identifiying music genres tips
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  1. #1

    Default identifiying music genres tips

    Hi guys!
    So, I'm sill having a bit of trouble sorting out certain songs as it's still a bit difficult for me to recognize the different EDM genres and subgenres. There are some obvious ones like Trap, Glitch and Breaks that I can identify, but I have trouble with the likes of tech, electro, bigroom, progressive, etc.
    I was wondering if you have any easy tips to be able to differentiate at least the main House music genres?
    How do you guys sort them out?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    São Paulo - Brazil


    Instruments seem to be very relevant.

    Example, if it has that:

    its EDM.

    And although one can say EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music, which sounds like every electronic music that is danceable, its actually pretty limited. Its basicly progressive house and big room house. I don't consider tech house EDM for example, as many also don't, and you shouldn't ether.
    Last edited by Daniboy; 08-14-2015 at 07:55 PM.
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  3. #3
    Tech Mentor
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    san jose, ca


    EDM is a marketing term to sell music to americans.

    pretty much what "mainstage" and "festival" music you find at brand named music festivals.

    its the shit that you'll find these lovely birds listening to

    techno/tech house is all about the groove. it accentuates quality over quantity, different than the cheap tricks used in EDM. you'll also find more percussions and low end techno/tech house, along with turning sound processing into an instrument.
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  4. #4


    Method in Chaos - trust me you are not the only one who gets confused by this subject. I have been listening to 'dance' music since the 1980s and I still find myself getting tripped-up or scratching my head by the different genres and sub-genre descriptions.

    A couple of things worthy of note:

    - the description of the genres are fluid. They change over time as music developed and morph as sub-genres rise and fall. The same term used to describe one music genre at a certain point in time, invariably can and is used to describe a completely different style of dance music.

    - the same description means something different, dependent on your geographic location.

    The classic example to me is 'Techno'. You ask five Germans, five Americans and five Brits, aged between 18 & 40 to give you three 'techno' tracks to you and it is likely that those tracks will cover multiple sub-genres covering a huge range of dance music presented in the last 25 years!

    You then get music that has no defined 'sub-genre' name. For example I love the music that Andrew Weatherall & Sean Johnson have been playing for the last few years under the ALFOS moniker, that still does not have an agreed upon genre name! It has been called everything from 'Chug' to 'Disco' to 'Slo-House' to 'Cosmic Disco' to 'Nu-Dsco' and still has yet to settle on a term the industry agrees on!

    The best tip I can provide you to help with understanding the genres as they are currently viewed, is to pick one of the strong on-line music portals - I would recommend - and listen to the music under their different genres they have to help with the categorisation of music. But, then be prepared to have that categorisation change over time!
    Last edited by sliding down the banister; 08-16-2015 at 06:02 AM.
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  5. #5
    Tech Wizard Cytokine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015


    Just dont bother mate. Play whatever you like.

    Like what was said it changes over time. The only thing that's annoying is when somebody says "I don't like ...." when they don't really know what they mean.

  6. #6


    Thanks a lot Sliding. U make good points about how time and even location can affect how people classify the music. Will definetly look into juno.

    And thank you too Cytokine. I totally agree with you about playing what I like. I guess my interest in being able to identify the genres has to do with the fact that I'm still a 6 month beginner and mostly the need to sort all my music files and bit of OCD, lol.

  7. #7


    Good points made by Sliding, well said!

    I recommend the Fabric mix series for enjoyable and high quality tasters of different subgenres of techno and house. They're all very polished classy productions, from big names in techno, house, tech-house and deep house.

    Here are some of my favourites, if you're looking for a place to start:

    #41 by Luciano
    #45 by Omar S
    #68 by Petre Inspirescu
    #78 by Raresh
    #82 by Art Department
    #77 by Marcel Dettmann
    #83 by Joris Voorn (just hearing this one for the first time now... it's very cool)
    Last edited by Lanz the joiner; 08-16-2015 at 12:23 PM. Reason: updating list of mixes

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013


    Electro differntiates itself from House and Techno by not using a 4/4 beat. It has his roots in Hip Hop.
    It sounded back then like this:

    And Today more like this:

    And yes the therm EDM is used to describe the kind of music that rides the culture of electronic music against a wall. Like we called everthyng electronic in the 90s Dance or Techno.

    Progressive does not really describe one genere. There is Progressive House, Progressive Trance, Prog.Psy etc. It describes just the the way of how the track is built up.
    And even if the biggest part of that so called EDM Stuff is labled as Prog.House there is a very different kind of Progressive House out there: check stuff published by the Belgian Lable Bonzai. Manu Riga and 21th Street for example.

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