A genre of dance music which become very popular and commercial in the UK. Characterized by big, banging riffs, and simplistic 140-160 bpm basslines. Influences for hard house are in, order of importance, NRG, Techno and House. Gay club Trade is often credited with being the first to play hard house, and it is now 2nd only to garage in terms of the number of clubs playing it regularly in London.

Hard house changed from being a somewhat underground genre, to being the mainstream UK genre of house music. One of the most important factors in this change was the pre-eminence of hard house at several clubs in ibiza in the summer of 2000. The effect of this change has been that a lot of records have been released that although obviously hard house in terms of having harder more simplistic basslines than house, and more banging riffs, are distinct from more underground hard house. Commercial hard house is also relatively slow, regularly around 140 bpm or less.



Well that was a year ago, and my, have things changed. Hard house has become rather less popular in the UK, losing ground to techno and hard trance. Hard house is now rather shite, and as such, is losing what little popularity it has left.
Many things have changed in the Hard House world, the music the DJ's but not the people. Hard House has lost the people who just follow the 'new trend'. Now it is just left with the people who love the scene and that is how it should be.

Hard House has come a long way since the early days with tracks like Signum - Coming On Strong and Tony De Vit - The Dawn. The music is now more complex and interesting. To be fair most people do not give it credit for this and with producers like Gaz West aka Dark By Design and Paul Maddox from Tidy Trax there really is alot of excitement around the scene now. The classic off beat bounce sound that dominated Hard House is now very rarely used and the tracks have a more driving feel to them now. Trance style melodies and Hard Trance riffs and stabs are quite common in tracks on the larger labels such as Tidy and Nukleuz and this helps their commercial appeal. JX's track Restless which is on Tidy Trax managed to get in to the top 20 singles in the UK charts in 2004. This just shows the broad range that Hard House can cover from a 145bpm chart tune to 160bpm monsters that would scare your mum!!

The major labels in the scene at the moment are Tidy Trax, Vicious Circle and Nukleuz they have been at the top of the tree for a while now and pretty much every release is of a very high standard. Although Vicious circle is definately towards the harder end of the hard house spectrum, it is run by label owner Paul Glazby. There are many other smaller labels which have been around for a while and are still doing well such as Kaktai which is run by Superfast oz and Dom Sweeten also known as OD404. They have been a unique paring over the years creating a sound that is like no one else. They also use other guises such as Base Graffiti and Defective Audio. Along with Lab4 they continue to keep the scene very diverse. There is always room for other labels to establish themselves one of the latest niche labels in the scene is Passion Reccords based in Nuneaton, England. This label only releases the hardest of hard house reccords, with bpm's often reaching 160! The most prolific producers on this label are Grady G and Kam Pain. Grady G's track Crazee is a full on hard house hoover monster which storms along at 160bpm! The more extreme tracks tend to be on smaller labels or on white labels so are alot harder to pick up but hard to find records is the best place to find pretty much any Hard House track that you might want.

Tracks such as 'Chaos' by Dark By Design are still using the classic hoover sound that was almost standard in Hard House tracks of the past but are using the modern effects and alot of originality to update this sound. Many people may not even notice that this is derived from the same sound. When you take a track such a 9Bar by OD404 (BK + dbm remix) then you can hear the classic hoover sound in all its glory, even if it is a little over used this is the best example of the classic hoover sound. This is probably the most loved hoover track and ranks right up there with classics such as 'The Dawn' and 'I Don't Care' by Tony De Vit.

If you have ever been to the bigger clubs/events in the UK such as STORM (caoalvile, Leicester, England) or the TIDY WEEKENDER (prestatyn, Wales, UK) then you will be a HARD HOUSE fan for life because of the unity between the clubbers and the DJ's. There is very little snobbery between the DJ's. Top players such as Andy Farley, The Tidy Boys, Lisa Lashes and many more are always willing to chat and spend time with the people who make them who they are.

The Scene is still thriving and many people have wrote off Hard House and that is fine by us, we have a big enough following and we ALL enjoy it. Write us off if you like but we are all happy that you are not with us if you do so.

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