Dance to Electro Music

Dance to electro music encompasses an expansive spectrum of electronic genres, drawing influence from disco music as well as synthpop, techno, house music, drum and bass and dubstep genres.

As disco music was so popular during the 70s, producers experimented with drum machines and synthesized rhythms – leading to classic disco hits by Donna Summer like “I Feel Love”, which featured an unforgettable synthesized backing track.


Electro is an indefinable genre that began its debut in the early 80s as an uptempo offshoot of hip hop. Influenced by both German synthpop and Parliament-Funkadelic’s funk sound, electro was defined by drum machines or synthesizers such as Roland TR-808 drum machines to produce its sound; turntable wizard Grandmaster Flash was among those first using such machines, cutting classic pop albums into club-friendly remixes with these devices.

Following in the footsteps of Cybotron and Kraftwerk, Detroit electro came into full bloom following the 1982 release of Bronx rapper Afrika Baambaata’s hit “Planet Rock”, featuring futuristic hip-hop. This song combined elements from two separate Kraftwerk songs into its unique sound; creating an unprecedented musical revolution across many music scenes around the globe–particularly Detroit where its influence could be felt deeply.

As the sound developed over time, its expression would take many forms. Hip hop would remain a dominant influence with rappers using turntables as musical instruments – most notably using cutting, looping and mixing techniques by artists such as DMX Krew. Furthermore, new styles like electrofunk inspired by Herbie Hancock or The Pharcyde or robotic techno from Warp 9 emerged alongside.

Though most electro music is instrumental, vocals can often be added through the use of vocoder or speech synthesis technology to give it its distinctive robot-like lyricism that was popular with pioneers of electroclash such as Miss Kittin, Tommie Sunshine, Junior Sanchez and Roxanne Shante.

In the 1990s, house music experienced another wave of popularity. Artists such as French producer Umwelt – who released records through labels such as Shipwrec, Satamile Records NYC and Minimum Syndicat – combined electro with more experimental sounds such as drones, ambience and IDM rhythms into his sets. Dutch dance innovators Unit Moebius made waves when they released gritty bangers under various aliases before disbanding in 2008.

Key elements

Beat is at the core of any dance track. Most forms of music feature drum beats; however, with electronic dance music’s rise came an entirely new style that relied on synthesized pulses instead. Producers were no longer limited to using actual drummers for drum patterns; instead they could create their own rhythms using synthesized sounds and a custom drum sampler. This enabled for more complex rhythms that could be repeated over and over, giving the listener an hypnotic beat they could move their bodies to. Early examples of songs to include this technology included George McCrae’s 1975 disco hit, ‘Rock Your Baby,’ and Donna Summer’s 1977 hit ‘I Feel Love,’ both featuring an underlining synthesized drum beat which synced perfectly with its tempo to keep things on time.

Electro music features pulsing beats accompanied by vocal samples and synth leads, often accented by vocal samples or synth leads. While some dance genres such as trance or techno use regular 4/4 beats with 140 BPM as the base tempo, other electro and styles like UK garage have lower tempos of 120-130 BPM allowing more swing and soul in their percussion groove. Hardcore/gabber genres may push beyond this range by featuring glitchier off-kilter sounds such as hardcore/ gabber which feature glitchy off-kilter sounds such as hardcore or gabber genres with glitchy off-kilter sounds.

Electro producers draw inspiration from a wide variety of influences, such as hip-hop and funk music. Afrofuturism – which examines how African-American culture intersects with technological development – remains a hallmark of Detroit electro. Producer Gerald Donald led Drexciya before transitioning into short-lived aliases such as Direct Beat record label.

Early 1990s raves began taking place at abandoned warehouses and swimming pools, and were marked by intense music that was infectiously captivating yet often marred by drugs and violence as gangs realized the profits to be had from selling illegal ecstasy and other substances. By mid ’90s however, more concentrated styles of house became prevalent across Europe and North America while smaller raves still took place regularly in smaller venues.


Electro has played an instrumental role in shaping many different subgenres of music. This includes big room house favored by DJs like Steve Aoki and Zedd, dutch house as practiced by mainstream artists such as Ellie Goulding, as well as contributing to EDM (electronic dance music), with influences seen through artists like Martin Garrix and Axwell who have revolutionized this scene.

Electro is an evolving genre characterized by loud, syncopated percussion. Additionally, its aesthetic often references technology or contemplates its future – yet many elements from its initial heyday remain constant today.

New Order’s 1981 “Numbers” marked an exciting new era for electro, heralding a shift toward synth-driven styles with clipped, loud drumming and vocals with prominent timbre. This song became one of the definitive moments in American electronic music as well as being an important precursor for hip-hop and techno music genres.

As the ’80s progressed, several British producers started exploring electro sounds. Morgan Khan, known for helming Street Sounds UK Electro compilation series and Greg Wilson who pioneered breakdance culture through his b-boy crew took advantage of Roland’s drum kit 808 to explore its sonic capabilities.

DMX Krew was one of the pioneers of this new genre, taking up rapping under his stage name MC Xpress and crafting songs that balanced acid-laced Dutch electro with melodic electrofunk. Over time he established his own label called Klakson to showcase other artists who brought unique perspectives to Dutch electro and electrofunk music.

Electro’s revival is well underway, making its mark on contemporary listeners through Skrillex and Zedd’s signature sound which blends electro with big room house sounds so prevalent today.


These artists are leaders in EDM music today, creating beats that will have even the most rigid dancers bobbing their heads and tapping their feet to the rhythm. Boasting catchy rhythms, captivating melodies, and sound additions that complement one another seamlessly, their beats can transform any dance floor and bring lightness and positivity into any heartfelt encounter.

The 1980s marked the mainstream debut of electronic music with artists like a-ha, Donna Summer and Technotronic releasing hits that got people dancing to its beat. Meanwhile, Daft Punk and The Prodigy quickly rose to star DJ status during this decade, taking raves by storm with their mix of punk, rock and techno to create dance music which continues to remain hugely popular even now.

Since then, EDM production styles have become an increasingly mainstream aspect of modern pop music, giving a whole new audience the chance to experience this genre for the very first time. Thanks to streaming platforms, the music from these artists can now reach even wider audiences than before.

Skrillex and Diplo are among the key figures who have recently introduced some of the more esoteric aspects of electro music to a mainstream audience, making sure everyone from millennials through baby boomers can dance freely to this form of electronica music.

No matter your taste in music – be it big room house, drum and bass or ambient music – there’s an artist for everyone out there! A great way to discover this is through RouteNote platform; give these great producers a listen – who knows? Maybe one will become your new favourite EDM artist!