Hardstyle music is an electronic dance genre mixing influences from hardtechno, hard house, hard trance, and hardcore. Hardstyle typically consists of a deep, hard-sounding kick drum, intense faded or reversed basslines accompanying the beat, a synth playing a melody, and detuned and distorted sounds. It bears some similarities to hard trance. Many hardcore artists produce hardstyle tracks as well, and many newer Hardstyle tracks are written in compound time.
Hardstyle takes influence from hard trance, gabber, acid house and hard house. Hardstyle has its origins in the Netherlands where artists like Dana, Pavo, Luna and The Prophet, who produced Hardcore, started experimenting while playing their Hardcore records. The first Hardstyle events, like Qlubtempo, took place at the beginning of the 21st century. The first few years of Hardstyle were characterized by a tempo of around 135-140 BPM, a compressed kick drum sound, a short vocal sample, a screech and the use of a "reverse bass", which can be heard on the offbeat after each kick.
Around 2004-2005 the genre became more melodic and uplifting, somewhat faster (usually 150 BPM), and distorted, sharp kick drum sounds were added. Many producers started to p
itch-shift a distorted kick drum to create a melodic bassline that usually plays in pitch with a supersaw or a thinner electro house synth melody. The melody often is in tuplet form, which gives the genre a pulsating rhythm, whereas older Hardstyle as well as other genres such as jumpstyle have more basic melodic structures to them. Thus, nowadays many people refer to the older style as early Hardstyle.
Since around 2008, more terms to identify developments of Hardstyle were introduced. Rawstyle is a type of Hardstyle influenced from Dutch Hardcore or older Hardstyle resulting in darker melodies and deeper-sounding kick drums with more distortion through VST plug-ins such as Devastor, CamelPhat, Ohmicide & TriDirt.
In early 2010s, a new variation in Hardstyle, named dubstyle was introduced. Dubstyle is the name given to the genre fusion of Hardstyle and dubstep.
Here are some of the best hardstyle events in the world organized by Q-dance.
Take a look at all the hardstyle events.
More hardstyle artists (link naar bijv. http://www.q-dance.com/hardstyle/artists/)