EDM Evolution: From House to Techno to Dubstep

by DeepRhythm

EDM Evolution: From House to Techno to Dubstep

Electronic dance music, or EDM, has become one of the most popular and influential genres in modern music. Its origins can be traced back to the early days of disco in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the rise of house music in the 1980s that EDM began to take shape as we know it today.
From there, it evolved into a variety of different subgenres, each with its own unique sound and style. In this article, we’ll take a look at the evolution of EDM, from its roots in house music to the emergence of techno and dubstep.

House Music

House music is often credited as the first true form of EDM, with its origins dating back to the early 1980s in Chicago. The term “house” comes from the Warehouse nightclub, where DJ Frankie Knuckles was the resident DJ and played a style of music that combined elements of disco, funk, and soul with electronic beats. This new style of music quickly caught on, and by the mid-1980s, house music had spread across the United States and into Europe.
EDM Evolution: From House to Techno to Dubstep
One of the defining features of house music is the use of the “four-on-the-floor” beat, which consists of a kick drum hitting on every beat of a 4/4 time signature. This beat creates a steady, driving rhythm that is perfect for dancing, and it remains a staple of EDM to this day. House music also incorporates a variety of different musical elements, including pianos, synths, and samples, which are often manipulated and looped to create a unique sound.
EDM Evolution: From House to Techno to Dubstep


While house music was taking over the clubs in the United States and Europe, a new form of electronic music was emerging in Detroit. Known as techno, this genre was heavily influenced by the electronic music of Europe, particularly the work of German electronic group Kraftwerk. Techno is characterized by its use of synthesized sounds and driving, repetitive beats, which often incorporate elements of industrial and experimental music.

One of the pioneers of techno was Juan Atkins, who released a number of influential tracks under the name Cybotron in the early 1980s. Other artists soon followed, including Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, who founded the record label Detroit Techno Records. Techno quickly spread beyond Detroit, and by the early 1990s, it had become a global phenomenon, with clubs and festivals dedicated to the genre popping up all over the world.

EDM Evolution: From House to Techno to Dubstep


The early 2000s saw the emergence of a new subgenre of EDM known as dubstep. Originating in the underground music scene in London, dubstep is characterized by its use of heavy basslines, distorted synthesizers, and sparse, half-time beats. Dubstep is often associated with the “wobble” bass sound, which is created by manipulating the frequency of a bassline using a filter.
One of the key figures in the early days of dubstep was producer Skream, who released a number of influential tracks on the record label Tempa. Other artists soon followed, including Benga, Digital Mystikz, and Rusko, who helped popularize the genre through their live shows and festival performances. Dubstep quickly gained a massive following, particularly among younger audiences, and by the mid-2000s, it had become one of the most popular subgenres of EDM.

The Future of EDM

Today, EDM continues to evolve and change, with new subgenres and styles emerging all the time. Some of the most popular subgenres today include trance, drum and bass, and future bass, each with its own unique sound and style. EDM has also become more mainstream in recent years, with many of its biggest stars, such as Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers, and Marshmello, crossing over into the mainstream pop charts.
One of the biggest trends in EDM in recent years has been the blending of different genres and styles. EDM producers have increasingly been incorporating elements of hip-hop, pop, and even rock into their music, resulting in a variety of hybrid genres such as trap, EDM-pop, and electro-rock.
Another trend in EDM is the growing emphasis on live performance and immersive experiences. EDM festivals have become massive events, with hundreds of thousands of fans gathering to dance and celebrate the music. Many festivals now feature elaborate stage designs, pyrotechnics, and other visual effects, creating a truly immersive experience for fans.
Despite its growing popularity, EDM has also faced criticism from some quarters. Some have accused the genre of being repetitive and lacking in musical complexity, while others have criticized the drug culture that has often been associated with EDM events.
However, for many fans, EDM represents a celebration of community, energy, and freedom. It is a genre that has brought together people from all walks of life and created a vibrant, thriving culture around the world.


From its humble origins in Chicago and Detroit to its current status as a global phenomenon, EDM has come a long way over the past few decades. Each subgenre of EDM has its own unique sound and style, but they are all united by a love of electronic music and a passion for dancing and celebration.

As EDM continues to evolve and change, one thing is clear: its influence on modern music is here to stay. From the pulsing rhythms of house music to the heavy basslines of dubstep, EDM has changed the way we think about music and the way we experience it. And with new subgenres and styles emerging all the time, the future of EDM is sure to be as exciting and unpredictable as its past.

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