Big room house

Big room house or simply big room is a subgenre of electro house that gained popularity in the early 2010s after artists like KSHMR, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Hardwell, Nicky Romero, Blasterjaxx, Martin Garrix and R3HAB began infusing it into their musical style.[1]

The genre is generally set at a tempo that falls between 126 and 132 bpm. Songs typically include long buildups followed by an electro-style drop accompanied by the four on the floor kick drums typical of house music. Melodies are often simple and minimal, though a trance-inspired supersaw is frequently used.[1][2]


In the early 2010s, big room house began developing and gained popularity at electronic dance music events and festivals. Despite being considered a subgenre of electro house, big room house has been developing into a genre of its own.[3][failed verification]

Swedish House Mafia members – Steve Angello, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso produce big room house.[1] Martin Garrix's "Animals" is a big room house song, as is Hardwell's "Spaceman" (2012).[citation needed]

In 2016, Beatport added the Big Room genre, putting producers such as Deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner under the category.[4]


The structure of big room house songs is similar to that of American progressive house of the late 2000s.[according to whom?] There are two build-ups complete with breaks, two drop sections, and one or two breakdowns, one of which may or may not include the intro/outro phase. Unlike progressive house, big room is adapted to radio edited format and features either the first or the second build-up usually much longer than the other one. In case of remixes, one usually features the whole vocal/riff sample of the initial song, while the other build-up is a simple break that is significantly shorter and prepares the listener for the drop.[citation needed]

The basic characteristic of big room is its minimalism. One bassline, often aided by one or two highs and lows, creates the mood for the whole composition. This bassline is reverberated so that the echo is cut and spontaneously released only on 1/4 of the tab, usually the last. Unlike in electro house proper, where the bass itself is subject to additional wave effects (such as attack, threshold and sustain) to beautify the melody, in big room house, only the way the sound is released plays a major role. Henceforth, the drum beats are made minimal, sometimes with only a kick or tom and a couple of hi-hat.[citation needed]

Origins and popularityEdit

Big room first appeared in early 2010 and was influenced by famous early electro house tracks, such as Benny Bennassi's "Satisfaction".[citation needed] Techno music, a similarly build-up centric, reverb-heavy genre, was also central in the genre's formation, with some EDM commentators even dubbing big room "Trance 2.0."[5] The increasing role of North American progressive (such as Deadmau5 and Kaskade) and the introduction of electronic sounds in mainstream pop music at the same time also influenced the scene significantly. Swedish groups such as Swedish House Mafia and Dada Life were among the first to experiment with big room by mid-2010.[citation needed]

By 2012, popular music artists started to include "big room" elements into their songs. Examples include "This Is Love" by featuring Eva Simons and "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears.

By 2013, big room house gained international prominence, with its base across Sweden, Norway, France, Russia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Greece, United States and the UK. Certain tracks such as "Animals" by Martin Garrix and "Toulouse" by Nicky Romero have topped the radio charts for over a couple of months, extending well beyond the EDM scene.


The genre has been criticized by several musicians, who have described it as 'stereotypical EDM sound lacking originality and creativity' and said that it is homogeneous and lacks originality, diversity, and artistic merit.[6][7] Mixmag described the genre as composing of "titanic breakdowns and spotless, monotone production aesthetics".[8] Wolfgang Gartner described the genre as a "joke", and disregarded it, alongside conglomerates such as SFX Entertainment, as "digestible cheap dance music".[9] He also called the genre "the EDM Apocalypse", saying "real music should have some soul and authenticity to it, and not just be a big kick drum and a techno like breakdown with a cheesy one-liner and a 'big drop'".[10]

Russell Smith of The Globe and Mail observes a "fiery friction" between fans of traditional underground electronic music and the newer, typically younger fans who have arisen as a result of big room's movement of EDM into the mainstream.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Why Big Room House Is Already Dead". (in American English). 17 September 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Big Room House – Beat Explorer's Dance Music Guide". Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Five big-room bangers to get you psyched up for Creamfields". Mixmag. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  4. ^ McGovern, Travis (12 September 2016). "Beatport Adds New Genres & Re-Categorizes Deadmau5 As The Most Despised One In EDM". Your EDM. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Is Trance Dead?". Club Glow Washington DC.
  6. ^ "Swedish DJs Daleri Mock EDM Cliche With Hilarious Viral Mini-Mix Epic Mashleg'". 15 July 2013.
  7. ^ Tech, Si Truss 2013-07-16T10:47:00 196Z. "Hear 16 remarkably similar EDM drops edited into a single 60 second track". MusicRadar.
  8. ^ "EDM will eat itself: Big room house stars are getting bored". Mixmag. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  9. ^ Staff, Your EDM (8 January 2014). "Wolfgang Gartner's Reddit AMA RECAP, States His Distaste For The Big Room Movement & Claims There Is An "Over saturation" of Festivals". Your EDM. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  10. ^ Anthony, Polis (2 May 2013). "Wolfgang Gartner Discusses "EDM Apocalypse"". DJ City. Archived from the original on 24 November 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013. To be perfectly honest, and I hate to sound negative, cynical or condescending in any way but that’s probably how this will come off, I’ve been really bummed with most of the new music that’s been making waves in 2013. I feel like the “big” sound in dance music right now is just this mashup of every single subgenre possible, to try and appeal to the most people possible, with these cheesy played-out trancey pads and vocal hooks, it all sounds exactly the same and it’s really bad for the most part, and the scariest thing is that people are reacting to this stuff, crowds at festivals and clubs are wanting more of it. A few of us have deemed it the EDM Apocalypse. Electronic music is in a really weird place right now. I don’t know where it’s going to go. In some way I’m hoping Daft Punk single-handedly destroys this phenomenon we’re experiencing and un-brainwashes everybody into realizing that real music should have some soul and authenticity to it, and not just be a big kick drum and a trance breakdown with a cheesy one-liner and a “big drop.”
  11. ^ Smith, Russell (26 December 2013). "Electronic dance music and the rise of the big night out". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 December 2013.