Published online by Cambridge University Press: 11 November 2008
Hardcore Dance has spent years underground evolving from the still-current stereotype of frenzied thudding bass lines coupled to samples of the tunes of children's programmes, of a music for E-head ravers whose drug-induced dummy sucking became a potent symbol for a subculture stigmatised as infantile and stupid. That evolution has reached the point of ‘Jungle’, and now Hardcore Dance and Jungle are often used interchangeably as terms of description. It is this musical form which is analysed here as part of the evolution of modern dance music. Too often subcultural study has tended to give the impression that music is one element of a subcultural style and that it is style that drives the subculture. Instead, it is argued that music drives subcultural style, and that the evolution of Hardcore Dance serves as an especially salient example because it is a musical form which persistently resists reduction to typical codes for understanding music, both academic and those in the public sphere.