Styles of hardcore
Hardcore spawned several subgenres and derivative styles, including:
Breakbeat hardcore (often referred to as 'old skool' hardcore) - This retrospective term is usually reserved for tracks produced in the early 90's, a large period of growth for the UK Rave scene. These tracks are characterized by piano sections, bouncy basslines, breakbeats, and high-pitched vocals.
Breakcore - Uses distorted, fragmented breakbeats and sampling to create a hectic effect.
Darkcore (Not to be confused with Darkcore Jungle) - Broad categorical description characterized by elements of breakbeat, hardcore, and dark musical themes. Emerged in response to the happy party sound of UK hardcore.
Digital Hardcore - Hardcore punk/hardcore fusion. Closely related to hardcore punk music.
Doomcore - Specific microgenre of downtempo darkcore. Characterized by heavy use of reverb, thick basslines, and synth pads, which create an atmosphere. Usually 130-160 BPM.
Freeform Hardcore - Sub genre of UK Hardcore with strong influence of Trance, mainly instrumental.
Frenchcore (or Tribalcore) - Originated in the French rave scene of the early 90's. Involves the re-creation of a distorted bass drum sound with a synthesizer. It is also considered a type of Free Tekno. Frenchcore achieved wider recognition in 1998 with the release of Micropoint's first album Neurophonie.
Hardcore Breaks (aka Nu Rave) - A genre written in the style of breakbeat hardcore and produced using modern technology and production techniques.
Gabber Early hardcore - Popular in the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Italy, Belgium & Scotland, characterized by a heavy bass drum sound, usually distorted, and generally 150-220 bpm. Mainstream hardcore aka New style - Modern form of gabber, often melodic, with more complex sounds. Generally 160-180 bpm.
Happy hardcore - Form of dance music known for its high tempos, usually around 165-180 bpm, often coupled with male or female vocals and sentimental lyrics. Popular in the UK, Australia and Spain, amongst other countries.
Industrial Hardcore - A form of hardcore that was primarily influenced by notable French producers such as La Peste, Joshua, Laurent Ho, NKJE, Micropoint, Speedy Q, Armaguet Nad, Taciturne and producers from the UK, such as Dj Freak, UK Skullfuck and Pressurehead. The beats were typically hard, but often the industrial factory 'organised chaos' sounds layered on the bass were more prominent than the bass itself in comparison to a speedcore track from Noize Creator's Brutal Chud label. The speed could typically range from 160bpm to 350bpm, but the usual set was played at 220bpm.
Makina - Fast electronic dance music from Spain, fairly similar to happy hardcore.
Speedcore (Not to be confused with Thrashcore or Speed metal) - Subgenre of gabber, distinguished by very fast tempos (300 BPM to 500-600 BPM), infused with heavily distorted percussion and aggressive themes.
Splittercore — Microgenre of speedcore, usually 700-800 BPM.
Extratone — Applied when the tempo exceeds 1000 BPM; the individual beats can no longer be distinguished and are perceived as audio tones.
Terrorcore - Faster, darker form of gabber with highly aggressive themes.
UK hardcore - Modern adaptation of Happy Hardcore, distinguishable from its predecessor by a style that is less "happy" and features harsher sounds such as saw leadlines.
J-core - J-core is an abbreviated term for Japanese hardcore dance music. Though many only associate this term with artists such as DJ Sharpnel who are well known for their very Japanese-flavoured anime/film sampling hardcore, the umbrella term can be used to describe many kinds of Japanese-flavoured hardcore, such as happy hardcore, freeform, speedcore and terrorcore.