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Electronica

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A set of related genres of electronic music, most of them oriented towards club dancing. Electronica originated in the late 1980s, although precursors to it can be found as far back as the mid '70s. As is the case with synth pop, electronica owes its existence to the fact that synthesizers became less expensive and more available to a wider spectrum of performers in the '80s, as to the development of improved drum machines over that same period.

Stylistically, electronica picked up with 1970s (non-electronic) disco left off, incorporating a steady, driving 4/4 beat with tempos suitable for club dancing. Where it diverged was in the sounds and timbres used, as well as the attitudes of its time. The rather cheesy, poppy horn and string melodies of the '70s were replaced by the darker and stranger sounds that the synths were capable of. In something of a nod to the tape studios of the pre-synthesizer era, the style also incorporated the turntablist techniques being developed by rappers and hip-hop DJ's; when afforable samplers begin to appear on the scene, some of the turntable sounds got transferred to samples, from which a new set of techniques was developed.

Soon, the style began to develop sub-cultures, most of them originating with the dance scene of a particular city. The result today is a plethora of sub-styles under the electronica banner, including:

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