Breakbeat hardcore

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Breakbeat hardcore (Rave music) is a derivate of the acid house and techno of the late 1980s and early 1990s that combines 4-to-the-floor rhythms with breakbeats, and is associated with the UK rave scene.


The rave scene

The scene was driven around the M25 motorway (London's orbital motorway), and its audience was mainly urban teenagers and lower middle-class suburban teenagers with cars. The audience was very much multi-cultural, with black, white and Asian influences resulting in a unique sound. The scene expanded rapidly in 1991, with large raves of 30,000 to 50,000 people attending in open air venues around England, put on by Spiral Tribe and other free party sound systems held at numerous locations up and down the length of England. This scene spawned the idea of holding huge parties rather than small clubs.

Effect and fragmentation

The early 90s saw the shifting of the underground sound become more prevalent in the mainstream. Even without any radio play, many hybrid and regional styles made their way into Top 20 charts. However, during 1990, the two main subdivisions of this underground rave movement was primarily either house or techno (although often interchangeable or vaguely used to define a multitude of styles). However, between 1993 and 1994 the scene fragmented, and forked off into two distinct styles - jungle music (later giving rise to drum and bass) and 4-beat (alternatively known as happy hardcore). Jungle's sound was more focused on basslines, often with jazz-like undertones, whilst 4-beat retained the rave synths, the 4/4 kickdrum, and happier piano elements. By 1996, most 4-beat had dropped its breakbeats (in-part due to bouncy techno), whilst drum and bass had long dropped the techno style synth stabs, thus further separating the two styles. The almost independent evolution of styles created distinct sounds of "bleep and bass", brutalist techno, hardcore jungle, pop-rave, UK garage, and ragga-techno sounds.

Selected information

Record labels

786 Approved, Absolute 2, Awesome Records, Basement Records, Boogie Beat Records, Chill, Contagious, FFrreedom aka FFRR, Formation Records, Full Effect Recordings, Great Asset, Pranged, Ibiza Records, Kickin Records, Kniteforce, Little Giant Music, Moving Shadow, Network Records, Production House Records, Rabbit City recordings, Reinforced Records, Suburban Base, Triple Helix, XL Recordings, Soapbar Records, Liquid Wax, Impact Records, Unnatural Light

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