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|Stylistic origins||Hardcore techno, Breakcore, Gabber, Cybergrind, Hardcore punk, Speed metal, Digital hardcore|
|Typical instruments||Keyboard, synthesizer, drum machine, sequencer, sampler|
|Extratone - Splittercore - Flashcore|
|Germany, Netherlands, North England|
Speedcore is a form of hardcore techno that is characterized by a high tempo and aggressive themes. The name originates from the genre hardcore techno, and refers to the high tempo found in this genre, which rarely drops below 300 beats per minute (bpm). Earlier speedcore tracks often averaged at about 250 bpm, which could be defined as terrorcore, whereas more recent tracks sometimes exceed 1000 bpm. Songs with tempos above 600 bpm are often classified as splittercore. When a song reaches 1000 bpm, the music is often known as extratone. However, when beats are in the range of 1000-1500 bpm the individual beats become indistinguishable, and turn into continuous tones.
The music is often angry and aggressive in nature. Speedcore DJs often use violent, vulgar, and offensive themes in their music to push the boundaries of the genre that they spawned from.
While most speedcore artists are content to attack the normal standards of music, or even the gabber music that spawned them, the extremism of speedcore has caused some to turn inwards and parody the standards of the genre. These songs tend to use lighter, more manic samples.
Aside from the very fast tempo of speedcore, which rarely drops below 300 bpm, speedcore can often be distinguished from other forms of hardcore techno by an aggressive and overridden electronic percussion track that is often punctuated with hyperactive snare or tom-tom fills. The Roland TR-909 is often the drum machine of choice for speedcore producers due to its ability to generate heavily distorted bass-drum kicks that anchor the percussion tracks. Most producers will often overdrive their kicks so much that they become square waves, much like in gabber, giving Speedcore its distinctive pounding sound. The amen break is frequently used in a similar way to jungle music. In particular, the snare is often played tens of times per second via a sampler, which can also be used to pitch the snare up and down quickly.
As with many other forms of techno, synthesizers are also heavily used, often producing heavily distorted and/or disharmonic melodies to complement the underlying drums. Although any analog or hybrid synth can be used, the analog/digital hybrid Roland Juno-106 is a common favorite with speedcore artists. Pure digital synthesizers are comparatively rare in speedcore. A lot of speedcore musicians have elements of hardcore punk or some form of rock, by using samples of guitars in their music similar to Digital hardcore.