Electro house

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(From left to right) Porter Robinson, Zedd, and Skrillex perform at the 2012 South by Southwest music festival.

Electro house is a hard form of house music.[1] Electro house is characterized by a prominent bassline and/or kick drum and a tempo between 125 and 135 beats per minute.[2][3] Its origins were influenced by electro,[4] electroclash,[5] pop,[6] synthpop,[5][7] and tech house.[5][6][7] The term has been used to describe the music of many DJ Mag Top 100 DJs, including Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Hardwell, Skrillex,[8][9] and Steve Aoki.[10]


Electro-house is typified by its heavy bass.[3] This is often in the form of buzzing basslines,[3] such as those created with sawtooth waves and distortion.[11] It is also often in the form of large bass drum sounds[3] in a four-to-the-floor pattern.[11] The tempo of electro house is usually around 130 beats per minute.[2] Electro house sometimes resembles tech house,[4] but it can contain melodic elements[2] and electro-influenced samples and synths.[4]


The genre has been described as a fusion genre of house and electro,[12] either in its original form or as fused with synthpop and techno in its late-1990s revival, electroclash.[5] It has also been seen as a term created from using "electro" as an adjective (meaning "futuristic" or "hard") for "house".[1]

Short sample of Benny Benassi's "Satisfaction", an influential example of the electro-house genre.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Early songs that have been labelled retroactively as electro-house include "Dark Invader" by Arrivers in 1996 and "Raw S*it" by Basement Jaxx in 1997.[13] Mr. Oizo's 1999 hit "Flat Beat" has also been considered an early example of the genre.[14]

Benny Benassi, with his track "Satisfaction" released in 2002, is seen as the forerunner of electro-house who brought it to the mainstream.[5][6] By the mid 2000s, electro-house saw an increase in popularity.[2][15] In November 2006, electro-house tracks "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit" by Fedde Le Grand and "Yeah Yeah" by Bodyrox and Luciana held the number one and number two spots, respectively, in the UK Top 40 singles charts.[16] Since then, electro-house producers such as Feed Me, Knife Party, The M Machine, Porter Robinson, Skrillex,[9] and Yasutaka Nakata[17] have emerged.


Big room[edit]

In the early 2010s, a type of electro-house known as "big room" began to develop, particularly gaining popularity through electronic dance music-oriented events and festivals such as Tomorrowland. Big room songs resemble Dutch house, often incorporating drops, minimalist percussion, regular beats, sub-bass layered kicks, simple melodies, and synth-driven breakdowns.[18][19] The layout of a big room track is very similar to the layout of a typical electro-house song. Big room is thought of as a subgenre of electro-house.

Big room has become controversial in the EDM scene, being criticized by some producers for becoming a stereotypical "EDM" sound lacking originality and creativity, and that the whole genre sounds homogenous. Mixmag described big room tracks as consisting of "titanic breakdowns and spotless, monotone production aesthetics (read: lowest common denominator 'beats')." In a Reddit AMA, Wolfgang Gartner described big room as a "joke", and considered it, along with conglomerates such as SFX Entertainment, the oversaturation of events in North America, and "major label A&R’s shoving digestible cheap dance music down teenager’s throats [sic]" as the biggest problems affecting the EDM industry. Notable producers such as Axwell and Steve Angello of now-defunct Swedish House Mafia (who had been credited with their influence to progressive house) have emphasized the need for more creative and experimental EDM tracks overall.[19][20]

In mid-2013, Swedish duo Daleri posted a mix on SoundCloud entitled "Epic mashleg", consisting purely of drops from 15 "big room" songs on Beatport's charts at the time (including artists such as Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Hardwell, and W&W) played in succession. The intent of the mashup was to serve as a commentary on the "big room" movement and the lack of differentiation between tracks; member Eric Kvarnström commented that "the scary thing is that there are new tracks like this every day. Every day, new tracks, all the same. It just keeps coming all the time." The duo defended their use of big room characteristics in their own music (particularly their releases on the Armada Music imprint Trice, which releases many big room tracks), by emphasizing their complextro influences.[18] In the midst of a feud between Deadmau5 and Afrojack over social media regarding originality in dance music culminating with Afrojack creating a style parody of Deadmau5's music entitled "something_", Deadmau5 posted a song on SoundCloud, "DROP DA BOMB", satirizing the style of "commercial" house music and big room.[21][22]


Complextro is typified by glitchy, intricate basslines and textures created by sharply cutting between instruments in quick succession.[23][24] The term, a portmanteau of the words "complex" and "electro",[23][24][25] was coined by Porter Robinson to describe the sound of the music he was making in 2010.[25][26] He has cited video game sounds, or chiptunes, as an influence on his style of music along with 1980s analog synth music.[27] Other producers of the genre include Adventure Club, Kill The Noise, Knife Party, Lazy Rich,[28] The M Machine, Madeon, Skrillex,[23] Wolfgang Gartner, and Zedd.

Dutch house[edit]

Dutch house, sometimes referred to as 'Dirty Dutch', is a style of electro-house that originated in the Netherlands and found prominence by 2009,[29][dead link] mainly pioneered by Vato Gonzalez and DJ Chuckie. It is primarily defined by complex rhythms made from Latin-influenced drum kits, a lower emphasis on basslines, and squeaky, high-pitched lead synths. Influences on the subgenre include Detroit techno, hip hop and other urban styles of music.[30][dead link] Related artists include Afrojack, Chuckie, Fedde Le Grand, R3hab, Sidney Samson, Switch, Hardwell, W&W, and Blasterjaxx.

Fidget house[edit]

Fidget house, or fidget, is "defined by snatched vocal snippets, pitch-bent dirty basslines and rave-style synth stabs over glitchy 4/4 beats."[31] It contains influences from Chicago house, Baltimore club, Kuduro, bassline, bouncy techno, rave, dubstep, hip hop and world music.[31] Purveyors of the genre include The Bloody Beetroots, Crookers, Danger, Naeleck, Hervé, Sinden, and Switch. The term fidget house was coined by DJs/producers Jesse Rose and Switch, "as a joke, which has now gone a little too far."[31][32]


Main article: Moombahton

Moombahton is a mixture of Dutch house and reggaeton.[33] Its identifying characteristics include "a thick, spread-out bass line; some dramatic builds; and a two-step pulse, with quick drum fills",[34] but it has "no real rules beyond working within a 108 bpm range."[35] A portmanteau of "moombah" and "reggaeton", moombahton was created by DJ Dave Nada when he slowed down the tempo of the Afrojack remix of the Silvio Ecomo & Chuckie song "Moombah" to please party-goers with tastes in reggaeton.[34] Other producers of the genre include Dillon Francis, Diplo, and Munchi.[35]

Moombahcore is a style of moombahton with elements of breakcore, dubstep, gabber, and techstep.[36][37] Characteristics of the genre include chopped vocals, dubstep-influenced bass sounds, and extensive build-ups.[37] Artists who have produced moombahcore include Delta Heavy, Dillon Francis, Feed Me, Knife Party, and Noisia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lopez, Korina (13 December 2011). "Electronic dance music glossary". USA Today. Retrieved 17 May 2012. Electro: 'It's meant so many things in the last 30 years. Originally, it meant futuristic electronic music and was used to describe Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa. Now, it means hard electronic dance music.' Electro can be used as an adjective, such as electro-house and electro-pop. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Electro House". Beat Explorers' Dance Music Guide. Electro House rose to prominence in the early to mid 00's as a heavier alternative to other house subgenres that were prevalent at the time. [...] Electro House usually sits somewhere between 125-135bpm and tracks are arranged in a way that gives a large focus on the climax or drop. This usually contains a heavy bassline, and frequently includes melodic elements to help establish cohesion within the track. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Electro House". DI Radio. Digitally Imported. Buzzing basslines, huge kicks, party rocking drops. House music packed full of gigantic bass and massive synths. 
  4. ^ a b c "Music Definitions - House music : styles". DJ Cyclopedia. 3345. Electro house : Sometimes resembles tech house, but often influenced by the 'electro' sound of the early 1980's, aka breakdancing music, via samples or just synthesizer usage. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Electro House". Tumblr. Retrieved 12 June 2012. It was in the early 2000s when a big movement of electroclash being mixed with synthpop. Meanwhile, tech house was also becoming more known and gaining some serious buzz. When the two were combined that is when Electro House came to be the way it is now. ... 'Satisfaction' was one of those songs that people would have stuck in their head for days. This song still continues to receive a lot of attention even now. It won world wide rewards as well as make Benny Benassi the father of Electro House. 
  6. ^ a b c music2electro. "Electro House of Style Music". HubPages. Many people want to find out exactly where did this style of music emerge from. There isn't any factual evidence to prove anything. As with most music history, it isn't certain. ... It is noted that about ten years ago there was a large revolutionary time in electro music being mixed with pop. At the same time tech house was gaining popularity. When the two were mixed that is when Electro House came to be the way it is now. 
  7. ^ a b Electro Man. "Quick Introduction to Electro House Genre". Electronic Music Blog!. Blogger. Retrieved 12 June 2012. It was in the early 2000s when a big movement of electroclash being mixed with synthpop. At the same time tech house was gaining popularity. With the right events happening at the right times, the two came together [to form electro house]. 
  8. ^ Edwards, Owen. "Skrillex". DJ Mag. 
  9. ^ a b Lester, Paul (1 September 2011). "Skrillex (No 1,096)". New band of the day (London: The Guardian). Retrieved 25 August 2012. ... Skrillex, a 23-year-old electro-house/dubstep producer ... 
  10. ^ Roullier, Ian. "Steve Aoki". DJ Mag. Steve Aoki’s stock has risen once again over the past 12 months as he continues to perform the biggest, most audacious EDM sets across the globe and pump out his stomping, strutting electro house productions. 
  11. ^ a b Suhonen, Petri (2011-10-11). "How To Create Electro House Style Bass". How to Make Electronic Music. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  12. ^ "Electro House" (in Russian). oXidant. Retrieved 5 June 2012. Electro House - это смесь двух стилей Electro и House. [unreliable source?]
  13. ^ "Electro House". Beatport. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Flat Beat". Beatport. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  15. ^ Peterson, Angus. "Eric Prydz - Eric Prydz presents Pryda". inthemix. Retrieved 5 June 2012. But even more defining was the ‘80s aesthetic, one of the key inspirations behind the explosion of electro house in 2005. 
  16. ^ "UK Top 40 Hit Database". everyHit.com. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "Perfume Interview" (in Japanese). bounce.com. 2008-02-07. Archived from the original on 2008-12-09. Retrieved 2009-06-02.  (English translation)
  18. ^ a b "Swedish DJs Daleri Mock EDM Cliche With Hilarious Viral Mini-Mix 'Epic Mashleg'". Spin. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "EDM Will Eat Itself: Big Room stars are getting bored". Mixmag. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  20. ^ "Wolfgang Gartner’s Reddit AMA RECAP, States His Distaste For The Big Room Movement & Claims There Is An "Over saturation" of Festivals". YourEDM. YourEDM, LLC. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "Deadmau5 has a dig at commercial house with "DROP DA BOMB" mix". Mixmag. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Afrojack and Deadmau5 argue over what's "good music"". Mixmag. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  23. ^ a b c Barboza, Trenton. "What is Complextro? An Emerging Genre Explained". Voices. Yahoo!. Retrieved 25 June 2012. The genre's name is a combination of the words 'Complex' and 'Electro' creating 'Complextro.' Producing this form of music is incredibly intricate and often requires a large amount of instruments that are layered close to each other within a piece of music sequencing software. This often results in a glitch, giving the genre its unique feel. ... Complextro is slowly gaining worldwide popularity due to high profile electronic producers such as Skrillex, Porter Robinson, and Crookers. 
  24. ^ a b Nutting, P.J. (April 21, 2011). "Electronic Music... through 18-year-old eyes". Boulder Weekly. Retrieved 25 June 2012. It is said to have elements of dubstep and fidget house.Like conducting for a punchy electro orchestra, each 'instrument' gets a moment of focus before leaping to another, uniting them all in a compelling way. YouTube generation musicologists have dubbed this sound 'complextro' (a mash-up of 'complex' and 'electro') ... 
  25. ^ a b "Tweet by Porter Robinson". when i made [the word 'complextro'], i wanted a portmanteu to describe my sound. complex+electro=complextro. it has since became the name of the style:) 
  26. ^ "Porter Robinson: Skrillex's Best Advice - Lollapalooza 2012 - YouTube". YouTube. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  27. ^ Hurt, Edd (June 28, 2012). "Electro wunderkind and self-described 'complextro' Porter Robinson recognizes no technological constraints". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  28. ^ "Salacious Sound Exclusive Interview: Porter Robinson". Salacious Sound. Feb 4, 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2013. He really is one of the founding fathers of this “complextro” thing that we’re bearing witness to now. 
  29. ^ "Dutch House Music". Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  30. ^ Dirty Dutch (17 Jul 2012). "Dirty Dutch moves from RAI to Ziggo Dome". Retrieved 2012-08-03. Known for their fusion of musical genres such as house, hip-hop, electro, urban and techno showcasing both Dutch and internationally acclaimed artists alike, the Dirty Dutch events have escalated to accommodate the huge demand, consistently selling out to tens of thousands of partygoers. 
  31. ^ a b c McDonnell, John (September 8, 2008). "Welcome to the fidget house". Music Blog (London: The Guardian). Retrieved 26 June 2012. ... fidget house - a joke term made up a few years ago by Switch and Jesse Rose. ... Fidget producers like to think of themselves as global music connoisseurs, hand-picking bits from genres such as Chicago house, rave, UK garage, US hip-hop, Baltimore club, Kuduro and other 'authentic' world music genres. 
  32. ^ "Jesse Rose Interview". DJMag.com. Retrieved 26 June 2012. We came up with 'fidget house' as a joke, which has now gone a little too far. 
  33. ^ Yenigun, Sami (18 March 2011). "Moombahton: Born In D.C., Bred Worldwide". The Record. NPR Music. Retrieved 25 August 2012. ... Moombahton is a cross between Dutch house music and reggaeton. 
  34. ^ a b Fischer, Jonathan L. (December 24, 2010). "Our Year in Moombahton: How a local DJ created a genre, and why D.C.'s ascendant dance scene couldn’t contain it". Washington City Paper. Retrieved November 17, 2011. The sound has a few basic identifying characteristics: A thick, spread-out bass line; some dramatic builds; and a two-step pulse, with quick drum fills. 
  35. ^ a b Patel, Puja. "Hot New Sound: Moombahton Goes Boom!". Spin. Retrieved 16 February 2012. Nada says Moombahton has 'no real rules beyond working within a 108 bpm range.' ... Munchi, a 21-year-old Dutchman who released heavily club-influenced Moombahton tracks ... 
  36. ^ "MTV Artist To Watch: Dillon Francis". Mr.M. Mr.M. Retrieved 5 January 2014. Yep, Dillon remixes ultra-DJs, generates unique function, helped found two little movements called “moombahton” (a fusion of house and reggaeton) and “moombahcore” (a variation of moombahton only infusing other weird phrases like gabber, breakcore, techstep, and dubstep), and he was our unique correspondent at last spring’s Hangout Fest! 
  37. ^ a b "Moombahcore". Freaky Loops. Loopmasters. Retrieved 25 August 2012. The sound proved irresistible on the dance floor – slow and sexy like reggaeton, but hard-edged like electro house even dubstep at the same time. ... Characteristics of the Moombahcore; chopped vocals, monster dubstep basses, extended and enhanced build-ups and the introduction of fat kicks and percussion elements.