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House Music’s Resurgence

By on August 23, 2017
house music

House music is the one style of electronic dance music that still stands strong through all the ups and downs of dance music’s popularity in the U.S.A.

Now that dance music has gone through its EDM phase, electronic dance music has many new branches including Trap, Dubstep, Deep House (which resembles nothing to what deep house was really all about) and more.

All of the newer branches and styles of ‘dance music’ stem from disco and disco’s last remaining remnant is house music, Chicago style house music. House music’s sound is summed up in it’s feeling, in its driving four-on-the-floor beat that is enjoying a massive resurgence and it’s crossing generational lines.

House Music, born in Chicago at a time when the very city that killed disco would very unassumingly resurrect dance music with its ‘house sound’ has never gone away, it made room for new sounds but maintained its popularity in the background of all the new styles of dance music.

roland drum machine

House music was born out of basements here in Chicago where young kids experimenting with new computer technology could put their ideas to sound. Many of the ‘bedroom producers’ were the electronic version of garage bands, playing their music on computers and keyboards. For kids who didn’t have the money to go into a studio with a full band or maybe they didn’t know how to write music or compose sheet music, the electronics made music production more inclusive for more people. As time went by, more ‘house’ artists came along, those who were there from the beginning became more sophisticated with their productions, many learned how to compose songs that became massive hits around the world.

It all started on the radio at WBMX and the DJS in the clubs who had the ear and balls to break the new style of music in at ‘house parties’ in the city. Major city venues like The Riviera, AKA, Woodhues, Copherbox, Prime N’ Tender, Mothers, Candy Store, Excalibur, Coconuts, Dingbats, PS Chicago, Sauer’s, Eddie Rockets, Muzik Box, Erik’s North, Nimbus as well as the suburban clubs big and small including The I II III, The Fire Alarm, Olivers, Safari Club, Kicks On 66, Thumpers, Diorr’s, Bobbie & Clyde’s and so many more were all on board bringing the ‘house sound’ to the masses.

House music may have been taken for granted the last few years but today, it’s back in full force. For proof of house music’s resurgence, one has to look no further than where it all began, in Chicago. The return of Chicago’s WBMX to the radio in Chicago speaks volumes to it all. After being gone for 30 years from the AM/FM dial [kept alive online for the last 20 years], WBMX’s concepts returned to the AM/FM radio dial in the Chicago area with old school and mixes provided by seasoned DJS including U.S. Dance Music Hall of FameDJ Mickey Mixin’ Oliver, an original member of the world famous Hot Mix 5 which was assembled by WBMX PD Lee Michaels back in 1981. The Friday Night Jams, The Saturday Night Live Ain’ No Jive Chicago Dance Party mix shows are even voiced by the original host of the shows, radio icon, veteran Armando Rivera.

Another example would be the Chosen Few DJS picnic in Chicago which is now a full blown festival over a two day span drawing tens of thousands of people. The event features classic artists like CeCe Penniston and features iconic DJS including the originator of house music, Jesse Saunders alongside other legendary DJS including Alan King, Tony Hatchett, Wayne Williams, Ron Hardy, Terry Hunter, Andre Hatchett, Mike Dunn, Ron Trent, Grammy nominees and winners including Steve Silk Hurley, Maurice Joshua and the entire Chosen Few DJ team with some surprises along the way.

Amazing talents like Todd Terry, Cajmere/Green Velvet, Joey Negro, Dimitri From Paris, Sonny Fodera, David Morales, Master At Work, DJ Sneak and others have never gone out of style. DJS/Producers of their caliber still tour the world to sold out crowds after all these years.

New comers in the last few years like Claude VonStroke, Robin Schulz, Demarkus Lewis, Oliver Heldens, DJ Fudge, Purple Disco Machine, Moon Boots, Claptone, Gorgon City, White Noize, ZHU, Federico Scavo, Antonio Giacca, Croatia Squad, Peter Brown, Mike Mago, Duke Dumont, Disclosure and countless others have put their spin on house and turned it into gold and platinum around the world.

Buying ‘house music’ has never been easier for fans of the music. No longer does one have to go to a “DJ STORE” to buy their favorite house music. The one place that really does a great job of presenting all styles of house to the fans and DJS is Traxsource. Even Beatport, which was dominated by more ‘Big Room EDM’ sounds is now loaded with ‘house’ songs in its top 10. While many may miss the ‘vinyl’, we can almost assure you that no one misses carrying it all around.

What started out on a radio station here in Chicago that had no fear in playing and creating club music via DJS from across the city and suburbs is now an international sound you’d here from Auckland to Ibiza, New York to Johannesburg, London to Taipei and everywhere in between.

The pioneers of it all include Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, Tyree Cooper, Jesse Saunders, Vince Lawrence, Jamie Principle, Ron Hardy, JM Silk, Joe Smooth, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Mark Imperial, The Hot Mix 5, Bad Boy Bill, Kool Rock Steady, Fast Eddie and others too numerous to mention.

The original ‘house music labels’ that brought it to the world include Jes-Say, DJ International, Trax Records, Hot Mix 5 Records, Dance Mania Records and others here in Chicago that shipped house music to the world over 30 years ago and today, it’s still going strong.

For more insight into how the Hot Mix 5 was formed, the history of WBMX in the 80’s and more, click here.

Jack it up out there!

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