How it all began?
House music was born in the 1980s when in an exclusive members-only club called warehouse, its resident DJ Frankie Knuckles started splicing up different records when he found that the records he had weren’t long enough to satisfy his audience of dancers. An interesting fact to be noted is that DJ Frankie Knuckles is known as the “godfather of house” because he played a very important role in developing and popularizing house music in Chicago during the 1980s. So in his honour, every 25th August is celebrated as Frankie Knuckles Day. After being shut down in 1983, the crowds went to DJ Frankie’s new club The Power Plant.
With house music already in the American club scene, the genre started moving towards the UK as well with London DJ “Evil” Eddie Richards (Nicknamed the UK’s “Godfather of House”) playing house music at his dance parties at Clink Street club.
But it wasn’t until 1987 that house music grew with the UK tour of American DJs like Knuckles, Jefferson, Fingers Inc.
(Heard) and Adonis, on the digital DJ International Tour. So in the late 1980s, American-born singer Kym Mazelle relocated to London to sign a recording contract with EMI Records(now under the Warner Music Group). Her debut album Brilliant! , released in 1989, was based on house music. Mazelle’s single “Wait!” featuring Robert Howard became one of the first international house hits. And so she is rightly credited as “The First Lady of House Music”
The earliest UK house and techno record labels such as Warp Records and Network Records (otherwise known as Kool Kat records) helped introduce American and later Italian dance music to Britain. These labels also promoted UK dance music acts. By the end of the 1980s, UK DJs Jenö, Thomas, Markie and Garth moved to San Francisco and called their group the Wicked Crew. The Wicked Crew’s dance sound transmitted UK styles to the US, which helped to trigger the birth of the US west coast’s rave scene.
How it sounds –
The basic structure of house music songs consists of an intro, a chorus, various verse sections, a midsection and an outro. The tempo of most house songs is between 115 BPM and 132 BPM The drums beats of house are “four on the floor”, with bass drums(Roland’s TR-808 or TR-909 ) played on every beat and they usually feature off-beat drum machine hi-hat sounds. House music is often based on bass-heavy loops or basslines produced by a synthesizer and/or from samples of disco or funk songs.
As the years passed, different sub-genres of house music started to emerge. Progressive(the early 1990s in the UK), tech(early 2000s in Europe), trance(early 2000s in Europe), Chicago(1980’s Chicago), Dutch (2006 Netherlands), Future(the 2010s IN UK, but started to become popular 2014 into 2015) & Swing (early 1990’s in US and Europe) are a few sub-genres.
Popular house artists –
Some of today’s leading artists in this genre are Afrojack, Avicii, Axwell, Benny Benassi, Clean Bandit, Daft Punk, Hardwell, Krewella, Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero.
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References – Wikipedia / last.fm / theguardian / thoughtco