What is dark electro music all about?
In this article we will explain you what dark electro is to us. This is what makes this piece different from most of the wiki-like colorless texts you can find on this subject elsewhere.
We are going to say some heresies proven to be extremely effective in wrecking chaos and holy wars on numerous discussion forums. We are going to offer some personal and totally subjective views on the topic of dark electronic music. Stay dark… or rather, stay with us.
Dark Electro, Aggrotech, Cyber-Goth and… EBM?
There is a level of confusion when naming this kind of aggressive techno-like music. There is a couple of terms used to describe this genre – dark electro, aggrotech, hellectro, industrial. You can also encounter phrases like “Cyber-Goth” or “Cyber-Industrial”.
Aggrotech as a name of the genre deserves a paragraph on its own. An attempt to merge words “aggresive” with “techno” backfired a little bit. This unfortunate name invariably brings farming to mind and is not very sinister, dark or aggressive. We just have to live with it.
Some people call this music EBM, however this term is a complete misunderstanding, as EBM (Electronic Body Music) is easy to distinguish from dark electro, even though both genres have a lot in common.
By calling say an aggrotech band “EBM” you are certainly going to be a subject of fierce attacks of seasoned EBM fans who dislike this genre name to be used for anything else, than pure, preferably old school ebm.
It happened to Bodycall to make a couple of EBM songs in the past, not pure EBM though. Best example in our player would be “Bodycall Again”. One of the most important EBM bands would be Nitzer Ebb (old school) – still alive and kicking. Ok, back to our subject.
Dark electronic – the subjective view
We are of the opinion that this techno-like aggressive musical genre appeared because of the need to give the alternative scene some music suitable for club setting. Metal is the kind of music that tastes best when experienced live – but it is not the ideal music to be played in clubs, not really a good music to dance to.
And here comes dark electro / industrial, perfect for dancefloors and clubs. It still has some elements of metal, like harsh vocals, it is still hard to digest for people from the outside world, but it also has all those elements which keep a good party going.
Important thing is, that dark electro / industrial is a DJ-able kind of music. There is little scope for DJ-ing in rock/metal – in dark electronic you can use all the tricks from the techno scene – and get away with it. Ok, we would not recommend scratching, but apart from this everything else is allowed. Obviously alternative Djs jumped at the opportunity to get the best from dark independent and techno worlds.
The Djs, who usually organise parties as well are the life blood of the dark electro community. Unlike in the techno scene, they have not replaced the bands, but they are at least as important, as the bands. This gives a good incentive to pursue the alternative DJ career, even though there is little rewards other than recognition in the scene.
The ability to have an alternative rave-like party made dark electro very popular among the followers of the dark scene, even if outside of the clubs they have different musical preferences. Predominantly guitar oriented goth subculture embraced dark electro and now it became a fully recognised part of the wider goth/dark scene.
The situation in the goth scene is actually quite unique – the two streams, gothic rock and dark electronic coexist in perfect harmony (well, let us not talk here about the usual “too much guitars” versus “too much techno” arguments), despite of being on the opposite sides of the barricade.
We believe that the best for the dark electronic is yet to come. From a small niche, it managed to grow to a stream that has its own exclusive followers. Increasing number of fans follow the electronic part of the goth scene. In the countries with strong scene, like Germany, there are big festivals devoted to dark electronic music. The need for good party music for the non-mainstream communities is growing. Metal needs some alternative, and probably replacement over time, when more and more people lean towards electronic genres.