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Broken beat, being a sub-genre of break music, it will naturally be very breakbeat oriented. The use of syncopation in this music is quite apparent for this reason, in addition to snares placed in a strange way to give them a staggered feel, thus giving it a "broken" sound. For example, it doesn't have a smooth feel in the rhythm (even for breakbeat), but has a more unorganized, stutter-like sound.
If vocals are present (which in most cases is the case), they will usually be sung by a female vocalist, with a bold, rhythmic voice. The use of keyboards in this music is an important factor and is used very commonly (if not all of the time).
It can be considered a more unique or abstract type of drum and bass, using the syncopated breakbeat style of rhythm and percussion, with hints of many other styles mixed in. And because it's somewhat based on the Detroit techno genre (the first type of techno music), it's sometimes referred to as "broken techno," because it fuses both techno styles with breakbeats and the specific form that this genre takes on.
This genre was created during the early parts of the 1990s by artists from several different musical backgrounds. These different artists' specific styles include hip hop, techno, D&B and house music. It also grabs some of its roots and influences from much earlier types of music, such as the jazz fusion and soul genres of the 70s and some hints of disco as well. The early forms of electronica music can also be heard, as well as a few others, like new wave and certain types of jazz.
It originated in London, in The United Kingdom. This is where the first artists to incorporate the special sound started recording. During the later years of the genres life (namely during the 2000s), it would grow to encompass several other countries as well, including Germany, Austria, Canada, Japan and Switzerland. Among soul music fans is where this genre has the most interest, having a soul inspired sound and feel.
Average Beats Per Minute: 120-130
Where It Originated: London, United Kingdom
Stylistically Similar To: Soul, Techno, Jazz
Year Developed: Early 1990s
General Break - Back to the overview of break.
Acid Breaks - By combining the styles of breakbeat and acid, a new genre is born.
Baltimore Club - Influenced by hip-hop and breakbeat, join the club!
Big Beat - Characterized by its unusually big and powerful presence.
Broken Beat - If it's not broken, don't fix it... Oh, wait...
Nu Skool Breaks - Harder. Darker. Heavier. This is the new school.
You are at broken beat.