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Alternative dance music (mostly called underground dance in the United States) is a genre of music which derives heavily from several different rock genres, as well as EDM (electronic dance music) making it a good choice as a sub-genre of electronic rock, considering it can also be seen as a fusion of the two.
The sound of this music will have both elements of rock and electronic music. It will bring out the more melodic side of alternative rock, using some of the same riffs and melodies that can be found with different alternative/indie rock artists. From electronic dance music, it will take the bass drums for example, while also using synths made on synthesizers and so forth.
As far as the electronic side of the music goes, stylistically, it will draw its origins from Eurosynth, techno-pop and new wave, all mixed into one genre. It also draws some influences from synthpop and acid house, making this genre quite interesting, due to the amount of different sounds it grabs from other genres.
Some usual instruments you can expect to hear in the genre will include the synthesizer (as stated before), a drum machine (actual drums and percussion might also be used), an electric guitar, an electric bass and a sampler, to take various sounds from other recordings. Also with the rise of technology, some artists are now implementing laptops into the mix of available instruments.
Alternative dance first became known during the middle parts of the 1980s. During this time, British artists popularized the sound of this music, giving it its start in the United Kingdom. The group New Order is said to have begun this genre with their recordings that mixed post-punk rock, with a more synthpop sound. These recording were released during the earlier parts of the 1980s, at around 1982-1983.
During the mid-1990s, the band The Prodigy released an album (their third studio album actually) titled The Fat of the Land. This was their first album that specifically went for the alternative dance music sound. It was a huge success, hitting the number one spot in over 20 countries (Also in the United States). This was a massive break for the genre, really boosting its overall popularity.
As with electronic rock, during the turn of the century, with the rise of technological marvels, many producers used nothing but a computer to produce the music. This rapidly increased the number of artists and producers on the market, with the help of the internet of course. During this same time, Electroclash was also being used to describe similar artists, who mixed new wave with other electronic music. There was a festival held in New York for electroclash, which went on to tour the rest of the US and Europe afterwards.
Average Beats Per Minute: 130-140
Where It Originated: The United Kingdom
Stylistically Similar To: Synthpop, New Wave, Electroclash
Year Developed: Mid-1980s
General Electronic Rock - Back to the overview of electronic rock.
Alternative Dance - Mixing different element of rock music with electronics, nice!
Darkwave - Has the elements of rock and electronica...with a hint of darkness.
Synthcore - Interesting for sure, mixing metalcore, post-hardcore and electronica!
More sub-genres coming soon.
You are at alternative dance.