|Cultural origins||Late 1970s to 1980s, Europe, Japan,South Korea, United States|
In North America, in the late 1990s, the mainstream music industry adopted and to some extent manufactured electronica as an umbrella term encompassing styles such as techno, big beat, drum and bass, trip hop, downtempo, and ambient, regardless of whether it was curated by indie labels catering to the "underground" nightclub and rave scenes, or licensed by major labels and marketed to mainstream audiences as a commercially viable alternative to alternative rock music. By the early 2010s, however, the industry abandoned electronica in favor of electronic dance music (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 areas.
In other parts of the world, especially in the UK, electronica is also a broad term, but is associated with non-dance-oriented music, including relatively experimental styles of downtempo electronic music. It partly overlaps what is known chiefly outside the UK as intelligent dance music (IDM).
Electronica benefited from advancements in music technology, especially electronic musical instruments, synthesizers, music sequencers, drum machines, and digital audio workstations. As the technology developed, it became possible for individuals or smaller groups to produce electronic songs and recordings in smaller studios, even in project studios. At the same time, computers facilitated the use of music "samples" and "loops" as construction kits for sonic compositions. This led to a period of creative experimentation and the development of new forms, some of which became known as electronica.
Electronica currently includes a wide variety of musical acts and styles, linked by a penchant for overtly electronic production; a range which includes more popular acts such as Björk, Madonna, Goldfrapp and IDM artists such as Autechre, and Aphex Twin to dub-oriented downtempo, downbeat, and trip hop. Madonna and Björk are said to be responsible for electronica's thrust into mainstream culture, with their albums Ray of Light (Madonna), Post and Homogenic (Björk). 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 Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method, Moby, Underworld and Faithless. Electronica composers often create alternate versions of their compositions, known as "remixes"; this practice also occurs in related musical forms such as ambient, jungle, and electronic dance music. Wide ranges of influences, both sonic and compositional, are combined in electronica recordings.
In the US, New York City became one center of experimentation and growth for the electronica sound, with DJs and music producers from areas as diverse as Southeast Asia and Brazil bringing their creative work to the nightclubs of that city.
Around the mid-1990s, with the success of the big beat-sound exemplified by The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy in the UK, and spurred by the attention from mainstream artists, including Madonna in her collaboration with William Orbit on her album Ray of Light and Australian singer Dannii Minogue with her 1997 album Girl, music of this period began to be produced with a higher budget, increased technical quality, and with more layers than most other forms of dance music, since it was backed by major record labels and MTV as the "next big thing".
According to a 1997 Billboard article, "the union of the 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 significant role in discovering and marketing artists who became popularized in the electronica scene.
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—and later for other technological and business products such as computers and financial services. Then in 2011, Hyundai Veloster, in association with The Grammys, produced a project that became known as Re:Generation.
Electronica is a broad term used to describe the emergence of electronic music that is geared for listening instead of strictly for dancing.
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 five 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.
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 fixed on a vital and international scene of knob-twiddling musicians and colorfully garbed clubgoers—a 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 Hollywood's recycled action-hero pic The Saint, and in MTV's newest, hourlong all-electronica program, Amp.
Alternative dance or indie dance (also referred to as underground dance in the US) is a musical genre that mixes rock subgenres with electronic dance music. Although largely confined to the British Isles, it has gained American and worldwide exposure through acts such as New Order in the 1980s and The Prodigy in the 1990s.Ambient music
Ambient music is a genre of music that emphasizes tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm. A form of slow instrumental music, it uses repetitive, but gentle, soothing sound patterns that can be described as sonic wallpaper to complement or alter one’s space and to generate a sense of calmness. The genre is said to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual", or "unobtrusive" quality.Ambient music focuses on creating a mood or atmosphere through synthesizers and timbral qualities, often lacking the presence of any net composition, beat, or structured melody. It uses textural layers of sound without prevalent musical tropes, rewarding both passive and active listening. Nature soundscapes are usually included, and the sounds of acoustic instruments such as the piano, strings and flute, among others, may be emulated through a synthesizer. According to Brian Eno, one of its pioneers, "Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting."The genre originated in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and 1970s, when new musical instruments were being introduced to a wider market, such as the synthesizer. Eno named and popularized ambient music in 1978 with his album Ambient 1: Music for Airports. It saw a revival towards the late 1980s with the prominence of house and techno music, growing a cult following by the 1990s. Ambient music may have elements of new-age music and drone music, as some works may use sustained or repeated notes.Ambient music did not achieve large commercial success, being criticized as having a "boring" and "over-intellectual" sound. Nevertheless, it has attained a certain degree of acclaim throughout the years, especially in the Internet age. Due to its relatively open style, ambient music often takes influences from many other genres, ranging from classical, avant-garde music, folk, jazz, and world music, amongst others.Amp (TV series)
Amp was a music video program on MTV that aired from 1996 to 2001. It was aimed at the electronic music and rave crowd and was responsible for exposing many electronica acts to the mainstream. When co-creator Todd Mueller (who had worked on this with V. Owen Bush, Amy Finnerty and show co-creator Dj Burle Avant) left the show in 1998, it was redubbed Amp 2.0. The show aired some 46 episodes in total over its 6-year run. In its final two years, reruns were usually shown from earlier years. Amp's time slot was moved around quite a bit, but the show usually aired late at night or in the early morning hours on the weekend. Because of this late night time slot, the show developed a small but cult like following. A few online groups formed after the show's demise to ask MTV to bring the show back and air it during normal hours, but MTV never responded to the requests.Ars Electronica
Ars Electronica Linz GmbH is an Austrian cultural, educational and scientific institute active in the field of new media art, founded in Linz in 1979. It is based at the Ars Electronica Center, which houses the Museum of the Future, in the city of Linz. Ars Electronica’s activities focus on the interlinkages between art, technology and society. It runs an annual festival, and manages a multidisciplinary media arts R&D facility known as the Futurelab. It also confers the Prix Ars Electronica awards.Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O'Connell (; born December 18, 2001) is an American singer and songwriter. She gained a following in 2016 when she released her debut single "Ocean Eyes" on audio distribution platform SoundCloud. She caught the attention of record labels Darkroom and Interscope Records, and subsequently rereleased "Ocean Eyes" to positive reviews.
Her debut EP, Don't Smile at Me, was released on August 11, 2017. The EP reached the top 15 in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, and spawned the single "Bellyache". Following the EP's commercial success, Apple Music named Eilish an Up Next artist in September 2017. Eilish also collaborated with American singer Khalid for the single "Lovely", which was released in April 2018 and added to the soundtrack for the second season of 13 Reasons Why. Her debut studio album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, was released on March 29, 2019 to critical acclaim. The album reached number one in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Its singles "When the Party's Over", "Bury a Friend" and "Bad Guy" all reached the top 15 in the United States, the latter reaching number one in Canada and Australia.
Through the RIAA, Eilish has seven gold and two platinum singles. Eilish and her musician brother Finneas collaborate on her music, and her fashion style has attracted public attention.Dance/Electronic Albums
Top Dance/Electronic Albums, Dance/Electronic Albums (formerly Top Electronic Albums) is a music chart published weekly by Billboard magazine which ranks the top-selling electronic music albums in the United States. The chart debuted on the issue dated June 30, 2001. It originally began as a fifteen-position chart and has since expanded to twenty-five positions. Rankings are compiled by point-of-purchase sales obtained by Nielsen SoundScan data and from legal digital downloads from a variety of internet music stores.
Top Electronic Albums features full-length albums by artists who are associated with electronic music genres (house, techno, IDM, trance, etc.) as well as pop-oriented dance music and electronic-leaning hip hop. Also eligible for this chart are remix albums by otherwise non-electronic-based artists and DJ-mixed compilation albums and film soundtracks which feature a majority of electronic or dance music. The first number-one title on the Top Electronic Albums was the original soundtrack to the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The Fame by Lady Gaga has the most weeks at number one with 108 weeks and the most weeks on chart (with 241 weeks). She and the Daft Punk duo spent so far (as December 2014) 368 weeks on the charts with their works.Downtempo
Downtempo (sometimes used synonymously with "trip hop") is a genre of electronic music similar to ambient music, but with a greater emphasis on beats and a less "earthy" sound than trip hop.Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means (electroacoustic music), and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.The first electronic devices for performing music were developed at the end of the 19th century, and shortly afterward Italian futurists explored sounds that had not been considered musical. During the 1920s and 1930s, electronic instruments were introduced and the first compositions for electronic instruments were made. By the 1940s, magnetic audio tape allowed musicians to tape sounds and then modify them by changing the tape speed or direction, leading to the development of electroacoustic tape music in the 1940s, in Egypt and France. Musique concrète, created in Paris in 1948, was based on editing together recorded fragments of natural and industrial sounds. Music produced solely from electronic generators was first produced in Germany in 1953. Electronic music was also created in Japan and the United States beginning in the 1950s. An important new development was the advent of computers to compose music. Algorithmic composition with computers was first demonstrated in the 1950s (although algorithmic composition per se without a computer had occurred much earlier, for example Mozart's Musikalisches Würfelspiel).
In the 1960s, live electronics were pioneered in America and Europe, Japanese electronic musical instruments began influencing the music industry, and Jamaican dub music emerged as a form of popular electronic music. In the early 1970s, the monophonic Minimoog synthesizer and Japanese drum machines helped popularize synthesized electronic music.
In the 1970s, electronic music began having a significant influence on popular music, with the adoption of polyphonic synthesizers, electronic drums, drum machines, and turntables, through the emergence of genres such as disco, krautrock, new wave, synth-pop, hip hop and EDM. In the 1980s, electronic music became more dominant in popular music, with a greater reliance on synthesizers, and the adoption of programmable drum machines such as the Roland TR-808 and bass synthesizers such as the TB-303. In the early 1980s, digital technologies for synthesizers including digital synthesizers such as the Yamaha DX7 were popularized, and a group of musicians and music merchants developed the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI).
Electronically produced music became prevalent in the popular domain by the 1990s, because of the advent of affordable music technology. Contemporary electronic music includes many varieties and ranges from experimental art music to popular forms such as electronic dance music. Today, pop electronic music is most recognizable in its 4/4 form and more connected with the mainstream culture as opposed to its preceding forms which were specialized to niche markets.Ethnic electronica
Ethnic electronica (also known as ethnotronica, ethno electronica or ethno techno) combines elements of electronic and world music and was developed in the 1990s.Notable acts of ethnic electronica include Bryn Jones with his project Muslimgauze (before his death in 1999), the artists of Asian underground movement ( Cheb i Sabbah, Asian Dub Foundation, Joi, State of Bengal, Transglobal Underground, Natacha Atlas), Mozani Ramzan, Shpongle, Home Sweet Somewhere, Ott, Zavoloka, Linda George, Banco de Gaia, AeTopus, Zingaia, Afro-Celt Sound System, Métisse, A Tribe Called Red, early work by Yat-Kha (with Ivan Sokolovsky)Faithless
Faithless are a British electronica band consisting of Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss and Rollo. The group is best known for their dance songs ("Salva Mea", "Insomnia", "God Is a DJ" and "We Come 1"). Faithless recorded six studio albums, with total sales exceeding 15 million records worldwide. The band announced they would split up after their Passing the Baton dates at Brixton Academy on 7 and 8 April 2011. However, in February 2015, they reunited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band.Folktronica
Folktronica is a genre of music comprising various elements of folk music and electronica, often featuring uses of acoustic instruments – especially stringed instruments – and incorporating hip hop, electronic or dance rhythms, although it varies based on influences and choice of sounds. The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Musicology describes folktronica as "a catch-all [term] for all manner of artists who have combined mechanical dance beats with elements of acoustic rock or folk."Glitch (music)
Glitch is a genre of electronic music that emerged in the 1990s. It has been described as a genre that adheres to an "aesthetic of failure," where the deliberate use of glitch-based audio media, and other sonic artifacts, is a central concern.Sources of glitch sound material are usually malfunctioning or abused audio recording devices or digital electronics, such as CD skipping, electric hum, digital or analog distortion, circuit bent electronics, bit-rate reduction, hardware noise, software bugs, crashes, vinyl record hiss or scratches, and system errors.
In a Computer Music Journal article published in 2000, composer and writer Kim Cascone classifies glitch as a subgenre of electronica and used the term post-digital to describe the glitch aesthetic.Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album
The Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album is an award presented at the Grammy Awards - a ceremony that was established in 1958 - to recording artists for quality albums in the dance music and electronica genres. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.”Intelligent dance music
Intelligent dance music (commonly abbreviated as IDM) is a form of electronic music originating in the early 1990s, which was regarded as "cerebral" and better suited to "home listening" than dancing. Emerging from electronic and rave music styles such as techno, acid house, ambient music, and breakbeat, IDM tended to rely upon individualistic experimentation rather than adhering to characteristics associated with specific genres. Prominent artists associated with the genre include Aphex Twin, μ-Ziq, the Black Dog, The Doblerr, the Orb, the Future Sound of London, Autechre, Luke Vibert, Squarepusher, Venetian Snares and Boards of Canada.The term "intelligent dance music" has been widely criticised and rejected by artists associated with the style, including Aphex Twin and µ-Ziq, as elitist and derogatory towards other genres. The term is said to have originated in the US in 1993 with the formation of the "IDM list", an electronic mailing list originally chartered for the discussion of a number of prominent English artists appearing on the 1992 Warp compilation Artificial Intelligence. In 2014, music critic Sasha Frere-Jones observed that the term "is widely reviled but still commonly used".Jay Electronica
Timothy Elpadaro Thedford (born September 19, 1976), known professionally as Jay Electronica, is an American rapper and record producer from New Orleans. Electronica first gained significant attention after the release of the musical composition Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), which was made available on a MySpace page in 2007. It is fifteen continuous minutes of music, without drums, built from Jon Brion's soundtrack to the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In late 2009 he released two singles, both produced by Just Blaze, "Exhibit A (Transformations)" and "Exhibit C", the latter of which won a Sucker Free Summit Award for Instant Classic. In November 2010, it was announced Jay Electronica had signed to Jay Z's Roc Nation record label.Prix Ars Electronica
The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the best known and longest running yearly prizes in the field of electronic and interactive art, computer animation, digital culture and music. It has been awarded since 1987 by Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria).
In 2005, the Golden Nica, the highest prize, was awarded in six categories: "Computer Animation/Visual Effects," "Digital Musics," "Interactive Art," "Net Vision," "Digital Communities" and the "u19" award for "freestyle computing." Each Golden Nica came with a prize of €10,000, apart from the u19 category, where the prize was €5,000. In each category, there are also Awards of Distinction and Honorary Mentions.
The Golden Nica is replica of the Greek Nike of Samothrace. It is a handmade wooden statuette, plated with gold, so each trophy is unique: approximately 35 cm high, with a wingspan of about 20 cm, all on a pedestal. "Prix Ars Electronica" is a phrase composed of French, Latin and Spanish words, loosely translated as "Electronic Arts Prize."Progressive music
Progressive music is music that attempts to expand existing stylistic boundaries associated with specific genres of music. The word comes from the basic concept of "progress", which refers to development and growth by accumulation, and is often deployed in the context of distinct genres such as progressive country, progressive folk, progressive jazz, and (most significantly) progressive rock. Music that is deemed "progressive" usually synthesizes influences from various cultural domains, such as European art music, Celtic folk, West Indian, or African. It is rooted in the idea of a cultural alternative and may also be associated with auteur-stars and concept albums, considered traditional structures of the music industry.As an art theory, the progressive approach falls between formalism and eclecticism. "Formalism" refers to a preoccupation with established external compositional systems, structural unity, and the autonomy of individual art works. Like formalism, "eclecticism" connotates a predilection toward style synthesis or integration. However, contrary to formalist tendencies, eclecticism foregrounds discontinuities between historical and contemporary styles and electronic media, sometimes referring simultaneously to vastly different musical genres, idioms, and cultural codes. In marketing, "progressive" is used to distinguish a product from "commercial" pop music.Trip hop
Trip hop (sometimes used synonymously with "downtempo") is a musical genre that originated in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom, especially Bristol. It has been described as "a fusion of hip hop and electronica until neither genre is recognizable", and may incorporate a variety of styles, including funk, dub, soul, psychedelia, R&B, and house, as well as other forms of electronic music. Trip hop can be highly experimental.Deriving from later idioms of acid house, the term was first used by the British music media to describe the more experimental variant of breakbeat emerging from the Bristol Sound scene in the early 1990s, which contained influences of soul, funk, and jazz. It was pioneered by acts like Massive Attack, Tricky, and Portishead. Trip hop achieved commercial success in the 1990s, and has been described as "Europe's alternative choice in the second half of the '90s."Twin Freaks
Twin Freaks is a collaborative album by musician Paul McCartney with DJ and producer Freelance Hellraiser (Roy Kerr). The album was released on 13 June 2005.
decade of origin