Over the last year and a half substantial changes were made to the Pandora listening experience. While we’re constantly improving the playlist algorithm, analyzing new music, etc., it’s rare for Pandora to make such a huge change to the music genome as was completed on our Electronic Music genome. In the last 18 months, not only did we greatly expand the size and quality of our electronic catalog, but we also upgraded the analysis process — reanalyzing over 42,000 tracks along the way.
The analysis upgrade consisted of three steps. The first was enabling the music genome to more accurately catalog the subtleties and compositional techniques of Electronic Music. We did this by recognizing new genes ranging from arpeggiated synthesizers to build-ups and breakdowns. With these new genes in hand there was a nasty problem: none of our previously analyzed tracks contained data for them. The only solution was to go back and reanalyze them. Yes, all 42,000 of them!
This second step in the upgrade process involved a team of music analysts working for over three months. If the average track length was four minutes, that’s over 2,700 hours of music reanalyzed!!! Yes, our ears and brains were quite sore when all was said and done, but we haven’t stopped. Our Electronic Music collection currently contains over 66,000 analyzed tracks.
Anyway, the third and final step in the upgrade was making sense of this new data by adjusting the importance of each gene and how it interacts with its neighbors. This process can best be described as taste testing. We had the basic formula down, but to achieve that seemingly elusive, most delicious blend, took many late nights and countless tweaks. A little heavier on the synth effects and a tad less vocal vibrato, a pinch more harmony and a touch less backbeat…
With the Dance Genome now having more dexterity to analyze the electronic soundscape, and the ability to generate more specialized playlists, it was time to populate our collection. The primary aim here was to get a good sampling of everything being spun by DJs in clubs, bumped at backyard BBQs, played in retail locations, or geeked out on headphones — the whole spectrum of Electronic music. With the DJ/Electronic music boutiques and music megastores having migrated to the Internet, to places such as iTunes, Amazon, Beatport, Traxsource, Juno, Stompy, Turntable Lab, DJ Hut (to name just a few… the list could go on), this process was actually quite efficient (and enjoyable!). In our effort to maintain a collection that is deep and diverse, the digital only online boutiques have been essential. Once hard-to-find singles, remixes, unmixed DJ-friendly compilations, instrumental versions of Hip Hop albums, and out of print classics are a few clicks away. Although, at times, I do miss the good ole days of waking up at noon and thumbing through massive stacks of records at Amoeba, Housewares, Primal, or Tweekin’ for a small stack of nuggets… that’s a topic for another time.
Today we are pleased to introduce some fruits of this labor, a new lineup of Electronic/Dance genre stations. They are as follows:
Deep House
Progressive/Electro House
Minimal Techno
Hard Dance
Drum & Bass
Liquid Drum & Bass
Funky Breaks
Progressive Breaks
Deep Beats
Trip Hop
Global Chill
Turntablism & Beat Science
Indie Dance/Electro
Bmore, Bass & Baile
Experimental Electronica
We hope you enjoy listening to these stations as much as we enjoyed curating them. Over the next few months we’ll be making adjustments and fine tuning them a bit. So if you have any feedback, now is the time. Whether it’s on a particular genre station or one of your own stations, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts.
Chris Horgan [senior music analyst]
Michael Addicott [dance collection manager]
BTW — This happens to be the first post in a new blog series on Pandora — On the One. Headed by our dynamic duo of Mike Addicott and Chris Horgan, On the One focuses on the worlds of Dance, Electronic, and Rap music. You can expect posts ranging from the newest rhythms and production styles to musical roots and discussions of underground classics. Let the music play!


  1. mariela romero
    August 26, 2009 at 4:31pm
    This is my best discovery since I came to live in the United States. I hope you never change
  2. Chris
    August 27, 2009 at 12:48pm
    exdeath - That is an excellent idea! I get a big kick out of Ishkurs Guide - I dig his cynical sense of humor. But most of all it is a well designed and fun to use guide for all the micro genres of EDM. We are actually beginning a large project that focuses on classic/old/obscure - but important - dance music. It's gonna take a few months to get all of the gems - but we are working on it, and you should see all of the tracks on Ishkurs guide that are available for purchase available on Pandora in the next 6 months. If there's anything else y'all think we should order post here or drop an email to:
  3. Prem
    August 27, 2009 at 8:37pm
    I'm glad to see electronic music further explored, and I'm curious as to whether Pandora has any plans to delve more deeply into the realm of musique concrete. I've noticed a few of the artists from this genre on Pandora: Tod Dockstader, Klaus Schulze, Thomas Dimuzio, and a pooling of artists on the OHM compilation, but I'd like to see more of these artists featured, if possible. A few suggestions: Arne Nordheim Perry Botkin William C. Harrington Miya Masaoka Francis Dhomont Donald Swearingen Pamela Z Pascal Comelade Marco Oppedisano Roxanne Turcotte Paul Dolden There's an entire festival devoted to this kind of music coming up next month, the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, and it would be great for Pandora to investigate its offerings.
  4. exdeath
    August 28, 2009 at 9:41am
    Ok chris. Another good idea would be upload every song, album and artist listed here on that website: The guy on that website split ambient and dark ambient in many forms. They are not sub-genres because dark ambient and ambient are already a sub-genre, they are just ways of doing dark ambient and ambient. Uploading the artists on that website would add many forms of dark ambient and would greatly improve the dark ambient and ambient fields. Also a another guy made upload videos on youtube based on the text on the website showing some songs of those types of dark ambient. Here are the videos. Also, the first website have a list of artists here ( ) with some artists showing the type of the music they play (with a link to the type of music on the other part of the that i said sometimes). They list shows only the most important albums so will be easier to pandora guys select what albums upload.
  5. Chris
    August 28, 2009 at 3:56pm
    Prem - really good points about musique concrete/or electronic art music. Part of our dance/electronic classics project is greatly increasing out catalog of these works. I've got your list and will seek out the recordings!
  6. Chris
    August 28, 2009 at 4:04pm
    exdeath Good suggestions as well! I get a kick out of all the micro-genres people come up with. I find they are great for describing/understanding music, but can be burdensome when actually building a collection. Many of the artists from the sites you mentioned are on our radar to purchase - just like Prems list above - and we will seek them out over the next month or two. PS - A good friend of mine makes really great ambient music y'all might enjoy:

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