House

/hows/, n.
Edward Mandell /man"dl/, ("Colonel House"), 1858-1938, U.S. diplomat.

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(as used in expressions)
House of Building
Babenberg House of
Bourbon House of
Burgesses House of
Commons House of
house cat
Guise house of
Hanover house of
House Un American Activities Committee
House Edward Mandell
Lancaster house of
Lords House of
Orange house of
Orléans house of
Plantagenet House of
House of Anjou
Savoy house of
Stuart house of
Tudor house of
Windsor house of
House of Saxe Coburg Gotha
Wittelsbach house of
York house of
House of the Hospitallers of Saint Mary of the Teutons

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      in astrology, 1 of the 12 sectors, or divisions, of the celestial sphere. See horoscope.

music
Introduction

      style of high-tempo, electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s and spread internationally. Born in Chicago clubs that catered to gay, predominantly black and Latino patrons, house fused the symphonic sweep and soul (soul music) diva vocals of 1970s disco with the cold futurism of synthesizer-driven Eurodisco. Invented by deejay-producers such as Frankie Knuckles and Marshall Jefferson, house reached Europe by 1986, with tracks on Chicago labels Trax and DJ International penetrating the British pop charts. In 1988 the subgenre called acid house catalyzed a British youth culture explosion, when dancers discovered that the music's psychedelic bass lines acted synergistically with the illegal drug ecstasy (MDMA, or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a hallucinogen and stimulant).

      By 1990 the British scene had divided. Following the bacchanalian spirit of acid house, some preferred manic music designed for large one-time-only raves (all-night parties in warehouses or fields). Others favoured the more “mature,” club-oriented style of soulful house called garage (named after New York City's Paradise Garage club). Following early homegrown efforts by the likes of A Guy Called Gerald, Britain also started producing its own mutations of the Chicago sound. Pioneered by Leftfield, another subgenre called progressive house excised the style's gay-disco roots and explored production techniques that gave the music a hypnotic quality. Bombastic introductions and anthemlike choruses characterized the subgenres labeled handbag and epic house. NU-NRG (a gay, hard-core style) and tech-house (which took an abstract minimalist approach) were other significant subgenres that emerged.

      Despite these European versions, house cognoscenti still looked to America's lead—the lush arrangements of auteur-producers such as Masters at Work, Armand Van Helden, and Deep Dish, the stripped-down severity and disco cut-ups of newer Chicago labels such as Relief and Cajual. On both sides of the Atlantic, the continuing proliferation of subgenres testified to house music's adaptability, appeal, and seemingly inexhaustible creativity.

Simon C.W. Reynolds

Representative Works

● Phuture, “Acid Trax” (1987)
● A Guy Called Gerald, “Voodoo Ray” (1988)
● Royal House, “Can You Party” (1988)
● Green Velvet, “Flash” (1995)
● De'Lacy, “Hideaway (Deep Dish Remix)” (1996)

Additional Reading
Matthew Collin, Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House (1997), is an authoritative history of British house and rave culture that focuses on the drug MDMA: its influence on the music, its illegality and dangers, and its diffusion from a late 1980s criminal subculture into the mainstream of 1990s British life. Simon Reynolds, “The End of Music,” in his Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock (1990), pp. 167–186, celebrates house music for its psychedelic, avant-garde qualities and as posthumanist black pop music that breaks with the concept of soul, and his Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture (1998), a critical history of house and techno from 1980 to the late 1990s, deals with recreational drug culture and the sociological ramifications of the rave scene, with more emphasis on the music itself than Altered State. Steve Redhead (ed.), Rave Off: Politics and Deviance in Contemporary Youth Culture (1993), includes two standout essays: Antonio Melechi, “The Ecstasy of Disappearance,” pp. 29–40, which uses the historical origins of Britain's acid house scene in the nightclubs of the Mediterranean vacation island Ibiza as the basis for a theory of rave culture as a form of “internal tourism;” and Hillegonda Rietveld, “Living the Dream,” pp. 41–78. Sarah Thornton, Club Cultures: Music, Media, and Subcultural Capital (1995), a sociological study of British club and rave culture using the Pierre Bourdieu-inspired notions of “subcultural capital,” explores the struggles of underground scenes to avoid being co-opted by the mainstream; while the analysis of the media panic over British acid house is provocative, the music itself is neglected. Chris Kempster (compiler and ed.), History of House (1996), a collection of articles from the musician's magazine The Mix, concentrates on the working methods of leading producers and house music's technical underpinnings.

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Universalium. 2010.

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