EDM drops are played out. They've become so ubiquitous and overblown in recent cuts that the line between parody and actual music has become difficult to distinguish. Yet a handful of DJs may have found the perfect replacement. At a recent set in Brisbane, Australia, DJ duo Mashd N Kutcher hit their audience with what may be the most unexpected and jaw-dropping drop ever heard. The track builds and builds, reaching for face-melting glory, coming closer and closer, when suddenly...
Smooth. For the unhip and uninitiated, that is a sample of Spandau Ballet's 1983 new wave classic "True." Watching hundreds of amped-out ravers suddenly moan in disappointment has proved to be a true delight. The clip has gone viral, getting picked up by Stereogum, Mashable and the Independent. But the funniest part is this seems to be the beginning of a much larger trend. As Stereogum points out, last October, Adventure Club replaced DJ Snake's and Lil Jon's explosive drop "Turn Down For What" with a little Spandau. A few days later, DJ Mallon did the same thing.
The Spandau drop may be the next hot trend in EDM, after chopped-up vocal samples and trap beats.
The reason EDM drops works so well is because they tap into one of the most fundamental principles of musical comprehension: tension and release. It's a comically exaggerated version of a principle that composers like Beethoven and Bach used to their benefits centuries ago — one that inspires most of the enjoyment we get from music. Are there any better ways to release the tension of a tightly-wound EDM build than with a little Spandau Ballet? No, there are not.
The Spandau drop is the new Rick Roll. And goodness, is it delicious.