House
Stylistic origins: Electro, Funk, Disco, Synthpop, R&B
Cultural origins: 1980s, New York, Chicago, United Kingdom
Typical instruments: Synthesizer - Drum machine - Sequencer - Keyboard - Sampler
Mainstream popularity: Large, especially late 1980s and early 1990s United Kingdom
Derivative forms: Rave - Nu jazz - Madchester
After the "Summer of Love": early 1990s to mid 1990s




In Britain, further experiments in the genre boosted its appeal (and gave the opportunity for new names to be made up).

House and rave clubs like Lakota, Miss Moneypenny's and the original C.R.E.A.M. began to emerge across Britain, hosting regular events for people who would otherwise have had no place to enjoy the mutating house and dance scene.

The idea of 'chilling out' was born in Britain with ambient house albums like the KLF's Chill Out. A new indie dance scene was being forged by bands like the Happy Mondays, The Shamen, New Order, Meat Beat Manifesto, Renegade Soundwave, EMF, The Grid and The Beloved. Two distinctive tracks from this era were the Orb's "Little Fluffy Clouds" (with a distinctive vocal sample from Rickie Lee Jones) and the Happy Mondays' "Wrote for Luck" ("WFL") which was transformed into a dance hit by Paul Oakenfold.

The Criminal Justice Bill of 1994 was a government attempt to ban large events featuring music with "repetitive beats". There were a number of abortive "Kill the Bill" demonstrations. Although the bill did become law in November 1994, it had little effect. The music continued to grow and change, as typified by the emergence of acts like Leftfield with "Release the Pressure", which introduced dub and reggae into the house sound. In more commercial areas a mix of R&B with stronger bass-lines gained favour.

The music was being moulded, not just by drugs, but also the mixed cultural and racial groups involved in the house music scene. Tunes like "The Bouncer" from Kicks Like a Mule used sped-up hip-hop break-beats. With SL2's "On A Ragga Trip" they gave the foundations to what would become drum and bass and jungle. Initially called breakbeat hardcore, it found popularity in London clubs like Rage as a "inner city" music. Labels like Moving Shadow and Reinforced became underground favorites. Showing an increased tempo around 160 bpm, tunes like "Terminator" from Goldie marked a distinct change from house with heavier, faster and more complex bass-lines: drum and bass. Goldie's early work culminated in the twenty-two minute epic "Inner City Life" a hit from his debut album Timeless.

UK Garage developed later, growing in the underground club scene from drum and bass ideas. Aimed more for dancing than listening, it produced distinctive tunes like "Double 99" from Ripgroove in 1997. Gaining popularity amongst clubbers in Ibiza, it was re-imported to the UK and in a softened form had chart success: soon it was being applied to mainstream acts like Liberty X and Victoria Beckham.

4 Hero went in the opposite direction - from brutal breakbeats they adopted more soul and jazz influences, and even a full orchestral section in their quest for sophistication. Later, this led directly to the West London scene known as Brokenbeat.

 

 

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