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Progressive electronica (sometimes 'prog' or 'proggy') is a collection of electronic music genres which draw upon progressive music, generally, and include the sub-styles of progressive trance, progressive house, progressive techno and progressive breaks.
Applying the philosophy of progressive music to electronic dance music, involves taking one particular sound, then, using synthesizers and sequencers, making slight changes to that sound. When applied to a particular style, the finished product is a stylised sound that appears to progress from one state to another.
When discussing progressive electronic styles, the term "progressive" typically refers to the progressive structure (that changes occur incrementally, as in the case of progressive house). The exception is progressive trance, since trance is typically progressive in structure already. Progressive trance usually refers to a type of trance music that's minimalistic and more beat and percussion centric.
Progressive house has its origins in Britain in the early 1990s, with the output of the Guerrilla record label and Leftfield's first singles (particularly "Song of Life" inspiring, according to various accounts, either Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle fame or then Mixmag editor Dom Phillips to coin the term. In 1992, what was to be the first superclub, Renaissance threw open its doors in the small mining town of Mansfield, and its DJs - particularly Sasha and the then-unknown John Digweed - were instrumental in pushing the sound in its early days. The music itself consisted of the 4-to-floor beat of house music allied to deeper, dub-influenced basslines and a more melancholic, emotional edge. Often, the ethereal "swirly" textures of early trance could be heard in the mix, and various other elements from across the electronic spectrum. "Song of Life", for instance, has a trip-hoppy down-pitched breakbeat and a high-energy 303 riff at various stages.
The centre-of-gravity of the sound, so to speak, has shifted over the years. After the release of Transeau's debut album "Ima", for instance, the bulk of the style's records were in a more ethereal, melodic style. (That record was also an enormous influence on the nascent progressive trance sound.) Then, as trance became more and more popular and melodic, prog darkened and acted as a deliberately underground counterpoint, merging with tribal house to produce many very minimal percussive tracks as this decade kicked off. Modern progressive house tracks have innovative bass lines and strong closed atmospheric sounds. This particular style made the rise of a new sub genre, 'Dark House'. (It also marked the return to the sound of Sasha and Digweed, who had picked up and popularised the progressive trance sound in the interim.)
Drum & Bass is hele drukke muziek met trommels enzo PS: Progressive is weer weg op de poll!