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Show HN: Dancemusic.wtf – Quiz Game for Learning Electronic Dance Music Styles (dancemusic.wtf)
152 points by Tjorvens 77 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 55 comments

Nice work. I would quibble with some of the genre classifications. The game told me that Acperience by Hardfloor is classic trance, when it's quite clearly acid house. It classified Want You by Bearson as future garage, which it clearly isn't. It told me that Porcelain by Moby is "Ambient breaks/Illbient", which isn't a connection I would have made. It also seemed to wrongly categorise a couple of tracks as Hi-NRG, although I missed their names. I don't think that anyone from within the rave scene has ever used the term "breakbeat hardcore"; the Wikipedia article for the genre is totally devoid of references.

Personally, I think that a bit of simplification might be in order. A lot of tracks don't neatly fit into any genre and a lot of genres are pedantic labels rather than actual musical movements. A more concise and less contentious set of genres might be more useful to newcomers and less irritating to cratediggers. Learning the difference between Chicago house and Balearic house is very valuable if you're just starting to explore dance music, but I'm not sure there a useful delineation between Euro trance, classic trance, progressive trance and epic trance.

Also, a tracklisting at the end of the game would be very useful.

> I don't think that anyone from within the rave scene has ever used the term "breakbeat hardcore"; the Wikipedia article for the genre is totally devoid of references.

Really? I've seen that term used for quite a long time, since the late 90s at least. Sometimes I see the variations "hardcore rave", "UK rave", "oldschool UK hardcore".

I don't know if folks in the early UK rave scene actually called it "breakbeat hardcore" in the early 90s, but it's a relatively common term for that genre in my experience. Granted, it's been 25 years since the genre was regularly encountered, so it's more of a historical/throwback thing at this point :)

If you want a "classic" internet guide to electronic genres (as in, it was built in flash and has been around forever), as well as an opinionated history lesson, Ishkur's guide is great:


ishkur wrote this completely tounge in cheek, it's a snarky satire. there are entirely made up genres and artists and not a whole lot of ways to tell what's accurate and what is not.

for example, there is no such thing as speedbass.

If the genres did not exist before, by assigning labels Ishkur changed that, forever. Of course it is full of snarky satire, but truth- and insightful nonetheless. Regarding made up artists, I wouldn't be so sure. It's certainly possible, but the set of obscure artists is immense. Even the set of obscure artist personas of one person can be incomprehensibly large.

If some of the music was just written for inclusion in the guide (which is entirely possible from my point of view since I can identify many, but not all of the examples), how would it be less real than anything else at the bounds of near-infinite obscurity? It would just be another "artist" backed by the same person or collective as the Ishkur handle, just like the numerous incarnations of Bangalter.

to clarify: speedbass was a prank meant to poke fun at folks who are more interested in taxonomizing music than exploring sounds with an open mind.

All music genres have a whiff of taxonomy prank to them, this is not exclusive to the guide. Sure, Ishkur tried to one-up "serious" music publications with e.g. Casiocore. But even there, life experience suggests that it must have independently co-evolved many times, so often that in this case it is even likely that some of those natural occurrences actually involved someone blurting out the name as well. They probably all forgot about it before sobering up though (if the gear is present, p(Casiocore) is approaching 1 with a rising number of drinks).

this is not the case. speedbass was created by terbo ted and a few other folks as a prank before ishkur reported on it (either sincerely or tongue in cheek) but that hasn't got bearings on it's origins as anti-music intentionally messing around with concepts of perception and categorization.

Be that as it may, I've never found something comparable in terms of rapid music discovery and segmentation. I'd pay money for a version that (crucially:) works as well and is regularly updated.

Checkout Musicmap[0], very extensive with history and playlists for each genre. Bit on the heavy side on cpu usage but by far the best one I've found so far.


This isn't what you want in terms of dynamic content, but I wanted to bring it into the conversation just because of the breadth of segmentation -- http://everynoise.com/engenremap.html

Thanks, very cool.

The instaplay samples from somewhere in the middle of a representative song are what makes this work so well, I think.

It's striking how different it feels compared to MusicMap from the sibling post (which is also neat): MusicMap plays the entire song from the start, so it takes a while for each song to get going. The YouTube embed also takes a second or two to initialise.

Every Noise at Once, on the other hand, gives you a fairly good idea what a genre or artist is a about the moment you click the link. Very similar to Ishkur's Guide in that regard!

Yes, there is. Subgenre of speedcore.

It's not satire, it's hella informative, just some humor mixed in. Even if some of the info may be disputed, the wealth of the rest still outweighs.

The display of relations between genres is pretty much unparalleled, including the dive into subgenres solely focused on obscure features of parent genres, such as the kinkery going on in trance.

Heyoo HN. Finished this side project of mine during the weekend. Read more about it on GitHub: https://github.com/Hemmingsson/dancemusic.wtf

Let me know if you have any feedback!

Nice job. Here is my suggestion.

If the aim is to educate, it would be good to get a bit of feedback on the wrong answers. So if it said

"This is breakbeat, breakbeat is characterised by..."

I'm not big into EDM, so I thought it would be good to learn something, but I didn't feel like I came out any more informed.

I agree, I found myself googling most of the answers to get an idea of what the terms even meant.

Props for the UX and making it responsive on even the smallest screens! Not easy for a skeumorphic design, but you pulled it off!

I kept getting bitten by buildup sections instead of the rhythmic ones—can't tell trance from hi-nrg by whooshing air sounds. I highly doubt if this is feasible at this stage, but properly the app should use audio fingerprinting to choose the three samples that differ from each other.

Secondly, some of the offered genres are too close to each other to choose properly even for an edm nerd: the very first choice was between minimal house and deep house, with a rather bassy-dreamy track. This can be solved by marking similar genres one time in the database. Then, a higher difficulty setting could exist for hardcore geeks, presenting choices from neighboring genres.

Finally, it would be nice if the samples were of similar volume level, so I don't have to fiddle with it on my computer. Since the samples are short, you could analyze the volume on the fly with ReplayGain or a similar algorithm, and apply a correcting gain accordingly.

Would be cool to have a browsing section so we could train before playing.

I was thrown off by two very different tracks being the same genre. How accurate would you call your dataset?

Also, as a techno lover I'd enjoy playing with the same 4 options (minimal, detroit, hard, etc) with only techno tracks. Even better would be being able to toggle some genres away from the game.

Aside from the dubstep comment above, as a game designer, I would advice you to make the score mechanic more transparent. Right now, I see how much score did I get only after clicking the answer, and while I suspect that the sooner I click, the higher the score, the interface never shows this link to me.

If you display the constantly decreasing "stake" on screen, it will immediately explain the mechanic to the player and put more pressure on him to make the choice quicker, making the choice between clicking right now and spending additional time thinking over his choice more interesting.

Pretty good...Do you get less points if you take longer? I didnt really quite get how the points work. Maybe indicate that visually if that's the case.

Another thing is sometimes the clips start in a breakdown and unless you're familiar with the track it's sometimes difficult to know the genre until the drop.

oh i think i found a track that was mislabeled, but unfortunately i didnt catch the name sorry :( .. it was a track marked "Post-Dubstep" but sounded like a house track of some kind.

Hey thanks for this! There are a ton of sub-genres I'm not well acquainted with so this super helps. One request I would make is to be able pause the game, so that I can see the artist and track name for longer. Thanks this is great!

Well done, this is fun. Like someone else said, I didn't like the fact that all the tracks were in my YouTube history without you telling me.

I dig the gsap usage. I've been slowly learning it on the side myself. Do you have any good recommendations of books/websites for the library?

A 'Next' button maybe, e.g. a person guesses the genre in the first sample and doesn't feel like waiting.

Nice :)

155457 points before I ran out of lives (due to ambiguous tracks mostly ;) )

A couple things:

* There are some typos here and there (in genre names and in the UI)

* The timing of the game could be tightened up a little

* Would be nice to know how long I have for a given track, and how it affects my score. I was surprised more than once by the track changing from underneath me. (I assume I get more points for quick answers?)

* Maybe a non-infinite mode too, like... 10 questions, 3 lives?

This is great, and educational too! After playing quite a few rounds, I noticed I wasn't played any of the more esoteric categories such as '(free)tek(k)no' and 'french house' — seemed to most commonly fall on the bigger categories. Perhaps this is to be representative of the music landscape, but I fear that people won't hear enough of the lesser categories in order to learn from them.

I had fun, but one small criticism would be to speed up the time between rounds. The music quiz on the original iPod was a favourite time-waster of mine as a kid, and that was so addictive because it was quick to move to the next song.

Finally, if anyone is interested in a video walkthrough to the different electronic genres, this video helped me out immensely a couple of years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4r0MdBQI6U

Yeah, I noticed that most of the songs were coming from the more common genres. Maybe the game is sampling the song first, and then three other genres to go in the buttons, which would cause this. Sampling four genres and then picking a song from one of them would lead to a more diverse offering.

I really like this but 2 things: 1) I really wish there was a pause button. 2) Please notify the user that it is using their YouTube account to play music. My YT history has now blown up with songs, and it felt kind of invasive.

Very cool and I love the idea! I agree with sago that feedback on wrong answers would be super helpful. I'd like a brief description of the genre I guessed and the one it actually was.

Also, maybe links to youtube when you post the song title so I can save it for later if I liked it!

Also also, maybe a "beginner" option that restricts it to the (say) 20 most common genres. As someone who isn't super into EDM, the fine distinctions are lost on me.

This was super fun. A little bit of feedback:

The text telling you what the song was that just played goes away way too fast. It'd be nice if it stayed longer, or if a list built up somewhere to reference later.

Also, I may be crazy, and random things happen, but I swear 70% of the correct answers were the #1 option.

edit: At 72,000 or so points and haven't seen #4 show up as the correct answer.

i think it's your rng seed cause i've seen some 4's.

...and on the very first question this site makes the classic mistake of calling 2010's brostep scene (in this case, Pendulum) "dubstep".

Dubstep is a 00s dark and slow genre, unlistenable without frequencies below 150 Hz, from classic labels like Deep Medi Musik, Hyperdub, Tectonic, Tempa and others. Skrillex, Pendulum (which, btw, are more drum and bass influenced), Knife Party and other, mostly american, loud EDM artists have evolved from original dubstep, but have a very different sound.

I'm not trying to be elitist, and I don't think that one kind of music can be objectively better than other (only in my own personal view, which is of no consequence to other people). But calling two very different things with one word is just bad for communication.

I was expecting this to mess up the lesser known styles (wouldn't be the first time I see a list of 'all' electronic music clearly written by someone who clearly only knows house in all it's variations and then just mentions there's also techno and dnb) but this one is pretty good and accurate actually.

One thing I wonder: how were the names chosen? E.g. I know what's meant with '(free)tek(k)no' and 'hardcore techno/rave' but I don't think anyone actually calls it like that. At least not around here. We use names like tek/hardcore/rave and that's 3 quite different genres. Maybe the names were picked to reflect a mix of what people call it?

That's very cool! As a nascent metalhead, I'd love to see a clone of this for that genre - I often have trouble telling my prog metal from my power metal.

Why does this kick my CPU into high gear, and suck the battery life out of my laptop? This is a serous drawback to what is an otherwise fun idea. I keep playing it, but man it's a serious heat generator to the point that I'm joking that I must be mining coins for the site to make money.

I almost exclusively listen to electronic music, but at least one of the choices was always a genre I haven't heard of. For example, I couldn't guess that Huoratron was "Fidget House / Complextro" though I have listened to him for years.

The game was fun though, only a tad slow to progress.

Nice, but classifications can be better. The Deep House track wasn't really exemplary IMO :) Then you hear Larry Heard - Can You Feel It which is classified as Chicago/Garage house...

Nice, but it's very slow to progress.

Awesome! We need the same for metal music

Fun idea, and some great tracks. Be cool to pause game and goto YT and hear the whole track.

This is great fun, and aptly named: Dancemusic WTF. I find aspect of the seemingly infinite genres in electronic music very much WTF. Long ago i resorted to just call it all Techno (or "Dance music" if the mood strikes) and I use only two sub genres - tunes I like, and tunes I do not like. How can one keep up?

Trainspotters love to invent new sub-sub-sub genres, but hardly anyone actually uses those terms. There's a well-established taxonomy of dance music based on broad stylistic differences; Beatport and Juno both list about 30 genres, which I think is more than sufficient for any practical purpose.

Indeed it is enough. As a former "dance music" producer, I always struggled with the classifications. I think other types of music suffer the same sub-genre affliction though.

I failed miserably, but I only really listen to drum and bass or jungle these days.

This would look like a good test for someone applying for maintaining DI.FM channels.

Could definitely use a sharing feature to compete with friends!

I had a blast playing this. I cant be critical at all.

Needs a volume slider.

Cool, but frustratingly slow.

Also what's the point of genres like "French House" and "Detroit Techno" etc. These genres are ridiculous to the point where it sounds like satire.

Detroit Techno isn't obscure at all. It's a very well-established genre including probably most famously the work by Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. There have been at least 2 waves of it and it continues to influence electronic music from the fringes to the mainstream. If you're curious about it, I'd recommend Drexciya's The Quest as a starting point.

French House most likely refers the heavily filtered and compressed disco beats of e.g. Daft Punk, which had its heyday in the mid-to-late 1990s.

I may be wrong but I don't think they're particularly obscure genres

?? Detroit Techno is one of the original EDM genres. Like, 30 years ago. You can't get less obscure.

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