Hard House Music

Written by Charles Peacock
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House music started out as a relatively accessible form of dance music. Eager to replace the then-cliche´d disco style, house DJs developed something a bit more funky but just as easy to dance to. As house music has evolved over the years, however, it has branched off into wildly different styles that are both harder and softer than the original sounds of classic Chicago deep house.

Characteristics of Hard House

Like any type of music, dance music has followers who are always looking for something slightly more hard and aggressive than what has come in the past. Hard house is a style that has developed in response to this need. Hard house is built on the same musical platform as traditional house music, but it manipulates tempo and style to create something far more rough-edged.

The main characteristic element of hard house is its minimalist style. Things like layered melodies and vocals are eschewed in favor of simple driving bass and rhythm tracks. Most hard house music employs a thumping 4/4 bass drum rhythm underneath a succession of off-beat bass lines.

Hard house came about in the mid 1990s, in Chicago--the home of house itself. It has in itself lead to and drawn from the development of many other styles of dance music, like techno, garage and jungle. Hard house music remains its own unique style, however, and any good dance record seller will carry a wide selection of hard house vinyl.


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