Deep House
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Deep House

Deep house is a subgenre of house music.[1][2] It originated in the 1980s, initially fusing elements of Chicago house with 1980s jazz-funk and touches of soul music. Deep house tracks generally have a tempo of between 100 and 125 beats per minute (BPM).[1][3] Its origins are attributed to Larry Heard's track 'Mystery of Love' in 1984.[4]

This style of house music can often have an acoustic feeling.[5] The online music store Beatport is credited with driving the popularity of deep house,[6] but also mislabeling a number of artists in the process[7] and giving rise to the future house genre.


Deep house is known for tempos typically from 110 to 124 BPM [8] , spacious use of percussion elements, muted basslines, soft keyboard sounds (pads), use of advanced chord structures, ambient mixes, and soulful vocals. Lyrics usually focus on positive/uplifting or forlorn modern blues lyrics. In the early compositions (1986-89), influences of jazz music were most frequently brought out by using more complex chords than simple triads (7ths, 9ths, 13ths, suspensions, alterations) which are held for many bars and give compositions a slightly dissonant feel. The use of vocals became more common in deep house than in many other forms of house music. Sonic qualities include soulful vocals (if vocals are included), slow and concentrated pleasantly dissonant melodies, and a smooth, stylish, and chic demeanor. The use of women's vocals is more common than males in deep house tracks. Deep house music rarely reaches a climax, but lingers on as a comfortable, hypnotic and relaxing sound.


Deep house was largely pioneered by Chicago producers such as Marshall Jefferson (On the House) and Larry Heard (Mr. Fingers) and with tracks such as "Mystery of Love" (1985) and "Can You Feel It?" (1986);[9] the latter had a similar impact on deep house as Derrick May's "Strings Of Life" (1987) did on Detroit techno.[10] The jazzy sound became more common due to the favored use of gentler, more organic (yet still synthesizer based) production and instrument sounds. Author Richie Unterberger has stated that Heard's deep house sound moved house music away from its posthuman tendencies back towards the lush, soulful sound of early disco music (particularly that of old Philadelphia International and Salsoul records).[11]

In the 2000s and in the 2010s, the genre is always very popular. Today, the term Deep House is often misused[12], and is utilized to encapsulate various types of bassline driven house music.

Nowdays, deep house is very popular and represented by records labels labels like Innervisions, Defected, Crosstown Rebels, Suara, Mother Recordings, Diynamic, Strictly Rhythm, Exploited, and Enormous Tunes, but to name a few.[13]

Artists, DJs and record labels

For a list of deep house musicians, see: Deep house musicians

Record labels of the genre include Alleviated Records (Larry Heard), AFTR:HRS, Glasgow Underground, Naked Music, Om Records, Peacefrog Records, Soma, Source, Anjunadeep and Spinnin' Deep. Examples of deep house albums from artists known from other genres include The Martyr Mantras (1990) and Modernism: A New Decade (1989) from The Style Council, until now, Swedish House Mafia (2012).

See also


  1. ^ a b c M'Baye, Babacar; Oliver Hall, Alexander Charles, eds. (2013). Crossing Traditions: American Popular Music in Local and Global Contexts. Scarecrow Press. p. 153. ISBN 9780810888289. Deep house is a subgenre of house music that is revered by its fans for its faithfulness to Chicago house and New York garage. Deep house cooks up a tasty sonic stew from disco, gospel, soul, jazz, funk, Latin, and R & B. Like its predecessors, its simmers at 120 to 125 BPM. What distinguishes deep house from its progenitors is its tendency to overuse shrieking divas, ominous organs, and chord progressions to whip up dance floor drama.
  2. ^ Mitchell, Tony (1989). "Performance and the Postmodern in Pop Music". Theatre Journal. 41 (3): 275. JSTOR 3208181. "House" music, and its offshoots acid house, deep house, and techno...
  3. ^ "List of Average Tempo (BPM) By Genre". 30 April 2013. Archived from the original on 6 December 2016. deep house: 120-125 bpm
  4. ^ Resident Advisor (2018-05-08), How Larry Heard made house music deep | Resident Advisor, retrieved
  5. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2013). Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. Soft Skull Press. Perhaps because unlike deep house, none of the sounds used in the style really resemble 'real' acoustic instruments. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  6. ^ Taylor Barnes. "Beatport By The Numbers 10 Analyzed (Part 1)". DJ Master Course. Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ "Stop calling it deep house". Mixmag. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ "Deep House Music". Armada Music.
  9. ^ Iqbal, Mohson (31 January 2008). "Larry Heard: Soul survivor". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2012.
  10. ^ "Various Artists - The Kings of House, Compiled and Mixed by Masters at Work". In the Mix. 12 August 2005. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ Unterberger, Richie (1999). Music USA: The Rough Guide. London: Rough Guides. p. 265. ISBN 185828421X. Retrieved 2012.
  12. ^ "Stop calling it deep house". Mixmag. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Best Of 2016 Deep House - Labels". mixmag. 2017. Retrieved 2019.

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