Probably meaningless, definitely biased.
1. Mainstream Dubstep. The word ‘Skrillex’ perhaps became the most divisive word of the year in music. Run of the mill chart music was infiltrated by bombastic, mutated versions of this genre, often with unexpected remixes (eg. Korn). For some, endless bass drops and grating wobbles are the thing of ecstasy, for others it causes a teeth grinding disdain ‘towards the watering down of an ‘underground’ scene’. It certainly brings out the Frasier in people.
2. More, more and more – MAXIMAL electronic music. Producer du jour Rustie rose to the top in 2011 as the figurehead of this attack on the boring. In his album ‘Glass Swords’, he brought intensely layered synths and crazed melodies, with every aspect being multiplied to the nth degree. This is the music of a coked-up Sonic the Hedgehog, it is pure hyperbole. Pitchfork of course wrote an immensely long, detailed, socially relevant piece on it but that makes it so much less fun.
3. High-pitched female vocal samples. The more twisted and obscure the better. Blawan’s ‘Getting Me Down’, Hudson Mowhawke with ‘Thunder Bay’, the list goes on and possible culminates with the mega-hyped ‘Ordinary Things’ by xxxy. It often gives a more sensual tone to tracks which without Brandy squealing over the top would be lacking in humanity and catchiness. However, it seems to always verge on the ridiculous and has it now gone as far as it can?
4. Folk saturation. Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling, and about 3896 emerging new bands adhered to the formula of acoustic guitar, wistful lyrics and super twee image. Yes, it’s lovely and tame, but in the same way that you can’t really dislike a kitten. Enough.
5. Girls rapping. Girls just singing is boring ok? – Azealia Banks, Dominique Young Unique, Rye Rye, and obviously Nicky Minaj made Adele instantly uncool with dirty words dealt out with the snappiest tongues. It’s almost like women are witty too!! (Jessie J not included.)
6. Oh wait, remember Lana Del Rey! That was quite a good song.
7. The odd relationship between the wearing of caps and electronic music. Go to SubClub on a Tuesday, if for nothing else other than to count caps.
By Megan Donald