These Are Cool, But What The F*%k Are Those? A Journey Into Familiar (And Unfamiliar) Electronic Music Genres


I know a few things about my take on odd or lesser-known genres of electronic music.
-Twenty-five percent of the time, I consider myself spot-on when I’m discussing genres/sub-genres, and I’ll always assume I have your attention with my descriptions and explanations of whatever-the-fuck it is I’m drilling into your skull.
-Another twenty-five percent of the time, I’ll get too lost in my own translation and start going off on tangents that make little sense to even the common layman, as I’ve ventured into a rabbit hole that I might not have the map for- in terms of adequately describing avant-garde and off-the-wall genres.
-The remaining fifty percent of the time, I’m wrong and I’m very aware of it. The reason for this is that I’m not even sure if one could ask God to properly describe certain sub-genres of this music, without getting a know-it-all sounding load of nonsense.

Electronic music is a little too vast for comfort sometimes. I’d like to think that when I jump on Spotify or Pandora, I’m going to play exactly what I want to hear- and the truth is I just can’t execute that plan like I want to. There’s so much out there that I haven’t even touched. On the other hand, though, there’s sub-genres that I feel like I go on and on about, and only a handful of my friends respond with positive criticism- leaving me to wonder why the fuck other people aren’t on those wagons. There’s a small heap of sub-genres that make up the cynosure of my music tastes, and it often puzzles me if I know that someone hasn’t at least dabbled. Not that I want you to know everything I know, but in a way, yeah. I might want you to know everything I know.

My project is one of exploration. I’d like to take on eight different sub-genres of electronic music, and briefly try and explain them. Four that I love and have an immense respect for, and four that I’ve never heard of. Let’s begin. For science.

– – –

Four electronic sub-genres I love, that you ought to at least know about.
(You don’t have to dive all the way into these with me, but I assume the reading doesn’t stop here. At least test the temperature with a big toe, you fucking maverick. That’s what this whole thing is about.)

– – –

1. Progressive Breaks
One day I won’t walk this planet anymore. My time will have come and passed, and I’ll be making my transition into the unknown that exists after my brief little life. I don’t care what shape I take, I don’t care what my surroundings are in this strange new place…the only thing that needs to be a goddamn certainty is that Progressive Breaks will be playing there. That’s all I want, and that should tell you everything you need to know. If I had to describe this gorgeousness to someone, I’d tell them it’s what would happen if Breaks and Dark Trance decided to create a love child. Sign me the fuck up.

2. Darkstep
Look, Darkstep is life. Let’s go ahead and put that right the hell on the table. Darkstep and I go hand-in-hand because I like oddly-timed Jungle and Ambient soundscapes with some broken Breaks, but I’m also an angry fuck. Darkstep creates feelings of instability and uncertainty. It’s my “everything’s going to be okay, but not right now” music. In my honesty, I never knew how to describe the songs I love in this category to anyone- until the genre itself was described and presented to me, (by someone I actually trust more than I trust God, when it comes to explaining sub-genres.)

3. Industrial/EBM/Neo-Goth
There was a time I had not yet discovered this music, and I needed it in my life. Badly. So do you. The songs housed in this particular sub-genre are usually packed with dark synths, heavy beats, and painfully accurate lyrics that somehow fit into any dire situation you might be experiencing. The miraculous part is that somehow, you can still dance to said songs.

4. Acid Trance/Hard Acid
I’ll bet a percentage of you actually love this shit, and always have. The only problem you might have experienced is not knowing what to say when people have asked “but what is it?” I’ll tell you what it is. It’s God’s work. Whether you want to or not, you’re moving some part of your body to it, when it plays. To me it’s nothing more than a distorted take on what otherwise might be fairly ‘ravey’ Trance tracks.

– – –

Four electronic sub-genres I know nothing about and am discovering for the first time, based on recommendations by others.
(I asked the general public on my timeline for some examples of genres I may not know of. I chose from those genres. What I hear first is what I’ll link, and I’ll try and accurately describe my reaction.)

– – –

1. Complextro
When I was a wee DJ, very new to the decks, I had a little go at Electro House and some Fidget. This seems reminiscent. There’s quite a few staccato rhythms and noises, a bit much for my taste. I can’t say I wouldn’t be moving along with it in a club setting, though.

2. Witch House/Drag
Sweet baby Jesus, how did this elude me at all? When were any of you planning on telling me that this magnificence exists? I’ll wait. Meanwhile I’m going to download most every mix of it that I can find, because fuck yeah. I discovered a brand new interest today. It’s dark and it’s droning and I love it.

3. Eurobeat
So basically…Eurobeat is the majority of what I played on Dance Dance Revolution, before Dance Dance Revolution started using more Trance and orchestral music, and Downbeat tunes. I get it. It’s cute. It’ll never show up on a playlist of mine or a top-5 countdown, but I get it. I have no choice in the matter anyhow, as I worship Dance Dance Revolution and anything that helped introduce it to the world. Eurobeat gets my respect by default.

4. Frenchcore
Oh. Well then. That’s…absolutely what’s up. That’s the truth. You do you. I’m just gonna grab a drink. Check out how it feels outside. *arms half raised backing out of the building slowly* *exits*

About Jasmine Rose

Jasmine is a Houston-based writer and spoken-word poet, and one of the latest additions to The Department Of Dance. Jasmine has been DJing since 2008, affiliated with various (now defunct) collectives in the past, and currently playing independently. Her choice genres include Minimal Techno, Liquid DnB, and Melodic Trance.

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