Primary Stylistic Influences:
+ {{Techno}}, New Beat
Secondary Stylistic Influences:
+ {{Industrial}}, HouseMusic, HarshNoise (sometimes), {{Trance}} and PopMusic (for Happy Hardcore, Makina and their derivatives), {{Dubstep}} (in the case of Crossbreed)

Hardcore Techno, also referred to as "Hard Dance", is an umbrella term used to describe the {{Darker and Edgier}} variants of {{Techno}}, although some people argue that it has evolved into a separate, less specific genre of its own. It is mostly distinguishable from its parent genre by a faster tempo, very powerful bass, and a preference for abrasive samples and beats. The genre was inspired by the sinister and slow New Beat that was made in UsefulNotes/{{Belgium}} by [[Music/LordsOfAcid Praga Khan]] and others. The genre originated from Western European countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the UK, but it also spawned a small but extremely fierce scene in Japan. Hardcore techno had its heyday in the mid to late nineties when the more commercial {{lighter and softer}} Happy Hardcore sound spread to popularity.

Like with many other genres of ElectronicMusic, there's many different kinds of subgenres and artists (with numerous aliases).


* Old school gabber
** This genre is credited as the one that gave birth to the hardcore techno genre, and subsequent styles of hard dance music draw inspiration from it. It is believed to have originated in Detroit (the birthplace of techno music in general) from acid house and tech house, but it rooted itself in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where it became popular on account of being perceived as an affront to the Amsterdam scene which was perceived to be snobby and pretentious. As a result, its sound used to be a pretty simple and straightforward, with the sole goal of making you go crazy without even having to take any drugs. The "gabber" moniker is believed to have originated from an interview with Amsterdam DJ K.C. the Funkaholic, where he was asked how did he felt about the Rotterdam scene; his answer was "Oh, they're just a bunch of gabbers having fun" ("gabber" being an Amsterdam slang word that can be more or less translated as "dude" or "mate"). Eventually, its harder sound and its simplicity ended up dominating the early Dutch techno scene, and by 1995 it started mutating into its mainstream, commercialized variant known as "happy hardcore". Example: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtjD0OhLrSw Bertocucci Feranzano - XTC Love]].

* Nu-style gabber (aka Mainstream hardcore)
** After the rise, dominance and fall of early gabber in the late 90s to hardstyle and trance techno, the gabber scene returned to the underground, where it basically tried to distance itself as hard as possible from the old days of happy hardcore and gained a more distorted, pounding bass drum driven rhythm, more elaborate productions, often samples from American rap and hip-hop, and actually comprehensible lyrics usually about drugs, fights, violence, police scuffles, and many swearwords. The most recent Dutch productions as of 2016 start to show influence from the more melodic Japanese style, which gained a die-hard following on the internet since around 2010. Western techno fans simply call it "hardcore" -- the "gabber" moniker is nowadays more common among fans of Japanese techno. Example: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T84PtCh9Y18 DJ Paul Elstak - One day we kill em all]] (nu-style) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g4r8-UL7IQ NeLIME - Codename: Zero]] (nu-style but with old-style IndecipherableLyrics)

* Speedcore
** Hardcore on steroids. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Speed is the main emphasis for this subgenre]], with a tempo going 300 BPM at the lower end, and even as high as 1000 BPM. The bass drum can become so fast that it becomes a tone, and unless it's Japanese there are typically very few melodic or even musical elements. Example: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNQDCcqQu2Q Moby - 1000]].

* Crossbreed
** A genre that can be best described as gabber with {{dubstep}}, usually noisier, slower and with a much greater emphasis on distorted basses. Usually sounds DarkerAndEdgier. Example: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlXkPZct3pc this hour-and-a-quarter long crossbreed mix]].

* Frenchcore
** [[CaptainObvious Born in France]], Frenchcore is a lot like gabber but a little bit less violent, faster (sometimes bordering on speedcore) and with a more "muffled" beat. Example: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMaZLPSbqUc this 10-minute mix from Argentinian producer Round Wave Crusher]].

* Happy Hardcore
** The LighterAndSofter form. Still very fast, but the bass drum is less pounding, the music is notably more "happy" sounding (achieved through the use of major keys), occasional use of piano, and high pitched vocals that frequently sound like they have been inhaling helium, with lyrics about subjects such as love, partying or [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs the love of partying.]] Example: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgR4S1dSkVQ Blümchen - Boomerang]].

* Mákina
** Literally "machine" in [[XtremeKoolLetterz intentionally misspelled]] Spanish. A Spaniard genre of hardcore techno that sounds like a mixture of {{Eurobeat}} mixed with hardcore. Related to (but distinct from) Happy Hardcore. Example: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHtgzZzELU8 kors k - SigSig]]

* Freeform/UK Hardcore
** Evolved from Happy Hardcore. A bit less childish, uses supersaw synths more, makes many remixes of pop songs. {{Nightcore}}, a great majority of j-core and happy hardcore are derivatives of this style.

* Darkcore/Terrorcore
** {{Darker and Edgier}} hardcore, basically. Faster (200+ BPM), more low pitched sounds, and less melody.

* Noisecore/Industrial Hardcore
** Hardcore fused with noise music. Bass drum driven rhythm is still there, but there are few melodic elements, and harsh samples are frequent.

* Digital Hardcore
** Hardcore fused with HardcorePunk [[NeoClassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly by taking hardcore punk vocals and lyrics and merging it with Gabber instrumental elements]].

* Hardstyle
** Like gabber, but slower, happier and more upbeat, with a cleaner and more "booming" sound. Usually begins with a rhythmic part, then a melodic part, then ends with another rhythmic part. Really loves the "hoover" sound; the lyrics are usually about drugs, party culture, sex, energy, dancing, or [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs energetic dancing]]. Has many variants as well, such as euphoric (generally LighterAndSofter than regular hardstyle), rawstyle (uses more abrasive sounds), jumpstyle (slower and with a "bouncy" sound) and dubstyle (fuses elements of dubstep). [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td4C9p1fJ9M Showtek - Freak!]]

* Breakcore
** Hardcore that changes beat every 2-4 seconds and every now and then introduces random beats, giving the sense of a jumbled yet coherent chaos. Usually takes rhythms from other genres, especially drum and bass. Example: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWASUqM38-Y BOB the Builder - Words]]

* Schranz
** Hardcore with a very great emphasis on rhythm, usually with a very powerful, fast and rolling beat with scratchy, heavily distorted loops and precise drum fills in between song movements. Melodies are brief and repetitive, often consisting of mininalistic stabs (akin to big room house) or short but fast synth runs. Primarily German. Example: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KZSyYGxf6M this live session from Fernanda Martins]].

* J-core
** [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Japanese hardcore techno]], usually with a greater emphasis on melody. Its birth is credited to DJ Sharpnel in his album [[https://www.discogs.com/es/%E9%AB%98%E9%80%9F%E9%9F%B3%E6%A5%BD%E9%9A%8A%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A3%E3%83%BC%E3%83%97%E3%83%8D%E3%83%AB-Sharpnel-Vs-Project-Gabbangelion/release/736460 Sharpnel vs. Project Gabbangelion]], often thought to be the first one to mix anime samples together with mid-90's Rotterdam hardcore techno (although it wasn't his first release, some albums such as [[https://www.discogs.com/Project-Gabbangelion-Early-Style-Of-Otakuspeedvibe-19961998/release/477886 Early Style Of Otakuspeedvibe 1996→1998]] predate it). Still a very much niche scene dominated by doujin circles who sell their stuff at Comiket, or indies composers who make music for rhythm games. Often features sound samples from anime. Also has influenced some foreign artists whose works can be perfectly classified as j-core despite not being Japanese, like British producer [=JAKAZiD=], Ukrainian ensemble Reizoko CJ and Argentinian producer Shingo DJ/Round Wave Crusher. Examples: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI3C9qQlb1U xi - Freedom Dive]] (happy hardcore) [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgrChl3ur4U moro - ppppyyy]] (UK hardcore), [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_Ta7zVzHLo RedOgre - Zelkova]] (speedcore), [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBTvrcklI4o moro - A one of mathafucker]] (gabber), [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XDI0v30h54 moro - akatsuki]] (hardstyle), [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8HRTlkGD4Q siromaru + cranky - conflict]] (schranz), [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zhG05LlROg LeaF - Calamity Fortune]] (happy hardcore/makina)

* Touhou j-core
** Basically, hardcore techno arranges of ''[[{{Videogame/Touhou}} Touhou Project]]'' songs. It has grown into a genre of itself due to the j-core scene being very largely underground, and due to Touhou's creator being OK with underground artists doing derivative works of his series. Their main distinguishing feature is a decidedly melodic sound, much more than other variants of hardcore techno, and being often performed in an upbeat major key. Examples: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlyQjVdFCxc a gabber arrange of Sakuya's song]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFOZojxEZio a speedcore arrange of Yuuka's song]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekkdrcqIubA a hardstyle arrange of Kaguya's song]]..
!!Notable Artists
* Advanced Dealer
* Music/AlienT
* Music/{{AniMe}}
* Music/AnnoyingRingtone
* Music/{{Angerfist}}
* Music/ArtOfFighters
* Music/AtariTeenageRiot (invented and popularized Digital Hardcore)
* [[Music/{{Blumchen}} Blümchen]]
* [[Music/CharlyLownoiseAndMentalTheo Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo]]
* Music/DJKurara
* Music/DJSharpnel
* Music/{{Dune}}
* [[Music/FlammanAndAbraxas Flamman & Abraxas]]
* Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas
* [[Music/ForceAndStyles Force & Styles]]
* Music/{{Gammer}}
* Music/{{goreshit}}
* Music/{{HACKD}}
* Music/{{Headhunterz}}
* Music/{{Hellfish}}
* Music/{{Hixxy}}
* Music/{{Igorrr}}
* Music/{{Imil}}
* Kayzo (mixes hardstyle with TrapMusic and dubstep)
* Music/{{Korsakoff}}
* DJ Mad Dog
* The Mad Capsule Markets
* Music/MarcTrauner (Marc Acardipane, Mescalinum United, The Mover, Pilldriver, Marshall Masters and Resident E)
* Music/ManuleMalin
* Music/MecannoTwins
* The Melodyst
* m1dlet
* m1dy
* Miss K8
* Music/NasenBluten
* Music/{{Neophyte}}
* Music/PartyAnimals
* Music/PaulElstak
* Music/PlacidK
* Music/RotterdamTerrorCorps
* Music/{{Scooter}}
* Music/ScottBrown
* Music/{{Sharkey}}
* Music/ShingoDJ, alias Round Wave Crusher
* Music/TheSickestSquad
* Music/{{Slipmatt}} (combines Happy Hardcore with {{Trance}})
* [[Music/SpeedcoreDave Speedcore Dave!]] (also simply known as Dave!)
* Music/TheSpeedFreak
* Music/TheStunnedGuys
* Music/{{Styles}} (also part of Force & Styles)
* [[Music/ThreeStepsAhead 3 Steps Ahead]]
* Music/VenetianSnares (Known for his chaotic breakcore tracks which abuse the AmenBreak to ludicrous extremes.)
* Music/{{Vinylgroover}} (known for the Happy Hardcore remake of ''Time After Time'')
* The various folks at Bemani, particularly for the ''VideoGame/{{Beatmania}}'' series - kors k / StripE, DJ Technorch, Sota Fujimori, LV.4...
* The various folks sold at Comiket and Hakurei Jinja Reitaisai conventions - Roughsketch, t+pazolite, [=REDALiCE / ALiCE'S EMOTION=], USAO, Spineliar, Cirwo, RedOgre...