Deep house

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This article is about the style of music. For the human dwelling-structure, see List of house types.

Deep house is a subgenre of house music[1] that originated in the 1980s, initially fusing elements of Chicago house with 1980s jazz-funk[2] and touches of soul music.[3] The lengths of the tracks are usually around 7 and 10 minutes, with tempos usually in the range of 115 to 130 BPM.[4] This style of house music can often have an acoustic feeling.[5] Deep house has gained popularity over the years according to Beatport, being one of its top sellers among genres.[6]


Deep house is known for complex melody, use of unrelated chromatic chords underlying most sequences, and a soul, ambient, or lounge vibe to the vocals (if any). In the early compositions (1988–89), 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 dissonant melodies, and a smooth, stylish, and chic demeanor. Deep house music rarely reaches a climax, but lingers on as a comfortable, relaxing sound. Though many of these traits have still carried through to modern Deep House, the genre has become much "techier" when compared to its roots.[7]


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Deep house was largely pioneered by Chicago producers such as Marshall Jefferson (On the House) and Larry Heard (Mr. Fingers)[2] and with tracks such as "Mystery of Love" (1985) and "Can You Feel It?" (1986);[8] the latter had a similar impact on deep house as Derrick May's "Strings Of Life" (1987) did on Detroit techno.[9] The jazzy sound became more common due to the favored use of electric pianos such as the Rhodes and Wurlitzer, and the Hammond organ. 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).[10]

Artists, DJs and record labels[edit]

Cihangir - Turn to Dust feat. Miss Bee (Manic Depresion Mix)

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Deep house artists, DJs and producers include:

Record labels of the genre include Anjunadeep, Glasgow Underground, Naked Music, Om Records, Peacefrog Records, Soma among a great many others. Examples of deep house albums from artists known from other genres include The Martyr Mantras (1990) and Modernism: A New Decade (1998) from The Style Council.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ishkur (2005). "Ishkur's guide to Electronic Music". Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Jazz-House". Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2013). Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture. Soft Skull Press. At the same time, the traditional NYC enclave for gay dance culture — centred on Body and Soul — was self-stifled by its own reverence of the lost golden age of disco. 
  4. ^ Moelants, Dirk (September 8–13, 2003). "Dance Music, Movement And Tempo Preferences". Retrieved May 29, 2014. Their averages (mean = 126.7) coincide with the main peak near preferred tempo, but their standard deviations (mean sd = 7.1) are much lower than those of the ‘general’ lists (mean sd = 17.0). These lists concentrate on house music, the mother of all contemporary electronic dance music. 
  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. 
  6. ^ "Beatport’s Top Selling Genres, Year by Year…". 
  7. ^ "The Dance Music Guide". The Dance Music Guide. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  8. ^ Iqbal, Mohson (31 January 2008). "Larry Heard: Soul survivor". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Various Artists - The Kings of House, Compiled and Mixed by Masters at Work". In the Mix. 12 August 2005. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Unterberger, Richie (1999). Music USA: The Rough Guide. London: Rough Guides. p. 265. ISBN 185828421X. Retrieved 23 July 2012.