Tribal house is a subgenre of house music, rising to popularity in the early 1990s in New York. Tribal house is loosely defined by the additional of tribal or ethnic style samples or vocals, with features such as chanting or ululation. A large usage of bongo drum samples and traditional wood or percussion instrument samples give the music its tribal feel, coupled with the use of tribal vocals give Tribal house its distinctive sound.
As with a lot of house genres, the big players of the house music scene dip into Tribal house from time to time, with artists such as Danny Tenaglia, Sandy Rivera, Peace Division and Junior Vasquez have all made Tribal house tracks in their time.
Tribal house in its current guise is very popular in the gay party scene. This is heavily due to gay-oriented music labels such as Tribal America, Twisted and Star 69, who put on gay nights and festivals.
Presently, tribal house remixes played by DJs frequently are the ‘dub’ versions, remixes that use only minimal vocals from the original track, with the music often in a minor key to keep it sounding edgier and more tribal, unlike the major key that a more mainstream club remix might use.