Happy hardcore is a genre of electronic music originally developed in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. It is present mainly in the UK, Europe, the North American continent and Australia. In the UK, the genre emerges in the early 1990s and is originally characterized by breakbeat sound samples and variants of other musical styles such as hip hop and italohouse. Subsequently in 1996 the genre divided into two distinct sub-genres, the first focusing on the breakbeat and the second containing the codes of hardcore techno, characterized by a line of semi-distorted kicks 4/4.
In 1995, the first happy hardcore singles such as I Wanna Be A Hippy and Wonderful Days, and Dutch groups Technohead and Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo, respectively, enter the national music charts and give a first timid media popularity to the genre. In 1997, happy hardcore reaches its peak of popularity in mainly British and Dutch markets through the growth in sales of music compilations like Bonkers UK, the Dutch Thunderdome and Happy 2b Hardcore in Canada, as well as the fact that many singles of the genre appear in international music charts. However, in 1998, the genre begins to decline sharply and much of the public believes it to be 'dead'. In the early 2000s however, it revives partially in the form of a new related genus reworked named UK hardcore, mainly directed towards the euphoric trance.