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Electronic Music 101: What is Deep House?

The origin of Deep House music and some examples
Frankie Knuckles

Frankie Knuckles House Music Legend and original Music Director of The Warehouse (Chicago)

House music began to take shape in the mid to late eighties with guys like Frankie Knuckles, Jesse Saunders, Larry Heard, Steve "Silk" Hurley, Farley, Marshall Jefferson, Farley Jackmaster Funk, etc all leading the charge. 

Early house songs had a very definitive sound, heavily influenced from euro synth and disco music. As house music started to grow in popularity it started to find new styles and variations and has been fracturing into new sub-genres ever since. 

The style of house that eventually became known as deep house was a lower bpm, more soulful and often included a gospel inspired vocal or jazz sample. The sound of deep house initially was a very American sound coming from Chicago and New York. In the early to mid 90s with the explosion of UK club culture, many UK producers started putting out exceptional deep house tracks as well. 

Legendary clubs and club nights like Club Shelter (NYC), Paradise Garage (NYC), The Warehouse (Chicago), The Sound Factory Bar and Sound Factory (NYC), Body & Soul (NYC), etc. Help usher in and cultivate the sound of Deep House that eventually started to work its way into the more mainstream dance clubs, especially in Europe. 

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The most common mistake in today's EDM culture is the misuse of deep house classification which is often used to describe more chilled out or melodic tech house. 

The sound of deep house still continues today and is supported globally with a loyal and incredibly dedicated fanbase. Younger DJs and producers like Soul Clap, The Martinez Brothers and others continue to carry the torch for the soulful side of house music. 

Some examples below: 

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