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Nu skool breaks (sometimes just called nu skool for convienece) is a sub-genre of break music, so it will feature breakbeats and syncopated drum loops as its predominate style of percussion rhythm. It's characterized by a specific bassline that uses heavy, dark and distorted effects. For this reason, it can be compared to hardcore music in this aspect. The tempo is somewhat average and will usually range from about 130 beats per minute, up to about 140 beats per minute.
Nu skool has had a few "spin-off" genres that drew influences from it. These genres include:
Progressive breaks: While this genre is now known as progressive house, it stems from nu skool and took many of its properties with it. But will usually focus on the use of atmospheric melodies and riffs.
Dark breaks: A darker variant of nu skool, placing even more emphasis on the dark, heavy and distorted basslines. It may also use effects that can be found in certain types of ambient music, like dark ambient.
Tear-out: While following the complex drum structure of nu skool, it features more aggressive basslines, more commonly found in drum and bass, with specific effects, that give them a special sound, like the hoover effect (the name and sound comes from what a vacuum sounds like when it’s switched on and off).
During the mid-1990s, two artists promoted this sound at their night club in London. They recorded their first two nu skool compilations at this same club during the later parts of the 1990s, to be recorded live on stage.
Also during this time, certain pirate radio stations let nu skool artists play their music. This gave the artists a great opportunity to get their music known, because at the time, the only other way to get heard was either at these nightclubs, or by people buying their albums in the record stores.
By the mid-2000s, artists started incorporated many different styles into their music, somewhat blurring the line between nu skool and several other genres, such as drum and bass, dubstep, breakstep and electro beats. Several new and emerging artists are further developing and defining this genre, as it’s still a pretty new one.
Average Beats Per Minute: 130-140
Where It Originated: London, United Kingdom
Stylistically Similar To: Drum and Bass, Dubstep, Hardcore
Year Developed: Mid-1990s
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Nu Skool Breaks - Harder. Darker. Heavier. This is the new school.
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