Different Styles of Electronic Music
- Electronic Dance Music
- Drum and Bass
A look at the different styles of electronic music and how they’ve evolved over the years.
Electronic Dance Music
Electronic dance music is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubs, raves, and festivals. EDM is generally produced for playback by disc jockeys who create seamless selections of tracks, called a mix, by segueing from one recording to another.
What is EDM?
EDM is short for Electronic Dance Music, a type of music that is typically made with electronic instruments and played in nightclubs and at festivals. It encompasses a wide range of styles, from house and techno to trance and dubstep, and has become one of the most popular genres in the world.
Despite its name, EDM is not limited to music that is purely electronic; it can also include acoustic instruments, such as drums and guitars. The key characteristic of EDM is that it is designed to be danced to, with a strong emphasis on rhythm and melody.
Origins of EDM
The origins of EDM (electronic dance music) can be traced back to the early days of experimental music and avant-garde art. Early electronic instruments, such as the Theremin and Ondes Martenot, were used by composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Olivier Messiaen to create new, strange sounds. These sounds would go on to influence the development of electronic music in the 20th century.
During the 1950s and 1960s, electronic music was developed further by composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Henry. They experimented with new ways to create sound using electronic devices, such as tape recorders and synthesizers. This period saw the birth of musique concrète, a type of music that uses recorded sounds as its foundation.
In the 1970s, electronic music became more popular as artists like Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder began making hits with synthesizers and drum machines. This decade also saw the development of disco and technopop, two genres that would heavily influence EDM in the years to come.
It wasn’t until the late 1980s and early 1990s that EDM really took off, thanks to the rise of club culture and rave culture in Europe and North America. DJs began mixing different styles of electronic music together to create new hybrid genres, such as house music, techno, trance, drum & bass, and so on. The popularity of these genres led to the rise of superstar DJs like Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, and Pete Tong.
Today, EDM is one of the most popular genres in the world. It continues to evolve as new technologies emerge and new artists experiment with different sounds.
Different sub-genres of EDM
Since the late 1990s, electronic dance music has been part of mainstream pop music. In the 2010s, EDM achieved widespread global popularity. By the early 2020s, the term “dance music” no longer applied to a particular genre, but rather to any kind of popular music played in nightclubs.
The different sub-genres of EDM each have their own distinct style and sound. The four main categories are house, techno, trance, and drum and bass.
House is a style of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the 1980s. It is characterized by a 4/4 time signature, deep basslines, and soulful vocals. House music often has a laid-back or relaxed feeling to it.
Techno is a style of EDM that emerged in Detroit in the late 1980s. It is characterized by a 4/4 time signature, driving rhythms, and synthesizer-generated melodies. Techno is often seen as dark and mysterious, with an industrial or futuristic sound.
Trance is a style of EDM that originated in Germany in the early 1990s. It is characterized by a 4/4 time signature, hypnotic rhythms, and ethereal melodies. Trance often has a feeling of euphoria or ecstasy associated with it.
Drum and bass is a style of EDM that originated in London in the early 1990s. It is characterized by breakbeats (a repeating sequence of beats),often with contrasting verses and chorus sections.. Drum and bass often has a dark or aggressive feeling to it.
Techno is a type of electronic dance music that was developed in Detroit, Michigan in the 1980s. The music is characterized by a strong 4/4 beat, hypnotic melodies, and often bleeps and noises.
What is techno?
Techno is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in the late 1980s. It is characterized by a repetitive beat and often has a dark or futuristic sound. Techno is one of the most popular genres of electronic music and is often played at nightclubs, festivals, and raves.
Origins of techno
Techno is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in the mid-1980s. The first techno tracks were produced by Jamaican-born DJ Juan Atkins, who also went by the name Model 500. Atkins was inspired by the electro-funk sound of Kraftwerk and the Detroit sound of Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. He began making electronic music in his bedroom, using a Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer and a drum machine.
Atkins’ style of techno was minimalistic, with sparse arrangements and simple melodies. His tracks were often built around a repetitive four-on-the-floor drumbeat, with occasional embellishments. Atkins’ first track, “Closer to the Edge,” was released in 1985. It was followed by “No UFO’s,” which became one of the most iconic techno tracks of all time.
In the early 1990s, techno became popular in Europe, particularly in Germany. Berlin was at the forefront of the techno scene, with clubs like Tresor and Ostgut playing host to world-famous DJs like Jeff Mills and Derrick May. Techno also spread to other parts of Europe, including the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.
Today, techno is enjoyed all over the world. It has spawned numerous subgenres, including acid techno, hardtechno, and trance.
Different sub-genres of techno
Techno is a type of electronic dance music that originated in Detroit, Michigan in the United States in the 1980s. The genre was developed by Jamaican-born producer and DJ Juan Atkins, who is often credited as the “godfather” of techno.
Techno is characterized by a repetitive 4/4 beat and often features heavily synthesized basslines and chords. The genre has been highly influential on popular culture, with several sub-genres emerging over the years, such as acid techno, minimal techno, Detroit techno, and hard techno.
House is a style of electronic music that was developed in the early 1980s. It is characterized by a 4/4 time signature, a strong bassline, and a tempo between 120 and 130 beats per minute. House music is often associated with the club scene and dancing.
What is house?
The origins of the house sound can be traced back to the 1970s, when disco was becoming popular in clubs. Amidst the disco era, a new type of dance music was emerging that would become known as “house.” This new sound was characterised by its simple yet effective drum machine beats, synthesiser melodies, and soulful vocal tracks. House music soon became a staple in clubs all over the world, and continues to be one of the most popular genres of dance music to this day.
Origins of house
The origins of the house genre can be traced back to1979, when DJ Pierre’s Wild Pitch Gang released “House Nation”, a song that would go on to become one of the most important anthems in the history of the genre. The following year, the first commercial house track was released by Chip E.’s group Fast Eddie with “Can You Feel It.” House music quickly spread from Chicago to other urban areas with significant African-American populations, such as Detroit, New York City, and Atlanta.
Different sub-genres of house
There are many different sub-genres of house music, each with its own unique sound and flavor. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular types:
Deep house: Often characterized by a slower tempo and a more soulful or muted sound, deep house is perfect for those who want to relax and unwind.
Tech house: A fusion of techno and house, tech house features elements from both genres to create a more high-energy and driving sound.
Minimal tech house: As the name suggests, minimal tech house focuses on simplicity, often with fewer instruments and a more stripped-back sound.
Progressive house: Progressive house is all about building tension and releasing it through powerful drops. Expect lots of energy and excitement with this one.
Drum and Bass
Drum and bass (also written as “drum ‘n’ bass” or “drum & bass”; D&B, DnB) is a genre of electronic music characterised by fast breakbeats (typically between 160–180 beats per minute) with heavy bass and sub-bass lines, synthesizers, and samples.
What is drum and bass?
Drum and bass is a type of electronic music that emerged in the early 1990s. It is characterized by a fast tempo, heavy basslines, and often uses samples from other genres of music. Drum and bass has its origins in the UK, but has since spread to other countries around the world.
Origins of drum and bass
The origins of drum and bass are often traced back to the breakbeat hardcore (jungle) and rave scenes in the United Kingdom during the early 1990s. The music often featured dark, ominous basslines and agressive breakbeats, with occasional samples of reggae or classical music thrown in for good measure.
How did this new style come about? Producers began speeding up existing house and techno tracks to create what was essentially hardcore techno. This new style was then dubbed “breakbeat hardcore” or simply “hardcore” for short. As time went on, producers began to experiment with other genres, looking for new sounds to sample and incorporate into their tracks. This led to the incorporation of elements from jazz, funk, soul, reggae and even classical music. From there, the genre continued to evolve into what we now know as drum and bass.
Different sub-genres of drum and bass
Drum and bass is a genre of electronic music that originated in the UK in the early 1990s. The style is characterized by fast breakbeats (typically between 160-180 beats per minute) with heavy bass and sub-bass lines. Drum and bass often employs synthesized sounds and samples, as well as vocal snippets and shouting.
There are numerous sub-genres of drum and bass, each with their own distinct style and flavor. Some of the most popular sub-genres include:
Jungle is a sub-genre of drum and bass that originated in the UK in the early 1990s. The style is characterized by fast, syncopated breakbeats (usually between 140-160 beats per minute) with heavily distorted basslines. Jungle often employs sampling, especially from reggae and hip-hop sources.
Darkside / Neurofunk:
Darkside or neurofunk is a sub-genre of drum and bass that emerged in the late 1990s. The style is characterized by dark, menacing soundscapes with complex, often psychedelic melodies. Neurofunk tracks typically have a slow to mid-tempo groove (usually between 80-140 beats per minute) with heavy basslines.
Hardstep is a dark, aggressive sub-genre of drum and bass that emerged in the late 1990s. The style is characterized byfloor shaking sub-basslines, distorted synth leads, and amen breaks. Hardstep tracks typically have a mid to high tempo groove (usually between 140-180 beats per minute).
Dubstep is a style of electronic dance music that emerged in the early 2000s. It is characterized by its heavy bass and drumbeat, as well as its layered synth and vocal samples. Dubstep is often considered to be dark and aggressive, and its popularity has grown in recent years.
What is dubstep?
Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in South London in the late 1990s. It is generally characterized by sparse, syncopated rhythmic patterns with prominent sub-bass frequencies. The style emerged as an offshoot of UK garage, drawing on a lineage of related styles such as 2-step and dub reggae.
In the early 2000s, dubstep began to emerge as a distinct genre in its own right, characterised by a dark and often gloomy sound. This was partly due to the popularity of darker, more minimalistic styles of dub reggae in London nightclubs at the time. In the mid-2000s, dubstep began to be increasingly influenced by other genres such as grime and drum and bass, leading to the development of several subgenres including dark grime and wonky.
The word “dubstep” is often used interchangeably with “bass music”, but there are significant differences between the two genres. Dubstep is generally more sparse and minimalistic than bass music, and often features more emphasis on sub-bass frequencies. Bass music, on the other hand, is generally characterised by a heavier sound with more complex rhythms.
Origins of dubstep
The earliest dubstep releases date back to 1998, when a pair of tracks—”Universal Nagan” and “Phantom Force”—were included on a compilation called Southside Dubstars. These tracks, along with others that followed, were characterized by sparse, 2-step rhythms and dark, foreboding atmospheres punctuated by occasional bone-rattling bass drops. This sound would later come to be known as “dark garage,” and it laid the foundation for the dubstep sound that would emerge a few years later.
In 2002, another key early dubstep release appeared: “Benga Beats” by producer Benga. This track helped popularize the signature dubstep sound of deep, sub-bass frequencies played at around 140 beats per minute. Benga’s beats also featured synth lines and other electronic elements that were heavily manipulated with effects processing, giving them a fractured, jarring quality that would become another hallmark of the dubstep sound.
Different sub-genres of dubstep
In its early years, dubstep was often associated with dark, gritty basslines and a more minimal approach than other dance music genres. However, as the genre has evolved it has taken on many different forms, with artists adding their own unique spin. Here are some of the most popular sub-genres of dubstep:
• Brostep: A heavier, more aggressive style of dubstep that is often criticized for being too commercialized.
• Darkstep: A dark and intense style of dubstep with industrial influences.
• Futuregarage: A style that combines elements of dubstep and 2-step garage.
• Wonky: A quirky, off-kilter style that often features unusual time signatures.