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

Ever wonder how your favourite genre got its name?

The history of dance music is full of stories of how genres came to be – house, techno, dubstep, you name it – and in all of those stories is a moment or brief period of time during which their names were coined.

Trip hop, for instance, was first used in a Mixmag article. Gabber was Dutch slang that would end up being used to describe a musical movement. Goa trance was born on the sunny beaches of western India. The list could go on, and it does. Scroll down to find out how dance music's most famous genres, as well as a wealth of sub genres and niches, were named.

Indeed, the origins of some genre names have remained elusive to us but we're betting you'll find more than a few afterparty-friendly facts below.


Aphex Twin founded braindance in opposition to the much maligned term IDM, a genre name he found to be haughty and insulting to all other genres of dance music. Fundamentally the same as IDM, Rephlex Records has said that braindance “encompasses the best elements of all genres”.


Chiptune is made from vintage ‘sound chips’ taken from old consoles and arcade machines. Their noises are turned into ‘tunes’ that reflect the modern, computerized sounds of electronic music. See also: 8-bit.

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