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What's That Sound? A Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Genres and Sub-Genres

Editorial

The Comprehensive Beginners Guide to EDM Genres and Sub-Genres

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 Techno

Sub-genres: Experimental, Minimal

Notable Artists: Gesaffelstein & REZZ (Experimental); Richie Hawtin & Deadmau5 (Minimal);

BPM & Style Distinctions: 125 – 150 BPM; often a darker, more futuristic/spacey/mechanical sound; more focused on rhythm; slow, subtle changes; industrial; gritty sounding.

Techno developed during late 1980s Detroit. This gritty, dystopian sounding genre reflects the personal narrative of the recession-dismissed automotive industries during that time. Techno takes influences from house music, but with a faster and darker beat. After house and acid house became more commercialized in the 80s, clubs, labels, and the media tried to find ways to modify the term house until settling on “techno” (64).

This can be a difficult genre to get into with sub-genres as well, so we won’t delve in too deep, but instead consider popular artists within that techno style. Gesaffelstein and REZZ can considerably be described as experimental techno. Meaning, they take the characteristics of other genres or sounds not often used to create something new, or experimental.

Gesaffelstein does have that traditional dark, futuristic sound and fast beats that is traditional with techno, but also includes elements of electro with industrial sounds. This abrasive style is also prominent in the mau5trap protegee REZZ. She even describes deriving some of her influences from Gesaffelstein. Check out his album Aleph if you’re interested in making those stylistic comparisons. REZZ includes elements of techno, but takes the genre in a new direction with her experimental, space-bass incorporation.

In comparison to experimental, the style of minimal techno matches the name. It takes on minimalist ideals in that less is more. This style is characterized by its use of repetition and understated development. In short, this genre is not one where you will hear intense builds and crazy drops (sound familiar AZ Decadence Marshmellow fans?). Minimal techno cherishes the stripped down simple aesthetics to show appreciation for repetitive techniques.

Intro, House, Trance, Bass, Dubstep, Hard Dance

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