Breakbeat music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in the United Kingdom in the 1980s. It is characterized by its use of breakbeats, which are typically sampled from funk, soul, and disco songs and are used as the main rhythmic element in the music. Breakbeat music also incorporates elements of other genres such as hip hop, house, techno, and drum and bass, and is known for its fast, energetic, and sometimes aggressive sound.
Breakbeat music has a rich history and has had a significant influence on the development of electronic dance music. It was originally popularized by DJs and producers such as Carl Cox, LTJ Bukem, and The Chemical Brothers, and has since evolved and spawned numerous sub-genres such as jungle, breaks, and nu skool breaks.
In the 1990s and 2000s, breakbeat music experienced a resurgence in popularity and was embraced by mainstream audiences. It has continued to evolve and remains a popular genre in the electronic dance music scene today.
The Origins of Breakbeat Music
Breakbeat music has its roots in the early 1980s when DJs in the United Kingdom began experimenting with different techniques for manipulating and rearranging the breakbeats in funk and soul records. This was done using turntables and DJ mixers, and the resulting music was characterized by its fast tempo, heavy use of samples, and breakbeat-driven rhythms.
One of the key figures in the early development of breakbeat music was DJ Kool Herc, a Jamaican-born DJ who is credited with inventing the "breakbeat" style of DJing. Herc's innovative use of two turntables and a DJ mixer allowed him to extend the break section of a record, creating a continuous loop of the breakbeat that could be mixed with other tracks. This technique became known as "breakbeat DJing" and laid the foundation for the development of breakbeat music.
Breakbeat music gained popularity in the United Kingdom in the 1980s and 1990s, with the emergence of genres such as hip-hop, house, techno, and drum and bass. It was embraced by a new generation of DJs and producers, who used breakbeats as the foundation for their music and incorporated elements of other genres to create new, hybrid sounds.
The Evolution of Breakbeat Music
Breakbeat music has continued to evolve and has spawned numerous sub-genres such as jungle, breaks, and nu skool breaks. These sub-genres are distinguished by their specific characteristics and influences and have contributed to the diversity and richness of breakbeat music.
Jungle, for example, is a sub-genre of breakbeat music that originated in the United Kingdom in the early 1990s. It is characterized by its use of breakbeats, samples from reggae and dancehall records, and the incorporation of jungle sound effects such as animal noises and gunfire.
Breaks, on the other hand, is a sub-genre that emerged in the late 1990s and is characterized by its use of funky, upbeat breakbeats and a focus on the use of samples.
Nu skool breaks, which emerged in the 2000s, is a sub-genre that combines elements of breakbeat, house, and drum and bass and is characterized by its use of modern production techniques and a more polished sound.
Breakbeat Music Today
Breakbeat music remains a popular genre in the electronic dance music scene today and continues to evolve and influence other genres. It is enjoyed by a wide audience, and its energetic and sometimes aggressive sound makes it a popular choice for clubbing and dancing.
Breakbeat music has had a significant impact on the development of electronic dance music and has influenced numerous artists and producers. Its fast-paced, energetic sound and use of breakbeats and samples have made it a key genre in the history of electronic music.
Today, breakbeat music is enjoyed by a global audience and is a staple of the electronic dance music scene. It continues to evolve and has spawned numerous sub-genres, each with its own distinct sound and influences.
Whether you're a fan of the original breakbeat sound of the 1980s and 1990s, or you prefer the more polished sounds of nu-skool breaks, there is something for everyone in the world of breakbeat music. So if you're looking for an energetic and dynamic sound to get you moving on the dance floor, give breakbeat music a try. You won't be disappointed.