Future Trap is what most people are actually thinking of when they hear the word “trap.” It’s the more popular, aggressive, and clubby cousin of the Trapstep sound with song construction running up to high degrees of complexity and a sound palette of almost anything used in electronic music as a whole. Most of the inherited rules of Trap Rap get completely tossed out the window, but the songs never lose that certain something that rattles your teeth and makes you nod your head in a way only trap-based music can. The songs are almost always faster by default or tend to be played faster, which gives rise to the increased club use and visibility in that scene. (If someone asks me to play “trap” and the crowd averages younger than 30 I will immediately reach for Future Trap.)
Naturally this is the top-end of bass music’s energy level, it makes for great peak time material. It pays to build in and out of it, however – it can be jarring to drop without warning or without matching the general tone. There are certainly songs that hit a grey area between Trapstep and Future Trap, but by and large you can group them confidently. Future Trap tends to have a great deal more swing, the bass lines jump and buzz loudly, and the trap-style rhythms can easily lack the trademark massive sine-wave bass as they stutter all over the place. It’s also fairly easy to separate from Future Bass as it just doesn’t have that trademark saccharine, although Future Trap can absolutely be upbeat. The future isn’t ALL dirt and sadness, after all.
If you find yourself feeling like large chunks of Future Trap sound similar to various forms of dubstep, congratulations! Most dubstep musicians fled to Future Trap after the great dubstep crash of the mid-2010s. While there are certainly a series of things you can use to tell them apart, a lot of the time it’s as simple as asking how important the wobble is to the song as whole. If it’s the main point and most of the song gets out of the way of the wobble – it’s some form of dubstep. If the wobble has integrated itself as a piece of a greater whole and not stolen center stage – it’s Future Trap. If the wobble note structure has been applied to a distinctly higher pitched non-wobble bass then it’s DEFINITELY Future Trap. (I’ve included a Future Trap song by Skrillex to illustrate my point.)
While I’m not crazy about dubstep in general, I do love what it’s contributed to other sub-genres – and its contributions to Future Trap are part of the very reason I love Future Trap.