UK hard house

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UK hard house or simply hard house is a style of electronic dance music[1] music that emerged in the 1990s and is synonymous with its association to Trade club and the associated DJs there that created the style.[2][3] It often features a speedy tempo (around 150 BPM), offbeat bass stabs,[4] hoovers, horns[4] and crowd cheering samples.[4] It usually contains a break in the middle of the track without drum. UK hard house often uses a long and sharp string note to create suspense. Most of the time, the drops are introduced by a drum roll.

Hard house clubbing brands[edit]

Certain brands have reached legendary status with die-hard hard house fans, such as Birmingham based Sundissential and its Leeds counterpart Sundissential North. Clubbers are known to travel cross-country to some parties. The venues associated with certain brands are almost the stuff of legend themselves and are remembered fondly and given almost cult status by veteran ravers. For example:


Tidy are known for their sell-out club nights and one-off events such as TDV20 - a 20-year anniversary of the death of Tony De Vit - one of the original pioneers of hard house. Also known for hosting "The Tidy Weekender"; three-day parties which were held from Friday to Sunday at Pontins resorts in Prestatyn, Camber Sands and Southport.[6]


Launched in 2000, Storm regularly attracted up to 2000 clubbers in its heyday, and people came from as far as Bournemouth, Edinburgh and Belfast. The remoteness of Coalville made the venue tricky to get to, as there were no buses there which run on a Sunday and no local train station, meaning that the majority of clubbers who made it to Storm each week were usually die-hard ravers and for this reason, the brand and the venue had a cult following and very quickly reached legendary status amongst hard house fans.

Sundissential and Sundissential North[8][edit]

Originally held at Pulse in Birmingham, the sheer popularity of the weekly Midlands-based, self-styled "Most Outrageous Club in the World" saw it quickly set up its second base in Leeds – firstly, at Club Uropa from 1998 till 2000 and then Evolution from 2000 till 2005. Known for its cult following by fans who would wear elaborate and often home-made outfits, largely made from red and yellow fluff. Several controversial and tragic incidents kept Sundissential firmly at the forefront of the hard house scene, with several deaths of clubbers,[9] as well as the antics of the promoter, Paul Madden a.k.a. "Madders" which created gossip amongst fans online on Leeds based clubbing forums, and and kept the brand firmly in the spotlight until the doors closed in 2005. In 2016, the brand was relaunched under new management and began putting on events again in Leeds, at the Mint Club and at Church.[10]

Fish! and Superfish![11][edit]

From the mid-1990s to early 2000s, club nights included Fish!, Superfish!, and Warriors at Turnmills.

Hard house and hard NRG artists and DJs at these venues included Captain Tinrib, D.F.Q., Ben Javlin, Steve Thomas, Steve Hill, Rubec, Simon Eve, Pete Wardman, Dave Randall, Johnnie "RR" Fierce, Karim, Chris "Drum Head" Edwards, and Weirdo.

Other venues were the Soundshaft nightclub (next to Heaven in Charing Cross) and The Fridge in Brixton.

Notable hard house DJs and producers[edit]

Notable hard house record labels and label managers[edit]

  • Tidy (Tidy Boys) (including sister labels Tidy Two, Untidy Trax)[12]
  • Ideal (Digital Mafia)
  • Nukleuz (BK)
  • Vicious Circle (Paul Glazby)
  • Kaktai (Superfast Oz)
  • Tripoli Trax (Mark Johnson)
  • Passion Records (Andy M)
  • Elasticman (Ilogik)
  • Metamorph Recordings (Costa Pantazis)
  • Cheeky Tracks (General Bounce)
  • Fireball (Ben Stevens)
  • Cosa Nostra (Digital Mafia)
  • Do Not Bend (Karim)
  • D'Licious (Amber D)
  • Jump Wax (Tony De Vit)
  • Baby Doll (Mark Kavanagh)
  • Dirty House Grooves (Captain Tinrib & Steve Thomas)
  • Tinrib Recordings (Captain Tinrib)
  • Tinrib Digital (Captain Tinrib)


Hard bounce[edit]

Hard bounce (or more originally known as bouncy hard house) is a style of UK hard house which first emerged around 1999. Unlike other hard house genres, it features an upbeat, energetic sound and heavily focuses on the 'pipe' sample as an offbeat bassline, which usually represents a 'donk' sound. In recent years, hard bounce has come to refer as style far less uplifting trance orientated than the original Scouse house genre, which also utilizes the same sample but takes a slightly more commercial approach. Russian hardbass (Cyrillic: Хардбасс) often considered a derivative of hard bounce.

Hard dance[edit]

Hard dance is a cross over genre between hard house, Eurodance and hard trance, but the term 'hard dance' is often used in reference to hardstyle. The term began life as an umbrella term to denote several styles of hard music, namely hard house, hard trance and hardstyle.


Hard house is similar to, but distinct from hardstyle. Confusion can sometimes arise as some club nights and events will play both hardstyle and hard house. This may be because hardstyle is quite well known across western Europe, whereas hard house has only ever had a limited audience outside of the UK, so there is more new music being released in the hardstyle scene.


  1. ^ Ishkur (2005). "Ishkur's guide to Electronic Music". Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  2. ^ Gerstner, David A. (2012). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture. Routledge. p. 154. ISBN 9781136761812.
  3. ^ Skruff, Jonty. "Mark Kavanagh- Ireland's Hardest DJ on Ending Up in U2's Gutter (interview)". Track it Down online webzine, June 3, 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Ishkur (2005). "Stupid house". Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  5. ^ "Official Tidy Page". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  6. ^ "Review: Tidy Weekender - Hard House is Dead? | Ibiza Spotlight". Ibiza Spotlight. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  7. ^ "Storm". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  8. ^ "Sundissential". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  9. ^ "The Ecstasy, the agony, and the culpability". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  10. ^ "Sundissential North returns to Leeds!!". Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  11. ^ "About Us - The Tinrib Story". Tinrib Digital⚓. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  12. ^ "Glamzoo - Tidy & Ideal CDs & Merchandise".