EDM Genre Spotlight: Progressive House
Last week, I explored the genre classifications and history of techno. This week, I will be exploring one of the most popular genres in contemporary dance music: progressive house. If you are a fan of the musical stylings of artists such as Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, Laidback Luke, Hardwell, Alesso, and Deadmau5, you most likely are a fan of progressive house music. Progressive house music is generally set to a tempo of 120-130 BPM (beats per minute) and is set over a 4-to-4 beat rhythm that is signature to house music. Progressive house music songs contain three major structural elements: a build-up, a breakdown, and a climax.
Progressive house music takes many different forms, but arguably the most popular form of progressive house is big room progressive house. Big room progressive house is heavily melodic and typically contains big, powerful chords; often it has a very pleasant uplifting effect. Big room progressive house can be very elementally reminiscent of trance music. Artists such as Avicii and Swedish House Mafia embody the quintessential spirit of big room progressive house with humongous dance floor anthems like “Levels” and “One” respectively.
Deadmau5, though a master of many genres, frequently produces phenomenal progressive house tracks. “Strobe” is an example of a more chilled-out melodic progressive house track by Deadmau5.
Progressive house may sometimes contain a heavy techno or tech house influence as we see in Sasha and James Teej’s new song “Night Track.”
Progressive house may also take a darker techy form. Daniel Portman’s “Tremulator” is an example of this style of progressive house music.
These are just a few examples of the many styles of progressive house. Generally, the type of progressive house music that you will hear at college parties, on the radio, or on television can be classified as big room progressive house. It has quickly become one of the most mainstream genres of today’s dance music.