There is more to electronic music than Skrillex and trap music,” Smith says. “EDM is a very diverse genre and if you dig far enough, you will find influences in the music that range from heavy metal all the way to smooth jazz and r and b … go out and listen to some EDM, but not like the mainstream stuff.”


This story is part of a month-long multimedia series about the Athens music scene called “Sounds From the Hills: An Athens Music Project” 

Featured photo by Quinn Corrado. Chase Harman and Evan Davis play a set at Palmer Place fest. -@nojustquinn

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