|Stylistic origins||Oldschool jungle, industrial|
|Cultural origins||Early 1990s, United Kingdom|
|Typical instruments||Synthesizer - Drum machine - Sequencer - Sampler|
|Derivative forms||Drum and bass, especially darkstep|
|Hardstep - Darkstep
Darkcore is a subgenre of jungle (not be confused with the more recent developments of Hardcore) that became popular in the United Kingdom hardcore rave scene in late 1992. It is recognized as being one of the direct precursors of the genre now known as drum and bass. Darkcore was a counter movement to the happy alternative that occurred at the same time — both styles evolving from breakbeat hardcore. The name was most likely derived from the track "Darkcore" by Two Dark Troopers, released on Basement Records in 1993.
Darkcore is characterized by layered breakbeats at around 150 to 160 bpm combined with very low frequency bass lines. In addition to these basic traits, dark themed samples such as horror movie theme music or cries for help were commonly included. As the style evolved, the almost gratuitous use of horror elements was dropped as producers relied more on simple effects such as reverb, delay, pitch shifting and time stretching to create a chaotic and sinister mood.
- Dr Macabre
- 4 Hero
- Doc Scott
- Invisible Man
- DJ Crystl
- FBD Project
- Jack Smooth
- Q Project
- Top Buzz
The 1993 CD release Hard Leaders III - Enter The Darkside contains many popular darkcore tunes of the era.
Today, darkcore is used to describe the entire array of breakbeat producers and DJs who work within the 160-190+ BPM tempo range. Its current configuration, darkstep, is notably different in quality and process availability as the modern drum and bass elements are included.
- Reynolds, Simon, Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture (Picador, 1998). ISBN 978-0330350563
- Discogs - Top 100 Darkcore Hardcore 92-95