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Dark Ambient

electronic music genres
sound of electronic music

Dark ambient is best described in this way:

Think of the sound of the scene in a scary movie, right before the killer jumps out. Slow, creepy sounds played with little or no rhythm or structure of any kind. However, that may not be fair, as this genre, even for electronic music, is extremely diverse in the way it can sound.

Because of the nature of this genre, and ambient in general, there is almost never a steady or even apparent rhythm. Percussion may be used, but not in the way it is with other music. Perhaps a crashing symbol, filtered through effects, pitch shifted, etc...

For instance, entire tracks may be composed of a babbling baby, filtered and distorted to the point where the sound is unrecognizable. Of course, to maintain an effect, the song would let you know first that you were listening to a baby, only to later decompose the sound.

It will usually feature large amounts of dissonance, explained in the trance section as something to avoid, but in this case, it's desired. Dissonant chords will sound "bad" in most music, but for this genre, it gives it that characteristic of "darkness."

history of electronic music

This style of music draws influences from back in the 1970s, when artists starting experimenting with sounds and noises from different sources. But it didn't develop until the 1980s. The sound started appearing in Europe and the United States at around this time and more and more artists started experimenting from there.

It never became very popular or successful as a genre or as a music. The dark sounds and styles can be found in films and movies however. There was a trend in the early 1990s that called for these dark styles of music, like dark wave and illbient. During this time, many of these artists were able to further explore and develop this music.

Dark Ambient Specifications

Average Beats Per Minute: No General BPM

Where It Originated: United States, Europe

Stylistically Similar To: Dark Wave, Illbient, Ambient

Year Developed: Mid-1980s


General Ambient - Back to the overview of ambient.

Dark Ambient - Dark sinister sounds, You'll feel scared just listening to it.

Drone Music - Long sustained notes make the core of what this music is.

Illbient - Get a note from your doctor, this requires a prescription.

Ambient House - A fusion of ambient and house music. What more could you ask for?

You are at dark ambient.

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