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Emerging in the mid-to-late 2010s, midtempo bass is a form of Electronic Dance Music characterized by a distinct form of harsh synth leads and a usual tempo of around 90-110 BPM (hence its name). The genre combines characteristics mostly derived from Electro House, Post-Industrial trends like Electro-Industrial and Industrial Techno, and Tech House, with additional abrasive sound design/production traits associated with certain styles of underground 2010s EDM like Halftime or even Brostep. Midtempo typically features mid-tempo four-on-the-floor beats (though other rhythms have been introduced by producers as well) that accompany heavily modulated, metallic, distorted, and pounding synth leads, hard-hitting and mechanical percussion, and prominent (sometimes heavily side-chained and compressed) basslines, which all combine to create minimalist, aggressive, and dark tracks. Despite that, certain producers have implemented influences from genres like Synthwave and Melodic Dubstep, resulting in a more subdued and melodic sound. In contrast with other, earlier post-industrial EDM trends like industrial techno or electro-industrial, midtempo bass features buildups and drops like other 2010s EDM trends, and trades the Techno-derived repetitiveness of industrial techno, or the common incorporation of vocals in electro-industrial, for more straightforward, danceable tracks.

Rezz is considered to be the genre's pioneer, having helped to popularize it with releases like The Silence Is Deafening and Mass Manipulation, and her futuristic, psychedelic aesthetic partially set the tone for the genre's visuals. Earlier works that predate the genre like Gesaffelstein's Aleph have been important for the genre's emergence as well. With the arrival of other prominent producers of the genre like 1788-L, KTRL, Notaker, Social Kid, and AGLORY, midtempo's popularity grew massively in the late 2010s, particularly in Soundcloud and YouTube, leading to its influence in the works of other producers of other genres and its regular appearance in labels like mau5trap or Monstercat. Certain artists have introduced newer influences from genres like brostep, Trap [EDM], Glitch Hop [EDM], or even Bass House, sometimes even ditching the midtempo range and thereby challenging the genre's name. Porter Robinson's distinctive genre-bending, Electropop/Synthpop-derived style (as in his influential debut album, Worlds) has been an occasional influence on the genre as well. Netlabels dedicated to the genre like Synesthesia Records also formed in the late 2010s. .

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