Dance music has sped up in recent years – and social media is the cause, says Sam Paganini

The Italian techno artist recently told fans “I don’t care about trends”, urging producers not to send him techno demos at 160bpm.

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Sam Paganini at Mayday 2019

Credit: Wikimedia / User: Ss279

Techno producer and DJ Sam Paganini has shared his concerns about the increasing trend of faster music, especially in techno, connecting it to how music is consumed today via TikTok.

As a DJ who himself is championed for playing pretty thunderous techno music, you’d be surprised to hear the Italian DJ slam today’s trend for faster techno. However, in a recent Instagram post, Paganini insists techno can still have a ‘hard’ feel to it without having to be fast, or more specifically at around 160 bpm, he writes.

He shared a photo on Friday 27 October with the text, “Techno is not about BPM… [It’s] all about groove”, followed by a request for producers to stop sending him techno tracks at 160bpm. The second slide reads, “I don’t care about trends”.

“Why are we all playing faster than ten years ago?” A follow up post reads. “Even tech house [in] 2013 was played at around 123/124 bpm and now on average 128 bpm… Won’t you tell me it is correlated to the social media bloody 15 seconds?”

Many major techno artists have reacted to the statement. FJAAK simply responds with “same” while Hadone and Radio Slave both react with praiseful emojis.

“Fully agree with you Sam,” German producer and DJ Thomas Schumacher comments. “One can play very ‘hard’ techno at 125 BPM! This whole ‘harder, faster’ hype has been done so many times and it’s usually a phase that lasts for two to three years before it dies down. Techno is so much more than just 160bpm ‘demolition’. But right now it’s an easy sell to generation TikTok. I say it is wise to stay your course and follow your vision instead of jumping on the bandwagon.”

Spanish duo Pig&Dan weigh in, writing, “Trends come and go. It’s all about what gets under our skin and I think that’s where groove comes in. Music with soul is often about the spaces it doesn’t fill, the gaps. The faster techno is the less space it has.”

This isn’t the first time a techno artist has spoken about how social media is affecting trends in dance music. In fact, in 2022, Scottish producer gave MusicTech his thoughts on how TikTok has affected techno, saying that it’s brought about a trend of low-quality edits of popular songs.

​​“It went through a stage where it was like ‘Who can make the hardest kick drum?’ or ‘Who can make the hardest Kylie Minogue edit?” He says.

“Imagine if you were a DJ grafting away for 20 years and you’ve been collecting vinyl, studying hardware and then somebody comes along making hard edits on SoundCloud, blows up and is getting four times your fee – you can see why it would be really annoying.

“It’s not as if they’re big tracks in terms of sales, it’s just social hype. That’s the difference.”

TikTok is becoming a main source of music consumption for many. According to research conducted by DemandSage, 67 per cent of TikTok users are more likely to search for a song on music streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music after hearing it on TikTok.

In September, the social media platform teamed up with Billboard to launch a new official TikTok Top 50 chart. This chart tracks the most popular songs on the app based on views, engagement, and use in videos.

Find more TikTok-related news via MusicTech.


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