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The new tribes in dance music

Make way for dance music's new demographic in the UK

  • Seb Wheeler
  • 14 March 2014
The new tribes in dance music

Illustrations: Elliot Thoburn

Arguably the engine room of the new dance music, Bass-Face Newbie has fully embraced the potential for moshing bare-chested while full of lager and MDMA that the thrashing sound of acts like Steve Aoki, Knife Party and US-tinged dubstep offers. Sweaty, muscular and enthusiastic, he or she has little time for genre arguments or tune trainspotting. Not when there is this much fun to be had.
Most likely to be found: Down the front, holding the corner of Steve Aoki's crowd-surfing dinghy while gurning like a steam train.
Most likely to say: "Come on you fuckers, this whirlpool won't start itself!"

Will never willingly enter a club without a snapback hat or a Carhartt beanie and comes throwing more gunfingers than a John Woo film. The trappist knows all the words to Southern hip hop records by Lil Boosie and Lil Reese and literally cannot wait until Baauer hits the UK. Female trappists favour hooped earings, patterned leggings and ornate nails, while the male can often be seen in an unzipped American Apparel hoodie with draw-string tied across the neck.
Most likely to be found: Lurking online waiting for the next TNGHT show to be announced while bidding on rare Tyler, The Creator items on eBay
Most likely to say: "That shit cray!"

In between cultivating a slightly unsuccessful moustache and air of je ne se quoi, this electro fan's time is spent shopping for clothes that Brodinski might wear, smoking Marlboro Reds until he can barely speak above a whisper and fantasising about hanging out in the booth at Paris Social Club with the Ed Banger crew. In the meantime, the smoking area at XOYO every weekend will just have to do. The female of the species is incredibly good looking, never, ever smiles and is far more likely to get an invite from Pedro and the gang.
Most likely to be found: In the smoking area of XOYO every weekend
Most likely to say: "I 'eard ze new Daft Punk album ages ago"

He's something of a dance music chameleon, shifting shapes to suit whatever is in fashion. He gets constant updates on what's hot from Dazed, Abeano or any other media outlet that rides bandwagons like commuters hop buses. The TBT has graced electro, dubstep and future garage nights in recent years, but the genre du jour is deep house or techno. The strictly vinyl Prosumer is a hero, and Blawan is held in high regard because his warehouse techno makes TBTs feel edgier than they actually are. Will dabble in grime for the same reason.
Most likely to be found: At a secret location listening to a secret headliner in the 'up and coming' area of your town.
Most likely to say: "Croatia's dead! I'm going to a festival in a Chilean mining town in July"

Keeping dubstep real since 2006, the Tru-Skool Dubstepper would rather lose a body part than listen to one of Skream's disco sets. She'll only go to a rave if the sound-system is tailor made for dub, knows every unreleased Mala tune off by heart and can roll a King L spliff quicker than you can say 'swifta beater' – though don't mention the fact that DMZ and Subloaded only happen once a year these days, or she's liable to get a bit sad. Girls are notable for Goa-style dancing and a slight whiff of Strongbow, boys for bouncing up and down on the spot and a BO/Stella breath combo.
Most likely to be found: In front of the bassbin, waiting for 'Anti War Dub' to drop
Most likely to say: "Plastic People's just not the same since they changed the system"

After an epiphany during Jamie Jones' set at DC10 last summer, this species is dedicated to deep house and dresses for an Ibizan summer at warehouse parties as cold as a chest freezer. Circo Loco is a way of life; they'll travel the length and breadth of Europe (well, Essex and Birmingham) to see The Martinez Brothers. Girls favour super-short shorts that allow a sliver of bum cheek to peek out. The scruffy chic looks like it was thrown together in a second, but don't be fooled: striking a pose and a pout is, for some, just as important as dancing.
Most likely to be found: In the queue for We Are FSTVL or Eastern Electrics – this summer's neo house meccas.
Most likely to say: "Going innnn!"

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