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What is 90s house music?

What is 90s house music

During the 1990s, house music transitioned from a relatively underground genre to the most popular and accessible style of electronic music in the world. The decade witnessed the development of house’s iconic soulful and disco-influenced sound, while also giving rise to many subgenres like progressive house, funky house, handbag house, and garage.

House music developed in Chicago in the 1980s, but by the 90s New York had arguably become the major hotbed of house music production, with labels such as Strictly Rhythm, Nervous Records and Nu Groove Records developing the Chicago sound into a yet tougher and funkier form.

The 90s sound of New York City house was all about pumping four-to-the-floor kick drums, incisive, syncopated open hi-hats, and groovy, swung percussion. Musically the style took inspiration from funk, disco and gospel, combining these soulful sounds with house’s big beats and bass to create an unstoppable dance floor phenomenon.

Across the globe, house music began to evolve into exciting new forms, with Europe being particularly quick to create new developments in the sound, generating multifarious new subgenres ranging from accessible handbag house to deeper progressive house, with plenty in between.

Is house music inspired by disco?

House music is heavily inspired by disco, as well as other forms of music including funk, soul and synth pop. You can hear house’s disco influence in its four-to-the-floor beats, energetic bass lines, and diva vocals. “Disco house” is an especially disco-centric subgenre of house music, with DJ Sneak being one of its foremost practitioners.

What era was house music?

House music started life in the post-disco era of the early to mid-1980s, with the Warehouse club in Chicago giving the genre its name. The genre exploded in popularity in the 90s, and remains popular to this day, with new subgenres appearing all the time.

House pioneers of the 80s and 90s include Frankie Knuckles,  Steve “Silk” Hurley, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Marshall Jefferson, Todd Terry, Masters at Work, Armand Van Helden and Tony Humphries.

10 essential 90s house anthems

1. Hardrive – “Deep Inside”

One of the most influential house tracks ever made, “Deep Inside” refines house down to its funky essence with incessant beats, big bass and an anthemic vocal.

2. Nightcrawlers – “Push The Feeling On (The Dub of Doom)”

House legend MK turns the jazzy original ”Push The Feeling On” into a hook-filled dance classic that’s simultaneously gloomy and euphoric.

3. Todd Terry – “Jumpin’ (Original)”

An early disco house classic featuring a cut up Musique sample, “Jumpin’” takes disco into previously unexplored deep and dark territory.

4. River Ocean feat. India “Love & Happiness (Yemeya Y Ochun)”

The ubiquitous Masters as Work create an all-time classic vocal track with this ethereal slice of pure Latin excellence.

5. Kristine W – “Feel What You Want (Our Tribe Vocal)”

“Feel What You Want” showcases house music’s ability to transcend party music with its heartbreaking vocals and murky, unceasing organ melody.

6. The Bucketheads – “The Bomb (These Sound Fall Into My Mind)”

With its nearly fifteen-minute runtime, this track transforms Chicago’s “Street Player” into an extended house workout that’s a masterclass in arrangement.

7. Joe T. Vannelli Project – “Sweetest Day Of May (Greed Vocal)”

An impeccable slice of gospel-inspired Italo house remixed into the ultimate handbag house floor-filler by UK production duo Greed.

8. De’Lacy – “Hideaway (Deep Dish Remix)”

“Hideaway” was a massive worldwide hit thanks to its catchy vocal juxtaposed with a bleak, highly-rhythmic backing track choc full of weighty bass and hooky synths.

9. St Germain – “Alabama Blues (Todd Edwards Vocal Mix)”

Garage hero Todd Edwards showcases his unparalleled sampling skills with this uplifting sonic collage that’s a far cry from the dubby original version.

10. Daft Punk – “Around The World”

French house innovators Daft Punk give the talkbox a thorough workout on this funky,  synth-centric production.

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