I’ve been going to EDC for a number of years now, and every year I tell myself I’m going to make myself a quick guide to the main EDM types.
Not an exhaustive guide, because those are arguably so detailed as to be unhelpful. Just a quick list with a quick description.
- Ambient: Atmospheric and background.
- Drum and Bass: Lots of breakbeats and bass.
- Hardcore: Faster than most, pronounced and distorted kicks, often aggressive themes.
- Hardstyle: Almost as fast as hardcore, kicks are almost as hard as hardcore, and lots of storytelling.
- House: Slow and repetitive 4/4 beats, drum machines, off-beat hi-hat, and synthesized bass lines.
- Techno: A bit slower, repetitive 4/4 beats, often with fictional or futuristic themes.
- Trance: Also slower, repeating melodic phrases, and tension building that end up with one or two drops.
- I got many of these descriptions from their respective Wikipedia articles as well as other guides. I certainly don’t have the three decades of experience required to make them myself.