Deep house

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Deep house
Stylistic origins House, soul, funk, jazz, Chicago house
Cultural origins Late 1980s, United States
Typical instruments Synthesizer, keyboard, drum machine, sequencer, sampler
Derivative forms Tech house, tribal house

(complete list)
Regional scenes
Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Europe, Ibiza, Sydney & Japan
Other topics
Ambient house

Deep house is a subgenre of house music that originated in the 1980s, initially fusing elements of Chicago house with 1980s jazz-funk and touches of soul music.


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). It is a style of house music that blends elements of Chicago house, 80s soul, jazz-funk and Detroit techno. Deep house commonly appeared as a genre in the early 90s with more melodic sounds gathering influences from soul, jazz and African beats. 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.[citation needed] Deep house music rarely reaches a climax, but lingers on as a comfortable, relaxing sound.


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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);[1] the latter had a similar impact on deep house as Derrick May's "Strings Of Life" (1987) did on Detroit techno.[2] The jazzy sound became more common due to the favored use of electronic pianos such as the Rhodes piano, 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).[3]

Later deep house tracks (1993–94) were more heavily influenced by disco and even merged into a disputable disco house genre.[citation needed] Modern deep house (post-2000) often shares features with the related genre of tech house but tends to focus on musical complexity where tech house focuses on simplicity.[citation needed]

Artists, DJs and record labels[edit]

Deep house artists, DJs and producers include:

Record labels of the genre include Anjunadeep, Naked Music, Om Records and Peacefrog Records. 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. ^ Iqbal, Mohson (31 January 2008). "Larry Heard: Soul survivor". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Various Artists - The Kings of House, Compiled and Mixed by Masters at Work". In the Mix. 12 August 2005. Retrieved 23 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Unterberger, Richie (1999). Music USA: The Rough Guide. London: Rough Guides. p. 265. ISBN 185828421X. Retrieved 23 July 2012.