Dance Music Genres Explained

Dance music is an extremely diverse genre with numerous subgenres and cultural influences, primarily defined by its fast tempos and rhythmic groove. These characteristics tend to get people dancing!

House, techno and trance music are among the most beloved subgenres within this genre, though other styles such as drum and bass, jungle music and disco music also fit this classification.


Psytrance is one of the most beloved dance music genres, famous for its upbeat and energetic feel. This genre boasts multiple subgenres ranging from full-on psychedelic, darkpsy and futuristic hi-tech styles; each offering their own distinct mood, tempo and stylistic approach that draws listeners and dancers alike.

Psytrance music first made its debut as a subgenre of trance music in the 1990s, merging psychedelic themes and aesthetics with elements of EDM. Psytrance draws its inspiration from hippie counterculture’s embrace of psychedelic drugs to increase consciousness and spiritual growth; Psytrance itself features high-tempo beats, repetitive beat patterns, synthesizer melodies and lyrics which explore spirituality, escape or self-discovery topics among many other themes.

Psytrance’s fast tempo creates a lively dance floor atmosphere, propelling listeners and dancers into an energetic trance-like state. Additionally, its meditative qualities have long been recognized for their therapeutic benefits in relieving stress and anxiety; indeed trance music has even been utilized by medical providers to treat patients suffering from depression or anxiety.

Psytrance producers utilize various sound effects to enhance the listening experience, such as synthesizers, drum machines, bass guitars and keyboards. Ambient sounds such as raindrops, windstorms and ocean waves may also add a natural feel. Recently however, an increasing number of producers have begun incorporating organic instruments such as violins or vocals into their work to produce an acoustic-based sound that appeals to wider audiences.

No single definition exists to define what defines psytrance music; however, certain guidelines may help distinguish it from other electronic genres. A typical psytrance track will usually feature between 140-200 beats per minute with an audible bass line which blends kick-clap motion with other repetitive patterns to define its genre.

Some psytrance tracks can be extremely complex and feature intricate melodies, while others are straightforward and simplistic. Popular examples of this style of music are Genetic Transmission, Electric Universe and One Love; other artists have taken an experimental approach by adding elements from other genres into their tracks such as dubstep and techno. As the scene continues to mature and develop hybrid genres will likely emerge – particularly given the availability of affordable computer software and sound equipment allowing more exploration within what psytrance can encompass.


Jungle music combines elements of reggae and hip-hop, along with rave culture and sound system culture to produce an upbeat sound designed to get people dancing. Jungle originated in England during the early ’90s and was heavily influenced by rave culture and sound system culture; its unique sound often includes fast-paced breakbeats accompanied by heavy basslines – making it an increasingly popular form of dancing music genre.

This genre quickly gained in popularity due to its ability to generate intense dance floor energy, with energetic beats and polyrhythms creating an exhilarating dance experience for audiences around the globe. Furthermore, it’s highly versatile music which can be performed anywhere from clubs to festivals.

Jungle music boasts a flourishing community that thrives on collaboration and innovation, producing many pioneers who continue to push its limits with sound. One such pioneer was LTJ Bukem who played an instrumental role in helping drum and bass become the dominant form of Jungle.

British producers began producing jungle tracks themselves at home during the early ’90s using sampled drum loops from funk and soul records, using computer programs called trackers to arrange and chop up breaks, creating their distinctive “ruffness”. This laborious process required skill, practice and perseverance – contributing significantly to what eventually became one of music’s signature characteristics – “ruffness”.

By 1996, jungle had evolved into its current form with an increased tempo of 160bpm and talented DJs using hardware such as Akai S950 samplers to manipulate breakbeats and MC samples in new ways. This allowed jungle music to develop into the more rhythmical yet melodic sound of drum and bass produced by Goldie Dillinja Shy FX Krust Zinc among others.

Tom McFarland makes it clear that Jungle are determined to create their fourth album Volcano as an artistic statement that pushes their sound further, creating a deeper, darker tone than prior efforts but maintaining energy and momentum that has made Jungle such a potency force on dancefloors worldwide. Therefore it deserves your undivided attention and praise!

Drum & Bass

Drum & Bass stands out as an exception; its relevance has persisted through the years. This genre is famous for combining fast Hip Hop breakbeats with basslines that feature dubby grooves and jazzy melodies for an energetic club sound that also can be danced to.

As the beats become faster and breaks shorter, bass becomes heavier, producing tracks with an aggressive sound. Tempos in this genre range from 150-185 beats per minute for its trademark speed; additionally this style utilizes synthesizers and samplers as well as traditional acoustic instruments for depth of tone and texture.

Beginning its history in the early 1990s in UK rave scene as an eclectic combination of high-tempo breakbeats with heavily processed samples of Jamaican music, jungle began becoming widely popular at raves and pirate radio before receiving regular slots on BBC Radio One, becoming an accepted mainstream musical genre.

In the late ’90s, producers of drum and bass began to innovate with the style. They added elements such as edits of classic hip hop songs to their tracks and began using drum machines and samplers to standardise and professionalise their tracks more reliably. At around this time, subgenres such as jump up, hardstep, ragga and techstep became easily recognisable subgenres of drum and bass music production.

At approximately the same time, drum and bass music witnessed a change in its demographics as young people embraced its rave culture-influenced sounds and fell in love with them, turning into more of a dance floor experience with DJs spinning records while the crowd danced along to its beats.

This genre remains immensely popular and has given birth to new genres like minimal Drum & Bass. This subgenre takes the fundamental principles of Drum & Bass back down to its essentials with an emphasis on production quality and clarity, drawing heavily from house and techno genres while offering up head-nodding rhythms punctuated with shows of bass design wizardry.

Drum & Bass remains an immensely popular dance music genre that appeals to audiences of all ages and musical tastes. This genre manages to transcend individual tastes and unite audiences as few other can. To discover some of the best artists within this genre, we suggest listening to artists such as LTJ Bukem and Alex Reece for their deep yet smooth takes. LTJ Bukem gained instant renown when Fortnite video game player used Vierre Cloud’s music in an viral clip on social media.