Sub-Genres of EDM: Trap, Jersey Club, Tech House, Electro House and G-House
Some of the newest trends lie in the many sub-genres of Electronic Dance Music. I have compiled a few of the most prevalent styles that are heard in the newest arrivals of production music.
Trap music is a music genre that originated in the early 1990s in the Southern U.S. In 2012, a new movement of electronic music producers and DJs emerged who began incorporating elements of trap music into their works.
Trap music incorporates an extensive use of multi-layered hard-lined and melodic synthesizers, crisp, grimy and rhythmic snares; deep 808 sub-bass kick drums or heavy sub-bass lines; double-time, triple-time and similarly divided hi-hats; and a cinematic and symphonic utilization of string, brass and keyboard instruments creating an overall dark, harsh, grim and bleak background feeling for the listener. The speed of a typical trap beat has a BPM of 140.
Trap music is also defined by its bleak, gritty and belligerent lyrical content, ominous characteristics which varies widely on the hip hop artist but typical lyrical themes include observations of street life, poverty, violence, and hardship in the “trap” and harsh experiences urban surroundings that the rapper is trying to lyrically portray to the listener.
Heavy 808 sub-bass kick drums, sub-divided hi hats and snare. Build ups and Breakdowns
Jersey club music originated within nightclubs of New Jersey during the 90’s, specifically in the city of Newark (affectionately nicknamed “Brick City”). It was pioneered by DJ Tameil, DJ Tim Dolla, Mike V and DJ Black Mic of the “Brick Bandits Crew” who were largely influenced by the Baltimore house scene of the 80’s.
4/4 time signature, use of triplet kick patterns create a bright, driving, upbeat and bouncy groove featuring short chopped sample loops.
Tech house is a subgenre of house music that mixes elements of techno with house. The term tech house developed as a shorthand record store name for a category of electronic dance music hat combined music aspects of techno, such as “rugged bass lines” and “steely beats, with the harmonics and grooves of progressive house. The music originally had a clean and minimal production style hat was associated with techno from Detroit and the UK. In the mid to late 1990s a scene developed in England around club nights such as The Drop run by Mr.C & Plink Plonk, Heart & Soul, and Wiggle run by Terry Francis and Nathan Coles.
As a mixing style, tech-house often brings together deep or minimal techno music, the soulful and jazzy end of house, some minimal techno and microhouse (especially with a soulful feel, such as Luomo’s music), and very often some dub elements. tech-house uses the same basic structure as house. However, elements of the house ‘sound’ such as realistic jazz sounds (in deep house) and booming kick drums are replaced with elements from techno such as shorter, deeper, darker and often distorted kicks, smaller, quicker high hats noisier snares and more synthetic or acid sounding synth melodies from the TB-303, including raw electronic noises from distorted sawtooth and square wave oscillators.
A few years ago, a new sub-genre G-House, (other synonymous terms: Ghetto House, booty house or gangsta house) emerged from House music. It is a term characterized by the elements Tech House with Hip Hop/Rap elements. While Hip Hop elements are most apparent, there are influences from Techno, Disco and Funk.
hypnotic, thumping basslines often sampling memorable rap/hip-hop verses and hooks. They are pitched down an octave or modulated in a way that offers a twist on the initial sample. Structurally, it’s similar to house but the distinct sounds and melodies know no bounds as it gleans inspiration from techno, accompanied by diminished/minor chords and progressions that can deliver a darker, more haunting vibe to a track.
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The genre has been described as a fusion genre of house and electro, either in its original form or as fused with synth pop and techno in its late-1990s revival, electroclash. It has also been seen as a term created from using “electro” as an adjective (meaning “futuristic” or “hard”) for “house”.
Electro-house sometimes contains elements of tech house such as prominent baselines short and high-pitched riffs and minimal to medium amounts of percussion. Unlike tech house, however, it can include abrasive, electro-influenced synths and vocal or instrumental samples. Recent compositions tend to feature a “dirty” bass sound created from saw waves with multi band compression and distortion.