Electro (music style)

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Development phase: Early 1980s
Place of origin: United States
Stylistic precursors
Hip-hop , funk , synth pop
Instruments typical of the genre
Synthesizers , sequencers , samplers , drum machines , vocoders
Miami bass

With Electro , sometimes Electrofunk or rare Electro Boogie , a variant of which is electronic dance music called that on the backbeat is based. That is, the rhythm is not accentuated by a straight bass drum with four beats per measure, such as with House or Techno , but by a programmed in 4.2 snare drum . In combination with an oddly programmed bass drum , the classic characteristic of electro is created: a syncopated funk . The famous Roland drum computer provided the early, recognizable signature sound of the rhythmTR-808 .


Electro as a music style should not be confused with the collective term Electro , whose subspecies developed independently from the end of the 1980s in the EBM and industrial environment.

Electro is generally classified as part of the hip-hop scene in the USA ; many tracks from the early days had rapeseed integrated. But the genre of music also developed into one of the foundations for techno in the USA .

The beginnings

The German group Kraftwerk , which from the mid-1970s for the first time oriented itself towards funk and mixed syncopated dance rhythms with electronic sounds, had a decisive influence on the development of this musical style. The songs Trans Europa Express (1977) and Numbers (1981) were defining the style, the latter already exhibiting the typical electro-boogie beat that hardly changed much afterwards. From 1982 onwards, the style of electro in the USA also adopted other techniques of disco music and funk.

Hip-hop DJ Afrika Bambaataa is considered a pioneer of US electro . His first hit, Planet Rock, was actually just a compilation of the well-known Kraftwerk songs numbers and Trans-Europa-Express , but the genre soon developed a life of its own. In the further course of development, this style of music significantly influenced the hip-hop and breakdance scene of the 1980s. In the USA, electro is also generally classified in this scene, even if it often doesn't contain any rapes. One of the most important labels that influenced this development was Tommy Boy Records .

The electro of the early days was also known as electro funk , which should not be confused with the independent music genre electro funk , which is based on the straight 4/4 time of P-funk . In the course of the breakdance movement, the dance style Electric Boogie was danced on both Electro and Electro Funk , a modern modification of Boogie-Woogie , which shows how closely both directions were interlinked with the Hip Hop movement.

In the mid to late 1980s, there were numerous crossings of electro with hip hop, which also included rap. These are generally referred to as Bass Music or Booty Bass (e.g. Dynamix II ). The lyrics, especially of the bass productions from the hip-hop scene, are often characterized by pornography and sexism . This is where the sub-genres Miami Bass emerged (very close to hip-hop, for example 2 Live Crew ) and later, in the 1990s, the more techno-oriented Ghetto Tech . A direct descendant of the Miami Bass is also the Brazilian Rio Funk .

Electro also had a strong influence on Detroit Techno , which emerged in the mid-1980s , whose first tracks ( Juan Atkins or Cybotron , Derrick May ) also made use of typical electro-boogie beats, but soon developed their own, more mechanical and minimalistic ones To take direction.

From the 1990s until today

In the mid-1990s, especially in Detroit , electro experienced a renaissance around groups such as Underground Resistance , Drexciya , Dopplereffekt or AUX 88 .

Since the mid-1990s, electro has also increasingly found its way into electronic dance music in Europe , where it has been influenced by artists such as Anthony Rother , Blotnik Brothers , DMX Krew and If , among others . This new wave of electro, also known as nu electro or neo-electro , often drew its influences from new wave , disco , synth-pop and EBM- oriented styles. From this renaissance, the genre of the so-called electroclash emerged, which was strongly oriented towards the tonal aesthetics of the 1980s (e.g. Miss Kittin ). Despite its historical connection to the hip-hop scene, electro in Europe became mainly part of the techno scene; However, the syncopated backbeat remained as a distinguishing feature to techno .

Characteristic tracks

  • Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force - Planet Rock (As a replayed main melody from Kraftwerk's "Trans Europa Express" was not released before, Planet Rock is considered to be one of the first rip-offs in the history of electronic music)
  • Kraftwerk - Computerworld 2
  • Herbie Hancock - Future Shock
  • Dynamix II - Bass Generator
  • Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - Scorpio
  • Jonzun Crew - Pac Jam
  • Cybotron - Clear (best known in the remix by Jose "Animal" Diaz)
  • Man Parrish - Hip Hop Bee Bop (Don't Stop)
  • IF - Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass
  • Anthony Rother - Destroy Him My Robots

Well-known artists

See also

Web links