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This article is about the musical genre. For the major 2 A wave of diverse acts
biennial international electronic trade fair in Munich,
Germany, see Electronica (trade fair). For the Disney Electronica took benet from advancements in music
California Adventure attraction, see ElecTRONica.
technology, especially electronic musical instruments,
synthesizers, music sequencers, drum machines, and
Electronica is a music genre encompassing a wide range digital audio workstations. As the technology developed,
of contemporary electronic music designed for a wide it became possible for individuals or smaller groups to
range of uses, including foreground listening, some forms produce electronic songs and recordings in smaller stuof dancing, and background music for other activities. dios, even in project studios. At the same time, computUnlike electronic dance music (EDM), not all examples ers facilitated the use of music samples and loops as
of electronica are necessarily made for dancing.[1][2] The construction kits for sonic compositions. This led to a
genre is loosely dened and has dierent connotations in period of creative experimentation and the development
of new forms, some of which became known as electrondierent regions and time periods.
Electronica has grown to inuence mainstream crossover
recordings. Electronic sounds began to form the basis of Electronica currently includes a wide variety of musical
a wide array of popular music in the late 1970s and early acts and styles, linked by a penchant for overtly elec[9]
1980s, and became key to the mainstream pop and rock tronic production; a range which includes more popsounds of the 1980s. Since the adoption of electronica ular acts such as Bjrk, Madonna, Goldfrapp and IDM
in the 1990s to refer to more underground music with artists such as Autechre, and Aphex Twin to dub-oriented
an electronic aesthetic, elements of modern electronica downtempo, downbeat, and trip-hop. Madonna and
have been adopted by many popular artists in mainstream Bjrk are said to be responsible for electronicas thrust
into mainstream culture, with their albums Ray of Light
(Madonna),[10] Post and Homogenic (Bjrk). Electronica artists that would later become commercially successful began to record in the late 1980s, before the term
had come into common usage, including for example The
1 Regional denitions
Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Daft Punk, The Chemical BrothMoby, Electro Arcade,
In North America, in the late 1990s, the mainstream mu- ers, The Crystal Method, Epoch,
Underworld and Faithless.[11] Electronica composers ofsic industry adopted and to some extent manufactured
electronica as an umbrella term encompassing styles such ten create alternate versions of their compositions, known
as remixes"; this practice also occurs in related musical
as techno, big beat, drum 'n' bass, trip hop, downtempo,
such as ambient, jungle, and electronic dance muand ambient, regardless of whether it was curated by indie forms
sic.[12] Wide ranges of inuences, both sonic and compolabels catering to the underground nightclub and rave
scenes,[2][3] or licensed by major labels and marketed to sitional, are combined in electronica recordings.
from this period include instrumental pieces like Children
mainstream audiences as a commercially viable alternative to alternative rock music.[4] By the late 2000s, how- by Robert Miles (1995).
ever, the industry abandoned electronica in favor of EDM,
a term with roots in academia and an increasing association with outdoor music festivals and relatively mainstream, post-rave electro house and dubstep music. Nevertheless, the U.S.-based Allmusic still categorises electronica as a top-level genre, stating that it includes danceable grooves, as well as music for headphones and chillout

The more abstract Autechre and Aphex Twin around

this time were releasing early records in the intelligent techno or so-called intelligent dance music (IDM)
style, while other Bristol-based musicians such as Tricky,
Lefteld, Massive Attack and Portishead were experimenting with the fusion of electronic textures with hiphop, R&B rhythms to form what became known as triphop. Later extensions to the trip-hop aesthetic around
In other parts of the world, especially in the UK, elec- 1997 came from the highly inuential Vienna-based duo
tronica is also a broad term, but is associated with non- of Kruder & Dorfmeister, whose blunted, dubbed-out,
dance-oriented music, including relatively experimental slowed beats became the blueprint for the new style of
styles of downtempo electronic music. It partly overlaps downtempo.
It could be noted that older bands such as Eurythmics,
what is known chiey outside the UK as IDM.


Erasure, New Order and Depeche Mode had built on the

new wave music of the 1980s and added more dance and
electronic instrumentation and alternative rock inuences
to become early pioneers of electronica music.

Global patterns of popularity

club community and independent labels" provided the experimental and trend-setting environment in which electronica acts developed and eventually reached the mainstream. It cites American labels such as Astralwerks (The
Future Sound of London, Fluke), Moonshine (DJ Keoki),
Sims, and City of Angels (The Crystal Method) for playing a signicant role in discovering and marketing artists
who became popularized in the electronica scene.[2]

Radiohead's Kid A (2000) found one of the most poBy the late 1990s, artists like Moby had become internalarised critical receptions for an adoption of electronic
tionally famous, releasing albums and performing regusounds by a rock group, but the album also received wide
larly in major venues.
acclaim, their next album Amnesiac (2001) further diNew York City became one center of experimentation verged into electronic style. and the band cited their
and growth for the electronica sound, with DJs and mu- debts to many electronic musicians, such as Autechre and
sic producers from areas as diverse as Southeast Asia and Boards of Canada, in a recording which reached number
Brazil brought their creative work to the nightclubs of that one on the US album charts.
In the early 2000s, electronica-inspired post-punk experienced a revival, with rock bands such as Interpol and The
Killers specically drawing on the 1980s sound of New
4 Eect on mainstream popular Order and The Cure.


With newly prominent music styles such as reggaeton, and

subgenres such as electroclash, and favela funk, electronic
music styles in the current decade are seen to permeate
Around the mid-1990s, with the success of the big beatnearly all genres of the mainstream and indie landscape
sound exemplied by The Chemical Brothers and The
such that a distinct electronica genre of pop music is
Prodigy in the UK, and spurred by the attention from
rarely noted.
mainstream artists, including Madonna in her collaboration with William Orbit on her album Ray of Light[10] and
Australian singer Dannii Minogue with her 1997 album
Girl,[16] music of this period began to be produced with a 5 Hip hop fusion
higher budget, increased technical quality, and with more
layers than most other forms of dance music, since it was Hip hop DJs and producers had been mining elecbacked by major record labels and MTV as the next big tronic sounds to create beats since Afrika Bambaataa and
Grandmaster Flash pioneered the use of drum machines
In the late 80s, rave culture began to lter through from
English ex-pats and DJs who would visit Europe. However, rave cultures major expansion in North America
is often credited to Frankie Bones, who after spinning
a party in an aircraft hangar in England helped organize
some of the earliest known American raves in the 1990s
in New York City called Storm Raves which maintained
a consistent core audience. Coinciding at the same time,
were the NASA parties in NYC by DJ Scotto which
was featured in the 1995 movie kids (lm) and forthcoming was concert producer p.a.w.n. Lasers in Pennsylvania
who later became the most well known laser company at
raves in East Coast by cross-promoting these rave events
State to State as far south as Florida and Louisiana. After this, hundreds of smaller promotional groups sprung
up across the east coast such as Ultraworld (MD,DC),
Park Rave Madness (NYC), G.O. Guaranteed Overdose
(NYC), Local 13 (NJ), Caeine (NYC), Liquid Grooove
aka Liquied (GA), Columns of Knowledge (CT), Special K aka Circle Management (PA), Zen Festivals (FL),
Disco Donnie (LA), Ultra Music Festival (FL), and later
the west coast, causing a true scene to develop.

and synthesizers in the early 1980s, and the hip hop genre
shared with other forms of electronic music an emphasis
on sampling. Beginning with the success of Dr. Dre and
G-funk rap in the mid-1990s, many hip hop producers
began turning to a more synthesized sound, resulting in
the rise of superproducers such as The Neptunes, who
cultivated a science ction image with sleek, overtly electronic beats, and Timbaland, who did likewise and also
was known for creative sampling, rising to fame for his
work with Aaliyah and Missy Elliott and producing a variety of pop and R&B records for artists such as Justin Timberlake. Timberlakes 2006 hit songs "SexyBack" and
"My Love", both produced by Timbaland, were particularly notable for their electronic aesthetic, while The Neptunes worked with a range of acts from Britney Spears to

A variety of other hip hop performers used electronicainuenced sounds as hooks in their songs. Outkast, a popular and acclaimed hip hop duo, adopted sounds in their
2003 hit single Hey Ya and member/producer Andre
Benjamin praised the music of Squarepusher. In 2007
Kanye West, initially known for more natural soundAccording to a 1997 Billboard article, "[t]he union of the ing hip hop productions inuenced by classic R&B mu-

sic, released his third album Graduation, which featured cial services. Then in 2011, Hyundai Veloster, in associasome songs with a sharp electronic aesthetic, a sound tion with The Grammys, produced a project that became
which greatly expanded on Wests latest album, where he known as Re:Generation.[24]
emphasized synthesizer and vocal manipulations prominently and cited major inuences from 1980s synthpop
music, as well as from T-Pain, a hip-hop performer 8 See also
known for manipulating his voice by using the electronic
eect processor Autotune. However, Wests 2007 single
List of electronic music genres
"Stronger" used a prominent sample from a song by the
French dance-oriented electronic act Daft Punk, whose
work in the 1990s and early 2000s was also becoming
highly sampled and inuential on the musical aesthetic of 9 References
acts in other genres such as indie rock and indie dance.
Electronica in 2009 gained global recognition as an essential part of most hip hop becoming the core sound on
a range of tracks by artists like The Black Eyed Peas and
new emerging artists like Tinie Tempah, and in 2010 Daft
Punk with the release of the soundtrack for Tron: Legacy.

[1] Verderosa, Tony (2002). The Techno Primer: The Essential Reference for Loop-Based Music Styles. Hal Leonard
Music/Songbooks. p. 28. ISBN 0-634-01788-8. Electronica is a broad term used to describe the emergence
of electronic music that is geared for listening instead of
strictly for dancing.

[2] Flick, Larry (May 24, 1997). Dancing to the beat of an

indie drum. Billboard 109 (21). pp. 7071. ISSN 00062510.

Post-hardcore fusion

Main article: Electronicore

In the mid to late 2000s, many electronic posthardcore bands that were newly formed began receiving attention.[18] I See Stars's debut-full-length album,
3-D and metalcore band, Attack Attack!'s debut album,
Someday Came Suddenly, set a precedent for newer bands
of this style.[19]
The rst single from Someday Came Suddenly, "Stick
Stickly", was released on June 4, 2009. It reached a good
amount of popularity as it spawned a music video as well
as its inclusion as downloadable content for Rock Band
2 via the Rock Band Network in March 2010.[20] Canadian post-hardcore band, Abandon All Ships further popularized this genre. Upon being signed to Rise Records,
the band had a large success with their single "Take One
Last Breath".[21] British metalcore band Asking Alexandria expanded on the traditional electronica sounds in
their cover of Akon's "Right Now (Na Na Na)" on Punk
Goes Pop 3.
These bands often play songs that contain dancable
beats, with some breakdowns splashed in.[22]

Included in todays media

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, electronica music was

increasingly used as background scores for television advertisements, initially for automobiles. It was also used
for various video games, including the Wipeout series,
for which the soundtrack was composed of many popular electronica tracks that helped create more interest
in this type of music[23] and later for other technological and business products such as computers and nan-

[3] Kim Cascone (Winter 2002). The Aesthetics of Failure: 'Post-Digital' Tendencies in Contemporary Computer Music. Computer Music Journal (MIT Press) 24
(4). The glitch genre arrived on the back of the electronica movement, an umbrella term for alternative, largely
dance-based electronic music (including house, techno,
electro, drum'n'bass, ambient) that has come into vogue
in the past ve years. Most of the work in this area is
released on labels peripherally associated with the dance
music market, and is therefore removed from the contexts
of academic consideration and acceptability that it might
otherwise earn. Still, in spite of this odd pairing of fashion
and art music, the composers of glitch often draw their inspiration from the masters of 20th century music who they
feel best describe its lineage.
[4] Norris, Chris (April 21, 1997). Recycling the Future.
New York: 6465. With record sales slumping and alternative rock presumed over, the music industry is famously desperate for a new movement to replace its languishing grunge product. And so its gaze has xed on a
vital and international scene of knob-twiddling musicians
and colorfully garbed clubgoersa scene that, when it began in Detroit discos ten years ago, was called techno.
If all goes according to marketing plan, 1997 will be the
year electronica replaces grunge as linguistic plague,
MTV buzz, ad soundtrack, and runway garb. The music has been freshly installed in Microsoft commercials,
in the soundtrack to Hollywoods recycled action-hero pic
The Saint, and in MTVs newest, hourlong all-electronica
program, Amp.
[5] "'Reaching back to grab the grooves of '70s disco/funk
and the gadgets of electronic composition, Electronica
soon became a whole new entity in and of itself, spinning o new sounds and subgenres with no end in sight
two decades down the pike. Its beginnings came in the
post-disco environment of Chicago/New York and Detroit, the cities who spawned house and techno (respectively) during the 1980s. Later in that decade, club-goers

in Britain latched onto the fusion of mechanical and sensual, and returned the favor to hungry Americans with
new styles like jungle/drum'n'bass and trip-hop. Though
most all early electronica was danceable, by the beginning of the '90s, producers were also making music for
the headphones and chill-out areas as well, resulting in
dozens of stylistic fusions like ambient-house, experimental techno, tech-house, electro-techno, etc. Typical for
the many styles gathered under the umbrella was a focus
on danceable grooves, very loose song structure (if any),
and, in many producers, a relentless desire to nd a new
sound no matter how tepid the results. Electronica Genre
at AllMusic
[6] This loop slicing technique is common to the electronica genre and allows a live drum feel with added exibility
and variation. Page 380, DirectX Audio Exposed: Interactive Audio Development, Todd Fay, Wordware Publishing,
2003, ISBN 1-55622-288-2
[7] Electronically produced music is part of the mainstream
of popular culture. Musical concepts that were once considered radical - the use of environmental sounds, ambient
music, turntable music, digital sampling, computer music,
the electronic modication of acoustic sounds, and music
made from fragments of speech-have now been subsumed
by many kinds of popular music. Record store genres including new age, rap, hip-hop, electronica, techno, jazz,
and popular song all rely heavily on production values and
techniques that originated with classic electronic music.
Page 1, Electronic and Experimental Music: Pioneers in
Technology and Composition, Thomas B. Holmes, Routledge Music/Songbooks, 2002, ISBN 0-415-93643-8
[8] Electronica and punk have a denite similarity: They
both totally prescribe to a DIY aesthetic. We both tried to
work within the constructs of the traditional music business, but the system didn't get us - so we found a way to
do it for ourselves, before it became aordable., quote
from artist BT, page 45, Wired: Musicians Home Studios
: Tools & Techniques of the Musical Mavericks, Megan
Perry, Backbeat Books Music/Songbooks 2004, ISBN 087930-794-3
[9] Electronica lives and dies by its grooves, fat synthesizer
patches, and iter sweeps.. Page 376, DirectX Audio Exposed: Interactive Audio Development, Todd Fay, Wordware Publishing, 2003, ISBN 1-55622-288-2
[10] Billboard: Madonna Hung Out on the Radio. Billboard
(VNU Media). July 2006.
[11] Crystal Method...grew from an obscure club-culture duo
to one of the most recognizable acts in electronica, ...,
page 90, Wired: Musicians Home Studios : Tools & Techniques of the Musical Mavericks, Megan Perry, Backbeat
Books Music/Songbooks 2004, ISBN 0-87930-794-3
[12] " For example, composers often render more than one
version of their own compositions. This practice is not
unique to the mod scene, of course, and occurs commonly
in dance club music and related forms (such as ambient,
jungle, etc.all broadly designated 'electronica'). Page
48, Music and Technoculture, Rene T. A. Lyslo, Tandem
Library Books, 2003, ISBN 0-613-91250-0


[13] Pages 233 & 242, Popular Music in France from Chanson
to Techno: Culture, Identity and Society , By Steve Cannon,
Hugh Dauncey, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. 2003, ISBN 07546-0849-2
[14] In 2000, [Brazilian vocalist Bebel] Gilberto capitalized
on New Yorks growing xation with cocktail lounge ambient music, an oshoot of the dance club scene that focused on drum and bass remixes with Brazilian sources.
...Collaborating with club music maestros like Suba and
Thievery Corporation, Gilberto thrust herself into the
leading edge of the emerging Brazilian electronica movement. On her immensely popular Tanto Tempo (2000)...
Page 234, The Latin Beat: The Rhythms and Roots of Latin
Music from Bossa Nova to Salsa and Beyond, Ed Morales,
Da Capo Press, 2003, ISBN 0-306-81018-2
[15] founded in 1997,...under the slogan 'Musical Insurgency
Across All Borders, for six years [Manhattan nightclub]
Mutiny was an international hub of the south Asian electronica music scene. Bringing together artists from dierent parts of the south Asia diaspora, the club was host to
a roster of British Asian musicians and DJs... Page 165,
Youth Media , Bill Osgerby, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0415-23807-2
[16] Girl (Dannii Minogue album)
[17] Electronica reached new heights within the culture of
rave and techno music in the 1990s. Page 185, Music
and Technoculture, Rene T. A. Lyslo, Tandem Library
Books, 2003, ISBN 0-613-91250-0
[20] ""Stick Stickly - Attack Attack! // Rock Band. Rock
[21] Goodwin, Bobby (27 August 2010). Abandon All Ships
| Interviews - Substream Music Press. Substream Music
Press. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
[22] I See Stars album review
[23] The Changing Shape of the Culture Industry; or, How Did
Electronica Music Get into Television Commercials?, Timothy D. Taylor, University of California, Los Angeles,
Television & New Media, Vol. 8, No. 3, 235-258 (2007)
[24] Ed. The Grammys.Hyundai Veloster, The Recording
Academy, GreenLight Media & Marketing, Art Takes
Over (ATO), & RSA Films, n.d. Web. 24 May 2013.

9.1 Literature
Cummins, James. 2008. Ambrosia: About a Culture
- An Investigation of Electronica Music and Party
Culture. Toronto, ON: Clark-Nova Books. ISBN


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