House Music Styles
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Music Definitions

House music : styles

Acid house : A Chicago derivative built around the Roland TB-303 bassline machine. Hard, uncompromising, tweaking samples produce a hypnotic effect.

Ambient house : Mixing the moody atmospheric sounds of New Age and ambient music with pulsating house beats.

Chicago house : Simple basslines, driving four-on-the-floor percussion and textured keyboard lines are the elements of the original house sound.

Deep house : A slower variant of house (around 120 BPM) with warm sometimes hypnotic melodies that originated in San Francisco.

Epic house : A variant of progressive house featuring lush synth-fills and dramatic (some would say pretentious) beat breakdowns.

Freestyle house : A Latin variant of NY house music, which began development in the early 1980s by producers like John Jellybean Benitez. Seen by some as an evolution of electro funk.

French house : A late 1990s house sound developed in France. Inspired by the '70s and '80s funk and disco sounds. Mostly features a typical sound "filter" effect. e.g. Daft Punk

Garage : This term has changed meaning several times over the years. The UK definition relates to New York's version of deep house, originally named after a certain style of soulful disco played at legendary club the Paradise Garage, although the original Garage sound was much more of an eclectic mix of many different kinds of records. The UK version is pronounced "ga-raaj". May also be called the Jersey Sound due to the close connection many of its artists and producers have with New Jersey such as the legendary Shep Pettibone and Tony Humphries at Zanzibar in Newark, NJ. Not to be confused with speed garage or the British style nowadays called UKG pronounced "garridje".

Ghetto house : A variation from Chicago that features minimal, 808 and 909 drum machine driven tracks, and profane (sometimes sexually explicit) lyrics.

Hip house : The simple fusion of rap rhymes with house beats. Mainly popular for a brief moment in the late 80s. Most famous record is Jungle Brothers "Girl I'll House You."

Hard house : House music on the harder side, leaning more towards aggressive 'hoover' type sounds. The style was generally fast tempo.

Hi-NRG : Called "high energy". Popular in the gay scene, sometimes reminiscent of freestyle house.

Italo house : Slick production techniques, catchy melodies, rousing piano lines and American vocal styling typifies the Italian ("Italo") house sound. A modulating Giorgio Moroder style bassline is also a trademark of this style.

Latin House : Borrows heavily from Salsa and Brazilian beats, most notably in " Brazil over Zurich." This style was perfected and proliferated by DJ Reyna J in Chicago's underground scene in the late 1990s.

Minimal House : (or Microhouse) Simple, 4/4 beats (usually around 125-130 beats-per-minute) usually only barely accompanied by sparse, percussive effects, synthesizer work, and simplistic vocals.

New York house : New York's uptempo dance music, referred to simply as club music by some.

Pop house : The use of house production styles to make traditional pop artists more acceptable on the dancefloor results in the pop house phenomenon.

Progressive house : Progressive house is typified by accelerating peaks and troughs throughout a track's duration, and are, in general, less obvious than in hard house. Layering different sound on top of each other and slowly bringing them in and out of the mix is a key idea behind the progressive movement. Some of this kind of music sounds like a cousin of trance music.

Pumpin' House : Developed in the late 90's and related to French house, Pumpin' House also often samples disco, rock, jazz, and/or funk loops (sometimes creating dense layered textures) and usually makes extensive use of filters, but gains its appellation from its heavy use of compression, which makes tracks surge and pulse. It is characterized by intense, up-front drum programming, heavy funk influence, and very emphasized basslines, often sampled from live players. Famous producers include Olav Basoski ( Holland), Grant Nelson ( UK), and Monkey Bars ( US). Typical BPM range is 127-133.

Sexy house : Sexy house draws its sounds from soul and funk with a 4/4 beat, and is sometimes confused with an acid jazz sound. Sexy house doesn't feature as much synthesizer sounds (but does occasionally use cheesy 1980s synth samples) as other genres, but typically features horn sections, electric pianos and congas, but it is less jazzy or downtempo as trip-hop. Typical beats per minute are 125~128. The melody of this style is inspired from 1970s black soul and funk, and it features strong bass drum sound, with a softer higher frequencies. It is found played in bars and restaurants.

Tech house : Tech substitutes typical booming house kickdrums with shorter, often distorted kicks, smaller hi-hats, and noisier snares. House's funky jazz loops are replaced with techno-sounding synth lines. Closely related to microhouse.

Tribal house : Popularized by remixer/DJ Junior Vasquez in New York, characterized by lots of percussion and world music style rhythms.

Ultra house : Extremely fast house beats typically 160 to 220 beats per minute, the same speed as "jungle" music.

Electro house : Sometimes resembles tech house, but often influenced by the "electro" sound of the early 1980's, aka breakdancing music, via samples or just synthesizer usage.


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