A Simple Guide to EDM Genres Part 2

A Simple Guide to EDM Genres Part 2

Hello and welcome to part 2 of a 3 part article series detailing the many different genres and sub-genres of Electronic Dance Music. If you’re just joining us, feel free to read part 1 to get up to speed, or if you’re a returning reader, to refresh yourself.  To summarize, last time talked about the traditional house genre, the historic sounds of Techno and the rap-hybrid that is Trap Music. We will now be looking into 3 more genres that have cemented their part in EDM culture…


Trance has significant roots in Europe, mainly Germany, and has quickly become one of the most popular sub-genres of EDM. Known for having between 100-150 BPM (beats per minute), Trance sets the building up and breaking down of melodies in a repetitious manner. As mentioned before, Trance’s origins date back to Europe, where is has been significantly popular among other forms of EDM, but it has garnered some praise and appeal here in the United States in recent years.

Some notable artists of this genre include, Above and Beyond, Dash Berlin, Armin Van Buren, and of course the immortal Tiesto.


Dubstep started as a darker, more experimental take on the 2-step sound that was running through London in the late 1990s. Clocking in at around 140BPM, the early sound of dubstep was far from the aggressive tracks that are associated with the genre today. Early incarnations of Dubstep are over a decade old, but the sound really started to grow in 2005, with DJs like John Peel and Mary Anne Hobbs helping bring the exciting new flavor to UK radio. Today, the sound is far from a London thing, and spent many years as the genre to many of today’s EDM fans.

The music website Allmusic has described Dubstep’s overall sound as “tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals.” One recognizable way you can distinguish Dubstep is the wobble bass, often referred to as the “wub”, where an extended bass note is manipulated rhythmically.

Some notable artists of Dubstep are Flux Pavillion, Skream, Rusko and Skrillex.

Drum & Bass

Drum & Bass might be one of the most intense, misunderstood sounds within the EDM scene. While its roots are in the hardcore rave scene of London in the early 1990s, it mutated into a darker, more sinister sound all to its own, gobbling up reggae/dancehall sub-bass with sped-up breakbeats. Clocking in at 160-180 BPMs, the obvious emphasis on the drum work and bassline gives Drum and Bass its name. Over the years, it has encompassed a number of sounds, with sub-genres incorporating jazz, soul, hip-hop, and even other EDM styles like trance.

Notable artists include Bad CompanyHigh Contrast, Andy C, Netsky and Pendulum.

Stay tuned for the final part of a simple guide to EDM genres!

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