What is Electro House? 6 Characteristics To Listen For

JD Rinehart

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Electro House featured image

What is Electro House? 

Electro house is an Electronic Dance Music (EDM) genre that took festivals and clubs by storm in the 2010s through artists such as Wolfgang Gartner, Afrojack, Reh3b, deadmau5, Porter Robinson, and Zedd because of their high-energy four-on-the-floor club bangers.

Originating in the early 2000s, this style of EDM combines traditional house music elements of four-on-the-floor beats, complex percussion patterns, and heavy basslines with synthesized melodies and distorted sound effects from electro music.

Deadmau5 Cube Stage: One of Electro House legends.

As a result, the end product is an EDM track that is high energy and designed to make the crowd go wild.

Generally speaking, most electro-house tracks have tempos around 130 BPM but range from 125 – 135 beats per minute.

This upbeat but comfortable dancing tempo provides the foundation for the tracks energy which is built around a series of drops and impacts that keep audiences dancing all night long.

What Defines Electro House Music?

Electro house is a genre of house music and electronic dance music (EDM) characterized by heavy bass, heavy percussive elements, complex rhythms, ear-catching synths, and a tempo of around 130 beats per minute (BPM).

Electro house’s signature sound comes in the form of large bass drum sounds and synths created by sawtooth waves and distortion.

Saw Tooth Wave – “A waveform which, as seen on an oscilliscope or in a waveform editor, rises in a straight line from a minimum value to a maximum value (or vice versa), then snaps back to the starting value. The result looks like the teeth of a saw, hence the name.[Source]

Characteristic Features of Electro House:

Electro House track’s Features and characteristics

  • Heavy basslines: Electro house is known for its heavy, distorted basslines that provide the driving force of the music.
  • Four-on-the-floor beat: The rhythm of electro house is typically a straight four-on-the-floor beat, with a kick drum on every beat.
  • Synthesized melodies: Electro house often features complex, synthesized melodies that create a sense of excitement and energy.
  • Build-ups and drops: A common characteristic of electro house is the use of build-ups and drops to create tension and release it in a burst of energy.
  • Use of sound effects: Electro house often features a range of sound effects, such as sweeps, stabs, and risers, to add to the excitement and energy of the music.
  • Tempo Schemes: 125 and 135 beats per minute (BPM)

History of Electro House and Its Impact on Electronic Dance Music: 

The roots of electro-house can be traced back to the 1980s, when electronic dance music was just starting to emerge as a genre.

At that time, electro music was characterized by its heavy use of synthesizers and drum machines, as well as its focus on futuristic and robotic sounds.

This sound eventually gave way to house music in the late 1980s, which was characterized by its four-on-the-floor beat and its use of soulful vocals and disco samples.

In the early 2000s, a new generation of producers began to fuse the two genres together, creating a new sound that would eventually be called electro house.

Simon Reynolds, an English Music Journalist, and author described the sound of Electro House as being heavily influenced by the legendary artists Daft Punk, Justice, and Digitalism. [Source]

Later, the sound and style of electro house were popularized by deadmau5 because of its distinct heavy-hitting style of “dirty bass”, “grinding” “whirring” and sawtooth bass lines. 

Where is Electro House popular? 

Initially, electro house was popular in the Netherlands from its beginnings in the 1980s and over time this genre became immensely popular in the United States and United Kingdom as well.

Big Room House is a commonly played genre at Ultra

Then, beginning around the mid-2000s and early 2010s, every major festival featured top producers from the Electro House genre at EDM festival mainstages all across the United States including major festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas and Ultra Music Festival Miami.

Why Do People Like Electro House Music? 

People gravitate towards electro house because of its high-energy vibes, repetitive rhythms, and feel-good party tracks.

In addition, the repetitive rhythms of electro house help people focus and be more productive especially when there are no lyrics. 

Subgenres of Electro House Music: 

Big Room House: 

Big Room House, also known as “big room” is a subgenre of electro house which gained more popularity in the early 2010s.

Interesting features include: 

  • Have drop sections in the track structure
  • Minimal use of percussion
  • Regular beat patterns
  • Bass drums with a sub-bass layer
  • Simple melodies
  • Synth-driven breakdowns


Complextro is a combination of complex and electro.

Interesting features include: 

  • Glitchy and complex-sounding basslines
  • Textures created by sharply cutting and switching between instruments in quick succession

Dutch House (Dirty Dutch)

Also known as “dirty dutch”, this subgenre of electro house originated in the Netherlands and has the following features. 

  • Complex rhythms that producers make with Latin-influenced drum kits
  • Low emphasis on basslines and how they sound
  • High-pitched lead made by one or more synthesizers

Fidget House: 

Interesting features include: 

  • Taken vocal snippets from something.
  • Pitch-bend basslines that sound “dirty.”
  • Rave-style stabs made with synthesizers.
  • Glitchy-sounding 4/4 beats.

Who Plays Electro House Music?

Electro house music can be used to describe the music of many DJs such as and many more:

  • Calvin Harris
  • David Guetta
  • Deadmau5
  • Zedd
  • Martin Garrix
  • Tiesto
  • Swedish House Mafia
  • Steve Aoki
  • Afrojack
  • Kaskade

For more Electro House we recommend checking out Spotify’s exclusive Electro House Mix.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, electro house electronic dance music has become a significant and influential genre in the world of electronic music because of its upbeat tempo, heavy basslines, and energetic rhythms.

Today, electro house remains an important and vibrant part of the electronic dance music scene, with a dedicated fan base and a wealth of talented artists.

As the genre continues to evolve and develop, it is clear that electro house will continue to be a vital and exciting part of the electronic music landscape for many years to come.

If you’re looking for an electric way to heat up your next party, look no further than electro house.

Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoy diving into the energetic world of this exciting genre!