Posts Tagged Acid

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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Ambient House

Ambient house traces its origins to the late 80s when DJs branched out from the popular Acid House elements of the day and added Ambient backdrops to the usual four on the floor beats.

The music gained popularity in the rave scene for ravers to come down from drug trips to relaxing music in smaller side tents or rooms.

This style was popularised by artists such as Juno Reactor, The KLF and The Orb.  It declined as a popular genre when the artists moved onto other things, and the rave scene declined in the mid 90s.


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