House - a style
of electronic music, originally a descendant of disco
In the mid-80s, disco had been around for nearly a decade and was suffering from massive commercial exploitation. In a classic example of the over-exposure syndrome
, the "Disco Sucks"-campaign made people burn their disco records in public display.
The leaders of the underground dance scene in the US, the DJ
:s and the producers, had stepped off the disco train since long, and was already developing a new, deeper, more dance-oriented sound: house. Already, the first singles specifically aimed at DJ
:s - the 12 inch
singles - had emerged on the market, with longer intros and outros and long percussion breaks, to facilitate mixing
. Now, European electronic music and dub was thrown into the mix, and dance music entered a new era.
The name "house" comes from one of the pioneering clubs that started playing house music, the Warehouse in Chicago, with resident DJ Frankie Knuckles
. This club also gave name to a certain style of early house, Chicago House
. Another pioneer was Larry Levan
, who played the Paradise Garage - ironically, he was the Warehouse's first choice, but he didn't want to leave New York. The Paradise Garage also has a style of house named after it, Garage House
. Note that the Garage House
of today is a completely different thing from the original.
Often, one is asked to describe the difference between house and the predominant other electronic dance music genre, techno
. This is like trying to define the difference between rock
. Sometimes, people one refers to house as "black music
" and techno as "white music
" - which is a very sloppy and misleading definition, further illustrated by both genres being both pioneered and dominated by black men. However, the analogy does cohere with predominant social prejudice. As a general, house often features accentuations of the 2nd and 4th beat in the bar (with a hi-hat or snare drum, for example) and is often said to have more "soul" in the music, while techno
has a straight beat and a more pumping, electronic sound.