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Electronic Music Styles: Downtempo/IDM : Balearic Beat

Balearic Beat is a style of electronic dance music that emerged in the late 1980s and was popular into the mid-1990s. The style was named for its popularity among European nightclub and beach rave patrons on the Balearic island of Ibiza, a popular tourist destination. Some dance music compilations referred to the style as "the sound of Ibiza," even though many other, more aggressive and upbeat forms of dance music could be heard on the island. Major artists credited with popularizing Balearic Beat include Soul II Soul and Enigma.

The Balearic Beat sound was initially typified by a distinctive, relatively heavy, slow (90–110 bpm), R&B-influenced beat consisting of bass drum, snare, and hi-hats (often produced with a Roland TR-909 drum machine) programmed in certain laid-back, swing-beat patterns; soul, Latin, African, funk, and dub affectations; and production techniques borrowed from other styles of dance music that were popular at the time. Vocals were sometimes present, but much of the music was instrumental. The sounds of acoustic instruments such as guitar and piano were sometimes incorporated into Balearic Beat.

Downtempo/IDM Sub-Genres:

Acid jazz
Balearic Beat
Electro clash
Minimal Electronica/Glitch
Nu jazz
Trip Hop (aka The Bristol Sound)


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