Electro is a term used to describe specific styles of electronic music.

It was originally used to describe a subgenre of hip-hop that gained popularity in the early 1980's in Germany, England, and the US. Electro was directly influenced by Kraftwerk and Funk, whereas earlier hip-hop was closer to disco. Defining characteristics of this genre were dominating synthesizer lines and rhythm sections comprised of drum machine beats, rather than samples. Vocals were delivered in a robotic, dead pan matter.

As time progressed, many subgenres grew out of electro, as well as a certain fashion sense and attitude. Foremost among these were electroclash (a hybrid of electro, new wave, and Italo disco) and electropop (a form of synthpop characterized by a cold, robotic sound). It is heavily debated among music scholars whether or not these are actual subgenres of electro. Electro is considered synonymous to this day with these two genres.

Electro also spawned more valid, genuine subgenres, including electro funk, electro bass, glitch electro, downtempo electro, and minimal electro. Electro also influenced freestyle music and Miami bass (in turn creating techno bass), and had a significant role in the evolution of ghettotech.

When someone refers to electro in modern times it is not likely they are referring to the original hip-hop style. Electro is commonly used as shorthand for describing music from the electropop revival and electro house scene. Electro was extremely influential, inspiring a myriad of subgenres, all of which could be considered electro. This makes it very confusing when trying to ascertain exactly what strand of electro a certain artist's sound fits into.

In general, many people use electro to describe all electronic music meant to be danced to, distinguishing it from electronica (electronic music meant for home listening).

Electro is used most accurately to describe the original strand of funk influenced hip-hop. Electro purists consider this the only valid definition.
Afrika Bambaataa was a pioneer of early electro and electro funk.
by Jack Britton August 12, 2007
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Electro was a style of music derived from hip-hop in the early 1980's to reflect its more electronic sound made using synths, drum machines etc as opposed to the traditional form based on samples, for example from old funk records.

These days, people are using the term electro to either describe "electro-house" (a form of house music that has a lot of fat basslines, 80's influences, etc), or even as a catch-all term for all electronic dance music in the same way some people erronously use "techno". In fact, with the recent wave of 80's influenced fashion and music, it's become trendy for any bar/club to claim they play "electro" meaning just about anything with electronic elements to it.
Afrika Bambaata - Planet Rock is an electro record; it's an early example of a hip-hop groove created with a drum machine and synths.

Bodyrox - Yeah Yeah (D Ramirez Mix) is an electro-house track, it has a beat similar to house and techno along with with a more minimal groove and a big synth line.

CSS, Hot Chip, etc are the kind of stuff that club promoters will palm off as "electro" because they're trendy and somewhat electronic.
by UKDJ June 18, 2007
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Electro is similar to techno and trance, but less euphoric and more...funky.
Significant instruments are keyboards and synths, usually has lyrics. Often has an infectious bassline.
It kind of bridges the gap between trance and rock.
Some bands with an electro kinda sound:
Hot Chip, Justice Vs Simian, LCD Soundsystem, The Klaxons, Shiny Toy Guns, etc.
by Sarah_K August 20, 2006
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Lol, butter love electro!
(She probably fucks him too)
by john pompom April 20, 2008
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abbreviation short for the genre of music called electro boogie or electro funk from the 1980's. commonly misused to abbreviate the genre of music electro house.
Person 1: Electro is awesome.
Person 2: Really? I didn't know people still listened to that.
Person 1: What are you talking about? Haven't you heard of feed me or wolfgang gartner?
Person 2: That's electro house not electro.
by brichards719 April 4, 2012
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The term Electro is short for Electro House. It also refers to an old style of Hip-Hop from the 80's but that is rarely the way the term is used now. 99% of the time when someone talks about Electro right now they mean the Electro House club music spun in clubs.
Daft Punk, Justice, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Crystal Castles, Benny Benassi, Copy, Polish Ambassador, Stegosaurus Rex, Fischerspooner, Bad Boy Bill, Hyper Crush, LMFAO, Boys Noize, Soulwax, D.I.M., Hystereo, Copy, Digitalism, Felix Da Housecat, Simian Mobile Disco, Padded Cell all produce Electro House
by Electro Clubber February 19, 2009
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