With so much variety in electronic dance music, it’s easy to miss out on some gems. As the space keeps growing, new genres pop up, old genres evolve, and there can be a lot to keep up with! We always strive to find some new music you might not have heard yet, so we dug deep into the archives to share 20 electronic music genres you probably should know about.
1. Future Knock
Founded by the distinctive DECAP, Future Knock is actually a record label that developed into its own sound (Read: Motown). The genre blends hip-hop and electronic trap in an upbeat way, focusing on hard-hitting percussion and funky rhythms.
2. Space Bass
With a whole community on Reddit dedicated to the sound, user SUBsha describes it best, saying “Space Bass creates a unique stereo-field in which its listeners can get truly lost in its depth… And is made of fucking weird alien bass noises.”
3. Kawaii Bounce
One of the many offshoots of electronic trap music, came the adorable sounds of kawaii bounce, which is characterized by Japanese pop culture influence, high-pitched vocals, bouncy drums, and samples you would similarly find in east coast club music. Early pioneers to reference are Cashmere Cat and Lido, but camoufly has been carrying the torch in recent years, even teasing a brand of the same name in his social media bios.
4. Future Beats
Many people would oppose calling future beats a genre, but we can’t deny its rapid growth in dance music. The electronic antagonist to hip-hop’s lofi, future beats is embodied by comforting sound design that takes influence from hip-hop, trap, and r&b.
5. Vapor Twitch
Without Flume, the genre known as Vapor Twitch may have never come to exist. The style comes from a glitchy, off-kilter style of electronic music that often features heavy bass and wild, atmospheric elements (popularized in Flume’s second LP, Skin). Since many artists have followed in his trailblazing footsteps, the classification of Vapor Twitch has formed and has grown into something of its own.
6. Gabber / Happy Hardcore
These have been around for a minute. Gabber, a subgenre of hardcore techno, was created in The Netherlands in the ’90s and is characterized by fast beats and samples. Its bouncier brother, happy hardcore, rose around the same time just a few countries away in the UK.
The battle for Wave to be respected and recognized as a genre has been a long one, but it was finally added next to trap on Beatport last April. Notable for its atmospheric melodies, heavy bass, and emphasis on emotion and visual integration—this genre will get you in your bag.
8. Deconstructed Club
Sometimes called post-club, this genre emerged in the 2010s as a darker reimagination of east coast club music. Spearheaded by GHE20G0TH1K parties in New York City, it was more of a counterculture with music identified by non-traditional beats, post-industrial sound design, and aggressive apocalyptic samples that takes influence from jersey club, grime, and footwork.
It was hard to pin down someone as innovative as Pretty Lights, but electro-soul encompasses it. The genre blends elements of hip-hop, jazz, funk, disco, and electronic bass music into one cohesive yet moving sonic journey. We all miss PL, but there are plenty of artists who have been keeping the funk going like GRiZ, Daily Bread, Late Night Radio, and more.
10. Slap House
Slap house’s rise in popularity was parallel to that of Tik Tok, especially with the Imanbek remix of SAINt JHN’s “Roses” skyrocketing off the charts. A subgenre of EDM/Big Room, the catchy sound combines house music with Brazilian Bass-inspired rhythms.
11. Speed Garage
This UK bass genre features accelerated garage beats, sweeping basslines, and added snares. Speed garage takes influence from breakbeats, jungle, and reggae.
12. Electro swing
While Yolanda Be Cool’s “We No Speak Americano” blew up in the 2010s, this genre has actually been around since the early ’90s. Electro swing is a playful genre that mixes modern swing and jazz music with house and hip-hop.
The origins of chiptune are interesting, to say the least, as it’s tied to computer music in the ’50s and arcade music in the ’70s. The genre is defined more by its technical side, as chiptune music is usually made with PSG sound chips that are found in vintage arcade machines, computers, and video game consoles.
Deriving from its 2011 Tumblr roots, seapunk is not only a house subgenre, but a subculture. The music is on par with what’s popular on the internet, taking inspiration from Southern trap, ’90s r&b, and pop.
French house artists and other producers were so inspired by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, that this nostalgic microgenre spawned from it. Influences also mainly come from action, sci-fi, and horror soundtracks from ’80s movies.
16. Witch House
Like other internet music genres, witch house is an eerie visual and audio experience identified by industrial soundscapes, experimental synths, and chopped and screwed hip-hop samples. And while “house” is in the name, it doesn’t always have to feature a 4-on-the-floor beat.
17. Jungle / Jump-Up / Liquid DnB
Although super different from one another, these genres have one common denominator in DnB. Listed below are the characteristics you can use to identify between the three.
Jungle: While the use of the term “jungle” can be controversial, most people agree that it’s synonymous with drum n bass itself and showcases rapid breakbeats, syncopated drum loops (heavy use of the amen break), and deep basslines.
Jump-Up: Its heavier successor relies on booming basslines, speedy 808s, and takes inspiration from reggae melodies.
Liquid: Focusing more on melodies, liquid drum and bass pulls at the heartstrings with the more focus on melody and soulful vibes.
18. Dark Disco
Last year, Beaport called dark disco the most versatile genre in dance music, saying, “It’s rugged and raw, with oriental melodies and chugging grooves, tobacco-stained synths and angular riffs that appeal to biker boys and goth girls.”
Drone music originated in the ’60s, but one of its developers, La Monte Young, finally defined it in the 2000s as “the sustained tone branch of minimalism.” Rhytmic and lengthy, the genre utilizes slow sonic programs with harmonic contrasts.
In recent years, underground label and collective Partica Artist Group has proven trap isn’t dead with the resurgence of the genre in the form of Trap2. Keeping the essence of mid-2010s electronic trap music‘s heavy use of 808s and hip-hop samples, the movement also experiments with elements of dubstep and bass music.