Hardstyle 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 Italy but the hardstyle scene began in the Netherlands when artists like Dana, Pavo, Darkraver, 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 21th 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 2002, more hardstyle labels started to arise. Fusion (with artist as DJ Zany and Donkey Rollers) and Scantraxx (founded by Dov Elkabas) are two of the Dutch labels that started to bring out hardstyle tracks around that time.
Around 2004-05 the genre became more melodic and uplifting, somewhat faster (usually 150 BPM), and distorted, sharp kick drum sounds were added. Many producers started to pitch-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. Even more recently, the term dubstyle was introduced. Dubstyle is the name given to the genre fusion of hardstyle and dubstep.
Dubstyle tends to take the kick styling of hardstyle tracks, while combining them with the rhythm, groove, and dubstep tempo and effects a fusion of elements of hardstyle with a dubstep rhythm, usually a 2-step or a breakbeat rhythm. Because of the non-straightened beat in dubstyle, the bass is often more dragged out and/or it doesn't follow a strict offbeat pattern that regular hardstyle incorporates, which in turn results in Dubstyle basslines bearing similarities to dubstep basslines. The first mainstream dubstyle track was Headhunterz & Brennan Heart's "The MF Point of Perfection".
There are a few notable dance moves performed on hardstyle music. The most popular dance in the Netherlands performed to hardstyle is known as 'stampen' (also referred to as 'zagen', 'raggen' or 'beuken'), which is similar to a slower version of 'hakken', which is mainly performed to hardcore music. In other countries like Australia the most popular dance is the Shuffle, which originated in Melbourne, Australia in the late '80s. It has now become popular throughout Asia, Europe and in the United Kingdom and other countries where shuffling is now an urban subculture.
Notable related events
D-Block & S-te-Fan
Coone (Newer Work)
Music / video Examples :