Electro-house is a house music subgenre. Its beginnings are unclear, with differing degrees of influence credited to electro, electroclash, pop, synthpop, and tech house. It gained global appeal around 2005. Top DJs related to the genre include Deadmau5, David Guetta, and Tiesto.
The genre has been defined as a fusion of house and electro, either in its original form or when combined with synthpop and techno, as during electroclash’s late-1990s rebirth. French house, particularly that of bands such as Daft Punk, has also been a significant influence on electro-house.
Electro-house occasionally incorporates aspects of tech house, such as powerful basslines, brief and high-pitched riffs, and sparse or moderate percussion. However, unlike proper techno, it may use electro-influenced harsh synthesizers and vocal or instrumental samples. Its tempo often oscillates between 128 and 130 BPM. Newer songs of this genre contain a more “dirty” bassline sound achieved by compressing and distorting saw waves.
Early electro-house tracks include Sublime’s “Transamerican”, Arrivers’ “Dark Invader,” “The Arrival,” and Basement Jaxx’s “Raw S*it”. Mr. Oizo’s 1999 chart-topping single “Flat Beat” is also regarded as an early example of the genre.
Pioneers of electro-house
Audiences widely regard Benny Benassi as the pioneer of electro-house, taking the genre to the public with his 2002 tune “Satisfaction.” This track transitioned from house to electro a year later, receiving appreciation from high-profile DJs such as Carl Cox, Darren Emerson, and Roger Sanchez. It climbed to #2 on the UK Singles Chart after the Ministry of Sound replaced the original video with one of models using power tools.
Electro-house gained further popularity in the mid-2000s when new producers like David Guetta and Yasutaka Nakata emerged. By 2004, a subgenre known as electro-tech had gained popularity in areas of Europe, including Austria, Germany, and Italy. In November 2006, electro-house tunes such as Fedde Le Grand’s “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit”, and Luciana’s “Yeah Yeah” topped the UK Top 40 singles chart. Since then, producers of electro-house such as Avicii, Deadmau5, Knife Party, and Skrillex have risen and gained popularity. By 2009, the genre had garnered a global following.
In the early 2010s, a subgenre of electro-house known as big room emerged. It gained popularity mostly through EDM-themed events and festivals. Big room tracks are similar to Dutch house in that they frequently feature drops, minimal percussion, regular rhythms, layered sub-bass kicks, basic melodies, and synth-driven breakdowns. A big room track’s structure is extremely similar to that of typical electro-house.
Dutch house, another subgenre of electro-house, also known as ‘Dirty Dutch,’ rose to prominence in 2009, mostly because of Vato Gonzalez, Afrojack, and DJ Chuckie. Complex rhythms built from Latin-influenced drum kits, less focus on basslines, and squeaky, high-pitched lead synthesizers define it.