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Hardcore Techno is essentially the Darker and Edgier version of Techno. It's generally a genre with a fast tempo and a preference for atonal samples and beats. The genre was inspired by the sinister and slow New Beat that was made in Belgium by Praga Khan and others. It's mostly popular in Western European countries like The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy and The UK. It had it's heyday in the mid to late nineties when the more commercial Lighter and Softer Happy Hardcore sound charted like crazy.

Like with all genres of electronic music, there's tons and tons of subgenres and artists (with numerous aliases).


  • Speedcore
    • Hardcore on steroids. 300 bpm is at the lower end, some songs top 1000 bpm. The bass drum can become so fast that it becomes a tone, and there are typically very few melodic or even musical elements.
      • Moby - 1000 is the most famous example.
  • Gabber (Oldskool and Nuskool)
    • The closest thing to "generic" hardcore today. Fast tempos (150-200 bpm), distorted, pounding bass drum driven rhythm and use of the Roland Alpha Juno sound. If a song has lyrics, they are frequently about violence or drugs, and use many swearwords.
  • Happy Hardcore
    • The Lighter and Softer form. Still fast, but the bass drum is less pounding, the music is notably more "happy" sounding (uses major keys alot), occasional use of piano, and vocals frequently sound like they have been inhaling helium, with lyrics about subjects such as love or partying
  • Freeform/Uk Hardcore
    • Evolved from Happy Hardcore. A bit less childish, uses supersaw more, makes many remixes of pop songs.
  • Darkcore/Terrorcore
    • Darker and Edgier hardcore, basically. Faster (200+ bpm), more low pitched sounds, less melody.
  • Noisecore/Industrial Hardcore
    • Hardcore fused with noise music. Bass drum driven rhythm is still there, but there are few melodic elements, and harsh samples are frequent.
  • Digital Hardcore
    • Hardcore fused with Hardcore punk. Take Hardcore punk vocals and lyrics, and merge with Gabber instrumental elements.
  • Hardstyle
    • Like gabber, but slower, with a more "booming" sound. Really loves the "hoover" sound.

Notable Artists

  • Atari Teenage Riot
  • 3 Steps Ahead
  • Angerfist
  • Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo
  • DJ Sharpnel
  • Dune
  • Gammer
  • Headhunterz
  • Hellfish
  • Korsakoff
  • Marc Trauner (Marc Acardipane, Mescalinum United, The Mover, Pilldriver, Marshall Masters and Resident E)
  • Nasen Bluten
  • Neophyte
  • Paul Elstak
  • Scooter
  • Scott Brown
  • Sharkey
  • Styles
  • Dune
  • Blümchen
  • Party Animals
  • Flamman & Abraxis
  • The Speed Freak
  • The various folks at Bemani, particularly for the Beatmania series.
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