Archive for category The House Music Genre

Tribal House

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.

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Electro House

Electro house is a subgenre of the ever umbrella term House music. It’s origins are largely accepted to have come from 1980s electro music. It only really gained popularity in the mid 2000s due to the increase in technology behind music production, giving a much more “modern” sound to electro.

Electro house contains heavy basslines, and catchy high synthesised riffs, but the electro genes are still heavily intertwined within the music, with the odd “boop bop” of the early 808 sound.

The more recent Electro house is the 4 on the floor 4 sister of Dubstep, with very heavy and dirty bass made with saw and sine waves. Early pioneers of Electro house were artists such as Basement Jaxx, Mr Oizo but retrospectively artists such as Sublime and Arrivers would now be referred to as Electro house producers, but as their tracks were released in the early 1990s they were simply considered House or Rave.

Today, the genre still gets mainstream attention with artists such as Skrillex and Knife Party showcasing Electro house style tracks with dubstep influences.

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Acid House

Acid house is a derivative of house music that originates from Chicago in the mid 1980s.  It quickly spread into the UK and Europe, where it found a home alongside rave music towards the late 1980s.  Acid house’s signature sound is a repetitive early-trance style which came from Roland synthesizers, namely the 303, 606, 707, 808 and 909 models, and adding lyrics, usually spoken and taken from speeches such as “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr.

There are 2 schools of thought as to how Acid house got its name.  The first is from the style of trip one would get by taking drugs like LSD or MDMA, which were commonplace in clubs at the time.  The second is when this first wave of plagiarism was a hot topic in the press and politics, especially in the UK.  The term “acid burning” is a slang term meaning “to steal.”

The first track to showcase this sound is understood to have been “Acid Trax” by Phuture, which was composed in 1985, but not officially released until 1987, but gained worldwide play by DJs in clubs for those 2 years.  The first actual “Acid house” track to be released was Sleezy D’s “I’ve Lost Control” which was out on vinyl in 1986.

In the UK, Acid house was a key factor in the “Second Summer of Love” in 1988-1989 due to the rise in popularity of psychedelic drugs and the psy-influenced music of Acid house, which saw a noticeable decline of football hooliganism and Acid house gave birth to the rave scene of the early 1990s.

Due to ignorance and possibly fear, the media, more specifically tabloids gave a lot of column inches to the acid house and rave scene, with a large emphasis on the drug use that was happening in the clubs.  The news articles were often composed using bad science and sensationalist headlines such as “10,000 DRUG CRAZED YOUTHS” – The Sun, 1988.  The resulting panic by tabloid readers resulted in a crackdown and Acid house was subsequently banned in shops, radio and TV, which was the beginning of the end for Acid house.  But the underground rave scene lived on.

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