Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music is an awesome site, just ignore the opening and have fun. Begin with the tutorial to discover the origins of electronic music, or be not so prudent and try a random travel. Downtempo is a good place to start, with the Musique Concrete, Minimalism (uhu Philip Glass!), Psychedelia (Pink Floyd and The Beatles are there), French Pop (Telex), Downbeat ( Björk, Royksopp and others), Worldbeat (Enigma and Deep Forest) and much more.
Until I found this site electronic music for me was just dance and techno, where the difference was the number of beats per second in a song, and I had no idea that many of the groups that I like had some electronic music (I don’t think about those things, I just listen). You are going to discover that electronic music have zillions iof distinct flavours.
But don’t stop at the Downtempo, keep going and try the other areas: Hardcore, Jungle, Breakbeat, Techno, Trance and House. Maybe you don’t know all the names, but there are popular songs on each of those tendencies /categories. Don’t remember the name of songs? Don’t worry, one of the reasons the site is so cool is that there are examples of songs on each one and song samples. I discovered that I know all the songs on Techno Dance and Synthpop (my favourite, with Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Eurythmics and more cool bands), both in the House session.
The other reason why the site is awesome is the reviews: all the “categories” have a description with a explanation of how they appeared and what makes them be distinct from the others. But it’s better, because sometimes those comments are very acid, so even if you don’t like any kind of electronic music (which is almost impossible given all the options there) you have to go there to read them. For instance, the Happy House:
The official music genre of Dance Dance Revolution, this is by far the most syrupy, saccharine music know to mankind. I bet they play this kind of stuff to calm lunatics at insane asylums locked in padded rooms with pink walls. Bubblegum pop so childish, with lyrics so inane and non-sensical that you can’t possibly take it seriously, so it’s best you don’t.
Or German Trance:
This is the goofiest, poppiest trance music that exists, but like its very eurocentric sister Eurodance, it’s not all that bad.
Or Epic House:
Pretty interchangeable with Eurodance and Epic Trance, except for one idiot feature: the abject rape and decimation of fine 80s tunes and classical ballads by making trite, derivative “dance” mixes of them. Stupid. Just stupid stupid stupid. Listening to these tunes makes you yearn for the originals way more than you’d ever want to dance in a club to them.
Or even Happy Gabber:
It’s basically gabber, but with those off-beat circus-like Happy Hardcore stabs. Or it’s gabber with really silly and awful lyrics (which shouldn’t be confused as the cutesy girl sing-a-long Happy Hardcore lyrics) or samples and quotes that are really really really…… dumb. So I guess like Happy Hardcore, only not so happy. It’s more like stupid. But fun! And cheesy, but not as cheesy as Gabber House.
I think that I gave you enogh reasons to take a look at this side, besides the excellent research made by Ishkur. And remember the guide is a non-technical, irreverent critique of electronic dance music. Its purpose is to entertain before it informs. (Thanks André!)