Electronica includes a wide range of contemporary electronic music designed for a wide range of uses, including foreground listening, some forms of dancing, and background music for other activities; however, unlike electronic dance music, it is not specifically made for dancing. The term was first used in the United States in the early 1990s with regards to post-rave global-influenced electronic dance music. Genres such as techno, drum and bass, downtempo, and ambient are among those encompassed by the umbrella term, entering the American mainstream from "alternative" or "underground" venues during the late 1990s. Prior to the adoption of electronica for this purpose, terms such as electronic listening music, and intelligent dance music (IDM) were used.
Allmusic categorises electronica as a top-level genre on their main page, where they state that electronica includes danceable grooves to music for headphones and chillout areas.
Electronica has grown to influence mainstream crossover recordings. Electronic sounds began to form the basis of a wide array of popular music in the late 1970s, and became key to the mainstream pop and rock sounds of the 1980s. Since the adoption of "electronica" in the 1990s to describe more underground music with an electronic aesthetic, elements of modern electronica have been adopted by many popular artists in mainstream music.
Electronic Dance Music Culture, a contemporary subculture centered on raves, is a global phenomenon that has been attracting the interest of scholars across the globe.
Originating from "Acid House" parties in Ibiza and "Techno" dance parties in Goa, raves became the most dynamic digital counterculture of the 1990s. First in Europe, then in the US, and then all over the world, raves have become associated with peace-and-love idealism, community, an embrace of technology, and psychedelic consciousness. The music performed at most events is called electronic dance music, or EDM, which is commonly called "techno" by those not in "the scene".