Gabber / Crossing Over?


Gabber seems to keep popping up. I’m hearing journalists at RA talk about it in passing. I’m hearing of DJs sneaking a track or two into their sets if they’re feeling brave.

I’ve never really listened to much of it. Outside of a quick flick around YouTube that has more often than not re-enforced my ideas that it’s not for me, I’ve barely come across it.

The increase in chatter about the genre has taken me somewhat by surprise. I understand that there has been a strong and ongoing scene in the Netherlands and the UK for the past decade or so, but I’m starting to wonder if the sound is about to start crossing over into other parts of the electronic underground.

Any recommendations on where to start if i wanted to dive in?

Anyone have any fondness for this (often maligned) style?

Has anyone else noticed the above or am I suffering from Confirmation Bias?


Never really gotten into gabber, though the Thunderdome compilations were huge when I was in my early teens.

You are probably right about it coming back, more and more old stuff are having a resurgence in popularity. Don’t know if it’s a new generation that’s discovering old stuff, or an old generation reminiscing.

All I can say about the genre over all is that this Radio Soulwax mix is amazing, valium gabber.


Living in Newcastle as a teenager in the late 90s/early 00s there was fairly heavy hardcore scene, Judgement Day always had a gabba room, Rotterdam was just a ferry away, Bass Generator, Smurf, GGM etc were fairly well known in the area so I suspect I was probably overly aware of it, despite not really caring for it.

Now, gabba’s more likely to be played at hippy/crusty nights rather than at ‘hard dance’ events. In the record store I work in, it’s rare to sell gabba to anyone who hasn’t got dreads. The crowd shifted.


Did anyone else check that recent Mover compilation, Undetected Act From The Gloom Chamber – although gabba isn’t to my personal taste, I think it’s an area ripe for compilation or retrospective discovery etc.


I fucking love the resurgence of gabber and hardcore. The recent rise of Gabber Eleganza, plus the Casual Gabberz stuff picking up, and artists like Kilbourne and Estoc just straight up killing it really do it for me.

I’ve been making gabber/grime/whatever crossover for a few years now, and I think those very extreme sounds and especially those kicks can be dismantled and used in a ton of different contexts, it lends itself well to almost anything that can be considered harder-edged.

Here’s some syncopated 140 gabberish stuff I made a while ago


Bleaching Agent did a great Gabber mix for THEM a while back. The track around 12 mins using a submarine alarm is great.


There is some wicked Gabber out there and has been since day, it’s not my go to by any means, but this whole “crossing over” thing feels a bit contrived. Same people wincing at the sight of a squat party 10 years ago booming out gabber are the people who seem to be embracing it.


I LOVE that Radio Soulwax mix, just as much for the dancing as for the music. Incredible.

This just came across my Soundcloud feed this morning (not gabber strictly but uses the hoover):

I’ve been hearing a lot of gabber references lately. I kinda see some of these as part of the bigger trend of “academic” dance music. This takes a lot of forms, from humorous exercises (above) to more rigorous commentary (Lorenzo Senni’s work with trance, to take one example). There’s a lot of great music emerging from this particularly disengaged relationship with the past, but at the same time I get a whiff of classism/elitism here and there…


Yep, grew up in the 90’s in Belgium, “Hardcore 4 Lyfe!~”. Thunderdome was great in the beginning. Harder styles of music are still a guilty pleasure now :slight_smile:


I get the concerns about the classism thing tbh, a lot of concerns over whether it’s people from the middle classes essentially stealing from and taking working class culture. Almost every producer I know who works around the hardcore continuum, esp with gabber, and who actually make a success of the crossover type stuff do tend to come from working class backgrounds where that level of rave was a very local thing and part of the artists’ culture… but every time I’ve been at a club event where gabber is served, but that gabber/hardcore isn’t the main attraction, it has largely been rich kids dancing to it.


Gabber Eleganza is a great example of this comeback (as already mentioned by @Medulasa).
He has been touring djing in Italy and Europe in the last few years with his Hakke Show bringing gabber dancers on stage. His sets are a mixture of classical Gabber style and new uk bass, post industrial and “deconstructed” club music.

I’d suggest you to listen to his mix for Rinse FM:

He’s also close in touch with Lorenzo Senni and released an ep (on Senni’s label Presto!? records) which gets a bit further from the proper gabber sound, and closer to uk bass and progressive trance sounds and textures, while maintaining a hardcore attitude and high bpm.


Gabber Eleganza 12" on Presto!? is sweet even if it takes the approach from a different angle, delivering something more akin to recent uk bass, yes, but with a strong identity. There should be a Vol.2 coming at some points, so curious to hear what’s next.


it’s been simmering for a while i think. i remember we used to play a hardstyle track or two every so often way back in 2010. also remember dj hoodcore was mostly just hardstyle fused with jersey club like this track
also i feel like we owe this whole vibe to craxxxmurf who did it better than anyone will ever do it again


Just went to Harlecore in LA the other night. Was a very funny scene. A. G. Cook, Danny L Harle, a nu metal set from Sam Rolfes, and then EDC bound modern hardcore DJs Gammer and Kayzo right after Danny.

Danny’s set was incredible with blown out hardcore tunes and an unreal remix of Golden Brown by the Stranglers.

Regarding the broader trend, popular techno is getting so hard and fast that it’s barely distinguishable from hardcore. Between that and the Nightcore / 160bpm stuff coming out of the rave scene, there’s enough material for DJs and producers to dig into / put a spin on.


Love me a bit of hardcore and gabber. Sheffield has always had a bit of the hard stuff hanging around. Off Me Nut release a fair bit of happy hardcore and where there’s happy hardcore gabber is never too far away. There was a great night called Tinitus in sheffield a few years back, before I had to hang up my raving boots. Not sure if that’s still going. It was relentless in there.


this is mad/brilliant


Ironic Gabber? That’s double meta and makes no sense or does it?

My personal favourite gabber/HC producer is E De Cologne, incredible energy done on two Amiga 500s back in the early 90s. But shoutouts to the Japanese scene as well.


It’s coming back for sure, seems about due. Here’s a newish producer in mtl I like:




I have to say as an American the discussion around class appropriation in this music is really interesting. In general Americans don’t really think of music in terms of class, and I would struggle to think of any significant regional scenes where the “working class” is making electronic music. Those discussions tend to be racialized, as in it was black and brown people making disco in the 70s, house and techno in the 80s, and hip-hop and trap now, and that they’re also the ones powering the regional scenes (regionalism is very strong in hip-hop of course). I think this tends to be because when Americans think “poor” we automatically default to “non-white,” and there’s a degree of truth to that but it also masks a wider class consciousness.

Anyway this is how I learned about gabber: