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Did Melbourne Bounce Really Start In Melbourne?

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There are a few styles of electro house that have been gaining popularity in the last couple of years:

  • Melbourne Bounce
  • Future House
  • Big Room
  • Electro House (with powerful synths but no big room kick)

Today we’re going to explore the origins, life and times of the ‘Melbourne Bounce’ style of electro house.

Where did the sound originate from?

To answer that, we will need to look at what characterizes the Melbourne Bounce sound.

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What defines the Melbourne Bounce Sound?

These are some of the key characteristics of the style:

1. The Offbeat Bass

The offbeat bass notes between the kicks are probably the most iconic feature of the sound. The sounds often have a pluck – like envelope on them, assigned to the filter cutoff or the amplitude envelope of the synth. This offbeat bass provides flow and continuity to the sound, as well as a playful cheeky vibe.

2. Raucous horns

Many Melbourne Bounce tracks feature those squelching horns that drive the tracks and can drive you into a manic frenzy at a big festival stage with a huge system.

3. The slowed-down psy-trance song structure

There is not one strict convention to the song structure of psy-trance, but it’s all about the build up, creating tension, over a long period of time, until the drop finally happens. Then even during the drop, there will often be a riser in the background in the 2nd set of 16 bars (for example), adding to the build up in energy through time. It’s almost like the minute or two before an intense audio orgasm (ahem).

4. Minimal arrangements

Listen to the drop of many-a-Melbourne Bounce tune and you will notice that it often has one hook made from one synth that is at the forefront of the track, with not a whole lot of other layers happening in the background. The main hook is laid over the kick and bass foundations, with a very simple drums groove.

So where did these musical motifs come from?

Now that we know some of the key elements of the Melbourne Bounce sound, we can look at where those elements first started to appear, and that leads us to another style of music called…

… Jumpstyle!

According to Wikipedia, Jumpstyle is an electronic dance style and music genre popular in Eastern Europe, as well as certain parts of Australia and the United States.

The word originates from a movement of hard dance music followers, and especially those devoted to its post-2007. Jumpstyling is often referred to as “Jumpen”: a combination of the English word ‘Jump’ and the Dutch & German suffix ‘-en’ (meaning “to jump” or “jumping”).

It originated in 1997 in Belgium but gathered bigger popularity in their neighbouring country the Netherlands in the 2000s.

 

By mid 2013, the Melbourne Bounce sound had started to blow up in the US and Europe. It was in June 2013 that Dutch Electro producer Laidback Luke said “it’s a new and fresh sound that I see as a little brother of the Dutch sound and a nice new challenge to me!”

Despite the origins being born in other parts of the world, it was indeed Melbourne where the sound was cultivated and many new artists have formed a name for themselves while helping to define this sub genre in the last two years.

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Artists who have been involved in shaping this sound include Melbourne natives Will Sparks, Joel Fletcher, Djuro, TJR, SCNDL and Orkestrated, as well as Dutch producers like Laidback Luke and US based producers like Deorro.

A short swim across the pond from Melbs lies the city of Auckland, where electro producer Ryan Enzed lives.

Ryan has been steadily building his DJ and production career over the last 5+ years, focusing on the electro sound.

Look out for the next email from me where you’ll be able to hear the track that Ryan has produced exclusively for BassGorilla.com in his ‘Festival Bounce: Start To Finish’ tutorial series. Trust me, if you love the Melbourne Bounce sound, you’re gonna love this track.

In conclusion, I would say that the Melbourne Bounce sound has been defined primarily by Melbourne based producers over the last few years, but takes many influences from Jumpstyle and other similar musical styles of music from Europe and elsewhere in the world.

To me, this is inevitable as the age of the internet breaks down boundaries and cultures are becoming less and less defined by country borders. I’m sure you’ll agree that we are living in very exciting times to be electronic music producers!