In early 2012, a new term started getting thrown around in the EDM world – that word was neurohop. Some of you may be wondering, “What is neurohop?”
One of the first people to start using this new word was one of the scene’s pioneers, Kursa from the UK. Kursa put together a mix of 9 tracks and released it on Soundcloud. The mix was titled Let’s call it Neurohop. This was the start for the world of neurohop. Many of the tracks featured in the mix had recentlybeen released on labels Caliber Music (USA) and Adapted Records (Australia). Both of these incredible labels are seen by many as the leaders of the neurohop genre, putting out many quality releases since around early 2012.
So what is neurohop?
I don’t think there’s a right answer to this question – there isn’t a right answer for any musical genre really; music is just music. But what defines a track as neurohop?
Contradictory to many popular beliefs, neurohop isn’t restricted to the 100 BPM tempo that many people say it is. It can range (just as hip-hop does), typically from anywhere between 80 and 120 BPM. Its main influences are hip hop, glitch hop and neurofunk drum & bass. Let’s take a quick look at what defines glitch hop and neurofunk.
Glitch hop is often played live (using controllers and manipulating sounds on the fly) and can incorporate glitchy effects like beat repeaters and sweeps, and is a combination of glitch and hip hop. Glitch had been around a good while before Glitch Hop started to appear. It was around 2001 where the glitch sound really started to take shape with artists on Warp Records. Glitch is taking what most people would consider an error or a mistake and working it into something great sounding. Glitch hop started to take shape a few years later. Glitch hop is hip hop based EDM with a big emphasis on bass, chopped up samples and combinations of ancient drum beats and futuristic sounds.
Neurofunk is a drum & bass subgenre which emerged between 1997 and 1998 in London (UK). It was a progression of another drum & bass subgenre called techstep. Neurofunk combined that techstep sound with heavier funk elements, techno, house and jazz. Neurofunk is mainly characterized by heavily distorted mid-range synthesizer sounds intertwined with an opening and closing filter on a funk influenced bassline, hard stabs over the basslines, sharp, precise backbeats (playing the snare on the 2 and the 4 of a bar) often using samples of drum hits instead of breakbeats and the use of dissonance and minimalism. Ed Rush and Optical are two of the most notable pioneers of neurofunk in with many releases around 1998. Other notable early neurofunk pioneers include Gridlok, Phace and Noisia. Some of the most notable neurofunk labels of modern times Bad Taste, Ammunition, Close 2 Death, Metalheadz, Mindtech, Nocid Business and Renegade Hardware.
Neurohop takes many of the elements used in neurofunk and glitch hop production and is played at a hip hop tempo, using many samples from 60’s and 70’s jazz, funk and R&B (similar to hip hop). It is a powerful form of music with a focus on powerful distorted, moving, warping basslines with samples from rap acapellas, and is often much more uplifting than its neurofunk origins.
Producers at the forefront of neurohop include MakO, Kursa, Koan Sound, Tantric Decks, Knight Riderz, Blunt Instrument, Skope, and many more. Check out their music on Soundcloud.com if you haven’t heard it already.
This genre is only going to get bigger as more and more new and noted producers are drawn to experiment with it and put their own twists on it.
Have you made any neurohop, or do you want to try it? If so, please message me with your creations – this is one of my favorite genres of music and I love to hear what people are doing with it. If you have any questions about neurohop please message and ask me – I’ll try to answer you as best I can.