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EDM In The UK- A Look At Electronic Dance Music Rise In The UK


 EDM or electronic dance music covers a range of electronic percussive music, which is popular in nightclubs, festivals, and raves. Some British bands in the late 1960’s made electronic music for dancing and, at the same time, Jamaican dub music, another form of early dance music, emerged in 1960’s. Synth pop or techno-pop was popular in the 1970’s, which was dominated by synthesiser as the primary musical instrument.

Synth Pop

Early UK synth pop bands at the time were Berlin Blondes, The Human League, and Ultravox. The Human League is popular for its austere and simple music with monophonic synthesisers and singable lyrics which made it a top selling vinyl album of the decade. Gary Numan, an English synth-pop musician appeared in the 1979 UK Singles Chart, which contributed to the popularity of synthesised music in the early 1980’s. Many enthusiasts still say that to truly experience the cutting edge sound of Gary Numan, head down to your local record store and pick up any of his albums on high quality, heavy gram vinyl.

House And Trance Music  

House music became a trend in the UK in 1988 and the warehouse party subculture was among British African Caribbean community. When Spectrum and Shoom clubs were opened, the Balearic party vibe was brought to London. These clubs were considered popular acid houses. Other popular clubs in the UK were Manchester’s The Hacienda, Music Factory and Leadmill in Sheffield and Leeds’ Back to Basics. At the same time, the UK rave scene contributed to the emergence of Trance music, which developed further in 1990’s. Trance is mostly an instrumental music with occasional vocals mixed in, which are usually female with mezzo soprano to soprano voices.


Dubstep was a new electronic dance music genre in the late 1990’s and it originated in South London, with syncopated and sparse rhythmic patterns. Basslines in dubstep have prominent sub-bass elements. Dubstep was influenced by UK garage and the Jamaican sound system from 1980’s. Future garage originated from London in 2005 and it incorporated various elements of UK garage and 2-step garage. UK funky is another electronic dance genre that also emerged in 2005, influenced by grime, UK garage, broken beat, and Soulful house. Wonky is an EDM sub-genre that emerged in 2008, based on UK dubstep and grime, with exuberant and colourful sounds, featuring garish effects, melodies, and synthesiser tones.

UK Bass

UK bass is another EDM sub-genre that appeared in the mid-2000s after artists started to blend sounds of grime, house, UK garage, dubstep, UK funky and R&B, while keeping an emphasis on bass-led, percussive rhythm. In early 2011, there was a term “post-dubstep” to define club music with certain elements of dubstep. Future bass is a newer electronic dance music sub-genre, originated from UK, US and Australia in the 2010’s, influenced by trap and dubstep.

Contact Horizons Music

To learn more, contact Horizons Music today and shop a wide selection of new and vintage vinyl.

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