How your favourite genre got its name - - Mixmag

How your favourite genre got its name

Explaining the origins of house, techno, dubstep and more

  • Mixmag crew
  • 6 July 2016
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When picking adjectives to describe variations of hardcore, ‘happy’ wasn’t a likely candidate. While early hardcore output is defined by dark and brooding sounds, the scene began to split and mutate around 1993 with artists such as DJ Slipmatt infusing piano riffs and spacey techno stabs written in the major key into their productions, giving the genre its ‘happy’, upbeat feeling.


'High energy' originated from the US and UK disco scenes placing more focus on steady energetic tempos as well as sequence bass synth sounds. Donna Summer’s 1977 Giorgio Moroder-produced single ‘I Feel Love’ is credited for elevating Hi-NRG music to mainstream success. Summer said the track became popular due to its “high-energy vibe” in a post-release interview, and the description “high-energy” began to be applied to the music made by pioneers such as Sylvester with Patrick Cowley, Cerrone and Moroder, later becoming stylised as ‘Hi-NRG’.

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