The leisure principle: why dance music is slowing down

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Slow-mo hip-hop, drugs and the state of the world have altered dance’s bpm

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For years commercial dance music has been hyperactive, its standard beat per minute (bpm) – punctuated by the success of Calvin Harris et al – resting around 128. Influenced by slow-mo hip-hop acts such as Rae Sremmurd, a shift from MDMA to prescription pills, and the general state of the world, however, that beat rate is slowing. It was reported in August that the pop bpm is now 90.5 (down from 113.5 in 2012), while hip-hop volleys up and down – 70 bpm as of late. “What’s been happening recently is that with big DJs – especially American ones (Skrillex, Diplo, Dillon Francis) – you’re gonna walk into their show and hear half-hip-hop,” explains Jonathan Shecter, former director of programming for Wynn Nightlife in Las Vegas. “Hip-hop is bringing tempos down.”

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Music | The Guardian

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