Article | Trends for 2012 | On to the Next One

On to the Next One

Chicago trendsetters look forward to 2012.

by Joshua P. Ferguson

Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 12.28.11

Given what dance music did in 2011, it is with quite a bit of excitement that we turn our eyes and ears to 2012 and what club sounds might have in store for us in the next 12, well 11, months. To help narrow our focus, we gathered three nightlife professionals (including our own) and asked them to tell us what they think the next year might bring.

“It’s kind of the like the modern deeper sound, I don’t know if you can call it deep house, but it’s just deeper music—the Crosstown Rebels stuff, Hot Natured, Visionquest, Maceo Plex—I think it’s going to continue to get even bigger. They are reaching out to a larger audience now and the music is becoming more popular with people that weren’t listening to that music. It’s a little bit more accessible than techno and other genres. Not that I’m saying that techno is going to go anywhere; these guys just blew up. There are a lot of kids that are getting deeper into this genre of music and you’ll be surprised by the number of artists that are going to come out of nowhere."

 — Dino Gardiakos, Music Director for Chicago's Spy Bar 

“2011 was the year that dubstep really broke huge. So for 2012, there’s going to be this rush of pop stars and labels desperately seeking legitimacy with the youth market because the explosion of this music has completely caught them off guard. Because of the mainstream popularity, there’s a big splinter of former dubstep fans that are into a new term called ‘future bass.’ It sort of refers to these strains of say, U.K. funky, or ‘is it dubstep or is it techno,’ and then there’s also the post-dubstep. I’m hoping this is going to fill out some of the gaps with more sophisticated electronic music that we haven’t seen for a while.”

— Chris Widman, host of Abstract Science on WLUW 88.7 fm and one half of Quadratic 

“You can rock out and fist pump to dubstep and electro but for most of that music, I find that it doesn’t speak to your soul. With the way things have gone in our country, I think people are going to get away from that superficiality and look for something with more substance. People are asking for more, and I’m seeing people really coming out and supporting quality. The state of the Chicago club scene is very much where DJs are just jukeboxes with a pulse. In 2012, we’re going to see people having more faith in the DJ and just letting them do their thing. A lot more people DJ-wise taking a stance and trying to educate people.”

Zebo, DJ, producer and label owner 

I DO (a.k.a. our own two cents)
Now that dance music—be it 4/4, bass or out of leftfield—has come into it’s own, more artists are going to be looking to this realm for producers. We’ve already seen chart toppers like Beyonce, Chris Brown and Kanye come calling, sampling electronic producers like dancehall duo Major Lazer and dubstepper Flux Pavillion or, in Dutch house prodigy Afrojack’s case, tapping them directly. This is only going to expand. From the big budget studio dons like araabMUZIK producing for Busta Rhymes to underground sensation Clams Casino making beats for ASAP Rocky, these two worlds are going to settle into a happy marriage in 2012.


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