Rave music

Rave music may either refer to the late 1980s/early 1990s genres of U.K. hardcore, breakbeat, acid techno and techno, the first genres of music to be played at rave parties, or to any other genre of electronic dance music (EDM) that may be played at a rave. The genre "rave", also known as hardcore by early ravers, first appeared amongst the UK "acid" movement during the late 1980s at warehouse parties and other underground venues, as well as on UK pirate radio stations.[1] Rave music is usually presented in a DJ mix set, although live performances are not uncommon.

Rave culture

Main article: Rave

The rave scene was associated with illegal club drugs. Rave music is created to accompany recreational drug use, specifically to heighten the effects of ecstasy, the common name for MDMA.[2] The use of illegal drugs and the rave scene's use of secret dance parties set up in empty warehouses and hangars attracted the attention of law enforcement in various countries, and in some countries laws were passed prohibiting certain rave events.[3]

In the mid-to-late 1980s, the first "raves" were born, being the name for House and Techno music parties in Chicago and Detroit, with a smaller underground scene in New York City. Later in the decade, after American-invented rave culture and electronic music began receiving more mainstream attention in the United Kingdom, culture began to filter through from English expatriates and disc jockeys who would visit Continental Europe from the United States. However, rave culture's arrival in mainstream American pop culture is often credited to American DJ Frankie Bones, who after spinning a party in an aircraft hangar in England helped organize some of the earliest known commercial American raves in the 1990s in New York City called "Storm Raves" which maintained a consistent core audience. Hundreds of smaller promotional groups sprung up across the East Coast, causing a true "scene" to develop. As the rave scene expanded promoters marketed their events with specialized music aiming to attract adherents of a particular subgenre.[3] In Australia, a trend towards outdoor dance parties or doofs developed.

Breakbeat music

Main article: Breakbeat

Breakbeat music (or breaks for short) refers to any form of rave music with breakbeats, this may range from breakbeat hardcore and nu skool breaks to drum and bass, some genres such as hardstep and breakcore cross over into the hardcore techno sound. Fusions of house and trance also exist but the drum 'n' bass still remains the most popular form of breakbeat played at rave parties.

Hardcore techno

Main article: Hardcore techno

Hardcore techno refers to any hard dance genre that was influenced by the rave genre, usually these genres have a distorted kick drum, and a 3/4 or 4/4 rhythm. Happy hardcore blended the Dutch hardcore sound with Eurodance and bubblegum pop, the genre (also known as "happycore" for short) featured pitched-up vocals and a less distorted 4/4 beat. Trancecore also exists and is a less vocal fusion of happy hardcore with trance music, however hardstyle is a more pure form of the trance/hardcore genre since it retains the hardcore sound.

Industrial music

Main article: Industrial music

Industrial is a goth/rock/punk related genre. While the genre is not usually considered rave music in itself, it is often fused with rave music genres. Industrial is the origin of many sounds found in rave music; it is one of the first genres that took the sounds that are now popular in rave music such as "acid" as its musical backdrop. Industrial music fans are usually considered rivetheads and do not tend to call themselves ravers.

A typical sound system

Free party music

Main article: Free tekno

This style of electronic music started in the early 1990s and was mostly played in illegal parties hosted by Sound System, such as Spiral Tribe, Desert Storm, Hekate, Heretik, in warehouse, dismissed buildings, or even illegal open air festivals, called "Teknivals". It takes inspiration from various other genres, and mainly focuses on quick beats, 170/200 bpm, acid bassline, mentals sounds, and often samples taken from movies, popular songs or many other different media sources.

List of genres

The Roland TB-303 is a synthesizer featured in Acid house music

Rave has been described as the defining sound of rave music. The style has developed into a series of subgenres including Breakbeat Rave, Techno-Rave, Hard Techno, Acid Rave, Gabber, Speedcore, Happy Rave, Hardcore and Happy Hardcore. The following list of genres are closely associated with raves and can be described as rave music.

Downtempo and less dance oriented styles which are sometimes called chill out music, that might be heard in a rave "chill-out" room or at a rave that plays slower electronic music includes:

See also


  1. AllMusic
  2. Robinson, Roxy (2016). Music Festivals and the Politics of Participation. Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 131709199X. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  3. 1 2 Shepherd, John (2003). Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World: Performance and production. Volume II. A&C Black. p. 334-335. ISBN 0826463215. Retrieved 10 September 2016.

Further reading

External links

Media related to Rave at Wikimedia Commons

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