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Electro Kid
Electro Kid

Electro (electro-funk, dance or electro-boogie)
is a genre of electronic music directly influenced by the use of TR-808 and funk records. Records in the genre typically have electronic sounds and some vocals are delivered in a deadpan, mechanical manner, often through a vocoder or other electronic distortion.

Following the decline of disco music in the late 1970s, various electro-funk artists such as Zapp & Roger began experimenting with talk boxes and the use of heavier, more distinctive beats.

Staccato, percussive drumbeats tend to dominate electro; with beats once mostly provided by the Roland TR-808 drum machine, the advent of computers in electronic music has outdated this old school method and are now used by the majority of electro producers the world over. The TR-808, created in 1980, has an immediately recognizable sound, and through the use of samples remains somewhat popular in electro and other genres to the present day. Other electro instrumentation is generally all-electronic, favoring analog synthesis, bass lines, sequenced or arpeggiated synthetic riffs, and atonal sound effects all created with synthesizers. Heavy use of effects such as reverbs, delays, chorus or phasers along with eerie synthetic ensemble strings or pad sounds emphasize the common science fiction or futuristic theme of the lyrics and/or music. Most electro is instrumental, but a common element is vocals processed through a vocoder. Additionally, speech synthesis may be used to create robotic or mechanical lyrical content. Some earlier electro features rapping, but that lyrical style has become less popular in the genre from the 1990s onward.

Following the decline of disco music in the late 1970s, various electro-funk artists such as Zapp & Roger began experimenting with talk boxes and the use of heavier, more distinctive beats.

In 1982, Bronx based producer Afrika Bambaataa released the seminal track "Planet Rock", which contained elements of Kraftwerk's Trans-Europe Express and "Numbers" (from Kraftwerk's Computer World album). "Planet Rock" is widely regarded as a turning point in the electro genre.

In 1983, Hashim created the influential electro funk tune "Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)" which became Cutting Record's first release in November 1983. At the time Hashim was influenced by Man Parrish's "Hip Hop, Be Bop", Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science" and Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock". Also in 1983, Herbie Hancock, in collaboration with Grand Mixer D.ST, released the hit single "Rockit".

Bambaataa and groups like Planet Patrol, Jonzun Crew, Mantronix, Newcleus and Juan Atkins' Detroit-based group Cybotron went on to influence the genres of Detroit techno, ghettotech, breakbeat, drum and bass and electroclash. Early producers in the electro genre (notably Arthur Baker, John Robie and Shep Pettibone) featured prominently in the Latin Freestyle (or simply "Freestyle") movement. By the late 1980s, the genre had parted from its initial funk influences. Baker and Pettibone enjoyed robust careers well into the house era, and both eluded the "genre trap" to successfully produce mainstream artists.

Although the early 1980s were electro's heyday in the mainstream, it enjoyed renewed popularity in the late 1990s with artists such as Anthony Rother and DJs such as Dave Clarke, and has made yet another comeback for a third wave of popularity in 2009. The continued interest in electro, though influenced to a great degree by Florida, Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles and New York styles, has primarily taken hold in Florida and Europe with electro club nights becoming commonplace again. The scene still manages to support hundreds of electro labels, from the disco electro of Clone Records, to the old school b-boy styles of Breakin’ Records and Dominance Electricity, to the electrofunk of Citinite, and to harder more modern styles of electro of labels like Bass Frequency Productions and Nu Illusion Music.

New branches of electro have risen over the last couple of years. Florida has pioneered the "Electrocore" sound, started in the late 90's by artists like Jackal & Hyde and Dynamix II and carried on to this day. Skweee is a genre which developed in Nordic countries such as Sweden and Finland, hence its first name "Scandinavian Funk". The outlets and artists of Skweee are still mostly limited to the Nordic countries.

Electro fashion generally consists of animal prints, popped collars, gloves, over-sized belts, bright colors, either jeans or short skirts, boots and headbands.

Info from wikipedia, last paragraph (if you can call it that) by me, image from deviantart.


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