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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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Often compared to the hyper-energetic feel of drum ‘n’ bass, the genre’s name is said to come from the influence of Jamaica and dancehall music. Residents of a housing project in Kingston called Arnett Gardens referred to the area as a ‘concrete jungle’ and labeled themselves ‘junglists’. UK producer Rebel MC sampled the phrase “alla di junglists” from a Kingston sound-system bash recording in one of his beats, and the term ‘junglist’ made the jump across the Atlantic. Pioneering MCs of the genre such as Rebel and Navigator lived in Tottenham’s Broadwater Farm estate which they considered to be their country’s own ‘concrete jungle’, so they adopted the term.


Coined by Pitchfork contributing editor Philip Sherburne while writing for the Wire in July 2001, the term microhouse was meant to describe the minimal house-y techno that was being made and released by Kompakt, Farben and Oval. Though structurally the same as minimal techno and deep house, microhouse stuck out on its own with its unconventional use of short samples as well as its penchant for ambience.

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