Your Really General Guide to Electronic Dance Music [Mixed By Eraserhead]

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#1
Alright so EDM started with house in chicago where gay black men played disco with drum machines in night club, blah blah blah, who cares? Lets get started:

HOUSE- Started it all and is still strong today. Its characterized by its steady 4x4 (4 on the floor; kick on every beat of the measure) beat (this comes from disco btw), its favour towards jazzy riffs, and its undeniable funk and groove (and in some forms, its soul). Very often vocal, with black men and women pouring their heart out about music and sex. 125-135 bpm

TECHNO- Comes out of Detroit (NOT Germany) and retains the 4x4 beat of house music, but the soul of its western brother is replaced by a mechanical feel , much reminiscent of Detroit's industrial landscape. 130-150 bpm

TRANCE- I dunno where this came from, but I find a lot of it really bad, so I'll be brief. Trance is very melodic, keeps the 4x4 beat (with an open 909 hi hat on the off-beat standardly), and uses lots of gated reverb on everything (reverb that shuts on and off with the sound). Can be very very cheesy at times, but genres like psytrance and goa balence it out with their darker melodies and eastern influences. 150-160 bpm

JUNGLE
aka DRUM & BASS- Jungle kills the 4x4 beat and replaces it with hip-hop-like syncopated drum patterns (although this is quite often altered). Jungle producers get their drums from breakdowns in music where its just the drums (called breakbeats in funk music), cutting them out, slicing them into induvidual hits, and rearranging them at 160-180 bpm, and coupling them with big basslines and other such sounds. Very jazz and funk influenced, although in drum n bass, people draw influence from anywhere to house (liquid funk) to metal (darkstep) to acid techno (neurofunk). And the difference between jungle and drum & bass? Technically, none, but jungle is generally more raw, while drum & bass is cleaned-up.
Who To Listen To: Noisia, Nu Tone, Congo Natty, Fanu, Goldie, Evol Intent, LTJ Bukem, Alex Reece, Technical Itch

BREAKBEAT- This is sorta like jungle slowed down to 125-235 bpm, or house without he 4x4 beat. Its fun, sometimes; other times the tempo is just awkward. Breakbeat also includes genres like electro, hip hop, and big beat (which is the standard in every action scene in a movie ever).

HARDCORE- Its like techno, but harder (except in the case of happy hardcore, which sucks anyways cause its cheezy as hell). Rave (the genre) mixed breakbeats (which gave way to jungle btw), screaming leads, acidic basslines and 4x4 kick drums, plus whatever weird stuff they found and this all evolved into genres like gabber, which uses heavy distorted kick drums and piercing hoover basslines to make its statement at around 150-180 bpm, all the way up speedcore, which ranges from 200-2000 bpm, which is insane and probably sounds great on speed or crack.


UK GARAGE
(that's G-AIR-AWGE for us yanks)- Not to be confused with regular garage (Which is a form of house coming out of NY), this is around 135-145 bpm (we keep tempos tight for DJ mixing, btw), and often employs a 2-step beat heard in genres like hip hop, breakbeat, or jungle, but with more shuffle and staccato (pitched up snares are a must). Speed garage is just stupid however, and mixes annoying diva vocals (which are nice anywhere but here) with annoying wobbling basslines that sound like a retard is yelling. 2-step garage is nice and mellow, but the reason I actually did an entry on garage (which is really part of breakbeat if you think about it) is because of dubstep. Dubstep uses minimal beats (often in half time), gigantic (sometimes wobbly, but it usually fits here) sub-basslines, and tons of reverb. Everything else after those three elements (and early dubstep guys didn't even use that much reverb until Digital Mystikz came along) is completely up to the producer. Which makes it awesome, because dance music needs more creativity.

DOWNTEMPO- This isn't really dance music, but enough of us enthusiists like it that I'll put it in here. Its really quite ambient a lot of the time, usually under 100 bpm, and is pretty broad in terms of what it sounds like. We have trip hop, which is sorta like abstract UK hip hop but more singing oriented (those are my terms from what I've heard) to instrumental hip hop.

IDM- Elitist and somewhat misleading name aside, Intelligent Dance Music is often related to Downtempo because they share certain qualities, such as their abstractness and tempo, but IDM is cut from a different cloth. While Downtempo is typically designed to put the listener in an altered state of mind, IDM is designed to make the listener [and the producer] think (in other words to make your brain dance). It uses tiny, micro-edits (often called "glitches"), advanced synthesis techniques, odd rhythms and painstaking attention to detail to create a product that can end up both weird and unique. And if you hate the name, don't worry, most of it's producers do more than you.
Who To Listen To: Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, µ-Ziq ("mew-zic"), Boards of Canada, Black Dog Productions

BREAKCORE- Drawing from IDM's hyper-technicalities, jungle's foundation around samples (most importantly, breakbeats), noise art's avant gardeness and hardcore's attitude that continues to push the limits, breakcore could be seen as the technical death metal of electronic music. It is fast (often far over 200 bpm), sliced up, arhythmic, and usually undanceable. Yet some people (including myself) enjoy the attitude behind it, and the violence is a great release.

INDUSTRIAL- Industrial means different things to different people, but it is universally agreed upon that the movement originated in the late 70s, where groups such as Throbbing Gristle, Monte Cazzazza, Cabaret Voltaire and SPK took the ethos of punk music (you only need three chords to make a song) to its logical next step (you don’t need ANY chords to make a song). Since then, industrial has evolved to form numerous subgenres; from the mainstream-friendly aggression of industrial rock, the horrific soundscapes of noise and dark ambient, the synth-heavy, percussive realm of EBM (Electronic Body Music) and the catchy, synthpop and trance-influenced sounds of futurepop.

Anything else to know?

-When DJs DJ, they do something known as mixing, or beatmixing. This involves matching tempos on two (or more) different tracks, and mixing them into eachother, to create a constant flow of beats. The result? Non-stop music, all night long.

-What're hoovers, reeses, breaks? What's a tr808/909. And what's an acid bassline?
Hoover- Also known as a mentasm, this is a bassline that originated in rave music, first heard as the bassline in Joey Beltram's Mentasm, as seen here
http://youtube.com/watch?v=5nMSDkXsVoQ , but now you can see it all over hardcore, techno, and even drum n bass.

Reese- The reese actually started in techno music, but right now, its the sound every single heavy drum n bass artist is after. Noisia are the champions of the reese, as we see in their's and TeeBee's tune, Lost Cause- http://youtube.com/watch?v=XVMPfFW9j7E

808 Bassline The other jungle bassline. It's actually the kick drum of the TR-808 drum machine, which is recreated or sampled to make a heavy, thumping bassline, often used in ragga jungle, like here in Congo Natty's Junglist- http://youtube.com/watch?v=QL4GQ5H0lkc

Breakbeats- Not to be confused with the genre, breakbeats were sections of a [funk] song where everyone cut out except the drummer, who went nuts. Hip hop guys generally use these in just loops (re-tempo'd to fit the tune), while junglists cut them up into separate drum hits and rearrange them. The most famous one would have to be the Amen break, from the song Amen Brother by the Winstons- http://youtube.com/watch?v=5rIb1-EEWt0

TR-808- If you've ever listened to rap music, you've probably heard this. It is the drum machine that helped electro blow up, and thus set off this whole thing. Here's what it sounds like- http://youtube.com/watch?v=NnFzIfv0Bbg [the TR stands for "Transistor Rhythm"]

TR-909- The techno (and house and trance and hardcore) machine. Its short, punchy kicks helped to thump the floor, and set with a TB 303 and a sampler, you have an acid house track right there. Here's a sample- http://youtube.com/watch?v=jLttc02K36E&feature=related

TB-303- The acid bassline-in-a-box. The Roland Transistor Bassline 303 (the 808 and 909 were also Roland's creations) was designed, like the other 3, to help guitarist practice with a "bassist" and "drummer". Guitarists found them difficult and poor-sounding tools, but dance producers took them and made them their own. You can hear the TB-303 in everything from stripped down acid house to techno to neurofunk drum n bass. Here's a sample- http://youtube.com/watch?v=7e-MtRupW1s&feature=related


Hope this was a good, informative read, and I hope I didn't waste my time finding videos and typing and coding to make this look good.
There's an alright, more indepth guide here-
http://techno.org/electronic-music-guide/
But its really sort of a piss-take, so don't take it 100%

And here's a neat documentary about the famous Amen break
http://youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac&feature=related
Last edited by MastaBassist10 at Feb 25, 2008,
#2
If a mod could sticky this so people could see it, I'd quite appreciate it (might justify my entire Sunday morning, too ).
#3
Pretty good, but there's a bigass difference between jungle and D'n'B, and you should at least have bothered with a description for breakcore. But cool nonetheless.
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#4
Quote by raise_the_dead
Pretty good, but there's a bigass difference between jungle and D'n'B, and you should at least have bothered with a description for breakcore. But cool nonetheless.

Breakcore is part of hardcore. I only did the separate thing for UK Garage because of dubstep.
#5
Personally I think breakcore is jungle and D'n'B's spastic cousin, with influences from hardcore, metal, acid....

As for jundle and D'n'B, I don't know, I've always felt that jungle was basically rave with more complex drum beats and primitive production, whereas drum'n'bass is largely straight-faced and has insane production.
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#6
I made a distinction. There's a LOT of it that crosses over, so you can't really pigeon-hole anything. I might make a dnb guide next weekend though if enough people would approve.... thoughts, guys?
#7
Very nice.

What about Columbian Melodic Trance-break-electro-funkie core? Where does it fit?
Lets All Goto Mars: The I The FLAMING LIPS Club
#8
could you do suggestions/examples of artists that define each sub-genre? that would be amazingly helpful for people that are new to edm.
#10
Quote by uhh_me?
could you do suggestions/examples of artists that define each sub-genre? that would be amazingly helpful for people that are new to edm.

Yeah sure, would I be breaking the rules if I made some clips of some tunes? Maybe 1-3 clips for each? Was thinking of doing it earlier, but I had to go...

Maybe I could give a couple knowledgeable , TRUSTWORTHY people my password and we could turn it into somewhat of a wiki?
#11
I don't think the password idea is a good one, but I'd definitely be up for some contributions.
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#12
Quote by raise_the_dead
I don't think the password idea is a good one, but I'd definitely be up for some contributions.

You'd give up the oppertunity to have possesion of Mastabassist10's password?
PM me some ideas, I'll sift through the crap and add it. Maybe.
#13
Do you have a problem with trance or something, first you call it cheesy and now in a guide to EDM you says most of it is bad.


It beats DnB by a long shot.
Soon you will sit on the bench
of those who deny I have my soul
You sell a dream you create
Condemned by what you condemned before
Smooth are the words you sing down and high
Underground is your joy your laws
#14
Quote by MedicreDemon
Do you have a problem with trance or something, first you call it cheesy and now in a guide to EDM you says most of it is bad.


It beats DnB by a long shot.

Because it is cheesy. The same reason I have a problem with Paul Gilbert is the reason I have a problem with most trance. Except where PG sounds like American Hero music, trance sounds like the most stereotypical dance music ever, with crappy melodies to boot. I do enjoy psytrance though (some of it, but I hate that rock-based stuff like infected mushroom). Anyways, its your call, I don't really care at all if you dislike drum n bass, or if you like trance.
#15
MastaBassist is a D'n'B head, which means it's normal for him to diss trance whilst stealing many of its ideas.

Don't get too worked up by it, it's Dan's guide and it's clearly quite opinionated. If you prefer, you could ask him if you could write a short paragraph about trance.

Hey, how about this we all do tackle a couple of genres, give the most famous examples (artists and songs), link to a few mixes, do a short history and an overview of subgenres and do this per post?
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#16
Quote by raise_the_dead
MastaBassist is a D'n'B head, which means it's normal for him to diss trance whilst stealing many of its ideas.

Don't get too worked up by it, it's Dan's guide and it's clearly quite opinionated. If you prefer, you could ask him if you could write a short paragraph about trance.

Hey, how about this we all do tackle a couple of genres, give the most famous examples (artists and songs), link to a few mixes, do a short history and an overview of subgenres and do this per post?

check your pm box
#17
Quote by MastaBassist10
Because it is cheesy. The same reason I have a problem with Paul Gilbert is the reason I have a problem with most trance. Except where PG sounds like American Hero music, trance sounds like the most stereotypical dance music ever, with crappy melodies to boot. I do enjoy psytrance though (some of it, but I hate that rock-based stuff like infected mushroom). Anyways, its your call, I don't really care at all if you dislike drum n bass, or if you like trance.



How dare you dis Infected Mushroom........


Go away.
Soon you will sit on the bench
of those who deny I have my soul
You sell a dream you create
Condemned by what you condemned before
Smooth are the words you sing down and high
Underground is your joy your laws
#18
Quote by MedicreDemon
How dare you dis Infected Mushroom........


Go away.

When you write an entire guide on this, and can sum up each genre and element in less than a paragraph, then you can tell me to go away.


#19
Quote by MastaBassist10
When you write an entire guide on this, and can sum up each genre and element in less than a paragraph, then you can tell me to go away.


Keep your opinions out of a guide.
Soon you will sit on the bench
of those who deny I have my soul
You sell a dream you create
Condemned by what you condemned before
Smooth are the words you sing down and high
Underground is your joy your laws
#20
Whoah whoah whoah folks!

Can you feel the love in this thread? I can't. 'Kay, let's take a few minutes to remember:

1) This is Dan's guide, created out of his own initiative. It doesn't pretend to be the end-all be-all guide to all EDM, just a rough guide to ease noobs in. So he has every right to put his opinion in. (Btw, Ishkur is opinionated AS ****!)

2) If you don't like what Dan has to say about trance, how about you ask him nicely if you could rewrite the trance entry?
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#21
Quote by raise_the_dead
Whoah whoah whoah folks!

Can you feel the love in this thread? I can't. 'Kay, let's take a few minutes to remember:

1) This is Dan's guide, created out of his own initiative. It doesn't pretend to be the end-all be-all guide to all EDM, just a rough guide to ease noobs in. So he has every right to put his opinion in. (Btw, Ishkur is opinionated AS ****!)

2) If you don't like what Dan has to say about trance, how about you ask him nicely if you could rewrite the trance entry?



It's not like I was being impolite. I'm just saying, why would a thread be stickied if he distinguishes which genre is better. That's not a really great guide. If I read through this and I didn't know anything I would probably assume DnB was the greatest and Trance was horrible.
Soon you will sit on the bench
of those who deny I have my soul
You sell a dream you create
Condemned by what you condemned before
Smooth are the words you sing down and high
Underground is your joy your laws
#22
I object only to your assumption of how many Brits say Garage.



For me; Gah-ridge...

Wonderful thread though, cleared some mis-conceptions I had.


You lay me down as I go to the store
Sorrow ate me, I'm not me anymore
Play these heavens one more time
I'm not yours and I'm not mine


When you hear music after it's over, it's gone in the air.
You can never capture it again.


#23
If you don't like it, you can leave. I'm sure you wouldn't be bitching about putting my opinions in if I said trance was great. Don't tell me you would, cause I know you wouldn't. This is the end of this arguement before my thread (which I worked my ass off on) gets closed. Thank you.
#24
You might want to add a few essential artists/albums/songs to each subgenre for people to get an easy start to the world of dance.


I say this because I'm selfish, and finding it quite hard to find good dance music that I like.


For something to base this thread off of, look at the reccomendation thread in the metal forum.
Metal Forum Popular Vote Winner!!!

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Unless otherwise stated, assume everything I say is in my opinion.
#27
How about this?

"IDM is an electronic brainier-than-thou competition for nerds."

J/k
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#29
I did entries for breakcore and IDM. I might do an industrial thing, but I probably should leave it up to raise the dead, and if anyone is willing to redo my bit on trance, that'd be cool, just be knowledgable and well rounded enough (and problably into it long enough) to to do it. I can say that if I wrote a bit on jungle (or this whole thing) last year around this time, it would be a LOT less helpful then it is now. Both of you keep it brief and consise, and then PM it to me.
#30
Quote by MastaBassist10
I did entries for breakcore and IDM. I might do an industrial thing, but I probably should leave it up to raise the dead, and if anyone is willing to redo my bit on trance, that'd be cool, just be knowledgable and well rounded enough (and problably into it long enough) to to do it. I can say that if I wrote a bit on jungle (or this whole thing) last year around this time, it would be a LOT less helpful then it is now. Both of you keep it brief and consise, and then PM it to me.

Thanks mate.
#31
Quote by Broken_Drum
True, I just really like the music associated within the "genre", I hate the whole sub-culture of it though. Plus it's a **** name for a genre.


Don't worry, I dig the music too, hate the genre name. Admittedly it's better than 'braindance'

Dan I'm not sure about the industrial thing, I mean, I'm up for it alright, but a short and concise paragraph about it? That's too difficult, it's probably the most diverse of all the electronic music genres. It's not like trance or house, where all the subgenres are all variations on the same template.

Perhaps it should be its own thread? Especially since questions about industrial are commonly raised regarding NIN Manson etc.
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#32
Quote by raise_the_dead
Don't worry, I dig the music too, hate the genre name. Admittedly it's better than 'braindance'

Dan I'm not sure about the industrial thing, I mean, I'm up for it alright, but a short and concise paragraph about it? That's too difficult, it's probably the most diverse of all the electronic music genres. It's not like trance or house, where all the subgenres are all variations on the same template.

Perhaps it should be its own thread? Especially since questions about industrial are commonly raised regarding NIN Manson etc.

IDM isn't exactly templated either. Industrial comes out of trance, yes, but it does have its own sound, origins. Both IDM and Downtempo are very diverse, but I still condensed them. If you don't want to, you don't have to.
#33
Industrial comes out of trance?
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#34
Quote by raise_the_dead
Industrial comes out of trance?

Somewhat. Trance comes out of acid techno and house, and industrial sorta split out of that.
#35
No way dude. Industrial came from punk, back in the late 70s. Trance emerged in the 90s. and Throbbing Gristle were amongst the first to mess around with the TB-303.
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#36
Quote by raise_the_dead
No way dude. Industrial came from punk, back in the late 70s. Trance emerged in the 90s. and Throbbing Gristle were amongst the first to mess around with the TB-303.

They're pretty close. Both highly emotional forms of EDM
#37
That really depends on what kind of industrial we're talking about. VAC etc? Yes. But there's nothing emotional - or even remotely human- about SPK's Leichenschrei album. Matter of fact most early industrial isn't dancey at all.
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#38
Quote by raise_the_dead
That really depends on what kind of industrial we're talking about. VAC etc? Yes. But there's nothing emotional - or even remotely human- about SPK's Leichenschrei album. Matter of fact most early industrial isn't dancey at all.

Emotional doesn't have to be warm and receptive.
#39
I didn't say it had to be. All I said was that the album in question has a largely inhuman sound. Factory noise, distortion, autopsy samples, martial percussion, screams, political manifestos.. That's the original industrial style.

Yeah, modern industrial has a lot of trance influence, particularly electro-industrial and futurepop, but that all came about sometime in the 90s. The foundations of industrial were laid waaaaay before that.
According to BS statistics, 92% of teens have moved on to rap. If you're among the 8% who doesn't consider rap to be real music, donate your brains, as you clearly aren't using them.
#40
Quote by raise_the_dead
I didn't say it had to be. All I said was that the album in question has a largely inhuman sound. Factory noise, distortion, autopsy samples, martial percussion, screams, political manifestos.. That's the original industrial style.

Yeah, modern industrial has a lot of trance influence, particularly electro-industrial and futurepop, but that all came about sometime in the 90s. The foundations of industrial were laid waaaaay before that.

I would say that industrials cold inhumanity would be somewhat of an emotion. All music is emotional, but this takes to another level.
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