House Music – a look back
For Wednesday House let us have a little look back into the development of House music. House is considered as a genre of electronic (dance) music created in Chicago during the early 1980ies. The characteristic 4/4 beats have been created mainly by music producers and club DJs. The typical House rhythms contained a mix of drum machines, off-beat hi-hat cymbals and synthesizer bass lines. House was electronic and minimalistic with repetitive rhythm and was originally influenced by Disco music. While Disco usually included vocal the house of the first generation was often only instrumental music.
House an American or European invention?
Good question - While House is being considered a Chicago invention one can say it had its origins not just there. The popularity of European music especially around the English electronic pop like Depeche Mode and Soft Cell, the German Kraftwerk and the earlier, more disco-based sounds of Giorgio Moroder, Klein & MBO, as well as some productions from Italy also influenced the rise of House music. Some famous house clubs included the Chicago Warehouse and New York’s Paradise Garage, which promoted European music and welcomed guests of all kind.
In the Chicago underground dance scene DJs began to mix several styles including synth pop, rap, dub reggae and even jazz into their tracks. This new music movement was linked to the Black and gay subculture before it became popular to the masses worldwide starting its success in New York, Detroit and London. During the early years a lot independent record labels in these cities were founded which changed in the late 1980ies when House artists suddenly where able to sign deals with major labels. Commercial success made the genre a part of the Pop scene and several other genres were creating created for example tech house, electro house, euro house or jump house. A very popular one is acid house which was based around deep electronic tunes compiled with the Roland TB-303 bass machine – a creation of magic.
A lot different definitions and opinions on house are spread across the world and a lot major top acts started to include house to their work in the 1990ies already – Madonna, Robin S., Kylie Minogue and even Björk were amongst them to name some. The music success got even larger during the second wave of progressive house between 1999 and 2001 with several new subgenres been created like future or ghetto house.
Listen to some great House songs below with Frankie Knuckles a pioneer of the early days in Chicago and the above Destroit masterpiece by Inner City.