Who defines electro?

    • hi squarewave,
      there is an Electro artist in Seattle who plays out called 214, you should check it out and see for yourself what the scene is doing.

      there is an ongoing debate about this whole Electro vs Electro House thing. as you can see some some people are really protective of this genre and the word Electro


      i wouldn't sweat it.
      "There are no problems, only solutions".
    • ok man, just trying to help.

      Electro is the smallest of all Electronic genres and most of us around could give two shits about that fact.

      good luck on your quest and i'm telling you go see 214.

      i don't play out but you can check my radio show, FreeBass, up there on the radar...comn' live from the Dirty Dirty South Tacoma ;D
      "There are no problems, only solutions".
    • Squarewave;70516 wrote:


      I'm sure after some time I'll slowly come to see that that's all there is...I just don't want to believe it now. Thinking I'll find another group of people who are sane, and make that group my 'reintroduction' to electro. But shit, if it's like that, can't change the fact that there's like 50 people left, and can't change what kind of people are left.

      I just had high expectations is all. I hate having had this on such a pedestal, only to get it all shitted on by disgusting, petty, pathetic people...I want to believe that was a minority.

      Hi Squarewave,

      welcome to EE! :D

      Haven't been around here for a good while, so it's pure luck that I stumbled upon your thread.

      I'd say your observations are mostly true … a lot of "die hard" electro fans are in fact really protective about "their" genre. A lot of that is born out of frustration … When that whole electro house thing started, many tried to defend the electro as we know it against the guidos who kept on calling their s**t music electro, too. That turned out to be futile of course, and I can sympathize with the frustration if you look at the irrelevance of electro today contrasted to the omnipresence of electro house in mainstream music.

      Then again, electro/electro funk as we understand it on this forum has a pretty clear-cut definition and it involves a broken funk beat. So there's a clear answer as to whether electro disco is electro: It isn't. :)

      But we are open-minded to other forms of electronic music (including disco), so feel free to participate!
    • Welcome Squarewave!

      I think the arguments about the terminology and the subjective one "true" "Electro" can be fun at times but in the end they never lead anywhere, but into more separation of this already fragmented scene. The evolution of electronic music styles is way too messy to ever get a clear consensus about what vague term should be used globally for what exactly. And so a lot of people are just tired about it. Just enjoy the music and keep an open mind to quality things, thats the best anyone can do.
    • You have come to the right man … I like these philosophical discussions. :D

      Just a few points:
      You have to understand that most people on this forum (including myself) have "old school electro" in mind when they hear the term electro. Meaning a kind of electro funk that was basically an electronic version of hip hop and whose heyday was from 1982 to 1986 (roughly speaking). I'd suggest reading the wikipedia article … even though it is debatable, it still reflects the lowest common denominator regarding the term and the historical development:
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro_(music)

      I have to disagree with the "theme" argument. Being about robots and futuristic themes doesn't make it electro per se. If it is an electronic disco song, it is still disco music cause the most important musical elements make it disco: the 4/4 beat, the bassline, the bpm etc. I listened to your examples and would call most of them italo disco or space disco (so even historically, these tunes draw obvious influences from those disco traditions and not from electro funk).

      Maybe the confusion exists because for me, "electro" is short for "electro funk". When you are talking about electro disco, it is more "electronic disco music" that you have in mind.

      P.S. On a completely unrelated note, even "new school electro" is often contested on this forum. For some electro hardliners (including myself :D ) most new school electro, for example those groups from the Darkbeat movie, is just bad techno and breakbeat music. ;)
    • First off @Squarewave, I have to say you come across pretty confrontational and with a whole lot of attitude. I suggest first getting a bit acquainted with the manners on this forum and generally showing a bit more politeness in the discussion. I don't like comparisons with the Westboro Baptist Church or Saudi Arabia thrown at me or having to be called nitpicky or myopic. Remember: We are only exchanging different views about some music, so there is no need to get all worked up about it.


      Squarewave;70569 wrote:


      Do we really need to make up a wholly separate genre, just to refer to music that is clearly a fusion of both? Why make up 'space disco'...when electro already deals with themes of space, and when a well known producer like Synth Alien, decides to make a song called Cosmic Disco Lights...why can't that just be what he intended it to be, which is electro disco? Rather than all this fuss and hassle of nitpicking little technicalities and making up new genres?

      I didn't make up these genres. Italo disco, space disco, cosmic disco … these genres existed in the late 70s and early 80s. I only brought them up cause the music is pretty much the same as what you call electro disco.


      Squarewave;70569 wrote:


      Cosmic Force said this, he said electro isn't a style, it's a theme. He is in that loosely connected group with Boris Divider, Synth Alien, Spectrums Data Forces, and Alek Stark.

      So why not apply occam's razor to this...and just say, electro is a theme of robots and machines?

      Because, it's simply not true. I would say that about 90% of true 80s electro isn't even about neither robots nor machines. Just off the top of my head, the most important electro tracks like Planet Rock, Boogie Down Bronx, Jam on it, Al-Naafiysh, … not a single one of those has anything to do with robots and machines.

      Same with your examples of trance and house: If it doesn't have a 4/4 beat, it is not house and it is not trance, no matter how euphoric or funky it is.

      Once again, I am in no way opposed to the label "electro disco"! And I am completely happy with that kind of music being discussed on this forum (I might even like the occasional tune, who knows :D ). I would just insist that in most cases it is easy to decide if the predominant element is funk (which would make it electro funk) or disco (which would make it electro disco, being a sub genre of disco music).
    • Ok, quite a few points to adress, but I'll try to keep it short. :D

      I think we have come to a point where we can agree to disagree. Basically, for you electro is defined by the theme while for me it is defined by the music.

      I am still not convinced by the "theme" argument. Take Daft Punk for instance: robot/machine imagery, titles like "robot rock" etc. … but would you call them electro? Of course not. A lot of idm or industrial acts have that robot image, too. Where do you draw the line? Then again - as I already said - a lot of proper electro does have NO robot/machine theme at all. Again, THE defining electro tune that started the whole genre (Planet Rock) wouldn't even be called electro by your definition!

      Concerning electro disco: Your "fusion" argument has its appeal, I must admit. With most current or new school electro, you have some amount of crossover going on, so a fusion of electro and disco might not be too surprising after all. Listening to your examples, I'd still say it's primarily disco … but of course, when an electro producer makes a disco track you will certainly find strong electro elements in there.

      Which leads me to an aside:

      Squarewave;70575 wrote:


      Maybe you're calling the same thing I'm talking about, by a different name...cause discogs has plenty of late 70's and early 80's releases marked as electro disco.
      I am not really familiar with the term electro disco. Do you know more about its origins? My suspicion is that it is a fairly new invention, and that a lot of music now gets labelled electro disco retrospectively. But electronic disco was already called space/italo/cosmic back in the 70s! Which makes sense of course, because this music was around BEFORE electro was born and was even an influence that led to electro.