Big Beat

Big Beat (also Big Beats ) is a style of electronic dance music that builds substantially on breakbeats. The term was coined in the mid 1990s by the British music press to describe the music of The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Leftfield, The Crystal Method, Propellerheads and The Prodigy.

  • 2.1 emergence
  • 2.2 Further

Description of Style


In the center is a differently composed basic rhythm, the sound is based on Techno, Hip- Hop, Breakbeat and House. While the rhythm is played regularly at Techno ( bass beat on each quarter note), this is typically irregular in Big Beat and moves usually 85-160 BPM. It is supplemented with sampled loops real drum breaks, which received a phone style sound by filtering out the bass and treble and thus fade into the background. However, the kick, so the bass drum passes the clock usually a hard, has a strong emphasis in the sub- bass range and is never in the same frequency band as the bass line. It occurs as elements of funk, jazz or acid house, which usually serve as rhythmic elements. Therefore usually is only a limited melodic observed, since the songs give priority to their sound and rhythm ( groove ) are based, is to what worked meticulously detailed mostly.

Arrangement / Elements

These often come to Acid reminiscent sounds of analog synthesizers (such as Moog, Roland TB -303 and Roland SH -101), vocal samples (usually only short excerpts ) and later also rock guitar or organ samples. Hardcore producers rely today on the Drumsequencer the 80s, mainly Roland TR- 808 and Roland TR -909, which are very limited in the selection of sounds, and today only more difficult to acquire, as they have long been replaced by fully digital drum machine. Among those, however, especially for the Akai MPC 2000 prevailed in this genre. Despite most complete digitization often come very many analog effects used tube amp, vinyl samples ( without major rework ), Tape Delay or guest musicians from different backgrounds.


Attention will be paid to the space distribution of the operating elements. Often traces using various space simulation set in front and on the background, creating a very full, punchy and most pleasant sound is produced throughout, to which the name alludes Big Beat. Known representatives of the genre set in the production mainly on analog devices ( analog mixers, tube amp, tube compressor, analog distortion, phaser, analog oscillators, etc.)



As the founder of the Big Beat The Chemical Brothers in the mid- 1990s are at their performances as resident DJ at London club The Heavenly Social in her sets, soul, funk, rap and techno mixed. As of 1996, organized Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook ) and the Skint label operator Damian Harris in Brighton Concorde Club, the club night Big Beat Boutique, in which also the Chemical Brothers laying on a regular basis. The club night, which later served as a name for the style that became the platform for further musical experimentation. The style of the conglomerate Big Beat was here by artists such as Fatboy Slim, Lo Fidelity Allstars or the Midfield General, inspired again and again each other further developed. Primarily due to the success of the second Fatboy Slim album You've Come A Long Way Baby Big Beat reached in the late 1990s, a relatively large popularity. At the same time appeared with the Propellerheads album Decksandrumsandrockandroll an expression of Big Beat, which is based among other things on the sound of the James Bond films of the 60s and 70s. For this, the Propellerheads also worked with Shirley Bassey, who had sung the theme songs of three Bond films.

The style also was established in film and advertising. 1999 Big Beat was an essential part of the musical backing for the movie The Matrix. In the U.S., Big Beat grew as a form of appreciation for electronic music. Artists like The Crystal Method and BT provided a significant contribution to the genre.


Beginning of the new millennium grew up mainly in England, a new generation of Big Beat. It is often spoken in this context of Nu - Skool Breaks and Nu- Breaks. Artists such as Adam Freeland, Elite Force, Rennie Pilgrem, Meat Katie, Dylan Rhymes, etc. gave the style a new impetus and brought influences from genres far shunned it. Thus one finds in the Big Beat today also elements of rock, Psy Trance, Pop, Salsa, Jazz, Abstract Hip Hop and Acid House. Meanwhile, the style follows already a large community, which, for example, in London in the fabric ( a club that predominantly hard- house and big beat artists promote and admit occur ) can be observed. These representatives of the new generation speak of the style name Tek radio.

Selection of known artists