House music is a form of electronic dance music. It originated in what one might call post-disco America. House is a relative of disco music. Some may say that house evolved from disco music. It was also influenced by soul and funk.
Frankie Knuckles was one of the founding fathers of house. He was a DJ at a club in Chicago known as The Warehouse. Some people say that house music takes its name from The Warehouse where primitive house began. Frankie Knuckles would mix disco, Philly soul, European pop, synthesized drum beats, and sound effects to make his music. Later artists would use synthesizers, samplers, sequencers, mixers, electronic drum machines, vocals, and other effects to make the first original house records.
A genre of music known as garage house also became popular around the same time in New York City. Larry Levan was a DJ at the Paradise Garage from which garage house gets it name.
I had a friend named Mark who introduced me to house during my college days in the late 1980s. Mark was from the Chicago area so it’s no surprise that he was familiar with the genre. He used to play a lot of house and other dance music. He made me a few a mix tapes, some of which were recordings of WBMX and WGCI radio programs. I had never heard anything quite like Chicago house music before.
Some of house music’s popular songs contained the word jack. Jacking was the word used by Chicago club-goers to describe the frenzied body of a dancer when dancing to the Chicago house sound. Larry Heard uses the word jack in the opening of his song “Can You Feel It?” He says, “In the beginning, there was Jack, and Jack had a groove. And, from this groove came the groove of all grooves. And, while one day viciously throwing down on his box, Jack boldly declared, “Let there be HOUSE!” and house music was born.”
Some Names Associated with House:
Farley “Jackmaster” Funk
Steve “Silk” Hurley
Some of My Favorite House Songs:
1. Can You Feel It? – Larry Heard (a.k.a. Mr. Fingers)
2. Jack it All Night Long – Bad Boy Bill
3. Rhythem Method – Mink
4. House Nation – House Master Boyz
5. Whatever Turns You On – Mario Reyes
6. Pump Up Chicago – Mr. Lee
7. Used By DJ – MKII
8. Jack Me ’til I Scream – Julian Jumpin’ Perez
9. Can You Party? – Royal House
10. Can U Dance – Fast Eddie Smith and Kenny “Jammin” Jason
11. Can’t Stop the House – Thompson and Lenoir
12. How to Play Our Music – Reese and Santonio
13. Don’t Make Me Jack (Tonite I Wanna House You) – Paris Grey
14. Pump Up the Volume – M/A/R/R/S
Other songs I heard on WBMX or WGCI mixes that were house or dance music:
Big Fun – Inner City
Good Life – Inner City
American Soviets – C.C.C.P.
Baila – Raz
Rock This House – Mark Imperial and Dennis Ramirez
Bass Line (The Gemini Rap) – Mickey Oliver Project featuring M.C. Taste
I Want to Be Your Property (Street Latin Wolff Mix) – Blue Mercedes
I’m So Hot For You – Bobby Orlando
Birthday Suit (House Mix) – Johnny Kemp
Some different styles of house music include deep house, acid house, and ambient house.
An interesting genre related to house is hip-house. Hip-house is a blend of hip-hop and house components. Hip-house was extremely popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Some hip-house songs may include:
I’ll House You – Jungle Brothers
Pump Up the Jam – Technotronic
Groove is in the Heart – Deee Lite
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) – C&C Music Factory
Strike it Up – Black Box
Everybody Everybody – Black Box
The Power – Snap!
Vogue – Madonna
Yo Yo Get Funky – Fast Eddie
It Takes Two – Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
House continues to have a presence in contemporary times. My favorite is Chicago house from the 1980s. Trax Records and DJ International Records pressed many of the Chicago house songs onto vinyl. Some of these songs can be heard at online video websites. Compact discs can be found online and even some classic vinyl records are for sale as well.
I’m glad that my friend Mark introduced to me to house. I hope you enjoy it too.