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2016: House and techno took the West Coast of America

From the forests to the beaches...

  • Words: Valerie Lee
  • 8 December 2016

We're looking back at the trends that defined dance music in 2016. Next up, the emergence of the West Coast as a hot bed of house and techno

[Photo: Daniel Zetterstrom for What The Festival]

There’s a new lightness to your step as you bounce around to the familiar hypnotic rhythms. Gone are the stained, unforgiving concrete floors of the warehouses you frequent. You're now in a field of grass, slightly patched closest to the DJ booth where people have been dancing the most, all day long.

This year, house and techno slinked out from rough, industrial interiors and found their way down to the beach and out to the desert; they livened up stale pool parties and made home in the depths of the forest. In these places, dotted along the West Coast of America, the air is clean and spirits are high.

Until now, the "sound" of the West Coast – a stripe on the left side of the US made up of California, Washington and Oregon – has been aggressive, explosive bass music, the kind that can rumble every bone in your body and raise the hairs off your head. Fans bowed down to the likes of Bassnectar, The Glitch Mob and early Skrillex, pairing their affinity for the loudest end of the spectrum with DGAF fashion and reputations for unruly behavior of the best kind.

That era, though inarguably still well and alive in other parts of the US, has faded along the coast, losing much of its momentum along with the dissipation of the EDM phenomenon. But the penchant to party remains strong.

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