Electronica refers to several electronic music subgenres that use samplers, synthesizers, and drum machines. Most electronic music subgenres air as dance music at raves, music festivals, and nightclubs worldwide. Non-dance electronica genres are suitable for in-person listening in quiet spaces.
In the UK, electronica is a term that refers to music commonly heard on headphones, home stereos, and film soundtracks. Also, in the US, ” electronica ” is an umbrella term for club music genres. These include vaporwave (IDM), chiptune dancehall, dubstep, UK garage, synth-pop, electro, drum-and-bass, breakbeat, trip-hop, etc.
Origin of Electronica
The development of electronic music (electronica) coincided with advancements in synthesizer, sampler, and drum machine technology. The earliest mainstream electronica genres emerged during the 1960s and the first few years of the 1970s. Then, DJs made the dance music called Dub in Jamaica by playing records of reggae background tracks without the vocals. Also, musicians like Mike Oldfield, the Alan Parsons Project, and Kraftwerk created long-form pop songs in Europe. They used the then-newly accessible electronic synthesizers.
These genres contributed to establishing the benchmark for the synthesized compositions and samples that would power future electronica. Disco and funk, performed in the 1970s using conventional instruments, helped develop the 4/4 grooves that later became the foundation for electronic music. In modern electronic music, many grooves and drum patterns are samples from this period.
During the 1980s, several electronic dance music genres had taken over nightclubs in the US, continental Europe, and the UK. Techno (especially Detroit techno), house music (Chicago house, acid house, and Latin house), freestyle music, industrial music, and electro-funk were among the 1980s’ most popular musical genres. Hip-hop, which mainly featured rappers supported by turntable performers, established the foundation for music entirely on electronic instruments. Synthesizers had become more affordable and portable by the 1990s, and producers and DJs had access to personal computers.
New electronic music genres emerged due to the latest technologies, including IDM, trance, hardcore, progressive house, drum-and-bass, jungle, UK garage, and breakcore. Dance clubs in major cities, including Paris, London, Berlin, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, are where these genres first appeared. Others were produced in studios and intended for in-depth at-home listening.
Electronic Music in Recent Years
Today’s musicians may create electronic music thanks to the widespread use of personal computers and computing tools. Dubstep, hardstyle, trap music, EDM, and electro-house became popular electronic music genres in the twenty-first century.
Although various genres fall under the umbrella of electronica, practically all of the sub-genres employ synthesizers, sampling, drum machines, longer song lengths, simple harmonic structures, and optional vocals. Technological advancement made it more accessible for people or smaller groups to create electronic music in the project and smaller studios.
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