Relentless Beats

You Called it What? A Fan’s Explanation of Dance Music

If you’re a fan of dance music, then I can guarantee that you have met at least one person who has called it “techno”, well, maybe more like 100+ people! It ranges from girlfriends to friends, family members, and even uneducated dance fans. When people reply with techno it makes me cringe and my response is always, “It’s not called techno, but rather electronic dance music (EDM).”

So listen up newbies and future dance fans, this article is for you. Next time you get that answer, you will now be prepared to fire back with an assault of knowledge. For boredom purposes though, I will only cover the main genres and keep it brief.  It’s up to you to further your knowledge and feed your brain with the ever so wonderful world of EDM.

First off, techno is a genre of Electronic Dance Music born out of Detroit in the early 70’s. It’s industrial sounding and repetitive in nature, but not to be confused with house or trance.  House music was created out of the Chicago club scene in the early 80’s–soulful and disco influenced mostly embraced then by the African American culture. House music today has evolved into even further sub genres like progressive, acid, and the popular electro. Electro gets its name from the gritty saw-like bass and lead sounds used in production. Recently electro has gone mainstream with a lot of pop artists using this style in their music. Progressive house, another sub-genre of house, builds on itself and is closely related to its big cousin trance.  While it is unknown exactly where trance came from, many would argue its roots are in Europe. Trance is still the largest genre of dance music worldwide. Trance is used to describe a feeling of euphoria and the music translates that feeling to the listener.

But wait there’s more! Remember drum and bass? It originated in the UK and spawned out of the British breakbeat/hardcore scene in the late 80’s. At the time, drum and bass brought hip hop and EDM together with MCs rapping over beats. Today it’s evolution can be heard in the form of dubstep. The widely popular and breakthrough genre of dance music. Although dubstep was first recognized around 2002, it spawned from Jamaican dub music in the 90’s. Dubstep also combines electro to create an in your face gritty style of dance.

And yes there is more, lots more. Some you might never have heard of genres such as fidget, Yorkshire bleeps and bass, goa, and jumpstyle. The list goes on and on, but at least you now have some sort of response the next time someone asks, “You like ‘techno’?”

Knowledge is power! Visit this Wikipedia entry for further reading and a full list of various genres of dance music.

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