Gabber, gabba, Rotterdam techno, Rotterdam hardcore or retrospectively called early hardcore, is a style of electronic music and a subgenre of hardcore.
The style is derived from the acid house and techno house styles from the late 1980s, but many within the core scene claim that it was diluted by 1995, mainly because of a
mainstream variant called happy hardcore and, for hardcore fans, be- cause of commercialization which resulted in a younger crowd being attracted to the scene. The commercial organization ID&T
helped to make the music popular by organizing parties (most nota- ble are the Thunderdome parties) and selling merchandise. The name “gabber” is used somewhat less currently to describe this music style, especially due to the stigma created in the mid 1990s.
Early hardcore is characterized by its bass drum sound. Essentially, it comes from taking a normal synthesized bass drum and over-driving it heavily. The approximately sinusoidal sample starts to clip into a square wave with a falling pitch. This results in a number of effects: the frequency spectrum spreads out, thus achieving a louder, more aggressive sound. It also changes the amplitude envelope of the sound by increasing the sustain. Due to the distortion, the drum also develops a melodic tone. It is not uncommon for the bass drum pat- tern to change pitch
throughout the song to follow the bass line.
(a project for Romeo Gigli & Claudia Nesi)