Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bouncy techno is a style of fast techno music influenced by techno and gabber that uses a sparse musical assembly of parts. Its name comes from crowds at raves and events bouncing in tandem to the fast paced beat.
Typical characteristics for bouncy techno are for compositions to be around a tempo 160 to 200 BPM (beats per minute) using a 4/4 signature of 4 cycle segments, where different elements would be gradually layered into the mix. Compositions could sometimes suffer from rough bedroom type productions but consequently adds to its rawness and genre locality.
Drum instruments will be minimal, usually consisting of a hard kick drum, sharps open hi-hat, handclap, on-beat snare, ride and a splash cymbal, similarly of a Roland TR-909 variety. These would be arranged in a Detroit assemble with its characteristic flying hi-hats and frenetic handclaps. Tracks would be either instrumental or perhaps use a short single sample, cut and repeated through various points of the song.
This would be enforced with an offbeat single keyed bass line (derived from Rotterdam Termination Source - Poing! (Rotterdam Records, ROT 004, 1992) and later widely used in commercial trance music), that all culminates to an inevitable synthesised hook line. Here, a chaotic single arpeggio of sucking or buzzing stabs would gradually alter through time using resonance filters before everything is thrown into the mix and layered off accordingly. A second variance of the arpeggio likely occurs towards the last quarter of the track.
Bouncy techno originated in Scotland; Bass X - Hardcore Disco (Shoop!, SHOOP 2, 1993) is considered to be the first record of this genre and includes all of the fore mentioned characteristics.
Produced by local artist Scott Brown, numerous other local artists would quickly adopt this sound format with a chunk of records co-produced alongside Scott Brown under a plethora of aliases. Other artists at the forefront of the scene (working mostly under a variety of names) includes Ryan Campbell, Davie Forbes, Marc Smith, Gordon Tennant and Vince Watson.
Noticeable local record labels include Bass Generator Records, Breeze Records, Jolly Roger Records, K.O.R.E., Notorious Vinyl, Q-Dup and Shoop!, along with Scott Brown's own Bouncy Techno Records, Evolution Records, Evolution Gold, Poosh, Screwdriver and Twisted Vinyl labels.
Bouncy techno proved to be instantly popular in mostly Scotland and North East England alongside gabba, whilst the rest of Great Britain was engrossed in the developing breakbeat movements of either happy hardcore or jungle that was simply alien in Scotland's populous youth and rave culture at that time. On the whole, sales of Bouncy techno proved popular in Australia, Germany, USA and naturally the Netherlands.
"The 12 inch vinyl releases almost enjoy legendary status in Australia, The Netherlands and Germany. The Scottish Techno sound has reverberated around the World..." - Mo's Music Machine (of Shoop! records distribution)
Concurrently, several Scottish artists would soon release this indigenous sound on Dutch (and later, southern-based British) record labels that normally specialised in their own locality genres. As a result, the Bouncy techno sound would soon influence the hardcore music scene of that time.
Noteworthy Scottish exported tracks on Dutch record labels include the debut Dwarf Records release from the aptly named The Scotchman - House Aggression (Dwarf Records, DWARF 001, 1994), DJ K.2 - Oblivian EP (Rave Records, RAVE 52ND, 1995), Hyperact - House Aggression (Dwarf Records, DWARF 003, 1994), Rave Nation - Going Crazy (Forze Records, FORZE 004, 1995) and Technosis - Rushbins (Babyboom Records, BABY 006, 1995).
Development of Bouncy Techno
During the course of 1995 to 1996, the 4-beat influenced happy hardcore and bouncy techno sounds more or less blended into one combined single sound. Normally light kick drums and rolling breakbeats of happy hardcore would be replaced with predominant heavy kick drums, no breakbeats and off beat bass lines. However, the local dance music scene that spawned bouncy techno was declining rapidly into non-existence towards then end of 1996.
Bouncy techno characteristics are still mangled somewhat in the current hardcore scene, though there has been demand from the enthusiast or die-hard fan for a return of a bona fide sound in some form. The originator Scott Brown is still very much involved at the forefront of the current hardcore scene.
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