If any given music lover were given a penny each time they hear someone telling them that rock is dead, this person would soon be able to afford a nice little villa in the French Riviera somewhere. This opinion is so weary that even Marilyn Manson has a song with such title. Why do we keep hearing that?
The reasons aren't not complicated at all. Every year gives us a new generation of listeners who won't listen to that same old rock music that their grandpa yammers about – they want something new and different to help them stand out. Similarly, every year gives a new generation of ambitious musicians with similar motivation to saturate the demand.
The narrow understanding of rock music as something electric-guitar-driven to bang your head to is quite dated and shallow, this understanding should be dead instead. In reality, rock music has angles that grow in numbers exponentially. The angles are often polar, causing controversy or even turmoil between music lovers with different tastes, but it's still rock.
Let's see how rock is kept alive these days, from the tops of the charts to the deep underground.
Country music was originally invented for dancing to, someone had to put it into an electronic arrangement with a 4-to-the-floor beat eventually.
The first attempt to recall was – oddly enough – not even made in country music's homeland. “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex from Sweden melted folksy tunes into dance rhythms and did not only storm the dancefloors in the mid-90s, but it was literally inescapable in that era. Coincidentally, it's also a prime example of 90s cheese – the definition of goofy and corny. This explains why neither the band, nor the style kicked in: nobody could take the idea of mixing country with EDM seriously after that.
It took two decades and yet another Scandinavian to revive the idea and expand upon it for the audiences to take it seriously. Tim Bergling aka Avicii (with a little help from his friends) explored the possibilities of such mix on his 2013 album True, and he keeps successfully developing the idea, as well as dominating dancefloors worldwide.
Often dubbed as jazzstep, this is the kind of music for bohemian minds. Suppose you enjoy partying and clubbing, but you want something more sophisticated than that wobble wobble that the commonfolk move their feet to. You'd like a more aesthetic jazzy feel, but still party-like, and with some hip-hop vibe to that. This is probably what Moby had in mind at the dawn of his career.
With such qualities, it's no wonder this styling enjoys a cult following in the underground. It's not unlike reading Kerouac while receiving a lapdance.
The notable acts include Big Gigantic, Free the Robots, Gramatik, Pretty Lights, but considering the underground nature of the style, it's probably best to look for something more local.
The name of this genre may sound like a mere bunch of epithets, but in fact there's no better way to describe what's in store for those who enjoy to move their butts while banging their heads. It's exactly what you'd expect: heavy guitar riffs put to danceable beats.
Such flagships of industrial and music like Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly have pioneered into the idea back in the 80s. As for the mainstream, it was the early 2000s when Linkin Park took the guitars to the dancefloors with “Breaking the Habit”.
For better or worse, LP didn't focus on this direction. Others did though. To get a better idea of how what's meant here, check out Celldweller or Blue Stahli.
This genre stands opposite to the whole concept of EDM. Fusing bass music with elements from trip hop and industrial, it sounds dark, deep, and raw. Tracing the roots, we go back to The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble from the Netherlands who were active in the 2000s, but disbanded in 2010 only to have their style reincarnated in a number of acts across the globe.
See Bong-Ra, The Haxan Cloak, Skerror, Don Dapper, and – of course – your local scene.
Intelligent Dance Music has shaped in some of the more sophisticated clubs in the early 90s. The next logical step to outline the sophistication would be to employ classical orchestration, so it was but a matter of time.
The most notable mainstream breakthrough of such tendency was Rob Dougan's “Clubbed to Death” when it was included in the Matrix soundtrack in 1999. He had been working in this direction ever since, inspiring a number of followers, arguably the most notable being Venetian Snares.
Rock can only be killed by the smug. Stay open-minded!