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If you like grooving to electronic music, you must have heard about house music.
As we have quite a few electronic music genres right now, it can often be difficult to distinguish between their different sounds. However, house music has stood out to many, especially among those who loved partying in the 1980s.
House music as a genre is intrinsically based in Chicago and still remains popular in this US city today. At the same time, house music is said to have had an influence on some of the biggest pop stars of the day. Once you start listening to house music or the different subgenres of house music, you will have a different perspective of the other songs. Having said that, whenever you are discovering a new musical genre, it's essential to know more about its story. Hence, we have thought about compiling the information about house music over here.
So, keep on reading if you are interested in learning more about the popularity of house music, its origins, and the evolution of house music today.
Influenced mainly by the disco genre, the creation of Chicago house music is credited to the deejay producers Frankie Knuckles and Marshall Jefferson, who are the earliest house artists.
The name 'house' is said to have several origins, but a book published in 2009 states it to have come from a Chicago club named Warehouse, which ran between the years 1977-1983. The DJ in this club was Frankie Knuckles, and most of the guests were from the African American community. It's said that house music began when Frankie began splicing different records to give his patrons something fresh to listen to while dancing. Afterward, the scene moved on to The Power Plant, which was later renamed Music Box. However, in a documentary titled, 'Pump Up The Volume,' Frankie Knuckles claimed that he first came across the term house music when he saw the phrase "we play house music" on a bar's window present in the South Side of Chicago.
When it comes to house music, it's so good because of the constant beats and how it makes you groove. So, it's evident that there have been revolutionary house tracks that have been popular among people over the years. Here are some popular songs or tracks from house music.
First of all, Marshall Jefferson's 'Move Your Body' is regarded as the house music anthem. The track was first released in 1986. Other than that, 'Your Love' by Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle is still regarded as one of the best tracks to exist in the history of house music. Other than that, 'No Way Back' by Adonis is also quite popular among Chicago house lovers. Even though Fingers Inc. wasn't active for a long time, the track 'Mystery of Love' still remains a hit to date. Apart from the popping music, it's also regarded as top-notch due to the vocals of Robert Owens. A track that saw quite a bit of commercial success was Lil' Louis' 'French Kiss,' and it has some amazing tempo shifts that made it quite popular as a dance tune in the clubs. 'Strings of Life' by Derrick May is another popular song from the early days of Chicago house music.
If you're a fan of hip-hop-based tunes, then no one would be able to stop you from enjoying the song' House Party' by Fred Wesley. Compared to other house tracks, this one from Fred Wesley used organic instrumentation in place of the electronic synth sound. The song 'Love Can't Turn Around' birthed out of a collab between Farley Jackmaster Funk and Darryl Pandy has a cult following. Farley's roommate Steve' Silk' Hurley produced the song, and it was based on a cover of Isaac Hayes' song, 'I Can't Turn Around.' Other popular songs include 'Pacific State' by 808 State, 'Pump Up The Jam' by Technotronic, 'Can You Feel It' by Mr. Fingers, 'Deep Inside' by Hardrive, 'Voodoo Ray' by A Guy Called Gerald, among others.
Rather than being called the father, Frankie Knuckles is actually regarded as the godfather of house music.
Francis Warren Nicholls, Jr. or Frankie Knuckles, was born on January 18, 1955, in The Bronx, New York, and he was set to bring change in the world of electronic music. He is undoubtedly the most important person in house music history. He played an important role in developing house music and made it popular by playing it in the clubs. In 1997, Frankie won the Grammy Award for Remixer of the Year in the Non-Classical category.
Frankie used to frequent discos as a teenager and was fond of dance records. At the beginning of his career as a DJ, he primarily played soul, disco, and R&B tracks. In the 1970s, he left The Bronx, moved to Chicago, and started working at the club named Warehouse, where Chicago house music will blossom. When Frankie first began to evolve, there was no particular name for it. Still, it was a mix of disco classics, occasional rock tracks, unusual indie-label soul, and European synth-disco. The initial patrons of house music included men from the African American and Latino communities and gay men. But, soon, a whiter crowd was also attracted to the unique dance music.
Later, Frankie went on to start his club, The Power Plant. Around 1983, Frankie brought Derrick May onboard to include drum beats to the house tracks. The bare and insistent drum pulses soon became a hit and defined the trend of house music of the 1980s. For the rest of his life, Frankie worked on mixing tracks and working on the songs of several famous artists. Sadly, he passed away on March 31, 2014, at the age of 59, due to complications related to diabetes.
House music is known for the impressive mixing of disco and other dance music tracks. It's an electronic music style known for a repetitive four-on-the-floor beat and a tempo of 120-130 beats per minute.
Along with the mixing of disco, European electronic music, and hip hop, house music is also indebted to the inclusion of emerging synthesizer technology brought forward by brands like Roland and Corg. During the era of 1980s, popular DJs in Chicago like Ron Hardy, Frankie Knuckles, Mr. Lee, J.M. Silk (aka Jack Master Silk), Chip E., Jesse Saunders, Marshall Jefferson, Farley' Jackmaster' Funk, and Larry Heard (aka Mr. Fingers) were regularly playing house music. Similarly, it did gain some traction in a city like New York, where Larry Levan contributed to house music.
Another popular aspect of house music is the use of Roland TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines for the beats. The mixers, drum machines, and other instruments were used to make the music without the confines of a premium studio. So, house music origins were ingrained in making the patrons comfortable and giving them something fresh to enjoy dancing.
Apart from the classic Chicago house sound, today, we have specific other genres that have come out of the original house. One of the first was acid house, known for the heavy utilization of the Roland TB-303 Bass Line synthesizer. Acid house subgenre got its name from the 'Acid Tracks' released by Phuture. The main people behind the emergence of acid house were Herbert 'Herb J' Jackson, Nathan' DJ Pierre' Jones, and Earl' Spanky' Smith Jr, the creators of Phuture. At times, the acid house is mainly termed acid. Compared to the usual Chicago house, acid house was even more popular in the United Kingdom and continental Europe.
Since then, several other subgenres of house music have emerged in the form of electro house, deep house, hip house, tech house, funky house, Latin house, tropical house, UK hard house, Detroit techno, and even progressive house. While electro house is known for its buzzing bass lines and sawtooth synths, the deep house consists of beats from the Roland TR-909 drum machines and a flourishing mix of 1970s funk. On the other hand, tech-house is known more for its minimalistic harmony trends and grinding electro drumbeats common in techno music.
The subgenre deep house is also known for including jazz-funk and light touches of soul, and it was popularized mainly by Larry Heard. Another popular subgenre, funky house, is defined by mixing 1970s R&B along with funk tracks. The other subgenres have started to define modern house music instead of classic.
As we have said already, house music was primarily born from mixing disco with other genres like soul, hip hop, European electro music.
Rather than just being a musical genre, house music is defined as a culture that came right after the fad of disco during the 1970s. Apart from being a significant cultural shift for the African American and Latino communities, house music also played a vital role in the lives of gay patrons. The popularity of disco music has given way to the rise of clubs where people came to dance, and it's evident that something new had to be created to keep them grooving. Regardless of many theories, the club called Warehouse is regarded as the base of this genre.
Often it's said 'house was born from the ashes of Disco' as the anti-Disco movement was in bloom. This is also the reason why house music is typically associated with the underground scene, owing to its connection with the urban gay culture. The clubs became literal homes for these youths who didn't feel safe in the other nightclubs. Warehouse and Paradise Garage went on to become revolutionary clubs playing house music.
House music emerged when DJs like Frankie Knuckles started to experiment with tracks. He literally used a reel-to-reel tape machine to remix or re-edit the tracks by mixing changing tempos, adding percussion beats, rearranging sections, and even by extending the breakdowns or energetic parts of tracks. He loved genres like soul, disco, hip hop, funk, and electro-pop.
Moreover, the advancement of technology in music changed a lot for house music as more synthesizers and drum machines could be included to enhance the electronic style of music. The consistent 4/4 tempo was a hit among the music artists and the club goers. After a while, house music was even picked up by the media and played on Chicago radio stations like The Hot Mix 5. Moreover, as days went by, house music entered the mainstream, and a song like Vogue from Madonna went on to break records.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 13 Interesting House Music Facts You Probably Didn't Know About! then why not take a look at 1950s music facts or 1955 facts?
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