I’m all about melodies and hooks. Specific lyrics aren’t too important so long as they are delivered memorably. If the words are intelligible, bonus. I can’t deal with music that doesn’t go anywhere, but I can totally get on board with stuff that is already there. I’ve always been tepid about hip-hop because it is very lyric-intensive (sometimes) and not always musically engaging. Of course, the same could be said for a number of genres.

Then again, it can be hard to get into the lyrics. I can’t actually say some of these things aloud or in my head without being a racist. All you can really do is hum the melodies. That’s where trap has become more appealing. It’s kind of a mixture. I found elements of the things I do like in genres I stayed away from and elements of the things I stayed away from in genres I like. The playlist is a compromise.

It isn’t exactly trap, future bass, or tropical house. Rather, it has the trappings of each of these things. Unsurprisingly, I kind of fell into this stuff. It is trap, after all, if not a trap. Most important is quality production. If the beats are crisp, I’ll enjoy it. My roots are in disco, nu-metal, and classic rock. That translates to pop and progressive house for me. Some of the sounds in the new subgenres of EDM can be irritating and conceptual.

In other words, the sounds may border on annoying, but you get the idea behind them. Producers can modulate the effects to counterbalance any extremes. With that said, it’s not always easy to find songs that promote these features and engage the mainstream. I try to toe the line between abstract and agitating, but it’s kind of a camel toe. There is a genre for each song and everything in between.

You might be asking what the difference is between these genres, but I think it’s a little subjective. It’s the kind of thing where you know it when you hear it unless you don’t. I like this music because it tends to incorporate many more interesting sounds and rhythms than progressive house does. The problem is all these creative ideas are let down by the drop, which can be seriously wretched. Some people love it, though.

‘Drop’ doesn’t have to mean ‘ruin song.’

It can actually be really funny to listen to the drops on new trap songs because everyone is always trying to outdo each other without being completely ridiculous. It usually ends up being ridiculous. There’s a little gamesmanship, if not sportsmanship. People get really passionate about the degree to which a drop bumps, goes in, turns up, gets hard. Some of the comments are brutal and others can be euphoric.

They eat it up or eat you alive. Either way, someone is losing their shit.

“Helicopter (Jayceeoh Remix)” is a perfect example of this quandary. You’re going to get on board one way or the other. It’ll give you the fastest headache you’ve ever gotten or a first class ticket to innovation Valhalla. Why can’t we have it both ways? Of course you can, which is so maddening. None of this can be outright dismissed because a lot of it is very promising. Or promissing. What does that even mean?

I had “Nothing Left (Jenaux Remix)” in the playlist. Unfortunately, it was taken down by SoundCloud:


“Runaway” by 3lau is compelling vocally, but there is really no way to listen through that drop. I tried at different volumes and it is actually almost painful, literally. Actually literally. Hopefully it gets a nice progressive house remix. Nonetheless, the vocals are good enough that it’s worth mentioning:

Obviously, 3lau wasn’t going for traditional progressive, though he is notably capable:

By contrast, “Blood Moon” is very pleasant, though I think the drop could have used an extra wrinkle. On the other hand, this is personal preference, so I imagine many will want it as is:

Same goes for “Worth,” although “Blood Moon” has a sort of DJ Snake feel to it:


There’s a lot of love for “Suga Suga,” so here is an Arman Cekin & PLS&TY remix. Notably, it omits the trademark chipmunk hook, which is good. That effect was definitely at odds with relaxation:


Fun “diet trap” from His Majesty Andre, courtesy of Tim Gunter:


Here’s something a little different. “Avocado Galaxy” has a very futuristic, yet funky ’70s vibe and a compelling title:


And since “Nothing Left (Jenaux Remix)” is in the playlist, I’ve got to mention the extraordinary original:


I decided to swap “The Hills” remix for this, but it’s still great:


In closing, here is a festive Halloween “anthem” with backing sound effects reminiscent of the voice acting in Banjo-Kazooie: