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Gabber (IPA pronunciation: English /gæ.bər/, Dutch /xɑbər/), gabba or hardcore, is a style of electronic music and a subgenre of hardcore techno. The essence of the gabber sound is a distorted kick sound, overdriven to the point where it becomes clipped into a distorted square wave and makes a recognizably melodic tone. Often the Roland Alpha Juno or the kick from a Roland TR-909 was used to create this sound. Gabber tracks typically include samples and synthesised melodies with the typical tempo ranging from 150 to 220 bpm. Violence, drugs and profanity are common themes in gabber, perceptible through its samples and lyrics, often screamed, pitch shifted or distorted. "Gabber" literally means "buddy" or "friend". Although in the late 1980s, a house variant from Detroit first reached Amsterdam (the Netherlands), it was the producers and DJs from Rotterdam who evolved it into a harder house variant which we today know as "Gabber" style or "Hardcore". The specific sound of Rotterdam was also created as a reaction to the house scene of Amsterdam which was seen as more "snobby and pretentious". Though house productions from Frankfurt's Marc Acardipane were quite similar to the Rotterdam style, it was the popularity of this music in the Netherlands which made Rotterdam the cradle of Hardcore Gabber.

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