Acid House Music

Written by Charles Peacock
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House music is one of the most popular types of dance music out there, and surprisingly enough, it's actually been around for more than two decades. Over the years, house has evolved into many different variants, including funky house, deep house and acid house. Acid house is one of the older house variants, having come out of the heydey of house music in the late 1980s.

Roots of Acid House

The strong and widely recognized ties between drugs and dance music have for years fed the belief that acid house got its name from the drug LCD (commonly known as "acid"). While it's certainly true that acid house has mind-altering feel to it, the name actually might have nothing to do with drugs. It was coined by DJs Herbert J, DJ Pierre and Spanky, who stumbled upon the sound by accident and labeled their first creations "Acid Trax."

Under the name Phuture, the three aforementioned DJs sparked a revolution in house music with their development of the acid sound. Playing around with a Roland TB-303 synthesizer, they discovered that they could create a unique squelchy sound by manipulating the resonance and frequency cut-off dials on the machine while they were playing notes. Designed as an electronic bassline machine, the TB-303 quickly took off as a staple instrument for this type of electronic dance music.

Acid house began in Chicago, but it quickly made its way across the Atlantic Ocean when British DJs began importing acid singles and playing them in their clubs. By 1988 (now known as "The Summer of Love"), acid house had exploded across Britain and was now a cross-cultural dance phenomenon. Unfortunately, the supposed drug reference in the name didn't endear this form of music to British authorities, who actually imposed a ban on acid house for fear of an exploding drug culture.


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