Deep house is a subgenre of house music. It originated in the 1980s, initially fusing elements of Chicago house with 1980s jazz-funk and touches of soul music. Deep house tracks generally have a tempo of between 100 and 125 beats per minute (BPM). Its origins are attributed to Larry Heard’s track ‘Mystery of Love’ in 1984.
This style of house music can often have an acoustic feeling. The online music store Beatport is credited with driving the popularity of deep house, but also mislabeling a number of artists in the process and giving rise to the future house genre.
Deep house is known for tempos typically from 100bpm-130bpm, spacious use of percussion elements, muted basslines, soft keyboard sounds (pads), use of advanced chord structures, ambient mixes, and soulful vocals (if any). Lyrics usually focus on positive/uplifting or forlorn modern blues lyrics. In the early compositions (1986–89), 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 pleasantly dissonant melodies, and a smooth, stylish, and chic demeanor. The use of women’s vocals is more common than males in deep house tracks. Deep house music rarely reaches a climax, but lingers on as a comfortable, hypnotic and relaxing sound.
Coming soon – a directory of Deep House resources in South Africa