Electro House is a subgenre of music, and another form of House music. It came to popularity in the beginning of the 2000’s, and unlike many other genres, filtered into the mainstream all over the world. It is still a very popular style today, with bands and artists such as Skrillex, Daft Punk and Afrojack remaining in the mainstream.
There are many distinctive features of Electro House, such as the dominating bassline, with a very fast tempo of between 125-135 beats per minute. A strong bassline is also key. To create this sound, distortions are incorporated, and sawtooth waves are played on a synthesizer. This gives a signature ‘buzzing’ sound, which helps to differentiate it from other House styles. Equally, Electro House is somewhat similar to Tech House, however it is generally more melodic in nature.
Instrumentally, Electro House is richer textually than its sparser counterpart, Acid House for example. Clearly, from its name, it is evident that a large portion of the music is created via electronic techniques. Drum machines again, are a staple, providing the repetitive yet catchy and insistent beat. Samplers offer a lot in terms of melody, infusing different segments from other pieces of music, thus to create new music. Keys, particularly keyboards and synthesizers also add to the melodic element, often with the further use of sequencers; sequencers play a pattern of notes at certain intervals, eg. 2 semitones between notes, and repeats them in a loop, thus creating an electronic and somewhat ‘synthetic’ melody. Unlike Acid House for example, Electro House does feature vocals, though it is not lyrically driven music, and the vocals are by no means the focal point of the music. As such, the vocals may be distorted to create a sense of ambience, and may be quite muted and also breathy. Often, words will be very limited, and samples of small sections of vocals may well be repeated. Kick Drums are sometimes also used alongside a drum machine, as they give the music the signature heavy bassline that is so distinctive. This odd fusion of both electronic sounds and live sounds certainly creates an unusual and interesting textural quality.
Today, Electro House is still incredibly popular, especially with the subsequent development of the genre, known as ‘Big Room’ Electro House. Big Room relies on ‘drops’ in the music, wherein a build-up in the song suddenly changes to something else, eg. A different bassline or chordal progression. Less percussion is included in this style, and also less melodies, but more breakdowns within the music, typically lead by the synthesizer. Electro House is liable to remain in mainstream ideals for music given its suitability for club music and dancing. However, I think it is wrong to view this genre in such simplistic terms; the contrast of electro and non-electro instruments and the attention to melody and dramatic percussive basslines make this genre stand out in a time of generic popular music.