Hey guys and girls,
As always, I hope all is well over there and you’ve had a great 2023! On behalf of the Ghost Producer NL team, we want to wish you all the best for 2024.
2023 has been an extremely busy year for us over at Ghost Producer NL. We’ve been working on numerous normal ghost and co-productions, but we’ve also been involved in some larger ones, including several artist albums for established artists and some long-term career-building projects with growing artists. It’s amazing to see how much difference a well-established release plan, including high-quality productions, can make when building up the branding of a new or upcoming artist.
We’ve still got a whole website redesign planned for later this year, including some additional demos and new features. But that’ll still take a while, and we’ll only publish once it’s ready and perfected – and that seems to be no small feat given the fact we’ve been working on it on and off for the past year and a half, or so.
Next to that: what was supposed to be a side-project for myself (Hel:sløwed), has really taken off and is making some waves in the industry. We’ve been playing festival gigs (including A State of Trance London & Rotterdam, Luminosity Beach, Summerlake, etc), as well as had massive support on our tracks on the radio and by DJs. From Eelke Kleijn to Martin Garrix, and Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, & Meduza to Lost Frequencies and many more. Our remix of Grooveyard – Mary Go Wild was one of the more popular dance tracks of the last year, reaching #19 in the global dance charts worldwide, and our remake of the classic Flight 643 was hammered on festivals all around the globe.
Cherry on the Cake was our #5th place in the A State of Trance – Tune of The Year voting for our track ‘If You Only Knew’ with Amber Revival – a melodic progressive trance track with amazing vocal work from Arie & Netta of Amber Revival.
2023 – The Music Industry
Last time I predicted more influences of trance in the dance music industry, and that definitely seems to have happened. We’ve seen some massive crossovers and trance influences in genres like melodic house, techno, and dance in general. Even house music has gotten a bit more melodic and faster this last year. I’ll post a more detailed article about this later on, as the State of Dance Music hasn’t been updated to include 2023 yet.
When looking at 1001tracklists, we can see some of the most supported tracks in the genres of house, melodic house, and techno also slowly becoming more melodic. Think of tracks like ‘John Summit ft. Hayla – Where You Are’, ‘Fred again.. x Swedish House Mafia – Turn On The Lights again..’, or ‘Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding – Miracle’. And of course, we can’t forget about Peggy Gou‘s (It Goes Like) Nanana”
What’s clear to see is that we’ve had a resurgence of faster dance music too, with influences of the classic trance and Eurodance of the 90s, which in turn influenced the whole industry to include a bit more melodies and even lead to some faster styles of house music, with (melodic) house tracks all the way up to 130 bpm.
Of course house music on itself is still a BIG thing. The Toolroom sound is as hot as it ever was, churning out big house and tech-house records one after the other. The same goes for Afterlife, which sound has really become a thing of its own over the past two years.
2024 – What’s next?
There’s no reason to think these trends will change anytime soon. In fact, it only seems to be growing exponentially, with labels and industry experts expecting this new wave trance and melodic influences to be the next big thing for the dance music industry. So I expect trance to get more and more appearance in the mainstream and commercial market. Typically, around the Winter Music Conference in Miami, we’ll see some of the biggest tracks of the year first be premiered.
Something interesting is happening with the more underground melodic house & techno styles and artists too. They actively seek connections with some of the bigger trance artists and labels, as well as developing their own distinct trance sound. Something you can clearly hear on Joris Voorn’s label Spectrum.
Within the genre of trance itself, we also see some interesting trends, like a resurgence of classic UK trance (including the use of the typical classic 909 samples and raw synth sounds), as well as a fresh progressive movement with artists like Marsh, Estiva, Tinlicker etc.
Finally, artists like Skrillex, Fred again.., Four Tet. etc. are creating a movement where boundaries and genres don’t matter. Showcasing a very creative and playful version of dance music.
Like every year your old ‘regular’ house and dancefloor-oriented tracks are still going strong, albeit with some relatively new faces and fresh sounds doing well. Think of artists like Mau P, Noizu, Fisher, Dom Dolla, Mochakk, and more.
As stated earlier; the trend of faster BPM is also influencing the house market – with some house tracks going upwards towards 130 bpm instead of the 124 to 126 BPM it has been for the last few years. The majority of the house tracks on Beatport are currently in the 126 to 130 bpm region.
Regarding DJ Shows – the most influential DJs of the last year have been Tiesto, Oliver Heldens, and Armin van Buuren with their radio shows, the same as last year. The most viewed tracklists on 1001tracklists are performances of Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Swedish House Mafia, and more. Most from their sets at Ultra Music Festival in Miami, which comes as no surprise.
2024 for Ghostproducer.nl and Michael de Kooker Audio Productions.
Same as the past few years, in 2023 we’ve had a returning client percentage of over 95% – it’s almost starting to feel like normal, but we’re more than aware of how exceptional this is and it’s something we’re extremely proud of. The connection we have with the people we work with is truly something special and something we value the most.
Regardless, we appreciate your ongoing support. For those already collaborating with us, a sincere thank you for your partnership! And for those not yet on board: feel free to reach out if you have any inquiries.
Sending you best wishes for a joyful, prosperous, and healthy 2024!
Michael de Kooker – www.ghostproducer.nl