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Breakbeat hardcore (sometimes called oldskool hardcore or oldskool rave hardcore) comes from techno and house music (more specifically, acid house), so will naturally have several characteristics of these genres. Obviously, the use of breakbeats to some degree is to be expected, but the way the artists use them, and the styles can vary.
The very common "four-on-the-floor" percussion structure will be used in correlation with these breakbeats. A four-on-the-floor drum sequence will usually have a bass drum hitting on every quarter note, with a snare on the second and fourth, and a hit-hat or cymbal of some kind in between the snare and bass drum. A "clap" sound may also be used in place of the hi-hat, or even alternating between the two.
During the late 1980s, the rave scene was exploding in The United Kingdom, and this genre of music was born from that. By the early 1990s, there were events held in England for rave music, sometimes drawing more than 50,000 people at a single event. Similar events are held and structured after these earlier rave events.
During the early 1990s, there were really only two big players in the underground rave scene. Techno/ house (at that time, many people used these terms to mean the same thing, so this counts as one). Along with this genre, oldskool hardcore. A few years later, oldskool hardcore split into two genres, jungle (now more commonly known as drum and bass) and 4-beat (similar to happy hardcore, and sometimes used interchangeably).
Jungle music dropped most of the styles, except the heavy use of breakbeats. It's more inclined toward the use of jazzy basslines and a deeper sound. 4-beat on the other hand held on to many characteristics, like the rave-like synth style, the pounding bass drum on the fourth notes and of course the breakbeats. However, by the mid to late 1990s, 4-beat had stopped using breakbeats as often as it used to, after the genre bouncy techno influenced it to change.
Even while this music was underground, artists were finding themselves with hits in the top 20 charts, even without the help of the radio. In The United Kingdom, the general rave scene is thriving and succeeding very well, having several big name artists, record labels and events held for it. It's doing well in certain parts of Europe as well (Spain, Germany and Benelux, specifically).
Average Beats Per Minute: 160-180
Where It Originated: The United Kingdom
Stylistically Similar To: Acid House, Rave, Techno
Year Developed: Late 1980s
General Hardcore - Back to the overview of hardcore.
4-Beat - Yes, it has four beats to the bar, along with other specifics.
Bouncy Techno - Deriving from gabber, while dawing influences from techno as well.
Breakbeat Hardcore - Hardcore breakbeats, influenced by techno and house music.
Darkcore - You won't be finding any happiness here.
Digital Hardcore - Fast, aggressive and full of attitude, these guys mean business.
Gabber - Be a Gabber for life and the Gabbers will welcome you with open beats.
Happy Hardcore - You won't be finding any darkness here.
Speedcore - It's fast, aggressive and angry. Perfectly fits into the hardcore puzzle.
UK Hardcore - Can you guess where this music comes from?
You are at breakbeat hardcore.