Drum beats are often the foundation of electronic styles, though some may feature other elements such as chord progressions and melodies.
In the mid-90s, there emerged a distinct movement toward music that combined pop elements with electronic dance genres. This style of music, known as progressive house, emerged out of rave and club scenes across UK, US and Europe.
The North of England was a hotbed for this new type of music, led by Alexander Coe (Sasha) and Shelley’s in Stoke-on-Trent. Sasha mixed progressive trance tracks with piano-driven Italian house to create an eclectic sound that fit the heavy party scene in the area.
As time passed, music evolved and DJs adopted a more fluid style of mixing from track to track. Production remained synth-heavy but also became more melodic and dramatic. Notable names in this era included Booka Shade, M.A.N.D.Y, Michael Meyer, Trentemoeller and Gui Boratto – some of the most influential DJs for this period.
Progressive music still thrives today and continues to draw a wide following. However, there have been some shifts over the last few years as some DJs have moved towards more Electro-oriented versions of Progressive House. Furthermore, new subgenres are emerging which will further diversify this genre even further.
For example, some of the more psychedelic styles of progressive music have recently gained momentum and artists are drawing influence from the early 90s. Artists are blending progressive house with psy trance and ambient techno to create unique forms of progressive music.
It’s essential to remember that progressive house is an amalgamation of many genres and has many subtleties that make each artist unique. The styles can differ greatly between countries, so it’s essential for artists to find their own voice when creating this genre of music.
Trap is a musical genre born out of Atlanta, Georgia that blends electronic dance music (EDM) with traditional hip hop to create an unmistakable sound that’s difficult to define but impossible to ignore.
Trap music is distinguished by heavy bass sounds created with a drum machine. Commonly, this is an Roland TR-808, though samples from percussion instruments may also be utilized.
Trap music has several distinct elements that set it apart. For one thing, trap is typically played at a high BPM of 140 beats per minute, which helps producers craft fast hi-hat patterns over an underling groove.
Gangsta rap themes are common in its lyrics, similar to other hip-hop subgenres. Topics covered may include drugs, violence, money and sex but can also cover a range of issues.
Furthermore, many trap artists use mumbled autotune vocals that make the lyrics difficult to comprehend for non-English speakers. This results in songs with poor lyrical flow and an overall less captivating listening experience.
Trap music varies in tone; some artists take on a darker outlook while others keep things lighthearted and humorous. The best trap rappers tend to be those from the streets who have an authentic connection with their community.
Trap artists often deliver powerful live performances. While the style and personality of each artist will differ, the overall mood tends to be intense and aggressive. While this genre may be hard for some listeners to get on board with, those who are open-minded will find that trap music offers a powerful outlet to express anger and frustration without harming anyone else.
Trip-hop is an electronic music genre born out of Bristol, United Kingdom as a subgenre of breakbeat rave. It’s distinguished by its blend of hip-hop and “moody downtempo” elements.
Trip-hop music, also referred to as “trip-hop inspired music”, encompasses many forms and can often be described as moody, psychedelic or experimental in nature.
This style can include elements such as looped bass and synth samples (often slower tempo but not always), echos/flanging, scratching and hip-hop based beats, along with lyrical themes of disillusionment/trust.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, dance-based listening music began to reach a more mainstream audience through artists such as Shadow, Tricky, Morcheeba, Morcheeba, the Sneaker Pimps and Massive Attack.
Though its popularity waned during the mid-2000s, electronica remains a popular genre. Its roots can be traced back to an underground movement in Great Britain that spread throughout Europe and beyond.
Though many artists from this era have moved away from trip-hop, it remains an integral part of culture. Some artists such as RJD2 still draw inspiration from the sounds and styles of the ’90s in their songs today.
Trip-hop has already had an influence on many other genres, so it is likely there will be a return soon as people search for new ways to express their creativity. However, this won’t happen immediately as there are already too many other styles which have been heavily influenced by it.
Of these acts, Portishead stands as the most iconic. Their debut album Dummy brought together hip-hop production with moving vocals from Beth Gibbons. This groundbreaking work helped shape the genre’s image.
Tropical House is an increasingly popular genre of electronic dance music that draws influences from deep house, dancehall and balearic house to create a relaxed, carefree vibe.
Thomas Jack in Australia first created this genre. His trips to the islands inspired him to create music that captured the feeling of a tropical vacation and has since become highly successful within the music industry, quickly becoming one of the most beloved genres worldwide.
Tropical House music comes in many varieties; some are slow and relaxed, while others are more upbeat. Instrumental songs often feature synthesizers while acoustic instruments like steel pans or other Caribbean percussion may also be included.
Tropical House music has seen the success of artists like Kygo and Robin Schulz, who helped bring the genre into mainstream success with their constant releases of new songs and remixes.
Tropical House artists continue to gain popularity with their distinct styles. It’s no wonder why this genre is such a hot topic within electronic dance music circles.
This music is very soothing, with melodies that use simple pentatonic scales to reduce dissonance and create an upbeat atmosphere. The tempo of these songs usually ranges between 100-115, which is slower than most house music genres.
There are plenty of websites and channels that offer an impressive selection of songs and artists. Some top options to check out include Soundcloud and Spotify – these platforms are always great places to discover new tracks from the tropical house genre.
Vaporwave is an electronic music and visual art style that emerged in the 2010s. It’s characterized by its slowed-down samples of smooth jazz, elevator music, R&B and lounge as well as other 80s/90s genres, often associated with an ironic or satirical take on consumerism and pop culture.
Vaporwave has an individual aesthetic, featuring a hybrid of retro-futurism and contemporary netart imagery. This can include pastel color palettes, checkerboard patterns, retro video game images as well as 3D-rendered objects and cyberpunk tropes.
Vaporwave heavily draws inspiration from capitalist symbols, such as call centre hold music, advert scores and the commercial netherworlds of small-town America, out-of-town retail parks and shopping centres; whether it’s a sample of dopamine hit or an analogue to a perfect buy, these sounds serve to glorify and exchange capitalist goods.
No wonder then that vaporwave has spawned several subgenres, from Mall Soft (sounding like the soundtrack to an old-school mall) to Blank Banshee’s harder, darker work. Vaporwave isn’t just about musical experimentation; it also serves to make socially aware commentary on consumerism and politics.
Vaporwave has no definitive aesthetic, although it is sometimes described as “nostalgic & futuristic” or the “chillwave for Marxists.”
In an age of overproduced and often cheesy music, vaporwave stands out for its uncompromising approach to electronic music – which has earned it a dedicated fan base.