This is our House, but this is your House.net
The House.Net team would like to welcome you to the brand new House.Net! We hope you enjoy the new site. In this welcome post, our Editor-in-Chief describes the events that have led House music to its current point, and how our site's mission fits into that history. The full post is below.
Welcome to the brand-new House.Net. We hope you enjoy our new project. It’s the result of many extremely talented people, and literally hundreds of hours of planning and development.
For people who barely understand the genre, House is just as much of an umbrella term as “techno,” “rave music,” “electronic” and “EDM." That much is honestly unsurprising.
House music has been as versatile as it has been ubiquitous over the years. In many ways, I would contend that House is arguably the most important genre of EDM. There are several turning points in the history of electronic dance music where House (or the House sound) has led the way for EDM to permeate the mainstream of popular music. That’s why we believe a properly managed and thought-out House music site is so incredibly important.
First, allow me to indulge in a bit of history. The music we now call “House music” has been around since at least the early-to-mid 1980s. (There is some dispute, as is typical, about whether earlier drum machine sounds can be labeled House. For the purposes of continuity, let us assume the argument is settled in our favor)
Our story begins in Chicago, at a club called “The Warehouse,” which was primarily frequented by homosexual Hispanic and black men. Eventually the sound caught fire, leading people to clamor to their local record shop owners demanding more of “that ‘House’ music”. Thus, the term House music was born.
Out of that era, we get this classic, formative House anthem:
If that sound seems almost ancient to you, don’t be surprised. Mainstream music tends to evolve much slower than underground sounds. I call this phenomenon “musical inertia,” because the more popular a type of music is, the slower it changes. Underground music is much less burdened by the delays of industry, and as a result is much more agile in its development. Because House music has been relatively obscure until recently, it has been able to develop at lightning speed.
Our story continues in the rave era of the 1990s, which was simultaneously occurring in both Europe and the United States at different paces. For quite a few years, the US and Europe kept pace with each other in terms of how musical development. The difference was, while Europeans quickly integrated House into their mainstream, its counterpart in US culture remained strictly underground. Still, performers like Sasha, Digweed, Danny Tenaglia, Moby, Paul Oakenfold, The Prodigy and more were playing to massive crowds constantly. They were missionaries in what was partly a musical movement, but more powerfully a countercultural movement. If there was one true victim of this era, it was the jukebox.
Out of this period, we have this House anthem which is quite symbolic in hindsight:
Unfortunately, the saying that “all good things must come to an end” held true for rave culture in the 1990s. With the legal crackdown on raves in the US, the culture was quickly crushed under the pressure of public criticism. While there is certainly some blame to be assigned to politicians looking to get reelected, the amount of sensational and completely ridiculous reporting from the media in this period was the true killing blow. As a result, in the US, House music was driven deeper underground along with other popular genres at the time. Meanwhile, the sound continued to flourish in Europe and elsewhere.
I call this period “the lost generation” because of the huge gap in EDM’s musical history. Go look through your favorite artist’s discography. Do you see any releases from 2001-2007? Luckily, the period still had some dedicated producers moving the genre forward. This song from Thomas Bangalter (of Daft Punk fame) and DJ Falcon was released in 2002 and can now be called timeless:
The exact start to the resurgence of EDM, and by extension, House music, is tough to pinpoint. There is a lot of argument about the specific song or release that made it happen. My personal opinion is that it was this Kanye West track, featuring a sample from Daft Punk’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger,” that really set it off:
Thus, House music was reborn.
The rest of House music’s development up to this point is honestly too recent for one to apply the careful and unbiased lens of history. Suffice it to say, I believe history will show Deadmau5, DJ Dan, Benny Benassi, Sander Kleinenberg, Erick Morillo, and even the trio that became Swedish House Mafia all as heavy contributors to the sound’s growth and popular progression. Trance was by far the most internationally beloved genre of EDM during this time. I give individual credit to Deadmau5 for being the main reason this trend began to reverse.
Just check out this amazing track from the mau5:
And so, here we sit, the descendants of three decades of musical history. The sounds we hear today are so different from those original House tracks that they are hardly recognizable as the same genre. Yet, even though the sound has passed through the hands of thousands of musicians entrusted with the legacy, House has survived. The true test of the significance of an art form is the test of time. So far, House has proven itself as both resilient and versatile enough to survive. It is up to each and every one of its loyal fans and listeners to continue that tradition.
It is with this enormous sense of history and duty in mind that we have created House.Net. It would be silly for us to think this site belongs to us. We have dedicated ourselves to being both caretakers of House’s history as well as chroniclers of its development. So, those of us on the House team at The EDM Network are proud to begin this enormous undertaking. We know how important it is.
After all, we were once just kids who loved the music. Now we get to share it with the world. This is our House, but this is your House.Net.
The House.Net Team