A low-down of elec­tronic mu­sic gen­res

Zouk’s res­i­dent DJs turn things down a notch with a schooling on five elec­tronic mu­sic gen­res. By Rebecca Liew

Time Out Singapore - - Inside -

IS EDM THE SAME as pro­gres­sive house? What makes techno what it is? Armed with these ques­tions, we take things to Zouk’s res­i­dent DJs to un­cover the ta­pes­try of tem­pos, lay­ers and sounds that de­fine each genre.

Hip hop

There’s more to hip hop than Drake and Kanye West. Three notable sub­gen­res of the mu­sic are: gangsta rap, which em­pha­sises the ‘gangsta’ life­style with heavy hit­ting beats and harsh vo­cals; mi­ami bass, which can be iden­ti­fied by its raised tem­pos, ex­plic­itly sex­ual lyrics, sus­tained kick drums and ‘hissy’ cym­bals; and trap, with its dou­ble-time, 70 beats per minute (bpm) sound that’s ac­com­pa­nied by strings and cine­matic synths.

Ac­cord­ing to DJ LeNERD

‘I’ve been spin­ning for close to nine years now, and hip hop is more than just a genre to me – it’s a way of life and a cul­ture in it­self. There are many sub­gen­res within it, with the pop­u­lar ones be­ing breaks, rap, trap and dirty south. Then there’s turntab­lism, am art­form where turnta­bles are used as an in­stru­ment to ma­nip­u­late songs by adding lay­ers to build on – or cre­ate – an orig­i­nal track.’


Check out FRESH on Satur­day nights and ES­CAPADE, a Wed­nes­day night party, both at Phuture for your fix of ur­ban tunes.


Sim­ply put, house is a mix of repet­i­tive 4/4 rhythms that are lined with bass drums, hi-hat sounds and basslines pro­duced by syn­the­siz­ers – and it of­ten car­ries disco and funk nu­ances.

The mu­sic move­ment started in the early ’80s in Chicago – specif­i­cally, at a club called The Ware­house. Per­haps as a re­sponse to disco mu­sic’s dom­i­nance of the dance­floor, the club’s mu­si­cal di­rec­tor at the time, DJ Frankie Knuck­les (RIP), would go on to pioneer house mu­sic from his ex­per­i­ments in mix­ing disco and elec­tronic mu­sic from Europe.

Ac­cord­ing to djB (aka For­ma­tive)

‘I started out as a mo­bile disco DJ about 26 years ago, and later opened for Lit­tle Louie Vega at Zouk. House mu­sic is, to me, a feel­ing. It doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily have to in­clude vo­cals or lyrics, be­cause it’s all in the sound. When it’s good, it can emo­tion­ally en­gage you, take you places, and trig­ger all sort of mem­o­ries and feel­ings. EDM – or what we call big room pro­gres­sive house – is hands­down the most pop­u­lar sub­genre.’


Soulfeed. A monthly in­stal­ment that fo­cuses on deep house, tech house or techno with Zouk res­i­dent Ferng on the decks and var­i­ous guest DJs.


Meet house mu­sic’s fu­tur­is­tic brother: techno. In­flu­enced by a wide range of mu­sic – from Kraftwerk to funk –Techno is based around a 4/4 beat and a tempo that varies be­tween 120 to 135 bpm.

Ac­cord­ing to Ferng

‘I’ve had about 25 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence DJing, and the most mem­o­rable DJs I’ve sup­ported are Sven Väth, Chris Liebing and Se­cret Cinema, among oth­ers. Techno mu­sic is a venue for ex­plo­ration. It’s un­der­ground elec­tronic mu­sic with no bound­aries, where I can jour­ney into deeper and more hyp­notic realms of the genre. It’s def­i­nitely a more niche genre with a smaller fan base, with vari­a­tions in­clud­ing min­i­mal techno and Detroit techno.’

NighT To go For

Soulfeed. Get taken through a vari­a­tion of pro­gres­sive, deep and tech for­mats of techno and house.

Pro­gres­sive trance

Trance mu­sic is per­haps the most at­mo­spheric and ec­static in elec­tronic mu­sic and it has the power to in­stil bliss into the lis­tener. The key char­ac­ter of trance is the dis­tinct build up and the re­lease.

Ac­cord­ing to An­drew Tang

‘Ferry Corsten is eas­ily the most mem­o­rable DJ I’ve sup­ported. To me, pro­gres­sive trance is a place of cre­ation and pas­sion. There are many sub­gen­res, rang­ing from mod­ern EDM/pro­gres­sive trance like Mark Sixma and David Grav­ell to old-school trance like Paul Van Dyk. The most pop­u­lar sub­genre’s def­i­nitely the for­mer. It has a groove that’s rem­i­nis­cent of EDM, while re­tain­ing the at­mo­spheric trance break­down fea­tur­ing tough beats and thun­der claps.’

NighT To go For

Trans­fix. The monthly se­ries sees a soar­ing mix of tracks for fans of the genre to get lost in.


No, not Skrillex, but Gucci Mane, Rick Ross and Mi­gos (yes, the trio be­hind ‘Bad and Bou­jee’) – these are a cou­ple of the main stars in the mod­ern trap scene. Orig­i­nally hip hop be­fore pro­gress­ing to EDM, this sub­genre of dance party mu­sic’s filled with heavy 808s, sharp snares and synth lay­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Lincey

‘I’ve been DJing for about eight years now, with the most mem­o­rable sets I’ve sup­ported be­ing Di­plo, Yel­low Claw and Dil­lon Fran­cis. Trap mu­sic’s of­ten con­fused with dub­step. The dif­fer­ence be­tween the gen­res is the “wob­ble”: dub­step has a dis­tinct gnarly growl that adds a dif­fer­ent feel to the mu­sic.’

NighT To go For

Re­cess. Hap­pen­ing each month, think a night of hard hit­ting, bass in your face, elec­tro-laced mu­sic. Zouk, The Can­nery, 3C River Valley Rd (zouk­club. com). Clarke Quay.

There’s more to hip hop than Drake and Kanye

DJ LeNERD DJ For­ma­tive

DJ An­drew Tang

DJ Lincey

DJ Ferng

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