Please bear with us while this section is redesigned and revitalized.


Acid Breaks: Funky breaks with a 303-type synth line, housey feel.

Acid House: A house rhythm, with 808 conga and tom fills, sometimes a minimal breakbeat, and a characteristic 303 line. This is where rave started, with acid house parties in England in 1987-88. Acid house mostly died out after about 1991, but still lingers to some extent, and can occaisionally be heard in newer music. The first acid house tracks were made in Chicago in 1985, but most of it was made in the UK from 1987-1991.

Acid Jungle: 303 synth over a breakbeat and rich subbass lines. This term is archaic, and refers to a form of techstep.

Acid Trance: 303-type synth over a Trance beat, frequently with harsh vocal samples. This is typical of much of the trance produced lately, since the development of ReBirth by Steinberg software.

Ambient: Deep minimal Techno/Trance, with little or no beat. 0-80bpm or thereabouts. It sometimes has a beat, but it's usually a melodic, rather than percussive, beat. I spin this.

Ambient Jungle: Technically, neither Ambient nor Jungle. Another name for Intelligent.

Atmospheric: No beat, like ambient but less musical. Creates an atmosphere. Often achieved through scratching, along with live instruments, such as mute trumpets or 303s. Can also be done with 3 turntables, scratching on two. I spin this along with ambient. I've also produced a little bit, for use in my own shows, under the name neur0mancer. You can check some of it out at, although some of it won't be posted there because of limitations of the mp3 format.

Atmospheric Drum'n'Bass: A form of intelligent drum'n'bass which tends to avoid the jazzy elements in favour of soft ambient washes, deep subs, and more complex breakbeats.

Booty House: Rough, vulgar form of Chicago house (ie. slow gabber) with blatantly sexual lyrics.

Breakbeat: Essentially a beat sampled from hip-hop, funk, and disco, chopped up and sped up, then looped.

Darkside: An older form of jungle, popular in 1994 and 1995, a reaction in a way to the upbeat happy feel of earlier breakbeat hardcore and ragga jungle. Characterized by dark synths and a fast breakbeat. Good examples are The Terrorist and The Final Chapter.

Darkstep: Often indistinguishable from Hardstep, but usually not quite as hard. Otherwise the description fits for both.

Deathcore: A combination of Gabber, Jungle, and Deathmetal. Bottoms out at about 250 bpm. Fast bass kick, breakbeat, and deathmetal samples. Essentially a type of Industrial Techno.

Deep House: Down tempo, minimal house, with a soft beat. Romantic type house. NB: In Chicago, the term Deep House refers not to the above style, but rather to a style of funky, soulful, underground deep disco from the late 70s, that actually predates the use of the term "House" as a style of music. Best example that I know of is Two Tons of Fun-I Got The Feeling, a record that I would very much like to own. I haven't got any to post as samples here, so I suggest checking out Legendary DJs of House. I would appreciate some mp3s or even realaudio if you can sort me out.

Demoncore: The evilest of the evil four-four. Sick, twisted synths, 909 kick drone, pure darkness.

Detroit Techno: The original style that started it all. Started in Detroit gay clubs in the mid-1980s. I haven't heard much so I can't really comment on the style. Often referred to simply as techno, and there are many who believe that the term Techno should apply only to this style. Among the most notable of the original Detroit Techno artists is Kevin Saunderson. He more or less holds the same role in techno that Frankie Knuckles holds with respect to house.

Doomcore: Not really sure how this differs from Demoncore, could be another word for the same style. Apparently it may be a bit more industrial sounding.

Drum + Bass: To some, it's the same as Jungle, just another word for it. To others, however, it's a more generic term, as it includes some material which could be classified as Drum + Bass (and couldn't be classified as anything else), but couldn't be called Jungle due to it's lack of a breakbeat.

Evilstep: Quite simply, hard darkstep or dark hardstep. Evil sounding, dirty basslines, distorted, twisted, like the stuff on Chrome, some of the No U-Turn (especially the Torque LP) stuff, Dom+Rob-Distorted Dreams, and one side of Kultbox 001, from 3D and Snuggles. Watch for the Hard Edge imprint outta Germany putting out some good evilstep.

4-Beat: Usually a basic 4/4 beat, like house, but faster, usually 909- based.

Gabber/Gabba:Faster than Rotterdam, usually more upbeat, although I have some nice dark Gabber. About 200-250bpm and up. NB1: In some places, the term Gabber also refers to Rotterdam; ie no distinction is made between them. NB2: Gabber is sometimes referred to as Gabba, to distinguish from a Gabber, a person who listens to Gabba and/or Rotterdam. In some parts of Europe, the term Gabber has the same connotations that the term Gino has here in North America. In other places, the term means friend. Alternatively, it is sometimes used to refer to a "football hooligan".

Garage: Sort of a cross between house and funk. I've heard Jamiroquai's music referred to as garage, but haven't been able to verify this.

Goa Trance: Psychedelic Trance, almost the same thing as Psytrance, but tends to have a more spiritual feeling. Adds an even more trippy psychedelic feel to trance, plus some middle-eastern and south-asian influences. Name comes from Goa, a resort town on the west coast of India, a popular attraction for European tourists, where it was popularized; most of the music itself comes from the UK. Goa Trance is most often distributed on DAT or MP3; this tradition is supposed to have started because vinyl would melt in the hot temperatures in Goa. Goa tends to make use of a more diverse range of beats than other styles of trance, and tends to frequently forgoe any sense of melody, favouring instead a more cacophonous feeling. This last part also applies somewhat to psytrance. There are Goa DJs and Psytrance DJs who will swear to the ends of the earth that Goa and Psytrance are exactly the same thing, and there are others who spin either or both who maintain with equal fervour that any fool who's never heard electronic music before could tell the two apart.

Handbag House: A form of house. I have no clue what it sounds like.

Happy Hardcore: Upbeat, happy 4-beat hardcore. Emerged from Hard House, and uses a lot of house samples. Traditionally, a heavy use of piano lines, although popular material usually avoids this. Contemporary happy hardcore usually consists of a cheesy 80s pop-rock song, usually something particularly sappy, sped up, with a hardcore 4-4 beat added over top, and a synth line thrown in, typical of Dutch hardcore anthems.

Hard Acid Trance: 303-type raspy synth over a Hard Trance beat.

Hardcore:A generic term, encompassing numerous styles. Originally, back in 1992 and earlier, there was only one kind of hardcore: UK Breakbeat. But then, starting in 1992, and continuing into 93, the hardcore scene split into two schools: the 4-beat school, which spawned styles such as Hard House, Hard Trance, Hard Acid, Happy Hardcore, Rotterdam, Gabber/Gabba, Deathcore, and Terrorcore; and the Breakbeat school, which spawned such styles as West Coast Breaks, Drum+Bass, and Trip-hop. Up until 1994, however, the various styles mostly mixed together quite well, as they were all structured the same, and about the same BPM.

Hard House: Faster, pounding boom boom beat. Like Happy Hardcore but slower.

Hardstep: Often dark, grinding distorted bassline, with a hard, simple breakbeat. Usually few or no vocal or synth parts.

Hard Trance: Like hard house, but faster and darker. Like Rotterdam, but slower.

Hip-Hop Jungle: The name says it all. Jungle which incorporates hip-hop vocals. Contemporary examples would be Goldie's projects with KRS-One, and the track from R Notorious and Kingsize that samples Jeru Tha Damaja. This isn't being done much any more, except by the Urban Takeover kru.

House: Basic 4/4 beat, boom boom boom boom, or sometimes boom tiss boom tiss. This is the style that usually attracts mainstreamers to techno (although for me it was Jungle and Rotterdam).

Illbient: Dark ambient. DJ Spooky-style.

Industrial: Something of a broad category, that includes some extreme hardcore techno, but doesn't seem to distinguish between Industrial Techno, Industrial Hip-hop, and Industrial Metal. The style of production is similar, and it is generally hardcore. This is partly what got me into techno and rave...listening to stuff like Ministry, and realizing that you could do all sorts of stuff in various styles by sampling and programming beats and instrumental bits. So basically Ministry is a combination of metal and techno.

Intelligent: Minimal Drum+Bass. Minimal breakbeat with a soft easy-going bassline. Often jazzy. eg. LTJ Bukem-Logical Progression

Jazz Jungle: Uses jazz samples, or actual jazz melodies or instruments, in place of synth lines. Contemporary example would be the (not so new now) new DJ Ron LP.

Jump-Up: Closely related to Ragga, but with a simpler breakbeat. Upbeat.

Jungle: Originally a bassy, raggamuffin style closely resembling the UK Breakbeat as it stood just before the split. Resembles songs such as Acen-Trip II Tha Moon and Project 1-Roughneck. Has now divided into a number of styles.

Minimal: Basically same thing as intelligent.

Minimal: Often just another name for Ambient. Usually trippy techno, like trance, with a very minimal, soft beat.

Minimal Trance:
i.Trance with a strong beat, but a very minimal synth line. Stuff like much of Legion of Green Men's stuff.
ii.Trance with not much beat, washy synths which develop slowly, like the rest of Legion of Green Men's stuff that isn't Dub. I spin this stuff.

Noisecore: Often quite literally, musically arranged white or grey noise, electrical interference converted to an audio signal. Sometimes combined with gabber, drum + bass, and other styles. Contemporary examples are the (not so new now) Speedy J LP with the crop circles on it, and Ardisson-The Break From Infinity, on my own label, available now through my label. (Shameless plug, but please buy a copy, so I can keep my label going :) Check out these artists as well, Ebi Tamago and Ardisson.

Oldskool breaks: Refers to UK Breakbeat hardcore, what used to be referred to simply as hardcore, before the split.

Pizzicatto: *shrug* Italian House?

Precursors of modern electronic music: Probably the first instrument of note here is the Player Piano (I have one of these, although with the player mechanism removed). I believe they were developed in about the 1820s (someone please correct me if you know better), and consisted of a roller mechanism holding a length of paper or cloth with holes punched in it, and functioned much like a Jacquard Loom, but playing pre-sequenced music, rather than weaving programmed patterns. Next came Leon Theremin and his contemporary (help me with the name here please) who developed electric (as opposed to electronic) synthesizers which employed a method of manipulating magnetic fields in order to control pitch and volume. Following that, came experimenting by various individuals, one of the most notable, but least known, being Hugh LeCaine from Toronto, in the 1950s. Perhaps the most significant breakthrough of mention in this category is the arrival of Kraftwerk in the mid-1970s. Kraftwerk being the first well-known all-electronic band, really represented the beginning of modern electronic music.

Progressive House: Trippy house, like trance but with a simpler, slower house beat. Progressive house is generally in the range of 125-135bpm, where as trance is about 140-160bpm. I spin this, but mainly because I can get it cheap.

Progressive Trance: Kinda soft, commercial trance. This is what Paul Oakenfold spins primarily.

Psytrance: Another name for Goa Trance, to some, or something slightly different from Goa to others.

Ragga Jungle: The original style (except for the hardcore jungle tekno, which emerged from hardcore in 1993), ragga vocal and bassline samples, with a frantic breakbeat over top, and reggae breakdowns. Classic example would be Kemet Krew-Agony. Vocals often in Patois. Not common any more, only released by a few labels, most notably Congo Natty.

Rotterdam: Dark 4-beat, emerged from Hard Trance. Pounding distorted bass kick. About 180-220bpm. There are only a few places in the world that actually differentiate between Rotterdam and Gabba, mainly Toronto, some places in California, and a few places in Europe. Nowadays, the term Rotterdam refers more to something sort of across between happy hardcore and gabber.

Speedcore: Sometimes upbeat, sometimes dark, about 220 to 300 bpm. Fast and hard, but not evil like Deathcore.

Speed Garage: A recently emerged style, started by Armand Van Helden, which blends house with oldskool jungle. It's basic house, but with a bassline similar to jungle from about 1994-1996, and frequent use of timestretched vocal samples. All the old tricks re-hashed in a more palatable format, in other words. Respex to Armand for trying to bring unity to the scene (at least that's what he claims his intentions were) but it hasn't worked out as he planned-he's not happy.

Synthpop and Synthrock: An early 80s experiment in adding newly emerging synth sounds to existing new wave rock- and punk-influenced music. Probably the best known example is Depeche Mode. Another good example, but with more of a proto-techno sound, is Section 25-Looking From A Hilltop.

Techno: An all-encompassing term, for modern electronic music based on the style of Detroit Techno. Includes all the styles listed below.

Techstep: Sorta across between Trance and Jungle, but not really. Techy synth lines, with a breakbeat a little more complex breakbeat than hardstep. Somewhat more experimental. Most of the drum'n'bass being made these days (99/00) is a form of dark techstep.

Terrorcore:Compares to Deathcore as Grindcore (eg Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, Godflesh) compares to Deathmetal (eg Death, Entombed, Cannibal Corpse). Harder, faster, but a simpler beat. The bass kick is so fast, it almost sounds like one continuous noise. The breakbeat is simpler, like hardstep.

Trance: Psychedelic Techno, faster beat than house, usually just a boom boom beat, sometimes more complex. Often a background of snares and hi-hats. Trippy synth lines.

Tribal House: Regular house with the addition of Djembe and other African type drumming, and often whistles and generally african/tribal music samples. Sometimes also incorporates chants. With tribal, there is more of a focus on the beat, rather than on the melody. It should be pointed out that the simple presence of Djembe, etc. does not mean that a track is tribal. I love this stuff.

Tribal Trance: Similar to tribal house, but faster and trippier, a litte more rhythmic melody (whistles, etc).

Triphop: A cross between Trance and Hip-hop, thus the name. The beat is essentially a breakbeat played at half-speed. Tends to attract an older audience (my parents listen to this stuff). Also a bit more mainstream, but still kewl.

Warehouse: House was originally called warehouse, because of it's origins at Chicago's Warehouse club, but was later shortened to house.

West Coast Breakbeat: Housey breakbeat. Sometimes dark, but usually more upbeat.