“Make sure your head is completely pulled out of your ass before proceeding.”
Both charmingly interactive and completely sarcastic, Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music was once the internet’s definitive resource for dance music neophytes. It was created by Kenneth Tayler in the ’90s as a way for people to learn about dance music’s many splintered and forking genre histories. It includes staples like house, techno and jungle, but also goes deep into niche/imaginary styles like neurofunk, chemical and synthtron.
The entries in the guide are worth reading, trust us. Here are a few of our favorites:
Darkwave – “Everything was ‘wave’ in the 80s…so when the goths finally decided that their melodrama would work well with machines, of course they called it Darkwave. They probably wanted to call it Blackwave, but that…hey, why didn’t they call it that?”
Techno Dance – “And then all of a sudden, without word or warning, electronic music was granted mainstream acceptance and exploded all over the pop charts…Fuck, I remember dancing to Snap! in my grade 7 school dance. The public accepted everything, calling it all Techno for some reason.”
Jump Up – “Every song is exactly the same!!!! EVERY GOD DAMN FUCKING SONG!!!!”
German Techno – “You’d think they’d be really good at it, what with Kraftwerk starting the whole unfeeling, mechanalistic techno paradigm in the first place. But in truth German Techno sounds a lot like Techno Trance. If it’s the full-on, hardened percussive stuff you’re looking for, you’re better off skipping this…”
LOL classic Ishkur. Classic. You gotta read ’em all if you want to be a real dance music master.
If you like this interactive guide, you’ll probably love this less abrasive guide to Polish electronic music. You might also enjoy this interactive genealogy of music. And if you’re not a crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube, you should probably brush up on your N.W.A. knowledge with this family tree.