Storytellers of a new generation
Part 2: A Dummy’s Guide To EDM Genres

Part 2: A Dummy’s Guide To EDM Genres

We’ve scratched beyond the surface in this second edition of the ultimate electronica handbook 

  • 1. Garage

    Born around: Mid nineties
    Birthplace: USA
    Popular contemporary artistes: Todd Edwards, Kiesza, Masters At Work

    Todd Edwards : Garage

    Todd Edwards 
    Photo Sources

    Garage is basically an offshoot of house; the kind of music you can shimmy to all night long. The genre derives its name from Paradise Garage, a New York discotheque where the resident DJ played this new form of dance music back in the day. UK had its own garage scene too but the music that got popular there was different from its cousin across the Atlantic in that it featured more repetitive vocal phrases and sudden change in tempo and beats.

     

  • 2. Industrial

    Born around: Mid seventies
    Birthplace: Europe
    Popular contemporary artistes: Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy and Ministry

    Nine Inch Nail

    Nine Inch Nail
    Photo Source

    Most people consider industrial music noise, but it is basically an aggressive-sounding mish-mash of different styles of electronica. Loaded with synth and machinery sounds, industrial music saw its rise in the seventies in Europe, especially Germany. This EDM genre isn’t governed by any specific boundaries, and given its diversity, it has given birth of several other genres like industrial rock, industrial metal etc.

  • 3. Hardstyle

    Born around: Early nineties
    Birthplace: The Netherlands
    Popular contemporary artistes: Psycho Punkz, Showtech, Technoboy

    Psyko Punkz

    Psyko Punkz
    Photo Sources

    Hardstyle lies on the harder end of the EDM spectrum. It features three basic essentials: thumping drums, distorted bass and prickly synth lines, the deadly combination of which can be easily headache-inducing for the uninitiated. Its roots lie in gabber/hardcore which was popular in Netherlands in the early nineties.

  • 4. Trap

    Born around: Early eighties
    Birthplace: USA
    Popular contemporary artistes: Baauer, Flosstradamus and RL Grime

    Flosstradamus

    Flosstradamus
    Photo source

    Trap music is one the more interesting babies of EDM. It can be identified thanks to its multi-layered synth/melody lines and generous helpings of brass and string sounds. The irreverent lyrics give trap its unique edgy appeal. It originated in the ‘80s but got a new lease of life in 2012 when a lot of producers starting spicing up their productions with it.

  • 5. Chill-out

    Born around: Early nineties
    Birthplace: UK
    Popular contemporary artistes: Moby, Bonobo and Parov Stelar

    Moby

    Moby
    Photo source

    Chillout is the smooth jazz of EDM. Also known as downtempo or downbeat, this kind of music is slow-paced, relaxed and explores more fluid sonic textures. It’s meant for easy listening and honestly, sky is the limit for innovation in this genre. Many electronic producers have experimented with tribal, folk and other forms of music in their chill-out tracks.