– 2022 – What’s in store?

Hey guys and girls,

I hope all is well over there! πŸ™‚

First of all, I want to wish you all the best for the new year of 2022. A lot has happened these past few years that had a massive impact on the world. Our music scene was widely affected too, with clubs closing down and festivals needing to be canceled. This not only led to considerably fewer performances for touring DJs, but it also led to a shift in the direction popular music was going. With fewer live performances on big sound systems, there was less emphasis on ‘harder’, ‘louder’, and ‘bigger bass’. Instead, the industry focused on catchy, deep, and melodic tracks, often including pitched down / formant shifted vocals. And with ‘Slap House’ becoming one of the major new genres to get its mainstream success.

2021 – Last Year

Last year I predicted this trend would continue throughout 2021. With heavy influences of the deeper melodic house, throwbacks to classic house, and loads of disco influences. When looking back at the charts of last year; radio airplay, streaming, billboard etcetera., I think we can safely say those predictions came true. With artists like The Weeknd and Dua Lipa fully embracing the disco dance vibes and the deeper styles dominating the Beatport charts. With ‘Fred again.. – Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)’ as the best selling track on Beatport for 2021.

Update: Also very interesting is the 1001tracklists ‘A State of Dance Music 2021’, reporting on the most supported / most heard tracks, most popular genres, and most supported labels based on data gathered from DJ Sets.

2022 for the music industry

For this year, I expect the same trend to continue for the commercial market. However, there are some new trends to spot as well. A more minimalistic tech-house / bass-house crossover has been rapidly increasing in popularity and slowly creeping into the commercial markets. The current hype is to include a relatively dry acapella (or replay) from classic pop or urban tracks of the 90s or 2000s. Sometimes just using a short phrase, and sometimes using (almost) the complete vocal. Especially ‘Acraze – Do It To It’ struck gold with doing extremely well in the commercial markets while also scoring really well in the underground scenes.

For the rest of the dance music market I expect a lot of focus on this crossover too, but I also have high expectations for both ‘peak-time techno’ and ‘melodic techno’ & ‘progressive’. On top of that the β€˜Future Rave’ genre (heavily pushed by industry giant David Guetta) seems to be influencing other genres as well. For example peaktime techno track: Age of Love – The Age Of Love (Charlotte de Witte & Enrico Sangiuliano Remix) was the bestselling techno track on Beatport for 2021. And there’s already a new, more melodic version – Age of Love (ARTBAT Rave Mix) – that’s doing very well, and is highly influenced by that β€˜Future Rave’ sound.

In 2021 we saw most of the best-selling labels on Beatport focusing on the deeper styles. (Defected, Anjunadeep, Toolroom, Drumcode, etc.) I expect the Beatport charts (and streaming charts) to be dominated by a combination of these labels and genres this year too, influencing each other and crossing over into the commercial domain. Later this year we might see some β€˜harder’ influences being introduced when countries open up their nightlife again. Festival organisers and clubs will probably try and plan as many events in the spring and summer months as possible, as long as it’s allowed. And typically this means that we see an increase of club and festival tracks; powerful, high energy, heavy low-end.

2022 for and Michael de Kooker Audio Productions.

So far 2022 is shaping to be a great year for with a lot of our tracks already scheduled in to be released on some of the biggest labels around the globe, and even more exciting new projects coming up. Our production requests often follow market trends, so I expect to be doing a lot of the styles I described above.

We’re also planning to upgrade the studio a bit this year, with a focus on setting up a hybrid digital / analog workflow. It’s going to be a bit tricky to see how this is going to work out exactly, as for Ghost Productions we need as much flexibility in the workflow as possible, which isn’t always the strong suit of analog hardware. But we want to be able to deliver that extra bit of analog flavour to at least some of our productions, especially in the mixing stage if required. Plus new gear is always a lot of fun. 😊

I’m also helping out our friend Misja Helsloot with his Hel:slΓΈwed alias. So far the response has been really good, with massive support on ‘A State of Trance’ and releases on the Armada labels (and many more coming up). Focus is on the slow side of melodic house & techno with some big trance influences.

Same as the past few years, in 2021 we’ve had a returning client percentage of over 95% – meaning an overwhelming majority of artists who worked with us on a project came back for more – something we’re extremely proud of. It always feels a bit like bragging, but to us this shows that we’re on the right track with what we’re doing.

Anyway, thank you for your continued support. If we’re already working together; a massive thanks again for working with us! And if we’re not working together (yet): if you have any questions, you know where to find us.

I want to wish you a happy, healthy and amazing 2022, – and if you’re new years resolution is to make some waves with your music career; you can find our contact details on this website. πŸ˜‰

Kind regards,
Michael de Kooker –