Hardstyle is an electronic dance music genre that is generally produced with approximately 150 beats per minute. With the influences of genres such as Hardcore, Jump and Hard Trance, Hardstyle has grown to an established scene with several subgenres, in which Hardstyle is produced from 130 up to 160 beats per minute.
The music is energetic, dynamic and combines hard beats with forthcoming melodies. The largeness of Hardstyle in de dance music scene today is shown in the proclamation of substyles, such as Raw, Dubstyle, Euforic, Mainstream and Early Hardstyle.
Back in the days
With the influences of Hard Trance, Hardcore and Jump, Hardstyle entered the scene with 140 Beats per minute. Back in the year 2000, the Hardcore scene expanded when artists had foreseen opportunities in a new style and maturation of the scene at the time. There were Hard House influences from the UK however, that led to a short existence of a mixture of Trance, Rave and Hardcore.
The experimenting of Hardstyle pioneers, such as DJ The Prophet, Pavo, Zany and Dana, in the year of 99, resulted in the very first Hardstyle tracks on vinyl and Hardstyle events within just a few years after. Within a short amount of time, Hardstyle expanded and evolved into several classes. Classes in which Hardstyle is now produced with outliers from 130 up to 160 beats per minute. That also shows that Hardstyle is covering a much larger share of dance music than ever before.
Euphoric Hardstyle a.k.a. Mainstream Hardstyle combines energy with epic hard sounds and feel good melodies. This style is known for the longer melodic breaks. It's alive and kicking in almost all so-called dance countries. Nowadays Mainstream Hardstyle even hits the most popular charts in some countries.
Raw Hardstyle has less melodic breaks compared to Euphoric Hardstyle, with more raw sounds and screeches. It was just a subcategory at first, whereas today the Rawstyle has grown into a dedicated movement and very popular style itself.
The latest section in Hardstyle is Dubstyle. Born in 2010, Dubstyle is best described as a mix of dubstep and Hardstyle kicks, with broken beats and fast repetitive sounds. Dubstyle is mainly produced by Hardstyle artists.
Early Hardstyle is referring to the incipient Hardstyle and the way it sounded back in the days. Nowadays this genre is still very popular in and around Europe. This style produces new tracks with the influence of the old style, sometimes even mixed with current mainstream Hardstyle.
The world goes hard, with style
The growth and dedication to Hardstyle is accelerating around the world. The quantity of festivals and events are a great reflection of the popularity of Hardstyle music. Event Organizations such as Q-Dance, b2s en Art of Dance are expanding by staging their Hardstyle festivals around the globe, receiving over 30,000 visitors generally.
Hard Bass and Qlimax were the first ever events back in 2001. Whereas within just a few years the list of Hardstyle events has grown out to be so big that fans need to choose between one event or the other. Some events actually turned into entire weekends of Hardstyle, such as Defqon.1 and Decibel. Most festivals like Mysteryland, Emporium and Tomorrowland have at least one area of Hardstyle. Other events like XXlerator started in a club and expanded to larger outside grounds and open air parties.
Idols like Headhunterz, Gunz For Hire, Wildstylez do world tours and DJs like Adaro, Radical Redemption and Ran-D have their own immense fan base. Among others they host their own area or event on a regular basis. Any day of the week, somewhere in the world there is something going on that involves hardstyle.
It's a movement, an addiction, a unique and meaningful scene. With deep melodies and lyrics, the bass leaves you no choice but to stump your feet and dance! Our style goes hard!