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Lento Violento, sometimes shortened to simply Lento, is a style of electronic dance music that developed in Italy. Its name means slow & violent, as this style typically has a tempo between 85 and 115 BPM. It consists of a hard kick, like the ones present in hardcore or hardstyle, but played at a very slow tempo, with vocal samples and dark and acid sounds or loops.
The first tracks with the Lento Violento sound were Anima Ladina by Ottomix (1991), Panic Mouse (stress mix) by Gigi d'Agostino (1996), Ibiza by Ottomix (1998) and Alex Castelli's Enjoy, that was co-produced by Ottomix. Although at that time, they were not called 'Lento Violento' yet. These tracks were influenced by the more techno and trance-oriented tracks like Mauro Picotto's Lizard, Iguana, Pulsar, Tuttincoro or Raggattak by Joman (Joy Kitikonti), all from the Italian BXR label.
While some individual tracks were popular in the clubs, the style itself was not established until DJ/producer Gigi D'Agostino started with a series of productions in 2003, like Ripassa. Indeed, he coined the name for this style, and he releases most of his Lento Violento songs on his own label Noise Maker, using aliases like Dottor Dag, Lento Violento Man, Uomo Suono, Orchestra Maldestra, or La Tana Del Suono, to distinguish these songs from his Italo dance work.
Other artists started to create similar tracks after the success of this style. Also several compilation CDs are released with Lento Violento music, like the "Movimentolento" series.
In fact Lento Violento is trademark restricted by Gigi D'Agostino to series of his compilation. Any other artist can't use this name. Gigi always says that 'lento violento' is not music style, that's why most producers use names 'slowstyle' or 'hard slowstyle'.
Italian producer Technoboy, in his track "The Undersound" released in 2009, fused Lento with modern hardstyle elements; while the track claims to christen the new genre "undersound", the term "lento" is still used occasionally to denominate hardstyle tracks. Technoboy himself has continued to use such motifs in his tracks like "Catfight", and the track "MF Point of Lento" by Brennan Heart and Headhunterz explicitly calls Technoboy the most prominent artist of the genre.