The development of electronic music stylesince the 1970’s
This presentation serve as an overview to theway that electronic music styles have evolvedsince the 1970’s, and in the followingpresentations I will be showing how they havebeen incorporated into other music genresand I will also be providing artists that aresynonymous with the genres. Audio and video examples will be providedsperateley
I am using Kraftwerk as a starting point tomy presenation as to my knowledgeKraftwerk weren’t the first to experimentwith sound in the way that they did but theywere the first ensemble to use theses kind ofsynthesized sounds within mainstreammusic. Throughout the early 1970’s and 80’sKraftwerk’s sound was revolutionary thoughcompared to modern artists they soundsimplistic and somewhat dull. Despite thisthroughout their career, Kraftwerkcontinuously pushed the boundaries oftechnology and audio by using techniquesand self made instruments such as a custommade vocoder which was used on theiralbums ‘Ralf und Florian’ and ‘Autobahn’.
The early 1980’s brought House Musicwhich originated in Chicago, USA (hence thename ‘Chicago House’). It was initiallypopularized within Chicago in 1984 howeverin 1985 it started to pan out and take theworld by storm, popularizing in cities suchas Detriot, New York City, Boston, it evenbecame popular in the UK in cities such asLondon and Manchester. House music tends to share a large amountof characteristics with the 70’s Disco genrein the sense that it has similar drumpatterns and a lot of emphasis on bass. Thetypical drum beat of house music consistsof a four to the floor (4/4) kick with off beatclosed hi-hats and a snare or a clap whichtends to play on every second kick. Thisalso tends to be a typical disco beathowever house music tends to focus moreon using drum machines and synthesizedhit samples instead of live drummers.A good example of early house musicwould be ‘Inner City – Good Life’.
As with house music, Electro also emerged around the 1980’s and was onceagain directly influenced by the use of the ‘Roland TR-808’ drum machine.Also along with house, electro stems from 70’s disco however classic/earlyelectro tends to use more funk sampling than house music does. There are a number of difference between the two genres however, one ofwhich being the way that the drum beats are structured. Where house musictends to hollow a standard 4/4 kick beat, electro tends to focus more onsyncopated kicks and snares which can be related more with breakbeatgenres than disco.A good example of early electro musicwould be the track ‘Riot in Lagos’ from the1980 album ‘B-2 Unit by RyuchiSamamoto’.
Drum and Bass (DnB) originated in the UKaround about the 1990’s. Like electrogenres drum and bass heavily consists ofsyncopated/broken beats however withdrum and bass they are sped up to amuch higher tempo. Drum and bass is thought to havestemmed from the UK rave scene andgarage genres which also heavily consistof syncopated beats. Drum and bass wasoriginally popular as a form ofunderground music mostly played onpirate radio stations and at undergroundraves. Orignally drum and bass was quite aminimal form of music as mostly focusedon percussive elements however as themusic became more experimental moreelements such as dub basslines and vocalsample were introduced as it evolved intothe modern fast paced, bass heavy genrethat can commonly be heard as amainstream genre today.A good example of modern bassheavy drum and bass would be‘Tachycardia – Seamless’.
Dubstep is a bass heavy form of electronic music that is afavourite with bedroom producers everywhere for itssomewhat simplistic production techniques and its modernmainstream credibility. Dubstep originated in South East London, England and itemerged in the late 1990’s. It is heavily related with stylessuch as dub and reggae for bass elements and breakbeat and2-step garage for the percussive side to genre. Hence thepage title (dub+2-step=Dubstep). Despite the obvious focus on syncopated beats, originalDubstep had a lot emphasis on sine wave sub-bass with theuse of detuned saw wave chord stabs which can be related toBritish underground garage /rave scene. Though it’s origins are firmly based in the UK, Dubstep gaineda lot of mainstream influence in the USA with artists such asSkrillex (PO‘Dubsteps Poster Boy’ who can be somewhat heldresponsible for the ridiculous commercialisation of the genreand who also appears to be modern precedent of everyDubstep, or general EDM track created,PO), who fused thestandard conventions of Dubstep with sounds such as‘Formant’ and ‘Neuro’ bass to give the genre and overallaggressive tone.The track more modern track ‘Retourne’ bythe artist ‘Jaql’ (pronounced ‘Jackal’) can beused an example of a more original Dubstepsound.
This should conclude this section of the basisof electronic music genres as I will covermore in the presentation for:Section 3: Hybrid and Subgenres