Thursday, April 23, 2015

SOULFUL HOUSE

House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in Chicago, circa 1984. In the mid-to-late 1980s, house music became popular in Europe, and then other major cities in North America, South America, and Australia.

Origins
The term “House” is much debated as to exactly when and who tagged it, but the most accepted version is that it was derived from the Warehouse Nightclub in Chicago where the legendary Frankie Knuckles DJ’d, and developed a distinct sound mainly due to the electronic drum machines of the day (Roland TR-808, TR-909 and later the TB 303 for Acid House). It’s been quoted that record stores began to sell some of these records and labelled them “as played at the Warehouse”, which became shortened to “house music”. Some of the early pioneer artists were Frankie Knuckles, Larry Heard (aka Mr Fingers & Fingers Inc.), Chip E, Tyree Cooper, Rocky-Jones, Ron Hardy, DJ Leonard “Remix” Roy and many more.

As House Music became more popular around the world, it became associated with the more extreme forms such as Acid House, Euro Hard House and Rave, etc. The real House Music connoisseurs stayed firmly on the side of more soul- and jazz-enriched forms of the genre – for many and for a while this  genre was tagged as Funky House, but again this term became somewhat abused and clich├ęd due to the populist crossover with UK Garage and 2Step, and with the resulting popularity, the music became more commercial, cheesy and pop-oriented. So today’s house music connoisseurs favour the terms “Soulful House” or “Deep House“.

Soulful House
Soulful House has a healthy underground scene, albeit split across the world with popular hot spots being Chicago, New York, London, Brazil, Melbourne and South Africa.   It remains fairly underground with a scene similar to the soul and jazz-funk scene in the 70s and 80s. The demographic is predominantly people in their late 20s upwards, with many liking the sound as reminiscent of what they grew up with in the 70s and 80s (i.e. soul, funk, disco and jazz coupled with early 80’s electronic music). Some of the popular artists at the forefront of soulful house are Masters at Work (Little Louie Vega & Kenny “Dope” Gonzales), Dennis Ferrer, Blaze, Barbara Tucker, Kenny Bobien, Stephanie Cooke (US) and in the UK, Joey Negro, Fanatix, The Layabouts, DeepCitySoul, Aphrodisiax, Soul Renegades and Andy Ward among others continue to grow and develop the scene.

Deep House
Deep House commonly appeared as a genre in the early 90s, describing a more melodic, stylish sound with influences from soul, jazz and African beats, with many of the earlier tracks being sampled chords and beats. The jazzy sound became more apparent due to the favoured use of electronic pianos such as the Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Hammond B3 organ.  Examples of well known Deep House artists and producers include Kerri Chandler, Joe Claussell, Mateo & Matos, Roland Clark and Ron Trent. Some of the early record labels included Henry Street, Nervous Records, King Street, etc.

In more recent years Deep House tends to refer to tracks on the “spacier” side of Soulful House and tends to imply less vocals, deeper tones, heavy organ chords and hypnotic synth sounds.

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