All tags / Electro funk

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Electro (electrofunk, electro-boogie) is a genre of electronic music directly influenced by the use of TR-808 and funk records. Records in the genre typically have electronic sounds and some vocals are delivered in a deadpan, mechanical manner, often through a vocoder or other electronic distortion. With few exceptions, the definition of the electro sound is the use of drum machines as the rhythmic base of a track. Rhythm patterns tend to be electronic emulations of breakbeats, with kick drums, and usually a snare or clap accenting the downbeat. The definition however is somewhat ambiguous in nature due to the various use of the term.

Staccato, percussive rhythms dominate electro, with beats often provided by the Roland TR-808 drum machine. The TR-808, created in 1980, has an immediately recognizable sound, and remains popular in electro and other genres to the present day. Other electro instrumentation is generally all-electronic, favoring analog synthesis, funk-style bass lines, sequenced or arpeggiated synthetic riffs, and atonal sound effects all created with synthesizers. Heavy use of effects such as reverbs, delays, chorus or phasers along with synthetic ensemble strings or pad sounds emphasize the common science fiction or futuristic theme of the lyrics and/or music. Most electro is instrumental, but a common element is vocals processed through a vocoder. Additionally, speech synthesis may be used to create robotic or mechanical lyrical content. Some earlier electro features rapping, but that lyrical style has become less popular in the genre from the 1990s onward. Following the decline of disco music in the late 1970s, various electro-funk artists such as Zapp & Roger began experimenting with talk boxes and the use of heavier, more distinctive beats. This style held little resemblance to that of Kraftwerk.

In 1982, Bronx based producer Afrika Bambaataa released the seminal track “Planet Rock”, which contained elements of Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express and “Numbers” (from Kraftwerk’s Computer World album).[1] “Planet Rock” is widely regarded as a turning point in the electro genre.[6]

In 1983, Hashim created the influential electro funk tune “Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)” which became Cutting Record’s first release in November 1983[7]. At the time Hashim was influenced by Man Parrish’s “Hip Hop, Be Bop”, Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science” and Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” [8]. Also in 1983, Herbie Hancock, in collaboration with Grand Mixer DXT, released the hit single “Rockit”.

Bambaataa and groups like Planet Patrol, Jonzun Crew, Mantronix, Newcleus and Juan Atkins’ Detroit-based group Cybotron went on to influence the genres of Detroit techno, ghettotech, breakbeat, drum and bass and electroclash. Early producers in the electro genre (notably Arthur Baker,[9] John Robie and Shep Pettibone) featured prominently in the Latin Freestyle (or simply “Freestyle”) movement. By the late 1980s, the genre had parted from its initial funk influences. Baker and Pettibone enjoyed robust careers well into the house era, and both eluded the “genre trap” to successfully produce mainstream artists

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