The hard-hitting wompage of American style EDM has become the life force of the growing genre, so instead of trying to work against it (even though we really want to) we’ve decided to highlight some of the artists who we think are using this new sonic field in an interesting way. The genre, best described as electro house or complextro, takes the grit and grime from American dubstep but drops the half-time rhythm in favor of the uptempo house style of four-on-the-floor. What it creates is a driving, pulsing, rhythmic genre with more than enough ear candy to hold the attention span of any frat boy. In typical SoundTrax fashion, this playlist is versatile and could hold up equally as well on a dance floor as it could in a mosh pit. But we think its best suited for running on the open pavement. Not cramped in some dark, sweaty room on a treadmill, but outside on a bright, crisp day. So pick your favorite trail, download the 8tracks app to your phone, plug in your headphones, tie your laces and hit the road.
Wolfgang Gartner starts us off with a push and a jolt of energy. Mord Fustang focuses the laser beam synths a bit more with his use of off-beat chords that make for a funky, jittery mix of clean ’80s arrpegiations and distorted bass noises. Dada Life is sure to keep your feet moving with his style of simplistic yet energetic synth work. Elevic brings the noise to a deafening level, but still manages to keep a sense of forward momentum due to his impeccable sense of rhythm. Next up, Skrillex shows us how awesome he could be if he just spent more time working outside of his comfort-zone, then Wolfgang Gartner is back with an epic seven plus minute journey that manages to constantly push forward without getting repetitive, a feat that is not often achieved in EDM. Infectious synths and modulated bass-lines round out one of my favorite tracks from last year. Uppermost has a similar style to Mord Fustang, highlighting off-beat chords with grinding bass lines, but in a way that’s less harsh and better for the cool down portion of your run. And finally, fast-rising star Dillon Francis pulls back the tempo a bit, but keeps the energy high with shimmering synths and beautiful piano samples juxtaposed by his signature jump-up style of moombahton.