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The First "beat Ballad"

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Sorry if this has been done before but....where and when are your memories of hearing the first "beat ballad"...At an established nighter perhaps.? When was the term first used?

You get the drift,so over to you chaps.

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Unless Stringfellow started playing Billy Stewart's "Exodus" before the Artistics 45 came out (he played the BS track off the 'Teaches Old Standards New Tricks' album - exactly when was that LP released in the US ?).

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Paris Blues??

The Artistics "I'm Gonna Miss You" at the very end of 1966 at the Mojo club.

As good as they are but none of them are "beat ballads" IMHO. Midtempo more like.

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Billy Stewart's LP 'Old Standards' won a album cover award at the end of January 1967, so I guess that was when it was released.

So that would make the Artistics "I'm Gonna Miss You" an earlier play at Mojo allniters than Billy S's "Exodus".

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Billy Stewart's LP 'Old Standards' won a album cover award at the end of January 1967, so I guess that was when it was released.

So that would make the Artistics "I'm Gonna Miss You" an earlier play at Mojo allniters than Billy S's "Exodus".

Yeah but like benji says the Artistics isn't a beat ballad

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:hatsoff2: HI ALL, ...Although I never used the wordage 'Beat Ballard' myself, in the 70s, it describes certain records perfectly, whether it is being performed, by(not trying to be political correct, here more as how music was viewed in the 60s) a white,or black, artist solo. or as a group, and as we all use the tag now, it started to be used more in the 80s,

The bench mark is Phil Specter's 'Wall of Sound' and it was created to compete with 'MOTOWN',

SPECTORS use of the multi track overdub, was not his creation, It however was capitalized on 50s Country due LES PAUL & MARY FORD, ALL SPECTOR did was apply it to every thing, my favourite example of Specter perfection, is the Ronettes 'walking in the rain'

and the Riotous Bros 'you lost that lovin feeling,

:thumbsup: The 1st record on the scene to be recognised as such, Gene McDaniel's 'walk with a winner' late 77 Discovery, early 78 saw this record go massive, so Pete's bang on, and I am surprised Ady C, did not agree with Pete, nothing says he has to? But I was with Ady, Mick S & 2 others? at WIGAN, when Pete And, had 6 mint copies on UK liberty, I paid £7, for my copy as it had a crack,

the next record was Barbara McNair 'your gonna love my baby'. since them as I say most artist who got a chance to record a LP, is they recorded a Beat Ballard, for it, :ohmy: DAVE

The 1st BEAT BALLARD, ON THE SCENE??

post-13241-0-57718500-1335489592_thumb.j

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Wasn't The Drifter an early 70's play?

It was played at the Wheel apparently Chalky, much to my surprise when I found out.

As with other tags/labels it seems theres some differences to peoples definition of what a beat ballad is

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Was on the first LP I bought. Capitol Soul Casino. Great LP.

It was a great LP indeed, but I think that Walk With A Winner was on an LP called 'Sold On Soul' on United Artists, that track stood out from the rest, mostly due to the fact that it was very much a slow-build beat ballad, whilst the rest of the album was generally more uptempo.

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I don't know when the term beat ballad was first used in soul music but I remember it being used to describe the Four Preps' Big Man released in 1958 when I was at school and first interested in music.

I'm not sure I'd describe I'm Gonna Miss You or I Cried My Life Away as beat ballads but who am I to say? When does a beat ballad become a straightforward ballad, or medium tempo become a beat ballad?

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How about Garnett Mimms - It Was Easier To Hurt Her. That was played as a new release in 1965 well before the term Beat Ballad (or rare / northern soul) was even coigned by Guy H.

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How about Garnett Mimms - It Was Easier To Hurt Her. That was played as a new release in 1965 well before the term Beat Ballad (or rare / northern soul) was even coigned by Guy H.

Slow records were often played during the course of a night "back in the day", but you danced with a girl as opposed to the way we dance alone to beat ballads now. Quite handy at a niter if you wanted to get off with a girl there, dance nice and close. I remember You'll Want Me Back by the Impressions, My Girl Has Gone by the Miracles, and plenty of others. I used to dance with Lesley holding her close and rocking back and forth.

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Gone off the subject a bit now though, the question appeared to be in a world dominated by uptempo stompers, which was the first beat ballad, so we're talking about the 70's Northern Soul scene here. Everyone would acknowledge things like I'm Gonna Miss You and Hey Girl Don't Bother Me were slower records that were played, but when NS was at it's peak, there were not many slow records played at all. I remember writing about the "beat ballad phenomena" in around 1989 so before Stafford, they are very thin on the ground.

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Gone off the subject a bit now though, the question appeared to be in a world dominated by uptempo stompers, which was the first beat ballad, so we're talking about the 70's Northern Soul scene here. Everyone would acknowledge things like I'm Gonna Miss You and Hey Girl Don't Bother Me were slower records that were played, but when NS was at it's peak, there were not many slow records played at all. I remember writing about the "beat ballad phenomena" in around 1989 so before Stafford, they are very thin on the ground.

Don't you mean 79 Pete?

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The Drifter, if not end of Wigan definitely Clifton Hall?

Quite right Jocko.

But "The Drifter" was an "ender" before the term "beat ballad" was used on the NS scene.I was trying to get to when the first biggie was played slap bang in the middle of a niter,and accepted as such.

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It was the '1989, so before Stafford' bit that threw me

See what you mean.

To clarify.

I wrote an article in 1989 or 1990 about beat ballads as they were becoming so popular.

"Before Stafford" refers to a time on the NS scene before Stafford, not my article being before Stafford.

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£í¢"š¬í¢"š¬

They were defo played before but i don't remember them being termed that until I heard guy playing Tommy Navarro at Stafford and that turned me on to playing them.

I was sure I remembered reading the term in one of the fanzines, I thought possibly BB with Randy or Cockney Mick, hopely Steve G can remember, but on reflection think you might be right on more general use, and no doubt it would have been those deep soul fans in the making, Binsy etc, that were there or thereabouts.

Dave Molloy used to always put some crackers on Northern tapes at that time too that would fit the bill, as did Eddie Hubbard but he put them on his deep tapes, I in later years sniffed them out for future dancefloor potential as Beat Stompers, the sound of the late 80's.

Quite right Jocko.

But "The Drifter" was an "ender" before the term "beat ballad" was used on the NS scene.I was trying to get to when the first biggie was played slap bang in the middle of a niter,and accepted as such.

At Clifton Hall, Ray Pollard wasn't played as an ender, it was played much earlier, although definitely not bang in the middle of the night, as the Preston Street dancers and that Funky Hunk, Sean Hampsey, would have had trouble adapting their dance styles and whistle blowing to that tempo. And somone mentioned Barbara McNair, that was definitely played in middle of a set at Rotherham although personally would say that is maybe a beat or two above a ballad.

And agree I don't remember the term ever being used for them in those days.

Certainly by I started djing more, about 86 onwards, there were numbers of them being played all over. Although again whether they all qualify as Beat Ballads or are a bit too fast.

E.g. Marva Josie, Jack Montgomery Barracuda, Tony Colton. Clyde McPhatter? All tunes I "adopted" from the big boys so had been played before 86 I suspect.

£í¢"š¬í¢"š¬

Gone off the subject a bit now though, the question appeared to be in a world dominated by uptempo stompers, which was the first beat ballad, so we're talking about the 70's Northern Soul scene here. Everyone would acknowledge things like I'm Gonna Miss You and Hey Girl Don't Bother Me were slower records that were played, but when NS was at it's peak, there were not many slow records played at all. I remember writing about the "beat ballad phenomena" in around 1989 so before Stafford, they are very thin on the ground.

Cmon then Pete get the article up, given timing that would be very interesting reading for me, and I suspect our Southern compadres were definitely spinning a few by then.

I only came along late 70's, being much older than I look obviously, but totally agree they were thin on ground then, but suspect even at late Wigan there were a couple more, just can't think of any at the moment.

Barbara McNair via Brian Rae is a good shout for then, but is it a BB?

Edited by jocko

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£í¢"š¬í¢"š¬

Cmon then Pete get the article up, given timing that would be very interesting reading for me, and I suspect our Southern compadres were definitely spinning a few by then.

I only came along late 70's, being much older than I look obviously, but totally agree they were thin on ground then, but suspect even at late Wigan there were a couple more, just can't think of any at the moment.

Barbara McNair via Brian Rae is a good shout for then, but is it a BB?

I'll try and find it. Trouble is, I did 15 or 16 magazines but only have about 9 of them myself! People will say no, it was much earlier, but in my reference to 'beat ballads', this phrase had only just been coined, they were being called 'midtempos' before that.

Barbara McNair was a late Wigan spin, the earliest trace I can find of it being played is in 1979.

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Informative topic and also very interesting that it can be nailed down quite so definitively to Gene McDaniels. Who played it and was it played slap bang in the middle of either a set or the night?

As others have mentioned there had been something of a tradition of slower records played with a specific purpose as 'enders' in various clubs and The Drifter had long been a record held in high esteem by collectors, right from the time of its UK release. Some slower mid tempo records had been pretty big in the scene's heyday: Eddie Foster is a pretty slow dancer, as was Arin Demain: it's not a million miles from the 'Beat Ballad' sound.

The first time I would have come across the specific term was maybe via certain record lists, possibly Dave Raistrick's, in the mid 80s. This was the time when Stafford djs were playing a number of slower records in their sets. I'd be interested to know if some of the record dealers and collectors of that era had a direct line to the Popcorn scene's collectors as a number of those Stafford sounds like Kell Osborne on Titanic, Romance Watson on Coral and Sam Fletcher on Tollie had been played in the Belgian clubs. The Trends "Not Too Old To Cry" on ABC-Paramount had also been a Popcorn sound, albeit for the other side.

Sam Fletcher was supposed to have come from Ian Levine's collection but whether he had actually played it at The Mecca or at other clubs is a moot point (can anyone say for sure?). Tommy Navarro similarly had Popcorn scene roots, although that, like some of the others has a definite cha-cha-cha rhythm (like Romance Watson) which I think of as slightly different from an out-and-out Beat Ballad.

Maybe a definitive example of a total ballad played at that time was Faye Crawford on RCA Victor, covered up as June Edwards "Come On And Tell Me". It captured the imagination for at least a few weeks and opened the door for other slow things to come through. Hattie Winston's "Pass Me By" was also held in high regard but was probably a bit too rare to catch on in a big way nationally.

A couple of things to remember about that time though. The 'Stafford Sound' is sometimes characterised as being all about a slower tempo, but a lot of the newer sounds from a lot of the djs there were actually really frantically uptempo. The slower things were an occasional punctuation. Also, relatively few of the slower records were out-an-out orchestrated Big City Ballads in the strict Gene McDaniels mould: Johnny Gilliam on Cancer and Soul Bros. Inc. on Golden Eye for example were floaty early seventies Southern Soul and really miles from true Beat Ballads.

Slower-than-before Detroit 45s played a big part too. The slower side of Stewart Ames was just as big as "Angelina", at least for a short time. Bobbie Smith on American Arts and Joan Baker on Diamond had strong Detroit connections and had been collected earlier in the scene's history (because they were Detroit records or productions) before they went on to enjoy dance floor popularity.

In London Randy Cozens was very influential about spreading the word about that slower strand of Soul which could be played in clubs and danced to. Via his Black Beat columns and through a few London people travelling to hear the 'Mafia djs' up and down the country a good deal of knowledge of such sounds was spread back and forth at the time. I remember buying things like Eldridge Holmes "Worried" on Jet Set and Willie Tee's Capitol 45s from Pete Lawson which a few years earlier would have been inconceivable to classify as "Northern Soul" of any kind.

Once Stafford closed it was much more common to hear Beat Ballads at other venues and maybe that's when the quality dropped a bit. It seems now that for every great one like Jack Montgomery on Barracuda there were a lot of distinctly soul-less things.

For the next generation of djs it wasn't a big deal to play a few slower things at any point in a set.

My enthusiasm for hearing these kind of records has recently been rekindled. Although I still wouldn't like to hear too many bad ones during a night out, they make agreeable background noise on youtube or what-have-you.

Edited by garethx

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:hatsoff2: HI ALL, ...Although I never used the wordage 'Beat Ballard' myself, in the 70s, it describes certain records perfectly, whether it is being performed, by(not trying to be political correct, here more as how music was viewed in the 60s) a white,or black, artist solo. or as a group, and as we all use the tag now, it started to be used more in the 80s,

The bench mark is Phil Specter's 'Wall of Sound' and it was created to compete with 'MOTOWN',

SPECTORS use of the multi track overdub, was not his creation, It however was capitalized on 50s Country due LES PAUL & MARY FORD, ALL SPECTOR did was apply it to every thing, my favourite example of Specter perfection, is the Ronettes 'walking in the rain'

and the Riotous Bros 'you lost that lovin feeling,

:thumbsup: The 1st record on the scene to be recognised as such, Gene McDaniel's 'walk with a winner' late 77 Discovery, early 78 saw this record go massive, so Pete's bang on, and I am surprised Ady C, did not agree with Pete, nothing says he has to? But I was with Ady, Mick S & 2 others? at WIGAN, when Pete And, had 6 mint copies on UK liberty, I paid £7, for my copy as it had a crack,

the next record was Barbara McNair 'your gonna love my baby'. since them as I say most artist who got a chance to record a LP, is they recorded a Beat Ballard, for it, :ohmy: DAVE

Wasn't that PETE WIDD who had those 'Walk with a winner' copies DAVE?.... :hatsoff2:

The 1st BEAT BALLARD, ON THE SCENE??

post-13241-0-57718500-1335489592_thumb.j

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Agree with STEVE, surely it has to be JIMMY RADCLIFFE?..... :hatsoff2:

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Les Cockell at the Wheel, it might not have been called the "Northern Soul Scene" then but it was still essentially the same music. The Drifter played back then and probably continued to be played, it was Les's favourite record so I've read. Are you telling me it didn't get played again until after 1978 when Gene McDaniels was played? I doubt it somehow. I bet there was other beat ballads although the term wasn't used, played frequently long before 1978.

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Les Cockell at the Wheel, it might not have been called the "Northern Soul Scene" then but it was still essentially the same music. The Drifter played back then and probably continued to be played, it was Les's favourite record so I've read. Are you telling me it didn't get played again until after 1978 when Gene McDaniels was played? I doubt it somehow. I bet there was other beat ballads although the term wasn't used, played frequently long before 1978.

Well yeah I'm going to tell you that I never heard The Drifter played anywhere, ever, I didn't hear it until that United Artists LP came out (79?) and I went somewhere every weekend and most midweeks between 1975 and 1978. I am still trying to think of a beat ballad played during that period and can't. A beat ballad being (as someone said) Panic Is On, that tempo.

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Well yeah I'm going to tell you that I never heard The Drifter played anywhere, ever, I didn't hear it until that United Artists LP came out (79?) and I went somewhere every weekend and most midweeks between 1975 and 1978. I am still trying to think of a beat ballad played during that period and can't. A beat ballad being (as someone said) Panic Is On, that tempo.

I take your word for it Pete. I wouldn't have classed Gene McDaniels as a beat ballad in the class as Roy Hamilton you mention.

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I take your word for it Pete. I wouldn't have classed Gene McDaniels as a beat ballad in the class as Roy Hamilton you mention.

Really? I kind of define it as something that lulls you into a false sense of security, starts out quietly and builds up to a big chorus. I found is strange when they started to play Gene McDaniels as it was considered to be a very slow track. Jimmy Radcliffe doesn't really count as it had been played since it's release in 1965 without a break really.

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Something else about beat ballads; the acceptance of these opened up a new world for both buyers and sellers, almost overnight, another 10,000 or so titles could be added to those already collected. Ditto R&B when that boomed in the early 90's. So since those days of the 70's when NS was at it's most popular, the amount of records there to play has quadrupled I'd say, factoring in other subgenres like Latin and disco.

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Just thought of something, in early 1978 I got a copy of Garnet Mimms "It was easier to hurt her" on a reissue EP, well I put it on a cassette and played the tape when we were on the train to Wigan one night, he won't remember it but Eddie Hubbard was in the carriage with us, I distinctly remember that most of the people liked it but every single one said it was a ballad and just ridiculously slow. Which I suppose it was. But fast forward 15 years and it's an accepted beat ballad classic. People just weren't ready for that sort of thing back in the 70's, especially with the gear and the 100mph stompers.

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Really? I kind of define it as something that lulls you into a false sense of security, starts out quietly and builds up to a big chorus. I found is strange when they started to play Gene McDaniels as it was considered to be a very slow track. Jimmy Radcliffe doesn't really count as it had been played since it's release in 1965 without a break really.

according to the lthe BPM counter on Djay it is 107 BPM and listening I would put it a bit above a beat ballad but slower than mid tempo :) Beat ballad it is Pete :)

  • Andante " at a walking pace (76-108 bpm)
  • Andantino - slightly faster than andante (although in some cases it can be taken to mean slightly slower than andante)
  • Moderato " moderately (108-120 bpm)

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Really going off topic now .... but not a lot of people know this ..... RE : Sam Fletcher on Tollie

I was one of the 1st Brits to visit Johnny Pate at his house in Vegas (about 12 / 13 years ago).

He knew nothing about the NS scene, so I started listing the 45 tracks that he had been involved with that were NS faves.

He couldn't even remember "Soul Self Satisfaction" or the artist, apparently some artists were assigned to him by ABC & he just met them in the studio, cut a couple of tracks on these type of artists, mixed the tracks & forgot about them.

But when I mentioned the Sam Fletcher cut he got really excited. He hadn't thought about the track in years & hadn't heardit since a couple of months after it was recorded ... BUT .... it was one of his all time fave recording sessions and he was very proud of the way that cut ended up sounding.

I had to make sure he got a copy of the track (on CD-R) as soon after I met him as possible.

All the massive hits he worked on (The Impressions, etc) & it was this one that he was 'proudest' of.

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according to the lthe BPM counter on Djay it is 107 BPM and listening I would put it a bit above a beat ballad but slower than mid tempo :) Beat ballad it is Pete :)

  • Andante " at a walking pace (76-108 bpm)
  • Andantino - slightly faster than andante (although in some cases it can be taken to mean slightly slower than andante)
  • Moderato " moderately (108-120 bpm)

I don't get this BPM thing, sometimes if I do a mix podcast I'll put a jungle track on and these sound like really superfast drum and bass things, but the BPM calculator always puts them near the bottom of the BPM list, yet to me they sound the fastest!

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The technical explanation from wiki, not sure how accurate this is as I haven't checked sources or elsewhere...

Beats per minute (BPM) is a unit typically used as a measure of tempo in music and heart rate.

The BPM tempo of a piece of music is conventionally shown in its score as a metronome mark, as illustrated to the right. This indicates that there should be 120 crotchet beats (quarter notes) per minute. In simple time signatures it is conventional to show the tempo in terms of the note duration on the bottom. So a 4/4 would show a crotchet (or quarter note), as above, while a 2/2 would show a minim (or half note).

In compound time signatures the beat consists of three note durations (so there are 3 quavers (eighth notes) per beat in a 6/8 time signature), so a dotted form of the next note duration up is used. The most common compound signatures: 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8, therefore use a dotted crotchet (dotted quarter note) to indicate their BPM.

Exotic time and particularly slow time signatures may indicate their BPM tempo using other note durations. Beats per minute became common terminology in disco because of its usefulness to DJs, and remain important in the same genre and other dance music.

In this context the beats measured are either crotchets (quarter notes) in the time signature (sometimes ambiguously called down-beats), or drum beats (typically bass-drum or another functionally similar synthesized sound), whichever is more frequent. Higher BPM values are therefore achievable by increasing the number of drum beats, without increasing the tempo of the music. House music is faster around 120-128 bpm (from regular house music to UK Garage), Trance Music ranges from 125 to 150 bpm,[3] and Jungle music generally ranges between 150-180 bpm. Psytrance is almost exclusively produced at 145 BPM,[citation needed] whereas Speedcore and Gabber music exceed 180 bpm.

:unsure::rofl::g:

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Really? I kind of define it as something that lulls you into a false sense of security, starts out quietly and builds up to a big chorus. I found is strange when they started to play Gene McDaniels as it was considered to be a very slow track. Jimmy Radcliffe doesn't really count as it had been played since it's release in 1965 without a break really.

Isn't that exactly why it has to be classed as the 'first' BB played then?.... :hatsoff2:

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The technical explanation from wiki, not sure how accurate this is as I haven't checked sources or elsewhere...

Beats per minute (BPM) is a unit typically used as a measure of tempo in music and heart rate.

The BPM tempo of a piece of music is conventionally shown in its score as a metronome mark, as illustrated to the right. This indicates that there should be 120 crotchet beats (quarter notes) per minute. In simple time signatures it is conventional to show the tempo in terms of the note duration on the bottom. So a 4/4 would show a crotchet (or quarter note), as above, while a 2/2 would show a minim (or half note).

In compound time signatures the beat consists of three note durations (so there are 3 quavers (eighth notes) per beat in a 6/8 time signature), so a dotted form of the next note duration up is used. The most common compound signatures: 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8, therefore use a dotted crotchet (dotted quarter note) to indicate their BPM.

Exotic time and particularly slow time signatures may indicate their BPM tempo using other note durations. Beats per minute became common terminology in disco because of its usefulness to DJs, and remain important in the same genre and other dance music.

In this context the beats measured are either crotchets (quarter notes) in the time signature (sometimes ambiguously called down-beats), or drum beats (typically bass-drum or another functionally similar synthesized sound), whichever is more frequent. Higher BPM values are therefore achievable by increasing the number of drum beats, without increasing the tempo of the music. House music is faster around 120-128 bpm (from regular house music to UK Garage), Trance Music ranges from 125 to 150 bpm,[3] and Jungle music generally ranges between 150-180 bpm. Psytrance is almost exclusively produced at 145 BPM,[citation needed] whereas Speedcore and Gabber music exceed 180 bpm.

:unsure::rofl::g:

What on earth is Gabber???....Dont answer that...lol.

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