Electro is one of electronic dance music's earliest subgenres; stylistically, it's one of the most easily identifiable, marked by a snapping, syncopated beat, skeletal synthesizer melodies and not much else. Until the turn of the millennium or so, if someone said "electro," they were talking about a legacy that stretched from Kraftwerk's "Numbers" through early hip-hop and on up to Drexciya, Dopplereffekt and their cybernetic brethren. But the waters have muddied in recent years. After electroclash, it became common in some circles to use "electro" to refer to buzzy, bloggy acts like Justice; in recent years, "electro" (or "electro house") has come to be applied to a vast range of uptempo, hard-hitting dance music with a synth-heavy sheen.
But the original electro is so distinct and so perfect, we'd like to lobby for a return to the term's original definition. With that in mind, we've put together a playlist highlighting old-school cuts from Man Parrish, Mantronix, Jonzun Crew and their peers, along with true-school revivalism from DMX Krew, Ectomorph, and Urban Tribe.