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A raver is a person who regularly goes to raves. Raves are an organized dance party at a nightclub, outdoor festival, warehouse, or other private property typically featuring performances by DJs, playing a seamless flow of electronic dance music. DJs at rave events play electronic dance music on vinyl, CDs, and digital audio from a wide variety of genres, including techno, hardcore, house, bassline, dubstep, New Beat, and post-industrial. Ravers commonly wear clothing that is bright and/or neon coloured.

Origins

In many ways, the Madchester scene laid the groundwork for today's raver aesthetic. Madchester, the predecessor to modern raver culture, is a musical and cultural scene that developed in the English city of Manchester in the late 1980s. It saw artists merging alternative rock with elements of acid house, rave music, psychedelia, and 1960s pop. Madchester's decline gave way to the Britpop sound that became popular in the mid-to-late 90's thanks to bands like Blur and Oasis. Madchester was known for having a very rich drug scene, with the popular drug of choice being ecstasy (aka MDMA/Molly/E); in fact, Madchester band The Shamen put out a song called "Ebeneezer Goode" which was coded to be all about dropping E.

Fashion (most commonly worn/suggested)

Madchester fashion is the main reason for another name for the genre; Baggy. Baggy pants and shorts were quite popular back in Madchester's heyday and were often accompanied by tie-dye shirts of some sort. It can best be described as equal parts raver, hippie/retro (for its time), and football hooligan. Over time, however, as Madchester/raver culture became more mainstream, raver fashion moved away from the warehouse parties into more extensive venues and outdoor spaces. Some of the new raver fashion that's come about includes:

  • Kandi
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Breathable clothing
  • Backpack/fanny Pack
  • Hydration pack
  • Face mask/bandana
  • Sunglasses
  • Face glitter and jewels
  • Neon/UV reactive gear
  • Fluffy hoodies
  • Glow-in-the-dark accessories

Music

The main genre association with the Raver aesthetic this aesthetic is Electronic Dance Music.

EDM

Electronic Dance Music was pioneered in the second half of the 1970s by producers such as Giorgio Moroder or Cerrone, who developed Electro-Disco, replacing influences of early Disco, like R&B or Soul, by electronic sounds, using synthesizers, drum machines, faster bpm and metronomic, monotonous rhythms. Electro-Disco quickly spawned other subgenres such as Italo-Disco or Hi-NRG.

House music was pioneered in the early 1980s and Techno in the mid-1980s. During the 1980s Electronic Dance Music became the dominant force of dance music and it evolved quickly into different genres, with the introduction and increased affordability of new instruments such as the Roland TR-808 drum machine, the Roland TB-303 synthesizer, the Akai Samplers, and technological standards like MIDI. In 1987-88 House went mainstream and DJs became stars, spawning a whole Electronic Dance Music culture that lasts to these days. In the 1990s EDM was massively popular, particularly in Europe, and genres such as Hardcore [EDM], Eurodance and Trance were developed.

Electronic Dance Music genres are commonly categorized based on beats per minute (bpm), the slowest tempos range from 60-90 bpm, whereas genres such as Speedcore surpass an average of 240 bpm. Genres are also defined by the usage of melody, for instance Happy Hardcore is upbeat and catchy in contrast to Terrorcore. Eurodance is melodic, Pop oriented and popular amongst non-clubbers, in contrast to genres like Schranz or Hard Trance, which are more underground and aimed only for clubbers.

In the 2010s, Electronic Dance Music was more successful than ever, and was one of the most popular styles of music even in the US Top 40 Charts.

Below are the list of EDM subgenres:

Drum 'n Bass

Drum and bass (also written as Drum&Bass or drum'n'bass and commonly abbreviated as D&B, DnB, or D'n'B) is a genre of electronic music characterised by fast breakbeats (typically 165-185 beats per minute) with heavy bass and sub-bass lines, samples, and synthesizers. The genre grew out of the UK's jungle scene in the early 1990s. There have also been many subgenres and fusions of DnB. Artists include:

  • Goldie
  • Roni Size
  • Alex F
  • Photek
  • Squarepusher
  • Shy FX
  • Groovedriver
  • DJ Hype
  • Metrik
  • Sully
  • The Prodigy
  • High Contrast
  • Amon Tobin
  • Ed Rush & The Optical
  • Plug
  • U-Ziq
  • Black Empire Sun
  • Skynet
  • Konflict
  • Sub Focus
  • Aphex Twin
  • A Guy Called Gerald
  • The Third Eye Foundation
  • Cycheouts
  • 4hero
  • LTJ Bukem
  • Christoph De Babalon
  • Chase & Status
  • Pendulum
  • Source Direct
  • Lemon D
  • Dillinja
  • Origin Unknown
  • 2 Bad Mice
  • Goreshit
  • Sewerslvt

Breakcore

Breakcore is a form of Hardcore [EDM] characterized by the use of complex chopped breakbeats. Breakcore songs are typically noisy and chaotic, and often feature samples from a variety of media including music, movies, and video games.

Breakcore was pioneered in the mid-1990s by Alec Empire, who took the chopped breakbeats of Jungle and Drum and Bass and mixed them with the noise and aggression of Digital Hardcore and Gabber. The influence of digital hardcore on many early breakcore producers yielded a significant amount of Hardcore Punk influence that would largely disappear as the genre spread throughout Europe and the United States via the rave community.

The genre continued to build popularity throughout the 2000s and 2010s, splintering into many different styles. Canadian producer Venetian Snares is largely responsible for bringing breakcore to a wider audience in the mid-2000s through albums such as Rossz csillag alatt született and The Chocolate Wheelchair Album, combining breakcore with elements of Drill and Bass and Modern Classical. At the same time, the common fusion of breakcore with digital hardcore would be elaborated into a more modern fusion of breakcore and Metal by artists such as Drumcorps and Igorrr.

In the 2010s, breakcore would begin to see a return to the noisiness and rampant sampling of the 1990s and 2000s through artists such as Renard and goreshit, who became very popular on YouTube and other internet platforms with breakcore that was lighter in tone (owing in part to influence from genres such as Happy Hardcore and Breakbeat Hardcore) and which sampled extensively from popular music as well as video games, anime, and internet memes. These artists would influence the development of subgenres such as Mashcore and Lolicore specifically built around extensive sampling.

Lolicore

Lolicore is a genre of Breakcore characterized by heavily distorted or high-pitched anime vocal samples and complex cut-up breakbeats with extreme tempos. Songs are short, usually running anywhere from a few seconds to around three minutes. Lolicore vocals are normally accomplished in a number of ways, either by speeding up a normal-sounding voice or song to sound more high-pitched, using already "child-like" samples, generally from anime, or chopping/slicing vocal samples and making them more acute. Themes range from otaku culture, primarily lolicon media and anime in general, to Japanese culture as a whole.

The usual breakcore intensity along with the use of manipulated samples provides a unique tonal contrast and a nonstop barrage of noises. Kusoikore, a more specific form of the genre developed by CDR, increases even more the harsh and chaotic sound of lolicore. While lolicore is frequently influenced by Mashcore and breakcore at large, it also takes elements from Nerdcore Techno, Noise, and other Hardcore [EDM] genres, usually Speedcore.

Future Bass

Future Bass is an umbrella term for a genre or technique in electronic dance music emphasizing modulated synthesizer bass sounds. The sound waves are often modulated using automation or low-frequency oscillation controlling the cutoff of an audio filter (typically a low- or high-pass filter), or the wave's amplitude, to adjust the waveform (to create a ‘wobbly’ effect on its parameters). In addition, it is common to utilize a somewhat "twinkly"-sounding gradual rise in pitch during "risers" (gradual pre-drop buildups of white noise), and arpeggio chords, vocal chops, or vocoders. Artists include:

  • Wave Racer
  • Porter Robinson
  • Flume
  • RL Grime
  • Lido
  • Cashmere Cat
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Louis the Child
  • Marshmello
  • Martin Garrix
  • Mura Masa
  • Boombox Cartel
  • Slushii

Kawaii Future Bass

Kawaii future bass is an aesthetically "cute" style of Future Bass rooted in anime and video game culture that developed in the mid-2010s, popularised on SoundCloud and YouTube. Perhaps the most essential and distinctive part of its sound is its Chiptune-inspired synths, often sounding similar to Bitpop, which appear across its more mellow and more uptempo variations.

Stylistically, the genre is highly melodic and is often faster than other future bass, sometimes changing to full step or busier rhythms for brief periods to create a chaotic and complex sound. It also frequently incorporates chopped vocal samples and syncopated patterns like those found in Jersey Club, as well as sections influenced by contemporary Electronic Dance Music like Electro House and Dancefloor Drum and Bass. Due to its popularity with Japanese producers, a number of Japanese Pop and Electronic styles have also been an inspiration to kawaii bass, shown by the prominence of J-Pop's sugary pop melodies and parallels to the high energy genre-hopping of Denpa and J-core. Kawaii future bass also often includes sound effects like bed squeaks or animal sounds, uncommon instruments (such as mallets, xylophones, and Japanese instruments), and samples from anime or video games.

The genre has its roots in 2013 with Australian producers like Wave Racer and Cosmo's Midnight who built on the most melodic and Video Game Music-inspired elements of Rustie's Glass Swords to create a more overtly melodic and sometimes manic style that would quickly be dubbed "dofflin", named with a creative misspelling of "dolphin" from the title of an early Cosmo's Midnight track. Though the dofflin scene was short-lived, with its artists later moving onto other forms of future bass, it would lay the groundwork for what would become the cutesy and uptempo style of kawaii future bass through its influence on late 2013 releases by British producer bo en and Japanese producer Tomggg on influential Japanese netlabel Maltine Records.

This would lead to a thriving Japanese scene that would end up fully developing the breadth of the genre, most prominently Snail's House, but also vocalist and producer YUC'e and J-pop group CY8ER (and their producer Yunomi), and the label MEGAREX with many compilations combining the genre with various other EDM styles. The genre would also gain some traction in the United States, with artists like EDM duo Hyper Potions, and Shawn Wasabi, whose sample-heavy "Marble Soda" became popular online in 2015 with a live Mashup video. Kawaii future bass would also influence and take influence from Bubblegum Bass through the 2010s, especially with their similar cute aesthetics and the use of feminine, often pitched-up vocals.

Mainstream Hardcore

Mainstream Hardcore is a subgenre of hardcore techno. The essence of mainstream hardcore sound is a distorted bass drum sound, overdriven to the point where it becomes clipped into a distorted square wave and makes a recognizably melodic tone.

Hardcore

Hardcore (better known as hardcore techno) is a subgenre of electronic dance music based on the Belgian New Beat industrial style of Techno, which originated in the Netherlands in the 1990s. It is distinguished by faster tempos (160 to 200 BPM or more), the intensity of the kicks and the synthesized bass (in some subgenres), the rhythm and the atmosphere of the themes (sometimes violent), the usage of saturation and experimentation close to that of industrial dance music. It would spawn subgenres such as gabber.

  • S3RL
  • Vau boy
  • LIDA

Happy Hardcore

Happy Hardcore is a highly energetic form of electronic dance music, developed during the late 1990s, characterised by an extremely fast-paced 4/4 beat, saccharine vocals, piano riffs and spacey effects. Its popularity was generally contained within Europe initially - particularly Britain, Germany and The Netherlands - although in recent years it has spawned record labels worldwide specialising in the genre. In contrast with many other styles of Hardcore [EDM], the genre tends to be very bouncy and upbeat in nature, hence the "happy" portion of its name.

J-core

J-core is a form of Japanese Hardcore [EDM] notable for its energetic fusion of various hardcore styles. It was originally coined by overseas listeners to refer to the otaku-themed sound of DJ Sharpnel, but has since expanded to refer to almost any form of hardcore music perceived as having Japanese sensibilities.

Sharpnel’s fusion of Gabber, UK Hardcore, Happy Hardcore, and Speedcore sounds with anime samples gained a cult following among online communities for its liveliness and otaku aesthetic. Their music, known domestically as Nerdcore Techno, provided the foundational elements of J-core, alongside that of other early Japanese hardcore producers such as m1dy and M-Project. Sample-heavy J-core eventually fell out of trend due to copyright law, but in its place grew a new branch of J-core that retained the overly cute and euphoric feel of otaku media while continuing to borrow from a myriad of hardcore and Electronic Dance Music genres with a more contemporary and polished sound. As their audiences generally did not attend real clubs, artists focused less on danceability and instead adopted an excessively energetic style with unpredictable switch-ups in patterns, tempos and even genres altogether; despite this the music is often melodic, catchy and sometimes even Pop-oriented. Some releases even cross over with Denpa, an otaku style of J-Pop also popular within doujin communities.

J-core maintains a strong relationship with anime and video game culture, with most releases being sold independently at doujin fairs. The Touhou Project's doujin scene has been especially fruitful for the genre, spawning some of its biggest names such as REDALiCE and t+pazolite. Rhythm games like Konami's beatmania IIDX series and Bemani franchise often use J-core music to soundtrack more difficult and exciting gameplay, and have been widely responsible for both the growing eccentricity of the music itself and the genre's spread. REDALiCE's Hardcore Tano*C label, whose artists regularly feature in Bemani games and other projects, has also been hugely influential in the community's popularity and sound.

Despite its origins, J-core is produced and distributed worldwide. Some producers have toured abroad, and the Shibuya record shop GUHROOVY served as one of the most important promoters of J-core music for many years both domestically and overseas. Meanwhile, international artists have also not only featured on releases but formed overseas labels of their own dedicated to the style.

Frenchcore

Frenchcore is a subgenre of Hardcore [EDM] that emerged around the late 1990s primarily in France, that branched off the Industrial Hardcore scene of the era as a contrast to the rougher sound exemplified by the latter genre at the time. Frenchcore began to develop through major hardcore labels Epitéth Records and Psychik Genocide, with producers such as Radium and Micropoint stripping away elements of industrial hardcore music and approaching the sounds of Gabber and Freetekno, which influenced it.

It is primarily characterized by TR-909 inspired percussion, bouncy kicks and off-beat basslines, and a tempo around 200 BPM (with some tracks reaching up to 240 BPM). Kick patterns are often less distorted, having 'reverse'-like, pitched bassline sounds, these eventually becoming more prominent in later eras.

Frenchcore was initially an underground phenomenon centered in France and Italy. Its popularity resurged in the 2010s, led by veteran and contemporary EDM and hardcore DJs.

Speedcore

Speedcore is a subgenre of Hardcore [EDM] known notably for its exceedingly high rate of beats per minute, rarely dropping below 240 bpm. It is distinguished from other forms of Hardcore [EDM] by an aggressive electronic percussion track that is punctuated by rapid snare or tom-tom fills.

Extratone

Extratone is a sub-genre of Speedcore that starts at 1000BPM and has no set BPM boundary. Oftentimes, extratone will have large amounts of static or distortion mixed in with extremely fast blast beats. It's also not uncommon to mix Harsh Noise into the tracks too. When up to speed, extratone will sound more like a buzz, or a hum, rather than actual blast beats.

Hypertone

Hypertone is the fastest music genre starts at 2.5 million bpm, Hypertone sound like silence, due to the extremely fast bpm.

Splittercore

Splittercore is a faster version of Speedcore with BPM ranging from around 600 through 1000. The stereotypical speedcore blast beats are often intensified to the point of becoming indistinguishable. Splittercore is often mixed with sections of Noise to add to the chaotic nature represented.

Hardstyle

First appearing independently in Italy and in the Netherlands, hardstyle is a form of Hard Dance that emerged from Hard Trance in the early 2000s, with strong Hardcore [EDM] influences, particularly in the Dutch scene. By the early-to-mid 2000s early hardstyle had become a distinct sound, characterized by its persistent, compressed, repetitive, and hard kick drums, its fast tempo (typically around 150 BPM), and its unique use of the so-called reverse bass (a particular bassline that is reversed in a way that its tail is longer than its front), which is always inserted on the offbeat. Another early development of hardstyle was the introduction of the screech, a distorted, high-pitched synthesizer sound that would become widespread and prominent in later forms of hardstyle. Hardstyle also consisted of further influences from the previously popular Dutch Gabber genre, with Nu Style Gabber in particular influencing and crossing over with the genre during its early years.

Developing alongside hardstyle, Jumpstyle was an associated sound that appeared in Belgium around 2002. Characterized by its more accessible, danceable sound influenced by UK Hard House, Euro-Trance (Hands Up in particular), and Happy Hardcore, jumpstyle became more closely associated with hardstyle in later years and would remain an influence even after it commercially died out in the mid-to-late 2000s. The end of the 2000s saw major hardstyle producers shifting their sound in a more melodic and accessible direction, incorporating influences of Uplifting Trance, Vocal Trance, hands up and Euro-trance into a hardstyle subgenre that came to be known as Euphoric Hardstyle. Euphoric hardstyle further became distinct from earlier hardstyle offshoots by commonly featuring vocals, typically by female singers who deliver highly emotional, passionate performances. While euphoric hardstyle kept the genre's high BPM ranges and harsh, prominent kick drums, it became a lot closer in sound to many of EDM's Pop-related derivatives in the 2010s. Euphoric hardstyle dominated the hardstyle scene throughout the 2010s, with many music festivals, labels, and DJs centered around the genre.

Partially as a reaction to euphoric hardstyle's success, a particular sound known as Rawstyle soon emerged in the late 2000s and early 2010s, featuring producers reviving earlier elements of the genre with more pronounced influences of gabber and Industrial Hardcore. The resulting sound was a minimalistic, repetitive, noisy, and harsh genre (usually screech-rich as well), which would be criticized for its uniformity and repetitiveness by some hardstyle listeners. Despite that, the sound would remain a prominent, if underground, hardstyle subgenre throughout the 2010s, with some producers even pioneering a specific sound known as "Rawphoric" that notoriously blends euphoric hardstyle's melodic, highly emotional drops with rawstyle's harsh productions.

Hardstyle's global popularity throughout the 2000s and 2010s allowed producers from many different backgrounds to blend its sound with other forms of EDM. This phenomenon became particularly common in the 2010s, with certain producers making multi-genre tracks with multiple drops that often included hardstyle drops or hardstyle influences as well. Similarly, Dubstyle was a micro-genre that attempted to mix hardstyle with late 2000s Dubstep trends (mostly Brostep); Lento violento, an Italo Dance-derived mid-2000s genre, became mixed with hardstyle in the works of Italian DJs in the late 2000s and 2010s; and Hard Trap, a Trap [EDM] variant, was heavily influenced by rawstyle's distorted percussion and leads, often incorporating full-time hardstyle drops.

Rawstyle

Emerging in the early 2010s, rawstyle is a form of Hardstyle characterized by its incorporation of earlier hardstyle and Hardcore [EDM] influences (particularly Gabber and Industrial Hardcore) into the sound of 2010s hardstyle, creating a distinctly harsh, simplistic, raw, and dark sound, with bpm's usually faster than previous hardstyle trends (around 150-155 bpm). Rawstyle was in part born as a counter-reaction to the growth of Euphoric Hardstyle, a prominent 2010s hardstyle strain that ditched the genre's former harsh, simple drops and replaced them with highly emotional and melodic drops, and often included vocals as well. Many of rawstyle's early artists actively sought to create music in direct contrast to euphoric hardstyle, which was achieved through the re-incorporation of older, more "traditional" hardstyle and hardcore styles. Despite that, the initial resulting sound wasn't a revival or replication of earlier trends, with track structures often remaining loyal to the shorter, simpler track lengths of 2010s EDM and with production quality remaining firmly rooted in modern EDM production, in contrast with the 1990s simpler equipment and production gear.

Rawstyle's distorted, compressed, hard-hitting, and heavily side-chained kicks and rhythms typically have a main role in the track, with melodies and complex atmospheres only acting as a secondary layer. Manipulated, high-pitched synthesizer stabs known as "screeches" are a common feature as well, and their usual role is to accompany the rhythms rather than to play a melody. Reverse basses, chaotic and powerful drops, tense vocal samples (sometimes directly taken from sci-fi/horror cinema), and gloomy, ominous atmospheres and melodies are commonly incorporated as well. Though rawstyle is often relatively simplistic, with producers of the genre receiving criticism for their repetitive, similar music and "predictable" compositions, certain producers have become known for more experimental, unconventional styles of rawstyle. The genre's aesthetic and typical art style commonly features apocalyptic, anti-authoritarian, or horror-related imagery and titles, which is often used as an extension of the music's inherent atonal and scary nature.

Rawstyle's initial wave of artists was led by music labels such as Dutch Minus Is More and A2 Records, Fusion Records, Australian Spoontech Records, and Italian Hardstyle, who embraced the sound. The sound has continued to mutate since its earliest beginning and it continued to be popular among hardstyle fans throughout the 2010s. Despite attracting audiences in various countries, the style has become especially prominent in the Dutch hardstyle scene, thereby acting as a continuation of the "classic" style of 2000s Dutch hardstyle. Prominent Dutch artists of the genre include newcomers from like Radical Redemption, Act of Rage, E-Force, D-Sturb, and Warface, though the style has attracted some older established artists. An even more intense, "rawer", and sometimes faster derivative of rawstyle, variously named "Xtra Raw" or "Uptempo Raw", developed as well towards the late 2010s, further pushing rawstyle towards EDM hardcore regions (sometimes by directly implementing influences of other hardcore genres), and the style has commonly crossed over with Uptempo Hardcore, and more rarely even Frenchcore and Terrorcore. This form of rawstyle is sometimes contrasted with another development of the sound, usually called "Rawphoric", "Melodic Rawstyle" or "Euphoric Rawstyle", which blends rawstyle's distorted and harsh kicks with the melodies and synth leads of euphoric hardstyle, sometimes even incorporating vocals as well.

Hardbass

Hardbass is a subgenre of Scouse House that originated from Russia in the early 2000s. It's characterized by bouncy hard bass beats (also known as donk bass), fast tempo, usually 150-175 BPM and occasional lyrics or rapping. DJ Snat, Sonic Mine and XS Project are known for being the pioneers. The most notable success of the genre is "Tri Poloski", reaching the mainstream with millions of plays.

The genre has become a central stereotype of the gopnik subculture, which refers to young men of lower-class suburban areas coming from families of poor education and limited income. It is commonly associated with the use of Adidas tracksuits, squatting and drinking vodka, being part of the genre aesthetic. Due to the genre's growing popularity, hardbass scenes have begun springing up in several European countries in the 2010s.

HexD (there are 2 sides, rap and EDM)

Emerging in the SoundCloud underground rap scene in the late 2010s, hexd is a musical approach and a form of Electronic music characterized by heavily bit-crushed, sometimes sped-up and pitched-up vocals (particularly in the case of remixed material), and highly compressed and distorted production, typically made from existing material of genres such as Trap, Cloud Rap, Emo Rap on one hand and Trance, Breakbeat and other Electronic Dance Music styles on the other. With additional sound effects like delay and heavy reverberation, the genre aims to encapsulate a dreamy, murky, surreal atmosphere, sometimes used to create a sense of nostalgia, though many artists may instead focus on futuristic, near-mechanic ambiance. The genre is occasionally influenced by the hyper-real, mystical, and self-satirizing sound and aesthetic associated with Vaporwave and other genres in the bigger Vapor movement, with certain producers borrowing elements of the sample manipulation and processing typical of these genres.

Originally developed by the Hexcastcrew group, hexd began attracting attention with the group's member cargoboym's Rare RCB hexD.mp3 mix, made from existing Reptilian Club Boyz tracks, whose sample-rich music and unique aesthetic would remain influential for hexd in the following years. The genre would grow exponentially during the next two years, spawning many similar DJ mixes generally based on Hip Hop material, but also on a variety of EDM genres. The distinct DJing style that emerged further incorporated Nightcore, Florida fast music, and Chopped and Screwed, with producers incorporating the aforementioned editing techniques by speeding up, cutting, and compressing existing tracks into a "hexd" wall of sound.

The main derivative that developed from hexd came to be known as "crushed trap", a term popularized by 999 Heartake Sabileye who used it for their many mixes of the genre, remixing and heavily bit-crushing existing trap songs into a hazy pool of "hexd" ambiance. A competing term (or, in some interpretations - an affiliated style) for the derivative form of psychedelic, sped-up, and glitchy trap music is "surge", coined by Kittenpuke and popularized by Dismiss Yourself - whose label Dismiss Yourself and YouTube channel would become a central hub for the genre. Many of hexd's prominent artists were also featured in Dismiss Yourself's Surge Compilation Vol. 1.

With many of its listeners and producers affiliated with the Rate Your Music community, the genre became an influence on other styles of internet rap and electronic music, like the SpaceGhostPurrp and BMB Deathrow-affiliated dark trap genre, certain styles of SoundCloud-based cloud rap and Pop Rap like the late 2010s-born Digicore trend, and even Wave and Bubblegum Bass. Another prominent derivative of the sound includes a form of hexd/crushed trance mixes, led by producers such as Sienna Sleep, Visavril, and iANO. A prominent visual style of artists of the genre is commonly characterized by a distinct low-quality, DIY, "deep-internet" aesthetic that seeks to provoke video game/2000s nostalgia, and pictures/visual elements are commonly taken (and edited) directly from Anime series.

Dariacore

Dariacore takes heavy influence from Mashcore, Digicore, Nightcore, and a myriad of EDM subgenres, most predominantly Future Bass. The vast majority of Dariacore songs are examples of the idea of a "song flip", a practice in which the author of a song heavily samples an existing song (or songs), but in the process, changes the genre, mood, or in some other way makes it their own. Dariacore often uses samples easily recognizable amongst young heavy internet users, such as EDM, Pop music, and samples popularized by YouTube Poops and SoundClowns. The aesthetics of the genre are often heavily inspired by the presentation of the leroy page on SoundCloud. Accounts are often themed around a character or piece of media, with screenshots from said media acting as cover art for songs.

Jungle

Jungle is a rave-oriented Electronic Dance Music style that is now known as the forerunner of most Drum and Bass genres. It originated in the early 1990s when Breakbeat Hardcore producers from labels like Suburban Base Records and Reinforced Records began experimenting with faster tempos, deeper basslines, and more complex songwriting. The main characteristics of jungle are tempos of 160 BPM and up, largely sample-based production, energetic or chaotic-sounding drum breaks, a strong bassline, and sometimes piano/synth chord riffs based on Hardcore [EDM] and House music from the era.

The earliest jungle records, such as those produced by Rufige Kru and Bay B Kane, used the sounds of breakbeat hardcore and emphasized the dark atmosphere and basslines, in parallel with Darkside. This style, sometimes known as "jungle techno", helped establish other dark-sounding drum and bass genres like Hardstep and Darkstep. In contrast, other artists, such as Foul Play and Nookie, kept the more melodic, upbeat rave sound. In the mid-1990s, this kind of jungle became more relaxed and chilled-out, using less frantic breakbeats and focusing more strongly on atmosphere and melodies. This would be a blueprint for Atmospheric Drum and Bass. Later developments include the proliferation of Reggae and Hip Hop-focused elements and samples, often fused with the aforementioned darkside and uplifting styles, and headlined by Remarc and Tom and Jerry. This became the most popular style of the jungle sound that received the most airplay, and was later influential in the creation of other styles of dance music such as Ragga Jungle, Breakcore, and Drumfunk.

Jungle began to decline in the late 1990s as newer drum and bass styles became more popular, but it still has a huge underground following to this period. A particularly strong resurgence began in the late 2010s as producers explored the possibilities modern music production techniques and software have for the style, as well as fusions with other styles of uptempo electronic dance music like Footwork.

Madchester

As described above, Madchester music combined alternative rock with acid house, techno, psychedelica and the 1960's pop sound, with some of the big bands in the scene primarily coming from Manchester (hence the name). The music first started gaining headway from a club called the Haçienda (owned by members of legendary New Wave band New Order) and kicked off what came to be known as The Second Summer of Love. Bands within the genre include:

  • Happy Mondays
  • The Stone Roses
  • Inspiral Carpets
  • The Shamen
  • EMF
  • The Charlatans
  • 808 State
  • The Mock Turtles
The_Shamen,_Phorever_people,_Directed_by_Richard_Heslop,_1992

The Shamen, Phorever people, Directed by Richard Heslop, 1992

If you need Madchester distilled into video form... here you go.

It was being predicted at the time that Madchester would become the defining sound of the 90's, but other genres (such as grunge) prevented it to ever happen. The Madchester sound eventually gave way to the rise of shoegaze and britpop; so while Madchester didn't become the decade-defining sound, it did continue to be an influential genre of music in its own right.

As time went on, however, the psychedelica and indie rock vibes started falling away from the raver sound in favor of a more purely electronic sound, which gave rise to techno, trance, jungle, drum 'n bass, and so on, arriving into the era of modern EDM, which can be separated into its subgenres.

Dubstep

Dubstep is a genre of Electronic Dance Music that emerged in South London in the early 2000s, characterized by half-time syncopated and sparse beats set around 140 BPM with heavy sub-basses. Dubstep commonly relies on dark, nocturnal, spacious, and "urban" atmospheres, though it has seen significant variation throughout time. The genre has its origins in the 'nu-dark swing' / 'dark garage' scene of the turn of the millenium, which featured a style of dark, echoey mixes derived from instrumental 2-Step. It also traces its roots to Drum and Bass's bass drops and to Dub's rewind effects and spacious sound. Emerging at around the same time as the similarly UK Garage-derived Grime, the two often influenced each other, though dubstep is usually just instrumental or supplemented with vocal samples, only occasionally featuring MCs.

Dubstep's early scene was made up of producers, such as Zed Bias, El-B, Benny Ill, and Oris Jay, who aimed to incorporate some of the bassy-er experimentation of DnB into 2-step, also associated with the Breakstep offshoot. 'Dark garage' developed into early dubstep by a group of artists associated with the label Big Apple Records, with Benga, Artwork, and Skream eschewing 2-step's drum patterns in favor of early versions of 'half-time' rhythms, which became quintessential in dubstep.

As dubstep became established in UK clubs around from the mid-2000s, it began to diversify, spawning various developments. Burial's Future Garage represented a shift back to older garage rhythms that still carried dubstep's atmosphere; Joker's Purple Sound style incorporated Synth Funk-influenced synth leads into dubstep and grime-inspired rhythms; some producers around that time began to produce a style known as "tearout dubstep", featuring more complex, atonal, and gritty sound design; another style known as Riddim, featuring triplet-based rhythms and LFO-based leads spawned around then. Despite many stylistic splits, dubstep's overall sound remained consistent, with its popularity helping its spread beyond the UK into other scenes worldwide.

Around the late 2000s dubstep would split into two different, broad developments. First, a US-centric wave that began to incorporate Electro House influences and buildup-drop structures that gradually replaced dubstep's original dark, minimalistic sound, later developing into the aggressive Brostep, the uplifting Melodic Dubstep, and the more laid-back, Downtempo-inspired Chillstep. The second post-dubstep wave was centered around the UK, featuring experimentation, variations on dubstep's rigid format, and eclectic influences from IDM, Footwork, and Techno styles, all of which would coalesce into UK Bass. Later developments in dubstep resulted in a distinct dark, skeletal and gloomy style known as Dungeon Sound. Despite having generally lost its popularity and status it enjoyed in the 2000s, dubstep remains popular in underground record labels and avenues.

Brostep

Brostep is an offshoot of Dubstep that emerged in the late 2000s, emphasizing aggressive and typically atonal mid-range synth leads and a more polished, less nocturnal, and atmospheric sound. Brostep typically lacks dubstep's repetitive, freeform and hypnotic sound, instead focusing on buildups and drops like other popular 2010s Electronic Dance Music genres. Mostly pioneered and popularized by North American producers and labels, brostep's growth also represented a major stylistic and geographic shift away from the UK's 2000s dubstep sound. Though the genre was met with heavy criticism by both older dubstep fans and mainstream media as it became popular in the 2010s, often ridiculed for its "robotic" or "nasty" sound, it became the most popular dubstep derivative in the 2010s. Originally coined as a joke by UK producer Kozee, the term was embraced by some producers and fans of the sound (progressively more and more as it got older), though it is still widely rejected by most of its producers and affiliated labels and communities, who simply it call it dubstep.

Despite finding popularity in the US and Canada, brostep was originally pioneered by British dubstep veterans Rusko and Caspa - whose mix Fabriclive.37 is often noted as an important early release - and Coki, who began to use higher-pitched synth leads than their contemporaries and an overall "sillier", catchier and more party-suited sound. Excision and other producers on his Rottun Recordings label were developing a similar sound, derived from an earlier gritty style known as "tearout dubstep". The growing influence of Electro House, the shift towards drop-focused tracks, and the arrival of producers such as Borgore, Flux Pavilion, 16bit, SKisM, Dirtyphonics, and Nero would begin brostep's period of massive popularity and growth between 2010 and 2014 - best exemplified by Skrillex's commercial success.

Various labels like Never Say Die would help to bring innovation into the sound, leading to diverse developments: Drumstep, mixing brostep with Drum and Bass drum patterns and BPM, especially Jump-Up; Deathstep, a more intense and distorted variant; and "briddim", mixing brostep leads with Riddim's triplets and swampy sound; hybrid trap, blending brostep with Trap [EDM]. Brostep's distinct synth leads would also influence many other 2010s EDM genres that sometimes borrowed its mechanic, complex sound design, including but not limited to the many 2010s Electro House derivates (Midtempo Bass, Complextro, Bass House, etc.), Glitch Hop [EDM], Dancefloor Drum and Bass, and even certain UK Hardcore styles. Brostep is also sometimes mixed with the other 2010s-born Melodic Dubstep genre, resulting in a style coined as Colour Bass by Chime. Despite experiencing a considerable drop in popularity during the late 2010s as popular EDM shifted towards genres like Future Bass, brostep remains popular within its scene and is still a prominent element of the bass music sphere.

Colour Bass

Colour bass is a development of Brostep that combines its snarling midrange wobble with the euphoric drops of Melodic Dubstep and Future Bass. The resulting style features more lighthearted drops than traditional brostep where bright, aggressive basses and vibrant, energetic lead melodies fight for attention, sometimes accompanied by bloopy synths reminiscent of Chiptune. The repetitive synth work of Riddim is another common influence, crossing over into a related style known as "melodic riddim" or "future riddim" that would become a large part of the scene. The distinctive sound design of colour bass has also in more recent years been incorporated into other bass music genres like Dancefloor Drum and Bass and Trap [EDM].

Stylistically the genre's roots can be found earlier in the 2010s, with producers like 501 and Gemini who experimented with a similar combination of brostep and melodic dubstep. However, the term colour bass would not be coined until around 2016 when British producer Chime founded his Rushdown label that would eventually become the centre for the genre's burgeoning scene. Colour bass's popularity would grow in the wider EDM bass music scene by the end of the 2010s, with colour bass singles by producers like Trivecta and Xilent released on mainstream Electronic Dance Music label Monstercat. Rushdown would notably release the Colour Bass Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 compilations in 2020 that featured most of the genre's major players, including influential producers in the scene like Skybreak and Ace Aura.

Deathstep

Deathstep is a subgenre of Brostep heavily influenced by Metal genres like Death Metal, Deathcore, Metalcore, and even Black Metal. The genre started out as a broad term for various styles of metal-inspired brostep, but has since become more of an established genre.

The early deathstep sound contained more obvious metal influences: featuring heavy use of chopped up guitars, vocals such as screams and death growls, and also often included live drums (particularly for drum rolls). These elements were mixed with bass wobbles and half-time beats to create the effect of a "breakdown".

Around the mid-2010s during brostep's decline in popularity, deathstep became much more of an established genre. The genre started to contain less obvious influences from metal but became darker and heavier than it was in its earlier days. The genre contains influence from various forms of Noise and Industrial music, and has also moved further away from the typical brostep sound, focusing less on accessibility. Many deathstep artists incorporate Riddim into their sound, particularly the genre's atonality, use of repetition to create a hypnotic effect, and off-kilter synths. One of the main elements of deathstep is the use of "machine gun" basses. These are heavy, rapid synths with a very short decay, usually in triplets. Another main characteristic is the heavy, atonal, almost white noise-sounding synths.

Even though a handful of artists had already experimented with the deathstep sound prior to its release, the genre name was coined by Bratkilla with his album The Deathstep LP in 2011. This album became one of the main inspirations for many artists in the scene and helped shape the sound of the genre.

Chillstep

Emerging as a stylistic shift in Dubstep in the early 2010s, chillstep is a derivation of the genre featuring more subdued and relaxed atmospheres largely borrowed from Downtempo. While it often retains dubstep's 140 BPM (though its often slower), halftime rhythms, and less commonly its sub-basses and "wobbles", chillstep trades dubstep's dark, melancholic and nocturnal sound for more polished and slick, calmer, and more serene atmospheres, often involving imagery of nature or pastoral sites, contrasting with dubstep's "urban" image.

Chillstep was additionally influenced by Future Garage, another dubstep derivative that emphasized more subdued and ethereal atmospheres, and the two continued to cross-over and remain affiliated in the same scenes throughout the 2010s, often featuring side-by-side in the same labels, mixes, and producers' works. Some later developments in chillstep would stray away further from dubstep's sound, stripping down its percussion to minimalistic rhythms and even including prominent Ambient sections. Some styles of 2010s' Liquid Drum and Bass were also affiliated with chillstep, sharing the same scenes as it and future garage. A style of laid-back Hip Hop beats known as "chill trap" also had considerable cross-over with chillstep in certain scenes.

Blackmill's early works were a major influence for early chillstep producers, having helped to establish and define the sound of the genre. Other early artists came from future garage scenes, notably Synkro and Phaeleh. The sound would later be further popularized by producers like Rameses B, CoMa, and EvenS, with YouTube mixes (especially those made for studying and relaxing) playing a particularly important role in its growth. Melodic Dubstep partially grew from chillstep (notably Blackmill's works were of great influence), and some producers would mix it with another 2010s-born dubstep derivative, Brostep. A specific form of Riddim known as "liquid riddim" appeared in the late 2010s. Chillstep would also be mixed with other 2010s-born Electronic Dance Music genres like Future Bass, Wave, and even Glitch Hop [EDM].

Melodic Dubstep

Melodic Dubstep is a subgenre of Electronic Dance Music that emerged during the early 2010s. As its name suggests, melodic dubstep evolved from scenes of early 2010s Dubstep trends not long after Brostep did, but ultimately became distinct from both dubstep and brostep due to a number of major stylistic differences. Like brostep and unlike 2000s dubstep, melodic dubstep implements buildup-drop structures that are more aimed at being emotional, intense, and bittersweet rather than groovy and atmospheric. Unlike brostep, melodic dubstep is based around melodious, tuneful drops, utilizing rich, lush synth leads, powerful stretched chords, as well as lighter and more harmonious sound design, different from the gritty and sometimes atonal leads typical in brostep. Melodic dubstep producers frequently feature singers (especially female singers) who usually deliver sentimental, passionate verses as to fit the drops.

Melodic dubstep appeared around the same time as brostep and Chillstep, causing the genre to take influence from both of them and influence them too. Though it was and still is sometimes referred to as chillstep, melodic dubstep grew to be a separate genre, albeit with similar roots. It shares chillstep's relative accessibility compared to brostep and carries similar features from dubstep, such as a tempo of around 140 BPM, half-time beats and less often prominent sub-basses, but ultimately lacks chillstep's downtempo influence and relaxed, laid-back atmospheres. That being said, certain producers like Aether or Elliot Berger dabbled in both chillstep and melodic dubstep, similar to brostep producers like Au5 or Xilent who made both melodic dubstep and brostep. Fusions of the aforementioned genres remain relatively common today.

Some of the genre's pioneers include producers who were initially known for producing brostep, like MitiS, Adventure Club or Nero, as well as chillstep producers like Blackmill and Azedia. Another early influence on melodic dubstep was Trance music (especially Uplifting Trance), as evident in the works of Seven Lions, who began as a trance producer, or MitiS. The genre played a significant role in the development of Future Bass, as producers who started as melodic dubstep producers such as Said the Sky, Illenium or T-Mass would later become popular for producing future bass. Future bass influences, like vocal chops, upbeat synth leads or 7th chords became more widespread in melodic dubstep in the latter half of the 2010s. The genre became popular partially thanks to promotional YouTube channels and labels like MrSuicideSheeep (along with Sheepy's label, Seeking Blue), NCS or Monstercat, who often featured and released melodic dubstep.

Riddim

Riddim, also known as wonky dubstep, is a subgenre of dubstep music that is characterized by its somewhat repetitive basslines and drums. The genre started to gain traction in the mid-2010s with artists such as SVDDEN DEATH, Virtual Riot, INFEKT and others.

Techno

Techno is a broad term initially applied to the Electronic Dance Music that originated in Detroit during the late 1980s (now referred to as Detroit Techno), a style heavily influenced by Electro, though now encompasses various subgenres from all over the globe. Generally speaking, techno music is beat-driven (typically in 4/4) and repetitive in nature, with minimal chord variation. It is aimed for the club environment, where numerous records can be mixed together throughout the night, though it has inspired more stripped-down styles such as Ambient Techno and Minimal Techno which are often better suited for home listening. Similarly, the rise of a multitude of Hardcore [EDM] scenes has pushed the genre to its limits and towards near-undanceable levels.

Trance

Trance is an Electronic Dance Music genre defined by evolving, tension-building structures with rapid, minor arpeggios on top of a mechanical four-on-the-floor beat – altogether, evoking a euphoric and hypnotic state of "trance". It is also associated with drums from the TR-909 machine and a fast tempo in the range of 130-160 BPM. While the exact origins of trance aren't clear, they include Techno, EBM (particularly New Beat), and Acid House. Other genres were however attributed to inspiring the genre, such as Electro-Disco and Progressive Electronic. Despite properly emerging in the early 1990s in Germany, " What Time Is Love? (Pure Trance 1)" is sometimes considered the first trance track, followed by successful "The Age of Love". In the following years, trance would intensively develop into a broader umbrella of styles.

The main initial form of trance emerged in the early 1990s from the forming techno scene in Berlin (originally centred around imported Detroit Techno). Masterminded For Success released genre-defining records, like Tranceformed From Beyond and releases by Paul van Dyk. The Frankfurt scene also played a big role, led by Sven Väth and Eye Q Records. In the UK, trance was developing alongside Progressive House, leading to the birth of Progressive Trance. Another pivotal country was Belgium with Bonzai Records known for its Hard Trance sound and later artists like Push. Lighter, House-influenced forms Dream Trance and Ibiza Trance contributed to the fast rise of the genre as well. At a similar time, Goa Trance developed in India, which would evolve into a broad, distinct, Psychedelia-inspired strain known as Psytrance, that would spawn various sub-sub genres of trance music, particularly in Israel.

From the late 1990s, the Netherlands became key to further development and popularization of the genre, led by the trio of Ferry Corsten, Tiësto, and Armin van Buuren, who would become global stars, with Armada Music and Black Hole Recordings spawning over a hundred sub-labels dedicated to different styles. Uplifting Trance became the most prominent one, pioneering the use of supersaws and pronounced breakdowns and buildups, which would be influential on trance and EDM as a whole. Pop-oriented Euro-Trance and Vocal Trance continued trance's commercial success, while newly-emerging Tech Trance appealed to clubbers with a rawer and more complex sound. Throughout the 2000s, trance also started to pick up Electro House influences, which would later lead to the emergence of Big Room Trance and Festival Progressive House. The 2010s marked a decline in popularity, with so-called "trouse" and Big Room House replacing it at the forefront of mainstream EDM, as well as popularization of trance-influenced techno styles embracing its original qualities. Nevertheless, it established a vivid and broad scene with numerous artists, labels, festivals and podcasts (like the everlasting A State of Trance) still dedicated to the genre.

Hard Trance

Hard trance is a form of Trance music characterized by the incorporation of trance structures and atmospheres into faster rhythms within a more intense, rave-oriented nature, initially emerging from the first wave of trance music of the early 1990s among producers in Western Europe (mainly from the Benelux and German areas). The developments of hard trance became rooted within earlier existing forms of trance music, Acid Trance in particular, with minor influences of popular underground dance music subgenres like Breakbeat Hardcore, Techno and New Beat. Most producers that worked for the Bonzai Records label near Antwerp, Belgium majorly contributed to the hard trance sound.

Hard trance of the 1990s commonly incorporates more thumping rhythms in contrast to earlier trance styles, often residing within a tempo range of 130-160 BPM, with melodic synth elements revolving around trance's lush pads and gated / plucked synths, 303 'acid' bass patterns and strong supersaw sections. Since the late 1990s this sound has moved to a more modern evolution, utilizing louder percussion and drawing in parallels to Tech Trance and Uplifting Trance, leading the genre to mimic both genres' structures whilst keeping its intense atmospheric traits.

Since the mid-1990s hard trance saw a commercial crossover with broader club audiences from Europe, and has been declining in favor of other already-emerging styles. The influence of hard trance has been common in Hardcore [EDM] and emerging substyles from it, ranging from the heavier, Acid Techno-focused form of Acidcore, the lighter form of Happy Hardcore and other styles that have been fusing trance's melodic sections with hardcore's rhythmic sections, most notably Freeform Hardcore of the UK, and Dutch trancecore, which has been closely related to Netherlands' Gabber scene. Psytrance often takes cues of the original hard trance music scene including its acid bassline sections and focus on rhythm. In the United Kingdom, elements of hard trance became fused with UK Hard House's shuffling rhythms resulting in the wave of NRG. Contemporary forms of hard trance have been influencing other genres since, with Hands Up and Hardstyle being staples of the harder, modern trance-derived side of Electronic Dance Music.

House

House music refers to a large, hugely popular group of related Electronic Dance Music styles, initially developing from Disco in the early 1980s. Each of its numerous subgenres, whilst incorporating a large variety of different sounds and influences, generally follow the template of drum machine-led 4/4 rhythms with a kick drum on each beat. These include the soulful, eclectic sounds of Deep House to the 'hoover' synth of UK Hard House to the relaxed, atmospheric feel of Ambient House to the low frequency buzzing bass of Electro House. Other common musical traits include heavy use of repetition, synthesized basslines, samplers, off-beat hi hats, snares and claps.

The birthplace of house is credited to Chicago, the name thought to stem from 'The Warehouse' nightclub where pioneer Frankie Knuckles, often called 'The Godfather of House Music', frequently DJed. Here, the club-friendly Roland TR-808 and Roland TB-303-led sequenced synth and drum sounds of Chicago House and the 'squelchy', modulated bass of Acid House began to emerge. However, the New York Garage House sound was also developing at a similar time (pioneered by DJ Larry Levan at the 'Paradise Garage' nightclub), retaining more of its disco origins, making greater use of piano and adopting a smoother, soulful, more organic set of sounds and influences.

1986 saw house music hit the mainstream, with the success and influence of Chicago singles Move Your Body - House Music Anthem and Love Can't Turn Around. It soon spread to Detroit and the rest of the USA, Europe (Pump Up the Volume / Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance) reaching No. 1 in the UK charts in 1987) and other major cities around the world, creating a wide array of regional scenes, including Italo House, Balearic Beat and Latin House. Acid house exploded in popularity in the UK in 1988, with groups like 808 State and The Shamen dominating dancefloors. This soon morphed into the 'rave' scene and provided the soundtrack for the 'Second Summer of Love' (referring to both 1988 and 1989), which was heavily associated with recreational drugs.

During the 1990s, house remained hugely successful internationally and productions constantly evolved with the times, frequently combining house with other giants of EDM, including Techno (Tech House), Trance (Progressive House) and Eurodance (Euro House), as well as the more retro disco and Funk-influenced French House. In the 2000s and 2010s, many more distinct variants developed, often sub-styles of deep house or electro house such as Fidget House, Outsider House, Big Room House and Tropical House.

Since its inception, house music has had a big influence on Pop music, both by defining and influencing current popular trends (for example, the electro house-inspired huge wave of Electropop artists in the 2000s and beyond) and by providing the framework for music by hugely successful artists such as Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Pet Shop Boys and Daft Punk.

Nightcore

Nightcore is a genre of Electronic music that began in the early 2000s. The genre's origins can be traced back to the works of Thomas S. Nilse and Steffen Ojala Søderholm in their titular collaborative project Nightcore. These works, as well as all works in the genre, are based around the speeding up of already existing songs, increasing the BPM to be usually near 200. The genre is characterized by high-pitched vocals and a generally cutesy tone. These songs are often produced in free, easy to use programs such as Audacity, and are often uploaded to YouTube, SoundCloud and (earlier in nightcore's history) LimeWire. Generally, these songs are used without the consent of the remixed artists. Releases typically take from Eurodance and Vocal Trance, but more recent releases have taken a broader approach to production, often remixing Alternative Rock, Contemporary R&B, and Indie Folk while using the same blanket term of "nightcore". Visuals of anime characters and fantasy landscapes are often associated with the genre.

It is not uncommon for nightcore DJs to slightly modify the tracks being remixed, such as adding in additional breaks or producing the track beyond the process of simply speeding it up. Since the start of the 2010s, the style has begun to greatly grow in popularity. This is reflected by the rise of many nightcore labels such as Manicure Records and DJs such as Jack that specialize in creating and showcasing nightcore for a wider audience. Nightcore has been a direct influence of several musicians, including Lido, Ryan Hemsworth and many producers affiliated with the PC Music label.

Media

Movies

The Madchester scene has inspired numerous movies, chief among them being 24 Hour Party People (2002) and Trainspotting (1996).

Resources

External links to help get a better understanding of this aesthetic.

Vendors

Playlists

Gallery

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