Throughout electronic music history, we have seen the evolution of music from its roots all the way to what it has become today. However, if you look back through the history of dance music, you will see a common trend—a single DJ, playing for crowds. Throughout the existence of dance music, some of the biggest names have been solo DJ’s, like Carl Cox, Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren for example. Everyone knows those names, and many more, as legends among the dance music community. However, in the last decade, more groups have been emerging on stage, and taking over the dance music scene. If you were to take a look at the DJ Mag top 100 artists for the last 14 years, you would see a trend up until around 2011 and 2012. Several of the same solo DJ’s made the list with only a few groups. Around 2011 is when we start to see the emergence of groups in the mainstream, like Swedish House Mafia, Nervo, Dada Life, Knife Party, and more. Even though DJ Mag’s Top 100 has some bias, it still shows the popularity of artists during that period. As time passed, we have seen a large increase in these powerhouse groups emerging. Groups like Odesza and Disclosure became the faces of dance music that bridge the gap between pop culture and electronic music. But what is it about these groups that captivate people so much? For decades, we watched solo DJ’s perform, and as we love the music, everyone likes something new and different. As we see these different artists emerge, it brings a new aspect into the music we love, but also the live performance as well. Whereas one person on stage is always fun to watch, watching 2 or 3 plus artists on stage brings a whole new element to the world of live performance. Take Odesza for example. They recently brought their A Moment Apart tour to Seattle for three days. Incorporating a full drum line and performing live instead of just DJ’ing, the group brought a performance unlike any other in terms of electronic music. This is only one of many examples of the ever changing live performance industry, and how artists are breaking boundaries to create innovative sounds. So what? Is this just another fad that will die out in the near future? In all honesty, probably not. Dance music is ever changing and is always changing. However, with how quickly it is moving into the mainstream, people want more than just a single DJ jumping up and down on stage playing the same bangers. People want something different, and that’s what these groups are doing. With the rapid growth of electronic music in the mainstream, we want artists that will push boundaries and experiment with things that have never been done. So, we can expect to see not only more groups emerging, but even solo artists incorporating live music and new ways to surprise the crowds. What do you think about the emergence of more groups in the electronic music industry? Do you think its just a fad and will fade away? Let us know in the comments below. Jonathan Littler Hey I'm Jonathan, I'm 23 years old, and live in Bothell, Wa. I've been listening to dance music now for almost 12 years now and have been raving for about 5. My favorite genres are trance, deep/progressive house, and techno.